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Making the Most of Your Dog Training Sessions

Making the Most of Your Dog Training Sessions

Training a dog can be a time-consuming but ultimately rewarding experience. We all enjoy seeing our pets be well-behaved. It saves us the time and effort of picking up after them if they do something wrong. However, how an owner approaches training can have a significant impact on how well-trained your pet is. Session-based activity is typically how owners approach training their dogs. However, with so many different ideas about training a pet, it can be challenging to figure out which training methodology is best for your fur baby. In this article, we'll look at how you can maximize the effectiveness of your pup's training while remaining flexible and teaching them all that you can.

Why Session Training?

Scientifically speaking, the more often you train your dog, the faster he or she is likely to learn. Sessions are the best way to train a dog, but there is such a thing as overtraining. Ideally, as a pet owner, you'd want to dedicate a short period during the week to train your pet. Many owners opt for a single hour on the weekends, followed by an hour during the week. Dogs tend to prefer this type of training, as experiments have shown that overdoing this type of training can lead to dogs taking longer to learn certain behaviors.

Sessions can be any length of time you decide, but you should be consistent with how you schedule training. Many dogs don't have the mental stamina to think about a particular task for more than fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. Others may be able to work for a solid hour on a task. How you break up the training time depends on how well your dog operates during a particular period.

Being consistent can be useful, as well. Dogs get used to routines quickly, and setting up sessions that can teach your dog about the practice will have them excited for the lesson. Each session should be focused on helping your dog learn a specific task, and when they manage to accomplish that task, they're rewarded. Training sessions can be used as a precursor to obedience training or even reinforcing basic commands that the dog should be used to. You should keep these sessions standard and try not to cut them short or cancel them since it would send the wrong message to your fur baby.

Focus On a Single Goal

You may want to teach your dog several things over their lifetime, but trying to fit all of those tasks into a single training session will confuse them. As smart as pups are, they aren't, they aren't known for their ability to keep multiple ideas in their head simultaneously. Pick a focus that you want to deal with during your training session and work on it. Picking a single command will help the dog stay focused and keep you both on track. If your training session is elaborate and your dog isn't doing well, you have the option of falling back on a previously learned behavior. Using this method can help your pet know that the end of the session is coming and might be used as rewarding behavior.

Use Areas Without Major Distractions

Pups can be easily distracted. As any dog owner knows, all it takes is a single loud noise or strange sound to make your pup look away and take an interest in something that isn't their concern. Even those that have a lot of discipline can be distracted in some situations. This distraction can prove costly if you're trying to get your dog to learn a new trick or command. The best way to deal with this situation is to start your first learning session for your pup in a quiet location that won't add distractions to the session. An excellent option for this is starting in your living room. This location gives your pup a friendly interior space with a minimum of distractions. After you've got the basics of the command or trick down, you can take them to the dog park for your next session and put them through their paces.

Use Positive Reinforcement to End Sessions

Depending on how you set out to train your dog, you can choose several ways to end their training with each session. Offering them a particular soft toy can give them a reward to look forward to. However, if you go this route, it should be a special toy that they don't play with all the time. They'll start associating playing with this toy at the end of their training session. Alternatively, some owners use a clicker to train their pets. The clicker offers a robust, sharp sound that lets your pet know that they've done something right. The difference between the click and the behavior is so close that your pup can usually associate one with the other. Treats can also work, but they have the downside of lag-time between the puppy performing the behavior and then getting the treat. If your pup can't seem to get the hang of a particular trick or behavior, you may want to switch to something they've learned before towards the end of the session.

One of the most important things owners can do to help their pups learn important lessons is to reinforce them during daily life. Your dog will start using their behaviors during the day, and it's up to you to show them that what they did was what you wanted them to do. Dog training sessions can introduce new behaviors and have them practice in a controlled environment. By themselves, they're just a place for your dog to learn something new. You have to let them know how to apply that learned behavior to their lives. Toys and treats are great ways of helping them reinforce this behavior.

Your Dog is Smarter Than You Think

Many owners know their dogs are smart, but they don't realize how deep their learning potential goes. However, dogs work far better with positive reinforcement than negative. Trying to beat a specific type of behavior into your dog won't work. The failure of this method isn't because your dog is not smart. Instead, it's because your dog needs that positive reinforcement to learn. Don't think that your dog will discover a new skill overnight either. More complex skills take time to teach, and you'll need to have patience before your pup learns them. Even so, it's well worth the time you spend training them on proper behavior.

What's Trending for Pets in 2021?

What's Trending for Pets in 2021?

The new year always brings with it many changes. From new year resolutions to promises to stop drinking and smoking, we humans have a lot on our plate as the year gets started, but what about our pets? We rarely pay attention to the new things that come out on the market for pets until we need something. Yet, it may be in our best interest to pay attention to the trends that are going on in the pet product industry. Who knows, we may find something that might make our lives a lot better as pet parents?

With so many of us concerned about our pets, manufacturers are trying their best to capitalize on our worry. The turn of 2021 has seen many pet product companies offer us products that they think we need. Yet, do we need what they're offering? Are their options so much better than what we already have? The only way to find out is to examine the top trends for 2021 as they present themselves. This article seeks to do just that, giving you an objective assessment of what you should and shouldn't pay attention to.

Top-Notch Premium Pet Food

We've probably seen more than our fair share of pet food that claims to be premium. It seems that, with every new iteration in pet diets, a company releases a new pet food line that tells us it's better for our pets than what we already use. However, the bright side is that several pet food manufacturers offer us options instead of the processed stuff they sell. Among the newest trends in premium pet food include:

  • Raw food: typically including things like veggies, fish, raw meat, and bones.
  • Ancient grains: These are made using grains that occurred throughout history, such as amaranth, millet, teff, and buckwheat, to name a few.
  • Limited-ingredient diets: These deal primarily with health concerns, including diet sensitivity and allergies.
  • Made in the USA: These food products are made from locally sourced ingredients, and everything is manufactured within the country, including the packaging.

Premium pet food might be a benefit for your pet, but it doesn't always work out. Pets also have a particular taste, and if they get used to one brand, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to get them to try a new one. In these cases, sticking to your usual pet food might be the best solution. Trying new things is fun for humans, but your pet may not share that same adventurous attitude.

All-Natural Pet Products

These days, calling something all-natural usually gets a lot of people on-board. Many products come out with an all-natural label on them, telling us that they offer better quality than the processed stuff we typically use. But do they? There's a scientific consensus that says "all-natural" doesn't necessarily mean safe. As a pet parent, this is a concern you should be wary about. All-natural products might be helpful for the environment, especially if they carry biodegradable products. However, this doesn't necessarily make them a healthier alternative for your pet. Most of today's pet parents could just as quickly get a well-made washable pet bed for a lower price.

Pet-Friendly Cleaning Products

One of the most common problems that pet parents have is cleaning up after their pet inside the home. Many of the current products on store shelves don't take into account the sensitivities of fur babies. As a result, we sometimes have to lock areas of the house away from our pets to keep them safe. Even so, there's always the looming fear that something we use to clean the house will impact our little furry friend negatively.

Luckily, many brands have taken this worry into account. We've seen many pet-friendly cleaning products set to hit the shelves in 2021, helping pet owners have peace of mind. Cleanliness in a pet home is vital. A dirty interior can lead to problems with your health as well as your pet's. Pet-friendly cleaning products may be exactly what we need to ensure that our homes and our fur babies are safe and clean.

Natural Pet Toys

Once again, the term natural shows up, and it should set off some alarm bells as you see it. The most vital element of natural pet toys is whether they're eco-friendly. They also come from naturally-sourced, non-petroleum-based materials. The downside of these natural pet toys is that they don't have the durability of artificially made toys. For pets that don't have a destructive streak in them, these toys may work well. They're also a good option for pet owners who have fur babies that display different levels of allergies. The naturally sourced materials reduce the incidence of these problems in pets that are hyper-sensitive to artificial components.

Virtual Pet Services

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't over yet, and in some parts of the world, it's been getting worse. Virtual pet services have shown up as a means to an end for many professionals such as veterinarians and dog trainers. With a little help from pet parents, these professionals can use virtual meeting settings to deal with pets of all types. Adapting in this way allows experts to keep practicing, offering services that would otherwise require meeting in person. Pet owners may need to withstand more of the uncertainty and lockdowns from this global virus, and virtual pet services may become a way to help our fur babies while it winds down.

Novelty Wears Off Quickly

Pet owners would do well to remember that spending money on novelty items might just be a waste of cash. Buying something just because it's new isn't the way to go about getting new things for your pet. Functionality should be an essential consideration. Sure, it's nice to remember to be environmentally friendly in our purchases. However, buying something just because it's all-natural might not end the way you expect it to. Think about your pet when you shop and put their needs first. You'd be far more likely to make smart purchases that follow the trends.