With more people adding a pet to their family and, more particularly, a dog, it is becoming ever more important to spend time with your dog and help them feel the love and know that they are an essential part of your family. Trick dog training is something that can involve the whole family. You may not realize but trick training is beneficial to both you and your dog.
What is Trick Training?
Trick training is a way to teach your dog new skills that can help your dog to understand what you expect of him. You can teach any dog new tricks, but it is important to use a motivation-based approach with gentle coaxing and encouragement. As your dog starts to understand more of what you expect, you will become closer to your dog and communicate with him more clearly. The more tricks you teach your dog, the faster that they will learn because as you teach your dog tricks, the way you teach your dog also improves. Your dog will begin to understand you and pick up on your body language and cues.
How Does Trick Training Benefit Your Dog?
As you work with your dog, you start to form a close bond. Your dog learns your communication style and will pick up on your body movements, watching you for the command you will give. Working more with your dog will also improve their obedience and manners, making the time you spend with your dog much more pleasant.
Trick training can also improve your dog’s health because some tricks strengthen your dog’s muscle tone and increase its stamina. Your dog will also benefit from increased balance, flexibility, and concentration. Still, one of the best benefits of working closely with your dog is the boost they will experience in their confidence. Dogs get a lot of mental exercise when they learn tricks. A dog with plenty of physical and mental activity will be happy to lay on its bed at the end of the day instead of wanting to get outside and go for a walk.
Some dogs have a lot of pent-up energy, and when you work with them to teach them a new trick, it can help channel that energy into a positive activity. If a dog is bored, you may find that they become destructive and not too pleasant to be around.
Stray dogs that end up in shelters are often not adopted because they are older dogs. If someone spends time with that same dog and teaches them tricks, the potential adopter will see this as positive and may look at the dog differently – as a great companion.
Trick Training Can Be Difficult – You Need Plenty of Patience
When you start off trying to train a dog, they will have no idea what you are trying to teach them. The dog may not pay attention or become bored or annoyed quickly. This behaviour is basically because the dog does not know what you are trying to teach them. It is vital to work with your dog at their pace (not yours). Initial training sessions should be short, and you should continue to reward your dog throughout the session. You want your dog to associate these sessions with positivity, not with the dog being in trouble or you being angry with them. Once you reward your dog, they will start to associate training sessions with good experiences. If you are short on patience and punish your dog during these kinds of sessions, you will soon find that the dog is not interested in learning anything at all.
It takes a great deal of patience and understanding to teach your dog tricks. Some of these tricks serve a specific purpose, while others are just for the owner’s pleasure or family and friends. As you work with your dog, you become trained to learn what works for your dog and what does not work. If you force your dog to do things by pushing, pulling, or shoving the dog, you will not get far.
What Can You Expect When Trick Training Your Dog?
Your dog is a family member, and it is up to you to help them to understand their role in that family. When you teach them tricks, they learn that you are the leader, and as you work more with the dog, they will come to understand what you expect of them. They will also start to respect you more when you assert authority the right way. It is important never to punish your dog as you work with them. Reward them for good behaviour and ignore the bad.