Hey guys, Dave from Sit Happens Jax here. We are professional dog trainers serving the Jacksonville, St. Johns County area.
When the snows of winter finally thaw away, spring is a perfect time to resume training with your pup. Spring brings along its own set of weather and activities that can influence how you approach training your pup. Here are some tips to note when training your pup in the warmer months.
The winter has most likely inscribed its fair share of bad weather, but that’s all in the past! Take advantage of the warm, clear days the season brings and spend time outdoors with your pup. The outdoor environment provides many distractions like other animals, different types of terrain, and enjoyable new noises. As your dog experiences these new things their energy level most likely increases, allowing for great outdoor training opportunities.
Before any training can take place, it’s a good idea to start with the basics. Have your pup learn basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, and walk on a leash. Once your canine has mastered those commands, then you can move on to more complex tasks. It’s a good idea to break down each command step by step in order to ensure your pup is understanding and learning correctly.
While it is important to maintain commands they already know, take the opportunity to tackle an aspect of training they still struggle with or introduce something new. It is important to keep training sessions short and fun, keeping them no longer than five to ten minutes at a time. Also, make sure to reward your pup with a treat or affirmation of some kind when they do something correctly. This reward not only creates a positive reinforcement but also encourages your pup to keep trying.
You want your pup to make a positive association with their training, so make sure to always offer them positive reinforcement when they get it right. This can take the form of verbal compliments, petting them, or giving them treats. In the midst of training, keeping a positive energy and approach will ensure that your pup is more likely to succeed in their training.
The warm weather is perfect for longer walks and hikes, activities that can help channel excess energy and provide mental stimulation for your pup. Rather than allowing them to complete their regular walk, opt to make it a bit more challenging by training your pup to focus on you and prioritize training cues. While out walking, ask your pup to sit before crossing the street, as well as focus on heel position as you walk or do not pull on the leash when enticing critters jump out of the bushes. Positive reinforcement is key to reinforce these behaviors and prevent them from losing interest in training.
Don’t make training sessions long and drawn out monotonous activities. Introduce obedience into your pup’s everyday life. Ask for a sit when you’re about to put their food down or lead them on a walk with a leash. These small activities can actually become simple training opportunities and help to reinforce your pup’s knowledge and skill set.
Incorporating these tips into your pup’s training program this spring can help to ensure a smooth and successful training session. Knowing basic obedience will benefit your pup in the long run and can lead to a well-behaved pup who will be a source of joy and pleasure in your home. With your effort and dedication, you can have a happy and well-behaved pup in no time!