Train your dog: The importance of consistency in dog training

13 August 2018

The key to any training is consistency; if you’re not consistent, you’re not going to...

Train your dog: The importance of consistency in dog training

The key to any training is consistency; if you’re not consistent, you’re not going to get the result you want. Doesn’t matter if it’s dogs, cats, people or even elephants– learning is achieved through identifying patterns. These few tips can teach you consistency in your dog training:

1. Consistent cues in dog training

If you repeat cues and say it one time one day, and three times the next, you are not consistent. For more effective communication and training with your dog, try to make your verbal, as well as non-verbal, cues consistent. It makes it much easier for your dog to learn new commands or tricks.

2. Keep the daily rituals

Dogs are each day confronted with challenging and confusing situations: They have to wait patiently for their food, stay calm in the traffic while walking and sometimes stay home alone for hours. With fix daily rituals you can teach your dog that these situations are normal parts of the day and, with time, your pup will get use to these challenges as a part of his daily routine.

3. Stay on the same page

Make sure every one in the family is on the same page with all of the “house rules”. If you don’t want your dog to jump on people, make sure he NEVER gets rewarded for jumping. If you don’t want your dog to beg for food while you eat, the whole family should know not to feed him from the plates. Dogs often get blamed for being “stubborn” because they are not behaving properly. The problem, however, is not the dogs! It is often seen that each family member rewards different behaviors. What is the right answer? Make consistent rules and stick to them.

4. Dogs don’t generalize

If you teach “sit” in the kitchen and then move to the bed room, your dog will probably not perform the command as well. Why? Because it’s a new location with new distractions. Go back to the basics and consistently re-teach the behavior. Once you have trained your dog in numerous locations, the success in a new location will occur faster.

5. Pay attention to word-use

Dogs are actually quite simply. They try to react to the exact words you say. Therefore, you should know that  “Come here” or “Come now” is not the same as “Come”. Which one do you want your dog to learn? Choose the word(s) you want to use and make sure you are consistent with your word-use.

6. Practice makes perfect

You have to learn patterns and consistency as much as your dog. Train your dog for at least 15 minutes per day broken down into small 2-5 minute segments. And, be consistent with your dog training!

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