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Ask A Minnesota Expert: Tips For House Training Your Dog

Lisa Fabish
Black Wolf Kennels
7532 Highway 135 N.
Embarrass, MN 55732
(218) 984-3330

Canine trainer and behavioral expert Lisa Fabish shares tips to instill better behavior into our canine companions. "Both social and natural breeding come into play when training your dog to be more compatible and generally sociable," she points out. Fabish was a certified head vet tech for almost nine years. She is a certified professional animal behavioral trainer, canine mentor, American Kennel Club good citizen evaluator and pet care technician. In addition, Lisa has completed FEMA disaster training and is a volunteer dog trainer at local humane societies. "Our goal is to place well-trained dogs in loving homes," she said.

Training Tip 1: Assert Authority And Diplomacy 

"Be alternately firm and gentle," Lisa said. "But always be in the driver's seat." Although dogs run freely in the wilderness, they tend to congregate when home is in the big city. For city slicker dog owners, find some additional tips below.

RelatedSix Tips for Owning A Dog In Urban Areas

Training Tip 2: Train In A Quiet Environment 

You and your dog need quiet time for training. Make sure the training room is clutter-free and free of distractions. This means no TV, no loud music and no open windows or doors. "A tranquil environment makes your dog more receptive to instruction and paying attention," Lisa said. "Getting your dog to concentrate is important."

Training Tip 3: Mix Training And Fun 

Two 15-minute sessions per day is plenty for dog and master. It's a chance to turn play into obedience cues. Game playing is a good way to bond with your dog while ingraining positive behavior. For example, a training toy is a neat way to teach the pooch how to fetch. Then substitute the toy with slippers or a newspaper and say, gently but firmly, "Fetch!" Walking and running with your dog is important. Simple aerobic movements promote heart health, improve circulation and burn calories. Walking or running around the block or going the distance for a few miles has a calming effect on your canine. But the exercise has health benefits for you as well.

Related: Best Dog Obedience Schools In Minnesota

Training Tip 4 Just Rewards For Good Behavior

Good behavior deserves a reward, but only if behavior is genuinely good. Never lavish your dog with toys or treats to encourage desirable behavior. "If a dog misbehaves, take away some of its favorite privileges," Lisa said. "But if Rover or Fido is well behaved, reward with something a little special." That something special might be a fresh juicy steak or some other prime cut of meat. A real meat bone beats any bone-shaped dog biscuit.

Training Tip 5: Take Your Canine To Day Care Or A Boarding Kennel

One of the best ways to canine train is to place your dog in daycare or schedule a stay at a  boarding kennel. "A little time away from home can be a break for you and your dog," notes Lisa. "Your pet will be able to mingle with other dogs. Learning social skills becomes a group activity." Also, expert caretakers will coach, coax and dispense plenty of TLC. Your pooch will pick up lots of etiquette from fellow canines and the kind people who care.

Related: Best Doggy Day Care In Minnesota

Linda Cameron has written home design, home improvement and lifestyle articles for The Boston Globe and City Shopper Magazine. She has related interests in the building industry, travel, real estate and financing. She is a contributor to Examiner, House Spot, Techsling and Behance, covering topics on career, people, businesses, education and technology.
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