Most Pointer owners are very happy with their dogs. After all, they’re intelligent, gentle, and always “ready to go.” Their dogs might have a few behavior problems, though – every dog does, no matter how flawlessly they’ve been trained. Because it’s so easy for a dog to slip into a bad habit, you might be looking for some general Pointer training tips to help you resolve behavioral issues when and as they come up.
Some of the best English Pointer training tips actually turn out to be some of the simplest and most basic. They’re effective because they teach you what Pointer dog training is all about: an understanding of what your dog needs while you’re training him, and how you can give it to him. With that in mind, here are our five favorite Pointer training tips:
Tip No. 1 – Take Advantage of Your Pointer’s Natural Pack Instincts
One of our top Pointer training tips consists of using your dog’s natural instincts to train him. Always remember that no matter how smart your Pointer might be, he’s a dog and he has animal instincts. One of his main instinctual drives is to be accepted as a member of your “pack.” Once you establish your status as the “alpha dog” of your household pack, your dog will understand his subordinate position in the social hierarchy and accept you as his pack leader. Your dog’s instinctive need for acceptance will then make training him much easier, because his instinct is to follow his leader’s commands. He’ll respond to how you behave and what he perceives is the best way to please you. This means the most effective Pointer training focuses on changing how he behaves without using any form of harsh discipline. Instead, show him what you want by using positive reinforcement, including lavish praise and the occasional treat.
Tip No. 2 – Use a Crate When Training Your Pointer
Many people believe crating a dog is cruel, but the only people who do are those who have never used a crate in their Pointer dog training. Those in the know – just about every dog training expert and many experienced dog owners – realize dogs respond to crates very positively as long as their crate training is performed properly. Instead of being cruel or inhumane, a crate provides a dog with a snug den he can call his own, a safe spot where he can feel comfortable and safe. Using a crate for Pointer training can make it much easier to housetrain your dog, reduce unwanted barking and prevent him from chewing things he should stay away from. It can even prevent or alleviate anxiety issues.
Tip No. 3 – Take Your Pointer to Obedience Classes
Whether you have a new Pointer pup or your older dog is misbehaving, consider taking obedience classes with your dog. These classes can be the source of some of the most effective Pointer training tips you could possibly find. Not only will they teach you how to establish and maintain the alpha leadership role, they’ll also teach you how to control your dog’s behavior by giving him specific, effective commands he’ll listen to.
Tip No. 4 – Give Your Pointer Vigorous Daily Workouts
These dogs are highly intelligent and eager to please, but they’re also high energy dogs and they can be quite strong. It’s not very pleasant being dragged down the street by an energetic 75-pound dog. Whether you’re working on leash training or something else, keep in mind that Pointer training can be made much easier if your dog receives plenty of daily exercise. There’s an old saying among dog trainers that holds a lot of truth: “a tired dog is a good dog.”
Tip No. 5 – Be Consistent
Consistency is vital. If you’ve been reading some of our Pointer training articles, you’ve probably picked up on a common thread they all share: you need to be consistent when you’re training Pointers. Yes, your dog is intelligent, but most of what he’ll learn during your English or German Pointer dog training sessions will be the result of repetition. The lessons you give him must always be delivered in a consistent manner throughout all the repetitions. For example, if you want your Pointer to sit before you feed him, make him sit each and every time. If there’s even one time you let him slide and feed him without first sitting, he’ll become confused and won’t be certain that’s what he should do. In other words, once you set a rule, make him follow it each and every time. In addition, don’t forget that everyone else living in your home must also make your Pointer follow the rules.
You might encounter a variety of issues with your Pointer, but if you follow our five favorite Pointer training tips and incorporate the information on dealing with specific behaviors we give you elsewhere on this site, you should be able to tackle and correct just about anything.