Dog Training 101: Consistency is Key!

There’s nothing better than coming home with a brand new puppy! They’re cuddly and cute and so much fun! And while it’s easy to fall in love and put playing over training, there’s no better time to start your pup on the right track.

So how do you start on the right track? Puppy kindergarten is certainly a step in the right direction. Or perhaps even a private dog trainer. But what happens when you’re home at night with your pup, and no one’s there to tell you how to train her? Puppy Training 101 will give you simple tips that will help you make small changes in your training that will make big changes in your dog’s learning!

Rule number 1: Consistency!

The number one, absolute most important thing to remember when training your puppy is CONSISTENCY!

Let’s use an example. Say you’re helping to teach a baby what an apple is. You would put an apple in front of her and say “apple.” The next person puts an apple in front of her and says “apple.” Everyone calls an apple an apple. And soon the baby does the same.

So what would happen if every once in a while, you put an apple in front of the baby and say “banana.” The next person says “apple.” The person after that says “banana.” The baby is never going to learn that an apple is an “apple!”

Same thing goes with a puppy. If you teach her sit, you say sit, she sits, and you give her a treat. But what if she isn’t really paying attention, you say “sit,” she doesn’t sit, and you just give up and go watch tv? She’ll learn that sometimes “sit” means you expect her to sit, and other times you do not. She’ll never be sure of what you’re asking her to do, and will eventually decide to ignore you most of the times.

Dogs are naturally consistent animals and communicate through consistency. Any stable dog that your puppy meets will communicate with her the same way as any other stable dog. She will look to you to be consistent as well. And by doing so, you will gain her trust and understanding. She will be quick to learn and you’ll have a healthy, stable dog.

So remember that regardless of how you train your puppy, where you train your puppy, when you train your puppy, and who trains your puppy…always be consistent!