Dog training is one of the most common questions I am asked about and my views on this have changed over the years and have certainly been effected by the different breeds I have owned. It's also important to understand your relationship with your dog and what it is you want to achieve. For example, some families like the dog to share the sofa with them, where others don't. It's really important to think about this at the very start or ideally before you even get a dog so you all start as you mean to go on.
I can remember my friend getting his first puppy and him telling me he was going use a crate. It seemed like one of the saddest things I had ever heard but over the years I have now formed the opposite view but once again if you are going to use a crate you need to start from day one and be consistent.
When we had our two Labradors our training was based mainly around food treats which they responded to brilliantly, when our first standard schnauzer came along we quickly realised he was motivated by food at all. In fact, we spent many months trying out different types of food as he was a very fussy eater. We tried everything from raw meat from the butchers to the high end high street brands of canned meat before eventually settling on a mix of high quality kibble and a middle of the road canned meat and vegetable mix which he now loves.
Having owned a spaniel, I was spoilt with ease of recall training. Spaniels are full of wonderful energy but instinctively circle you and keep coming back to check in with you every 30 seconds. The Schnauzer could not be more different and you asking them to come back to you is quite frankly, annoying to them as they have many plans of their own whilst off the lead. A common mistake, and it’s easy to do, is to get really annoyed when your dog won't come back. I've been their several times in the early years, chasing around the park apologising to one person after the next as our dog tried to mount theirs or steal its toy. I'm pleased to say that by carefully following the guidance we received recall is now really good but it took time and patience. Going back to what I said earlier, food was an incentive but when we realised Stanley loved to chase his rubber Frisbee and ball on a rope we began to make progress.
We are just discussing having another dog and the big question at the moment is whether we opt for a mature dog or a puppy. Puppy training is great fun but it can also be really tiring and toilet training means you spend many an hour perched on the end of your sofa primed to scoop up your puppy and take them outside at the first sign of waterworks action. The rewards, love and joy though completely outweigh that as anyone who has had a puppy knows but going into this with 'eyes wide open' is key.
I've found the training videos by Zak George to be really and its worth a look via the following link - How to train a puppy