How to train your pet

There are many reasons to train your pet. In this article we will explain why you should train your cat or dog, the main players in training your pet and the things you can teach them.

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Reading time : 7 min

Training a pet is a hard but not impossible task. It is worth saying right away that you can do it yourself without the help of a training centre or a dog and cat trainer. Of course, there are training schools that offer training courses for pets, but this is not a requirement, just a solution if your dog or cat is particularly difficult to train. You do not need to become a dog trainer or even a dog educator to succeed.

In this article, we will help you learn more about dog and cat training. You are then free to expand on this newly acquired knowledge by purchasing a book on dog and cat training.

TOPICS

Training is caring

black cat training with a target

Training helps to understand your pet better

Training benefits both you and your pet. Working with your pet on a regular basis can help you better understand their needs and make you a better owner. During training, you focus entirely on your pet, which allows you to observe their behaviour in different situations and circumstances.

Training helps their health

Training that involves agility and tricks can maintain or improve health. Indeed, training of this nature usually involves running or jumping, as well as other forms of physical manoeuvres. Not surprisingly, this type of training increases muscle strength, flexibility and balance. As with humans, new physical challenges can help dogs and cats overcome physical and mental plateaus, keeping them interested and enthusiastic about daily life.

Training prevents your pet from getting lost

Teaching your pet basic skills, such as the recall command, can prevent them from getting lost. It is extremely important that your dog or cat listens to you and comes back when called. Good recall is essential, especially if your pet is overly excited on a walk or is very social.

Chapters of our guide

Chapter 1: Why train a cat or dog?

Training your pet only brings benefits to you and your four-legged friend. This chapter will discuss the reasons why you should train your cat or dog.

Chapter 2: Which dog training method should I choose?

There are two training methods, one called the alpha dog method and the other the positive reinforcement method. In this article we explain which method you should choose and why.

Chapter 3: How to train a puppy?

Any dog owner who cares about their pet's well-being may be afraid of doing things wrong, and therefore dread this step. This chapter will give you training tips for your puppy and basic tricks to teach him.

Chapter 4: Can you train a cat?

Many people think that it is impossible to train a cat. However, cats can be trained. In this article, we explain how to train your cat and which cat breeds are the easiest to train.

Chapter 5: How to train a runaway dog?

This chapter will discuss the risks of dogs running away, the reasons why they run away, and how to deal with them.

Chapter 6: How to train your dog with an electric collar?

Find out in this article what an electric collar is, how to choose it and how to use it. Also learn about the limits of the collar and alternatives to it.

Chapter 7: How to start clicker training your dog?

Clicker training may seem very technical at first, but it's not that difficult. This article explains what you need to know before you start.

Chapter 8: How to choose a good pet trainer?

It is important to choose the right dog trainer because he or she will play an important role in the success of your pet's training. This article will guide you in choosing the right trainer.

Commands to teach your pet

puppy being trained

Commands to teach your dog

Teach your dog to sit

Teaching your canine friend to sit is one of the most basic commands to teach, making it an excellent starting point. A dog that knows the "sit" command will be much calmer and easier to control than dogs that have not been taught this simple command. In addition, the "Sit" command prepares your dog for more difficult commands such as "Stay" and "Come".

Teach your dog to come

Another important command to teach your dog is the word "come". This command is extremely useful when you lose your grip on the leash or accidentally leave the front door open.

Teach your dog to lay down

This command is one of the most difficult to teach. This is because they have to adopt a submissive position. You can help your dog by keeping the training positive and relaxed, especially if your dog is fearful or anxious. Also remember to always praise your dog when they successfully follow the command.

Teach your dog to stay

Like the "Sit" command, the "Stay" command makes it easier to control your dog. This command can be useful in a number of situations, such as when you don't want your dog to disturb you while you're doing housework or when you don't want your puppy to overwhelm your guests.

If your dog hasn't mastered the "Sit" command yet, take the time to practise it with them before moving on to the "Stay" command. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to master, most dogs prefer to be on the move rather than sitting and waiting.

Teach your dog to “leave it”

This command can help keep your dog safe if what they’re curious about is something potentially dangerous. The goal is to teach your dog that they get something even better by ignoring the other object.

Commands to teach your cat

Teach your cat to come

Coming when called is an important skill for an adventurous cat to master. As with dogs, if your kitten slips out of their harness or pulls the leash from your hand, you'll be grateful you practised this simple command.

Teach your cat to sit

Teaching your cat to sit can be very useful for many things, including introducing them to grooming and handling, and getting them to sit still while you prepare their food.

Teach your cat to high-five

This trick gives cats a predictable and voluntary way to interact with people, which builds their confidence. In addition, this trick can encourage a cat to cooperate with people who handle their paws in situations such as veterinary exams and nail trimming.

10 questions to test your pet training knowledge

Do you know everything there is to know about training dogs and cats? Answer our 10 questions to find out!

Main players in training a pet

cat being clicker trained

The owner

The owner plays an important role in the training of the animal. Indeed, it is the owner who will make sure that the animal lives in a fulfilling environment. The owner is also responsible for the socialisation of his pet and, if the owner does not want to call on the services of a professional trainer, it is the owner who will teach the dog or cat the basic tricks and commands.

The trainer

Cat or dog trainers will usually be approached by lost owners who do not know how to train their stubborn and difficult pet. They may also be approached by owners who want to avoid making mistakes and therefore prefers to be supervised by a professional during training sessions.

The pet

Obviously, without the animal, there is no training. You will have to rely on your pet's cooperation for effective training. But in any case, do not lose hope and remain patient! Even the most stubborn pets can be trained.

The breeder

During the first eight weeks of the pet’s life, the breeder is present but remain in the background. It is only at the end of the first two months that the breeders take part in the socialisation of the kitten or puppy. It is the breeder's responsibility to introduce the pet to all the different situations they will encounter in their life as an adult cat or dog. This ranges from exposure to people and other animals to places outside the home to certain noises that the animal is likely to encounter in the future.

The mother

During the first eight weeks of life, mothers teach their puppies or kittens touch and affection by licking them, which is essential for bonding and making them feel safe. Puppies and kittens learn to compete for resources and attention and to co-exist with their siblings. This is a big part of their socialisation. The mother also ensures that her puppies remain under control by scolding them.

The easiest dog breeds to train

german shepperd looking over a fence

If you have decided to adopt a dog, it is good to know that some breeds are much more difficult to train than others. Here are some examples of the easiest breeds to train.

Poodle

Poodles are very intelligent and obedient, which makes them generally easy to train. They shed very little and come in three different sizes, making them a very versatile breed.

Some poodles can be quite sensitive or anxious. They do well with gentle, clear training, as harsh techniques or sloppy, unclear training can overwhelm them.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are willing to work, eager to please and highly motivated. They learn quickly and are exceptionally loyal, which is why they are often used as police and military dogs.

Many German Shepherds love toys and are easily trained for everything from competitive obedience to agility to service dog work. These intelligent dogs love being part of a team with you, and they do their best work when given clear training and instructions.

Labrador retriever

Labradors are always eager to please their owners, so training comes naturally to this popular breed. They are easy to train as a family or working dogs and tend to behave well with humans and other dogs. They are very food motivated, which can be helpful in training, but it is important to watch the amount and type of treats given to keep them in good shape.

Border Collie

Known to be extremely intelligent and almost irritatingly attentive, border collies are at the top of the training aptitude lists. Many border collies naturally pay attention to their owners with great concentration.

Their biggest weakness is that many border collies can be nervous around new people, places and things.

Training your dog or cat will always require a significant commitment on your part. Whether it is an investment of time or work on yourself to be a good trainer.

The stakes are high: to live up to the love your pet has for you. Remember that they are never ill-intentioned: a cat or dog never misbehaves on purpose; you simply have to show it the way to a serene cohabitation with humans. Find out why you should train your pet by reading the first chapter.

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