According to Dr. Ballantyne, the veterinarian from University of Illinois at Chicago, learning how to “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and many other cues is fundamental for a well behaved dog. “Training is also vital to the health and safety of your pet, allowing your pet from running away or eating something noxious. And it’s a great way to provide mental stimulation and build a closer bond with your pet.” She also stresses the importance of positive reinforcement and interactions with dogs, as key for successful training.
To provide proper training, picking the appropriate equipment is key. How do you handle your dog? Leash, of course, and collars or harnesses. Choosing the right one for your dog depends on the breed. Most of the dogs can easily wear regular collars, but the ones with shorter snouts (brachycephalic breeds), such as bulldogs and pugs may have breathing issues wearing a collar around the neck. In such cases, harnesses are the way to go. If your four-legged friend doesn’t like the idea of wearing the harness (which is more invasive and harder to set than a collar), you can start as a game and give your dog the choice to step into it using treats or the clicker (if your dog is clicker trainer). Reward your dog each time he/she moves toward the harness, touches it, and so forth.
Dr. Ballantyne believes the clicker is another useful tool for training your dog, especially in the early stages. She recommend using a clicker, initially promptly followed by a small treat, in order to reinforce the behaviors you are encouraging in your dog.
At Zoom Room Belmont, we teach how to use the clicker during our Orientation and it is a great tool to help your dog to focus on you and his/her reward during our small group training in agility, obedience, puppy, and a wide range of enrichment classes.
If you need help with fitting a harness correctly on your dog or you want to learn how to properly use the clicker, stop by Zoom Room! We are more than happy to assist you!
To read the entire article by Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, visit jg-tc.com