Dogs are among the most intelligent animals on the whole planet. This comes with many stories about dogs rescuing their owners from danger. They know better what to do many times. Not only are they intelligent, but they are also very sensitive. They always know what their owners feel.
Just like humans, dogs have five senses too. Using their sight they have a wider angle of view. Dogs are sharp at noticing movements. This makes them respond well to hand signals during training. Dogs have a very sharp sense of hearing. They can hear four times further away than humans do. Their ears can detect more sound waves. They are very sensitive to noise.
Different breeds of dogs have different reactions to touch. Some dogs like a good scratch, while some love mild rubbing and petting. Most of them hate being touched in their paws. One of the more common senses between dogs and humans is their sense of taste. It is very much linked to their sense of smell too. They know delicious food if it smells good.
Sounds familiar? The most prominent among the 5 senses is their sense of smell. Science and dog experts have estimated that their sense of smell is 100,000 times more powerful than humans. They can smell anything even behind closed doors or under the ground. That’s why it always makes sense that they are very capable of searching and investigating. The best partners for the police force.
With their kind of intelligence and sensitivity, training them should be very easy. In fact, most of them love it. Dogs love it when they know they belong. They know it when they are accepted. And they become very loyal when they feel loved and welcomed. Ever heard of Hachiko? The dog faithfully waited for the return of his owner. He doesn’t know that his owner is already dead. And he waited at the Tokyo train station in Japan for nine years. Yes, nine straight years until his death. This act has earned him his own Hachiko Statue in Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan.
It is immeasurable and unimaginable what dogs are capable of. Many stories of dogs taking an attack or even a bullet to save their owner are all over the internet. They run wild and dash to the door at the sound of their owner coming home. They are very sensitive to little children and will care for them the best way they know how. They are very therapeutic to those who are sick, lonely, and kids with autism. All these qualities make them worthy of the moniker “man’s best friend”.
They are capable of learning so many things. Some of them are very smart and can learn things in a few minutes. Some may take time. But all humans should have the perspective that all dogs can be trained. According to expert Dog Trainer Brandon McMillan, “there are no un-trainable dogs, only untrained humans”.
And there are many ways to train them. There are many skills that they can learn. But it is always good for them to start from the basics. And according to Brandon McMillan, there are 7 Common Commands that dogs can and should learn from the start. These include sit, stay, down, come, off, heel, and no.
All of us can train our own dogs. There are websites online that provide information. Many of them offer basic to advanced training. But the main quality every dog trainer should have is patience.
Dog training is basically a two-step process: technique and conditioning.
#1 The Technique
This will depend on the timing and the tools we will use. Examples would be a leash and a double leash which gives you control over the dog. Remember not to use the leash as a way to punish but can be used to teach and discipline. Another tool to us is their very favorite treat. An example is teaching them the sit command.
Showing them their favorite treat, hold it just above their head but out of sight from their view. That way they cannot see the treat until they sit down. They will try to jump to get the treat. But keep saying the word “sit” and do not give the treat until they are in a sitting position.
And if they do sit down give the treat, a good rub on the head, and say words of praise. Do this repeatedly and they will learn the sit command. This process may take less than an hour.
The environment also plays a major factor in dog training. A room with wide space is good especially if you want to teach them commands that do not require movements. But if you will teach the “heel” command where you want them to learn walking outdoors with you, a nice garden or horticulture project gives you and your dogs a relaxing place to do training.
This will come from repetition. As dogs have a very sharp memory, they will learn and remember what they have learned if it is done repeatedly. They will also remember better whenever they eat the treat as it always stays in their mind that they get rewarded whenever they obey. Saying words of praise like “good boy” or “good girl” whenever they obey your commands never fails. Keep in mind that dogs are very sensitive animals.
As you end each training session, it is always good to end on a positive note. A good playtime with them while saying words of love and praise. Followed by good dog food. You will surely win the heart of a dog who will remain your best friend for the rest of your life.