St. Bernards are massive dogs that can weigh up to 180 pounds when they reach their full size. Due to their size, it is crucial to train them from an early age to prevent any behavioral issues in the future. With proper training techniques, persistence, and patience, you can have a well-behaved St. Bernard. Here are ten useful St. Bernard training tips to help you train your furry friend.
1. Start with the Basics
Your furry pal should start with learning basic obedience commands, such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” These commands are essential building blocks that will set a foundation for more complex tasks. By starting with the basics, your pup will gain confidence and feel more comfortable with more challenging tasks.
2. Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement means using rewards such as treats, toys, and praise to reward good behavior. This approach will encourage your St. Bernard to do the things you want them to do. Using positive reinforcement encourages your furry friend to participate in training sessions and makes them more receptive to learning new tasks. Negative reinforcement, on the other hand, could make your pup nervous, fearful, or even aggressive.
3. Minimize Distractions
St. Bernards have short attention spans, just like toddlers. It is essential to find a quiet place without any distractions to make your training sessions more effective. Ideally, you should create a training space where your dog can concentrate on what you’re teaching them.
4. Stay Patient
Dog training is a gradual process, and it takes time to see results. Hence, it’s essential to stay patient and understand that your pup won’t master all training tasks overnight. Depending on the complexity of the task, it could take days, weeks, or even months to teach your furry friend some new tricks.
5. Stay Consistent
Consistency is crucial for training your St. Bernard. You need to set aside time each day for training sessions to establish a routine, which will help your dog learn faster and retain information better. Waiting for a week or longer between sessions could hinder their progress.
6. Have Fun
Your furry friend is highly intuitive, and they can tell when you’re having fun. If you enjoy the training sessions and are having a good time, your St. Bernard will feel encouraged to be there and participate. If you’re not having fun, your dog will sense it, and they’ll be less enthusiastic to learn.
7. End with Something Easy
Always end your training sessions on a positive note by giving your furry friend a command they’re familiar with and can complete successfully. This will help reinforce their training and will leave them feeling good about the session, which will encourage them to participate in future sessions.
8. Meet Their Exercise Needs
St. Bernards are active dogs that require plenty of exercise. Make sure your furry friend gets enough exercise before training sessions. Exercise will help burn off excess energy and make it easier for them to focus during training sessions.
9. Use Treats
St. Bernards love treats, and using them during training sessions will keep them engaged and motivated. Use their favorite treats as rewards for good behavior and to reinforce new training tasks. However, be careful not to overdo it with treats, as this could lead to weight gain and other health issues.
10. Keep Sessions Short
Short training sessions are more effective than long ones. Aim for training sessions that last between 15 and 20 minutes, as anything longer than this may cause your pup to lose focus and get bored.
Training your St. Bernard can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. By following these ten tips, you’ll be on your way to having a well-behaved and obedient pup. Remember to be patient, consistent, and always use positive reinforcement to achieve the best results. With a little bit of time and effort, you can train your St. Bernard to be a great companion that will bring you joy and happiness for years to come.