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Train Your Dog Like The Pros: Tips for success

train your dog like the pros

For most dogs, getting out on their daily walk and chasing their ball is their ‘job’. They see it as their daily duty.

That’s why dogs get so antsy when you’re even 10 minutes late to get them out the door, they need to get out and get the job done, even if they’re knackered.

What about the dogs that actually have jobs though, from racing hounds to sled runners, to sniffer dogs?

While highly skilled they’re still dogs, they love tackling challenges – so why not consider some of the training methods used to level up your daily walks and training sessions.

While your dog may just be training to catch a ball, these are tried and true methods that work for finely tuned working dogs. Some of the areas of focus that you’ll see across working and sporting dog trainers might be just what your pup needs.

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How to use a snuffle mat by Ruffle Snuffle

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement works. Any trainer will tell you this. While dogs may not link a telling off and bad behaviour, they will definitely like a treat with good behaviour.

The treat doesn’t necessarily have to be food, it could be a toy or a ball. Take, for example, urban search and rescue dogs. From a young age, they develop their ‘play drive’ which creates a strong positive link between them and their toys.

With that link created, they’ll do just about anything for their toy – including all of the complex tasks expected of a USAR dog. If you have a pup that is still young, nurture and develop that play drive and watch as they become much more responsive to training as the toys come out!

Impulse Control

Dogs are pretty impulsive and sometimes you’re going to have to work that out of them, for example, if you live in a busy city.

You can develop impulse control through impulse training, where you hone in your dog’s focus, usually onto a single object like a ball.

So when you are walking along a street, ball in hand, that is all that your dog will be focusing on.

You can work on impulse control through training. Go to a quiet space and direct their focus to the ball or toy, reward them for doing so, then do this in increasingly busy spaces.

Consistency

Yes, the boring one that no one wants to hear, but the point stands that you must train your dog every single day.

It doesn’t have to be a super intense two-hour long training session, just implement some training into their daily exercise.

Got nothing to do at home? Work on tricks! From rolling over, to sitting pretty, your dog will love the challenges and it will give you an opportunity to develop their response to commands.

Diet

Diet is something that many won’t consider but it is something that trainers put a lot of time and effort into. If you haven’t already, why not try a raw dog food diet? Many working dogs use the BARF model such as sled huskies and racing greyhounds.

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Diet can make a huge difference in training, if a dog can break down their food more easily as it’s less processed they will be able to use more energy. That will translate to more training and more focus during training sessions as they will stay excitable and stimulated throughout.

It’s a fairly easy switch and it’s becoming easier than ever with pre-prep companies doing all the work so that all you have to do is open a bag of kibble.

Wrapping up

Dogs are intelligent, energetic pets that deserve the best care possible. They need a healthy diet and plenty of exercise to stay happy and stimulated during daily walks or training sessions. If you’re looking for ways to train your dog like the pros, try some insights from experienced trainers who work with dogs on a daily basis!

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