Training is great for dogs, great for owners, great for the public at large and great for your relationship with your dog, not surprising then that I love training! Surprisingly the 2016 PDSA PAWS reports shows that 1.1 million dogs in the UK have no training AT ALL. That's a lot of untrained dogs, furthermore 66% of all dog owners say their dogs have unwanted behaviours. So getting training is really helpful in making sure your dog does not become a statistic.
As most things in life are linked the growing number of dogs exhibiting unwanted behaviours seems to be a key factor in the obesity crisis. Why would this be? Well, people get fearful or embarrassed about taking their dog out in public if they think the dog may misbehave, this in turn leads to less socialisation for the dog, which can make behaviours worse and less exercise as a result. It's a vicious circle.
If you are reading this though, that means you are interested in training, so that is already a brilliant start. I'm going to list my golden rules for training here-
Always make training fun! To do this practice short sessions but often.
Start with something easy and build up to make it more challenging.
Do not punish your dog for getting it wrong. If they are not doing as you ask YOU are doing it wrong. Try using a different method or go back and reinforce the previous step.
Yes, it can be frustrating but ALWAYS, ALWAYS end on a success and a high note.
Consistancy! This is probably one of the most obvious and equally important rules. It's much easier for you dog to understand the requirement if you are consistant in your hand gestures and vocal cues.