• For the Dog Lover in You!

Training Troubles? Here's How to Overcome Common Challenges

on May 08, 2023


Training a dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it isn't always easy. Fortunately, we have tips and tricks to help get you and your pup on the right track! 

Be Patient

Chances are, if you’ve ever tried to train your dog, you know that it’s not always simple—it can be overwhelming and sometimes takes weeks or even months to see results. But with patience and diligence, the effort always pays off. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same holds true for training a well-behaved pup! The key is remembering that it can and will take time. Give your dog, and yourself, grace as you start trying to learn each other’s languages. It can also help to remember where your pup is in their life – a puppy and a senior rescue dog will require different communication styles, which is okay! Just remember to stay patient. The frustrations won’t last forever—if you trust in the process, soon, training efforts will yield results!

Understand your Pup's Individual Needs

When it comes to training, it's essential to understand your pup's individualized needs. Different breeds have different temperaments and energy levels, so take the time to get to know your dog and tailor a training plan that works for you both. For example, a Great Dane and a Chihuahua have different exercise and handling requirements. For that matter, even two different Great Danes will have different training needs! Tune into your dog and learn what makes them tick. Developing a close bond will only increase the odds of a successful training session.

For those new to training, asking a vet or experienced trainer about guidelines is an excellent place to start. You can also research proper care and training for your specific breed. A call to your vet supplemented with properly sourced blogs, books, and magazines are all good resources to help you as you go.

Regardless of breed, staying consistent with positive reinforcement, regular exercise, and staying up-to-date on trends in grooming and nutrition will also help create optimum conditions for effective learning. Outside of that, tune into your dog’s individualized needs, and you’ll be more primed for training success. 

Set Achievable Goals

Setting achievable goals is key when overcoming training challenges. Don't expect your dog to jump into complex tasks without building basic skills. They won’t be able to run if they can’t walk! 

Start with simple objectives and gradually increase the difficulty. This approach can help prevent feelings of overwhelm and frustrated (for both you and your dog!) while allowing your dog time to adjust as they expand their knowledge base. This incremental approach makes it easier for everyone to move forward with steady progress. 

Teach One Command at a Time 

You can definitely teach your dog multiple commands, but you definitely won’t succeed in trying to teach them all at once. The best strategy for learning a library of tricks is to break up learning into smaller, attainable pieces. Start by focusing on just one command and understand it to perfection before moving on to a new trick (check out this blog for some ideas on helpful basics). For example, if you teach your dog to “shake,” ensure they can complete the command entirely upon request (i.e., they understand how high up to bring their paw or how to do the command with one specific paw) before moving on to a new command. By doing so, you'll ensure that the command is taught and understood fully. Taking the time now to learn one command at a time will help ensure smooth sailing in the long run.

Reward Good Behavior 

We all need a bit of motivation now and then, and that goes for our furry friends too! Offering rewards for good behavior helps keep your pup’s training fresh and fun. Start by determining your dog’s preferred method of reward. While many pups are food motivated, some dogs prefer affection over treats when they’ve done something well. Once you’ve determined how they like their praise, give it liberally! 

Practice Makes Perfect

Training a dog can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, especially when your pup doesn't seem to be catching on as quickly as you'd hoped. Fortunately, the age-old adage "practice makes perfect" applies just as much to dogs as it does to humans! Repetition is key to helping reinforce desired behaviors and habits. Perseverance is also essential: don’t be discouraged if your pup isn’t taking to the training right away – with consistent practice, they will catch on eventually! Teaching your canine companion skills through clear guidance and repetition can help create a lifelong relationship rooted in trust and understanding.

No matter where you are in the training process, remember to keep your goals achievable, understand your pup's needs, and practice each command one at a time. Above all else, take it slow and be patient. With hard work and commitment, you'll soon have the perfectly trained pooch of your dreams. Best of luck on your training journey!

Ready to start training but need supplies? Check out all K9 & Co. offerings here. We can’t wait to see what you and your dog’s next adventure will be.



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