Adult dogs are actually easier to train than a puppy because they have more self control and longer attention spans. The following tips will help you train your adult dog to be on his/ her best behavior.
1. Be patient. If you have just gotten your dog, give him a chance to acclimate himself to his new surroundings. Most times we do not know what kind of situation they came from, so it can take a few days to a few months before your new family member feels comfortable. Soon they will be settled in and realize they are part of your family and this is their forever home.
2. Use a crate for house training. House training usually goes a lot smoother with an adult dog than a puppy because they have better control of their bowels and bladder, but with that said, don’t assume that your new dog was house trained at his last home. Treat your new dog as you would a puppy. If you can’t be with him, keep him in a crate. When you let him out of the crate, take him directly outside to the proper place to relieve himself. Make sure to praise him when he voids in the proper area.
3. Enroll in obedience class. Your adult dog is perfectly capable of learning basic obedience if he has never had any training in the past. The dog will benefit from learning basic commands such as sit, stay, down and walking on a leash. An obedience class is also a great way to see how your dog interacts with other dogs and people in a safe place. If you need any assistance or advice there is a professional dog trainer on hand.
4. Keep it positive. You don’t always know what kind of background your new dog came from, so using positive reinforcement is always best. Using treats and praise, whether it be a pat on the head or a “good boy”, are effective positive ways of training your dog. Keeping things fun and exciting are also good ways to strengthen the bond between you and your dog and in turn will help you in your training.
5. Set rules. An adult dog may come with behaviors that you don’t want in your house such as getting on the furniture, jumping up on you and your guests, or chasing or barking at other family pets. Start teaching the new dog the rules of your house now so that he can start becoming a happy and healthy part of your family. It may take a little work at the beginning and you may actually need to call in the professionals, but setting up boundaries from the beginning will help everyone in the end.