How to train my dog?
HOW TO TRAIN MY DOG?
In this article, we’ve collected the most common pet owners success stories from our interviews to show you how to how to train your Dog, particularly how to train your French Bulldog by using positive reinforcement.
We all know Frenchies are known to be just a little bit more stubborn than other dogs, but like any other canine, they also learn really well by promoting their positive behaviour using positive associations.
For example, meet Alan one of our Frenchie Pet owners in London. He always wanted his Dog Loui to stop jumping when he wants attention and started to use positive association as a way to train his dog to change his behaviour, like giving Loui his favourite treat or toy when he sits. Some of his learning’s’ were:
- Repetition is key when you want to train your dog
- Reward behaviours that you want them to learn
- Ignore any behaviour you don’t want to be repeated
But what are good reward options to train my dog?
There is no one size fits all answer here. Every Frenchie is different and we know some of these adorable little creatures have huge personalities. But the trick is to learn what motivates your Frenchies. As rewards come in all size and shapes. For example if you are struggling to take them out for walkies, for instance if they freeze and don’t want to walk, try to motivate them by giving them their favourite treats during walkies or carry their favourite toys with to play.
Another thing we learnt is to perhaps feed them after they completed their walks, so they associate feeding as a reward after walking. Same goes if you want to potty train them. Do reward them after they pee or poop in correct place. But remember they have very short memory, so you got to keep rewarding them till it becomes behaviour.
And as for some of us hopelessly in love with these little ones, we all know we can’t resist by wiggling our buddies for them too, especially when we see a magical poop on a training pad, so do the things that you think could work. Whether if its your wiggles or giving them their favourite food/ toy. And in everything you do, try to be relaxed and happy as they really feed off from your energy. They just want love.
When to reward your French Bulldog?
Timing is key for reinforcing positive behaviour. For instance if they delivered a desired behaviour, like a sit command, give them treats straight away. But also know don’t use treats/ or positive reinforcement after they just done an unwanted behaviour. For example if they keep biting you when playing or barking at the door when someone passes, don’t give them treats right after to distract them, as this could result in learning the bad behaviour instead.
Remember it doesn’t always have to be treats either, you can use certain phrases such as “Yes” or use clicker devices, as the sound could also be used a sign for positive reinforcement.
What if your dog is showing a bad behaviour and you can’t ignore it?
There are loads of things we all know these little guys are capable of that we can’t simply ignore. Whether it is them tasting their poop a little here now and then or jumping or biting you or the kids. In these situations the best solution is to try and distract them with a different or opposite command, like ask them to sit if they’re jumping. And do try to pre-empt their unwanted behaviour and ask them to do an incompatible command to distract them, so you can focus on positives.
How to use Clickers to train your dog?
Based on various dog behaviouralist experts, clickers are one of the best ways to promote reward-based training for your Frenchies.
- They can be used in the same way to train your dog as treats, for instance use them right away after you see a desirable behaviour.
- They offer faster response than any other method and a great tool for an accelerated training schedule.
- Clickers offer a clear signal which is great in teaching your dog that they just done a good behaviour and that reward is on its way, so basically they can speed up your training process.
These devices come in different shapes and usually are in a form of a small box that makes a distinctive and consistent sound to provide your dog with clear response. Once your dog knows that clickers mark a correct behaviour, you can use them to train them on a number of different things.
See our range of some of best clicker buys in the market.
Our step by step guide to use clickers to train your dog
- 1x French bulldog
- 1x Clicker
- 1x Tasty Treats
Before we start with anything, we need to show our frenchies that clickers’ sounds are associated with a reward. You can easily do this by clicking and instantly giving a treat without asking them to perform anything. Make sure you always offer treat after clicks so they learn to associate it with a positive reinforcement.
Next step is to use the clicker to teach tricks or commands to improve their behaviour. For example if you want to teach them to sit:
Get them to a position that you like
As soon as they have done it make a click sound followed by a treat
Repeat this step until your Frenchie is able to do this behaviour simply by hand signal
You can also help this by adding a word to the action like Sit, Stand, Shake Hand, etc.
- Use clicker, treats or positive reinforcements such as hand signals or words to teach your Frenchie correct behaviour
- Remember consistency is a key, always try to praise them for the good behaviour. This doesn’t have to be always treats, could be verbal phrase as well done, bravo! Etc.
- If they do something wonderfully rare, maybe offer them a bigger prize like a piece of chicken or cheese and loads of enthusiastic phrases or wiggles. Remember these keeps your dog also motivated and excited to continue to do well.
Download our free advice sheet for handy tips as reminder.