Having a dog requires proper training. This can begin at any stage in a dog’s life – preferably, right after you take them home. Training builds confidence, stimulates the intellect, and strengthens connection. Dogs are eager learners. Everyday is always a perfect time to teach them something.
What is Dog Obedience Training?
Some individuals consider dog obedience training to be cruel. They believe that it would kill its energy and spirit. Truth be told, true obedience training enables you to communicate with your dog. Something that helps in establishing trust and respect.
Good handlers use commands to turn their dogs to improve themselves. Training is not a barbaric tool. Rather, it helps in bridging the gap between humans and dogs. In return, it allows you to become closer to each other.
Whether you like it or not, dog obedience training is critical to help your dog socialize. Some owners forego of training. What they do not know is it’s their dogs who suffer in the end. They’ll have a hard time connecting with the household, friends and other animals.
At What Age Should You Start Dog Obedience Training?
It is vital to properly train your dog. After all, this is a characteristic that any good dog owner has. Your dog should be brought to obedience classes as soon as possible. Preferably do it when they’re still a puppy. When your dog is young, they will be more receptive to tricks and training and will have a higher capacity to learn.
Ideally, training a Border Collie puppy or any litter in general must be done at around 8 weeks. At this stage, they are already able to learn basic training cues like come, stay and sit.
Distance is one of the considerations when choosing obedience training classes. But convenience should not be the only aspect to look at when deciding.
Other considerations should also be taken into mind. Some of these are:
- Training methods
- Appropriate classes for your needs
- Instructor’s personality compatibility with yours
Equipment Needed For Dog Obedience Training
It doesn’t matter what approach you take in training your dog. There are essential items that will make your and your dog’s life easier. Some of these items include a treat bag, clicker, standard leash, collar and a nice pair of walking shoes.
- Clicker – perhaps you want to impose certain behavior to your dog. In such a case, a clicker would help a lot. It comes in different designs; there is handheld, with wrist straps and so forth. In fact, there are leashes with built-in clickers. There are downloadable clicker apps too and clickers to train several dogs at once.
- Treat Bag or Pouch – It is true that you can keep treats in your pocket. However, premium treats are known to be moist and smelly. Probably, you don’t want heads turning up on you because they began to smell. If you think that’s worse, try to forget them in your pocket for a day or two and see how they smell. With pouches or bags, it gives you instant and convenient access to your treats. This can be extremely useful when you are working on difficult training cues, training on complicated skills and doing some agility work.
- Treats – it’s important to keep your dog interested and motivated, and treat preference varies from one dog to another. Generally speaking though, many dogs prefer soft, meaty treats. As for the treats themselves, it must be small. Ideally, about the size of a pencil eraser. Pre-sized training treats are available or may be sliced or broken down prior to training.
- Portable mat – portable mat or bed is vital as it creates a safe space for your Border Collie to rest. A washable and foldable bed, blanket or mat is relatively easy to bring wherever you go. One with a sticky bottom variety can offer better stability when put on slick.
- Leash – a leash may range from 4 to 6 feet long. It should be long enough for your dog to move about a bit when you are out walking with him (rather than being continuously pulled tight). Keeping your hands-free during training sessions is possible with a waist-clip leash. Store your dog’s leashes in convenient locations near the door, such as hooks for easy access.
How long does dog obedience training take?
According to experts, dog obedience training should last for at least 15 minutes. Anything more than that and it makes your puppy distracted easily. In fact, shorter sessions are advisable. Training sessions that are too long will be counterproductive. Instead of your dog learning, they’ll be bored and distracted. Also, there is a great chance they’ll be making mistakes along the way.
Dogs are not like humans. They don’t understand our language. Though, they’re excellent at learning words. But it has to be taught to them. You may be telling them to stay, sit or lie down. To them, these are all noises and can only mean the same.
Whenever possible, make sure to have all members of the family to have the combined effort of doing dog obedience training. This is critical if you want to overcome any behavioral challenges, especially when teaching new skills or tricks.
You have to be consistent with the training as well. You would not see the results in an instant. Don’t rush it. This is something that would take time.
The foundation of raising a responsible canine starts with basic dog obedience training. Owners must instruct their dogs the most basic commands properly.
To make your dog more active and well-behaved, you must think of something that’ll activate their mental stimulation.
Don’t forget as well to encourage your Border Collie to obey and behave well. In addition to making your connection stronger, dog training is indeed a rewarding activity. Let us check the basic commands you must teach your dog.
When teaching your dog the “sit” command, look for a quiet place first. This command is very useful and lays the foundation for other more complicated commands in the future. Once your dog learned and mastered this, it can be used to prevent them from jumping to people, or be used as a sign of respect when greeting others.
‘Down’ is one of the more difficult commands for dogs to master. If mastered though, it is proven to be very beneficial. It is also much less likely that dogs will disrupt dinner or other social events if they understand ‘down.’
Indeed, “stay” command is one of the hardest to learn. That is the reason why it is taught in stages and teaching it in reverse. On the other hand, before you begin with this command, see to it that your Border Collie already mastered “sit”.
Truth is, there are a number of situations wherein you’d thank yourself and your dog for learning and teaching it. For instance, you have guests in your home or you have plenty of household chores to do. Telling them to “stay” ensures that you can focus on what you have to do.
This is yet another essential command that your dog should learn. This command comes in handy for times when you accidentally lose grip on their leash. Perhaps, if you have left your door open, you can use the “come” command so they would not run fast outside. Do the following to train your dog with this command:
- Put the collar and leash onto your dog
- Level with your dog and say “come” while pulling the leash gently
- When your dog “comes” to you, give them a nice treat
By the time they learned this command, you can now remove the leash and keep practicing the command in an enclosed location.
Types of Obedience Training Classes
Much like humans, dogs have different ways of learning. Meaning to say, every training method is unique for each dog, situation and goal. Being able to find the best training method is crucial. It helps in striking a balance in all aspects of the training while ensuring to overcome any challenges that may be encountered. Following are some of the dog obedience training that a class may use:
- Alpha dog training – according to the theory, dogs are pack animals, just as their wolf forefathers. In alpha dog training methods, it relies on establishing boundaries and helping dogs understand where they are in the pack. You, of course, are to be the alpha leader!
- Positive Reinforcement Training – when following this training method, what owners are expected to do is to reward positive behavior using treats. In case that their dog has exhibited undesired behaviors like biting or barking, it is supposed to be ignored and not give them anything.
- E-Collar Dog Training – these colors are typically used when a leash is not available or for distance training. “E” here stands for electric. So when worn by your dogs, it can send vibration, electric shock or citronella spray whenever they display unwanted behavior. While this is proven effective to make your dogs follow you, it can also make them scared and stressed. You must draw the line on when to use it.
House Training and Crate Training
You’ll have to commit time and energy to succeed in housetraining.
In such a case, constant supervision is a must. You have to actually catch your Border Collie relieving themselves in the wrong area of the house. If you find poop or pee on the wall and floor and punish them, they’ll never understand the connection to why you’re upset.
Now, if you’re able to catch them in the act as they are trying to relieve themselves, immediately interrupt them with a sharp clap noise or a squeaker sound. As they pause, bring them to the area where you want them to do their business. Once they’re finished, praise them and/or give them treats.
Dogs seek out a safe, quiet, and comfortable spot. They show this kind of behavior especially when the environment becomes overwhelming. As a matter of fact, this is where crate training becomes extremely helpful.
A crate is also a secure way to transport your dog. Chewing on objects in the home or during housetraining can be prevented by crate training. However, crates are not the wonder fix in correcting your dog’s behavior. It’s more of a supplement to an existing training you do with them. Because if used incorrectly, your dog may feel that they’re trapped rather than thinking of it as their safe haven.
Leash Training For Dogs and Puppies
It’s critical that you leash train your puppy in order to educate and develop them.
Dogs love to wander, sniff, and explore. While they love their owners very much, it’s quite a challenge to walk on a leash beside them. By combining leash training with other dog obedience training methods, you will raise a well-behaved, content, and safe family dog.
For our dog to walk synchronously with us, we have to teach it to them. They’re not born with it. By developing their leash skills, it teaches them to walk together with you. The best part, it promotes a happy and healthy relationship between the two of you.
Clicker Training for Dogs
Clicker training is somewhat similar to positive reinforcement training. But it has its own distinction. Because of its preciseness, it is quite useful when you are performing complex commands and engaged in agility performance. If you want to succeed doing this method of training, the following must be done:
- Charge the clicker – this simply means to teach your dog by associating every click with a treat or reward. When you’re starting with this method, click the clicker and then give your Collie a treat without commanding them. The purpose is to build the foundation that a “click” is equivalent to a “treat”.
- Click for achieving positive behavior – say that you’re teaching your Border to sit. You may kick it off by luring them into a sitting position by holding the treat above their head. By the time they are in a seating position, you click and give them the treat.
- Redo the process – keep doing this exercise until your canine has mastered sit and get used to clicking and treating without having to lure them. Eventually, this would tell your dog that as they sit, they’ll get treats.
- Introduce new cues – once they have mastered one command, that is when you can start introducing new commands or cue words. Then it is basically more of a rinse and repeat process.
Addressing Dog Training Problems
According to dog trainers, there are three prominent problems that they notice among dogs when doing dog obedience training. These challenges are:
- Jumping up on people
- Not coming when they are called
- Trying to take the lead by pulling the leash
Mind you, these problems are not specific to a certain breed. It is present in dogs of all sizes, age and breeds.
Get a Trainer
If you want to have effective dog obedience training, you must learn how to communicate with them. What better way of doing so than by working with a professional dog trainer. After all, they are problem solvers and can work at your convenience.
Where Can I Find a Dog Obedience Trainer?
Fortunately, there are numerous ways that you can find a reputable dog trainer. Among which is by asking recommendations from your veterinarian, friends or neighbors who might have used a trainer before. You can also use your social media network to ask for help. At times, even a quick Google search does the job. All these options will give you reliable company names and dog trainers.
Once you find prospects, the next thing to do is to check for their certifications and achievements. Remember, always perform background research on your prospect. The trainer you found has to match not only your specific needs but also, your dogs’.
How much is dog obedience training?
Under normal circumstances, the average price of getting dog training is roughly 30 to 80 dollars per class. Some are spending around 50 dollars an hour. For dog obedience training schools, expect to pay about 200 to 600 dollars a week. The cost varies depending on the reputation, difficulty, behavior and location among others.
Conclusion: Should You Train Your Dog Or Just Pay For Training?
The question whether you should perform the training on your own or hire a pro to train them is more of a circumstantial decision. If you are someone who has broad experience in dog training and dog breeds, there’s nothing wrong in doing the training by yourself. Of course, when you take this path, you have already anticipated the time commitment to make to succeed.
On the other hand, if you are clueless with dog obedience training or simply have no time to do so, then you’d definitely benefit more by paying for the training.