Today I wanted to address something I felt was important to get out there. As you probably know, I enjoy training dogs very much and I'm a huge advocate for positive training methods. If you're training your dog, no matter if your pup has behavioral issues or you're just teaching him some commands, you really should read this!
Personally, I feel like this is the most important thing to remember when it comes to training your dog:
Don't just know how to train a dog. Know how to train your dog.
Training doesn't have to be a strict thing. If you're using positive training methods (which I certainly recommend), you'll know how it feels to be relaxed about your dog's training, but what I'm trying to tell you will take it to the next level. It is never ever ever enough to know how to train a dog, but it is essential to know how to train your dog.
Experiment. Have fun. What is your dog motivated by? What makes your dog want to learn new things? What makes him wag his tail and open his mouth to the point you're convinced he's smiling? What makes him think "show me what you want me to do, master...I'm ready to learn"? Seriously, have fun with it. Go all out. Try training with treats, balls, bones, and petting. Watch your dog's body language and the look in his eyes. Set out to find the very best way to train your dog. Make up a method even. Even if there are no books or internet results on the training method you've created, go for it. Your goal isn't to know how to train dogs, it's to know how to train your individual pooch!
I'm not saying most training methods are bad. A lot of them are truly wonderful and there are so many great results that have come from the trainers we have today. However, those are methods simply suggesting how to train dogs in general. The world might know how to train dogs, but only you know how to train your dog.
What motives your dog to learn something new?