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Saturday, July 24th
Dogs never stop learning and even a mature dog can be trained using the same obedience training techniques as those used on a pup. Sure, a puppy may be more controllable and their minds are easier to shape, but there are some benefits to training an adult dog, such as less rambunctious behavior and more of an interest in pleasing you than in playing.
If you adopt a mature dog, don't just assume that he/she is old and set in their ways. Although it may take a little more time, your new four-legged friend can learn some very valuable lessons. A dog of any age can be housetrained and they will be much happier for it. When an animal lacks obedience training, it also lacks discipline and structure. If you care about your pet, make sure to train him/her to obey your commands and know the difference between right and wrong. At any age, an unruly dog is an unhappy one.
Using positive reinforcement, such as rewarding your dog with treats when he/she responds to your command, praise or strokes, your mature dog will be able to learn what makes you happy. Ultimately, your dog's goal in life is to earn your love and most would do anything just to gain the approval of their owner. By rewarding your dog when he/she behaves appropriately, you are showing that you are happy with their behavior. A mature dog, like a puppy, will respond to this type of dog training and will quickly learn what each command means.
The most common types of dog training methods include teaching your dog to sit, stay, roll over, lie down and to avoid jumping on guests as they enter your home. The latter is especially troublesome in young puppies and dogs, but mature dogs often lack the desire to frolic around and are content in lying in their favorite spot.
Teaching your mature dog to sit involves nothing more than giving them the command and gently pushing downward on their backside. Once they are seated, reward them with a treat and praise. If you want your dog to stay in one specific place, which is ideal for when guests are visiting and your dog is eager to great them, holding your hand up and instructing him/her to "stay" will be a good step toward success.
If you have a large dog that is difficult to control, obedience training may include the use of a harness to help him/her to stop pulling during walks. This is one of the most effective and simplest ways to train your dog to enjoy a walk without constantly being pulled about the neighborhood. If a dog has not spent a lot of time on a leash or has not been taught the proper way to behave, a harness will gently prevent him/her from pulling and possibly even harming you in the process.
For additional training information and commands, it's a good idea to consider a dog training manual, video or program that is designed specifically toward teaching your four-legged friend the do's and don'ts of dog training.
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