Most everyone would enjoy owning an animal that is capable of performing tricks at the drop of a hat. The animal could keep you entertained for hours, while you sit back and relax. In reality, there is a lot of work, dedication and time put into training a domestic animal to perform different types of tricks. If you are willing to invest those into your pet, you very well could end up with a show animal in less than a year. Below, you will discover several tips on how to train a domestic animal.
Start Out Small
Of course, you want the animal to be able to achieve an amazing stunt within the first months of the initial training start date. However, this is not going to happen, but if you start out with small tricks and work your way up to larger tricks. The pet will be able to master small tricks easier and quicker, while proving that he/she is capable of taking on larger tricks.
Small tricks could include anything from shaking your hand to kneeling upon a verbal or nonverbal prompt. You would be surprised with how intelligent domestic animals are and how fast they can catch on to new activities. As the old saying goes, “Never bite off more than you can chew.”
Stick With Healthy, Delicious Treats
If you want your pet to perform tricks, you are going to need to reward them for their hard work. Animals are just like humans, they prefer specific types of snacks and will respond to them better than those they do not like. Your best bet will be to stick with lean, healthy and delicious treats that will draw the pet’s attention. Only offer the pet a treat when the animal achieves success. Now, this does not necessarily mean that you should not give your pet a treat when he/she only achieves a small amount of success, because you should. By doing so, you will be encouraging the pet to try hard the next time around. Remember that “You are what you eat”. Therefore, only give your animal healthy treats as a reward.
You want to avoid tiring the animal out and getting it discouraged, so be sure to take frequent time outs. Allow the animal to rest and get a drink of water from its automatic dog feeder at least every hour and more often on hot days. Just like humans, animals can burn out on practicing day in and day out. You should also take time off from training to allow the pet to rest and relax. Take them to the local animal park, around the block or to the pet store on non-training days.
When you are ready to start training again, the animal will be more prepared and willing to take on the challenges of trying to learn new tricks.
Choose A Quiet Environment
Animals are easily distracted just like small children. For this reason, you will need to choose a quiet environment for training purposes. Just the slightest distraction will get the animal out of the mood to train, so be sure to choose an area that is quiet and free of distractions.
Obstacle courses are great for cats and canines. However, when setting up a new course be sure to stick with easy obstacles than can be achieved without a lot of effort. Agility tunnels, ramps and short hurdles are the perfect option for a beginner. These obstacles will be extremely easy to achieve and you can expand on them at a later date if you choose to.
As mentioned above, you should start your animal out with learning new tricks that are easily achievable. Some examples include cross your paws, kiss, play dead, roll over, turn around, fetch, crawl and beg. Many animals will perform these tricks without even being aware of it and getting them to do it on command will be a breeze.