Train Your Pet: Basic Dog Training Principles
By Masha Cutikk
Here are some basic principles that all dog owners need to learn and follow:
1. Be consistent. A behavior is either acceptable or it isnâ€™t. It canâ€™t be acceptable on alternate Tuesdays when youâ€™re in the mood. For example, it canâ€™t be OK to allow your dog to jump all over you on the weekends when youâ€™re in casual clothes, but not during the week when youâ€™re dressed for work. Thatâ€™s an obvious one, although youâ€™d be amazed how many people Iâ€™ve met who do exactly that.
Hereâ€™s one thatâ€™s less obvious. It canâ€™t be OK for your dog to chew fabric toys but not to chew â€œinappropriateâ€ fabric items. In other words, if you give your dog an old sock and say, â€œHere, chew this,â€ donâ€™t be surprised when she eats your shirt. Consistency is a bit easier for singles or couples, and toughest for families. The more people who interact with the dog, the greater the likelihood of inconsistency. I strongly recommend that families conduct a few meetings to discuss and agree upon what will be universally unacceptable behavior on the part of the dog.