A well behaved puppy listening to its owner.

If you’ve seen a well-behaved, calm, intuitive dog, it probably took a process to get that way–one that likely included a lot of patience, commitment, and hard work. Sure, all dogs are sweet and have the potential to be great housemates, but without an investment in dog training, your home life might become a bit strained from time to time. The Pet Experts not only recommend signing up for a class, we offer one that fits the bill!

Payback, Baby

Dog training is fun! When both you and your pet find it enjoyable, the dividends are huge. But before we get into details, it’s important to approach the process lightly. Keep your sessions short and effective and consistently reinforce new skills. Whether you’re training a younger dog or an older one, enjoy the process, and make sure it’s rewarding.

Time and Place

It’s true, dogs of any age can pick up new skills. If you have a younger dog, however, it’s ideal to get them started after they reach 12 weeks of age. Remember, both good and bad behaviors are ingrained. Paying too much attention to unwanted behavior can actually backfire. Consistency and a healthy rewards program are the best ways to reinforce good behaviors.

Be sure that all members of the household are upholding high standards and are providing the same types of rewards.

The Basics and Beyond

Having a firm handle on basic obedience helps lay the foundation for successful dog training. Understanding “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “down,” “leave it,” and other commands will make your experience in our dog training class more enjoyable. If your dog doesn’t know these terms before class begins, they soon will!

The Social Butterfly

Dogs are always learning, and if they have a good experience with a certain stimulus, they’ll react to it in kind. Other pets, strangers, loud noises, traffic, crowds, etc. can all leave lasting impressions on our canine friends. In our puppy class, we reinforce the idea that dogs are safe; from there, they’ll develop a type of acceptance and confidence.

A Word on Positive Reinforcement

Ignoring behaviors that you don’t want will eventually push your dog to behave in a way that garners something positive, like a snack. Good behavior should reap praise and treats. Repeat. This is the core of positive reinforcement, and dogs respond to it very well.

Instead of punishing “bad” behavior, always reward the good moments; then watch in wonder as the positive changes begin to take root.

Dog Training for a Happy Future

Some dogs require a little extra support. If you think your dog suffers from separation anxiety, resource guarding, aggression, or other behavioral issues, let the team at Elmhurst Animal Care Center help.

To register for one of our dog training classes, please call 630-530-1900.