Training Your Dog to Walk Properly
If you are looking to handle your dog either at competition level or plan to help others with their dogs as a profession, you may find it hard work in the beginning. This is because training a dog to walk properly without playing up and to listen to your every command is a difficult thing to master, though some dogs do learn quicker than others! To become a professional dog handler it will take a combination of:
- Reading various dog handling books
- Knowing the different breeds and how hard they are to handle
- Studying obedience tips
- Practicing for hours on end
- You may want to apprentice under an experienced handler
You might go into dog handling thinking that it will be fairly easy and that you will accomplish it within a matter of weeks, but you will come out of training realizing that it is actually a lot harder than it looks. However, as long as you have patience and understanding, you will get there eventually.
The Best Ways to Learn Dog Handling
There are various different methods of learning available, but many people find that by actually learning from others is the best way of learning. So, find somebody who knows what they are talking about and who has handled dogs for years and that will be your best method of learning. Do not assume that all dog obedience classes and handling classes are good enough to enter, however. There are some trainers who do not really know what they are talking about. They may know the odd tip which may help you, but unless they have trained at a professional level, they will really be of little to no use to you. Do some research on the trainers available in your area before signing up with one.
Another tip which you should keep in mind is that in order to train your dog, you have to be relaxed. It is so easy to get frustrated while training your dog and in response to your frustration, your voice will become stressed and sometimes even high pitched. This will not make your dog want to listen to you. You will either frighten them or cause them to become excited and that is not what you want in a professional show ring!
By the time that you have finished training, your dog’s attention should be completely on you and your voice will be soft yet firm. You will also sometimes only have to use hand commands for your dog to do what is asked of them. The tasks that you do set them on will be done quickly and smoothly without any problems. Professional dog handlers do make it look easy, but it does take an extremely long time to get there.
Overall, you need to talk to your dog in a firm but gentle manner. Let them know that you mean business without scaring them or getting them too excited. When your pooch does something right, get excited and do praise them, especially at the beginning as this will encourage them to do what is asked of them more often.
Also, keep training sessions short in the beginning as dogs can become quickly bored. If training stops being fun, they will no longer listen to you and your training will be a waste of time. Practice with distractions, so that your dog learns to focus on you and not what is around them. Working in environments where there are lots of people, activity, and noise now and then is ideal. Train both inside and outside. A dog who will compete must be accustomed to performing in all types of buildings and sorts of weather.
Finally, the most important thing to remember when training your dog any command is that you should not have to repeat yourself. By repeating the word too often it will lose its meaning. Only give a command once and if your dog does not do what they are told, put them back into a sit or down position for a while and then try again soon after. By being patient and correcting behavior you do not want, you will eventually start to become an experienced dog handler.