Big dogs are harder to train than their smaller counterparts as the
human trainers lack the size difference to easily establish dominance.
By taking advantage of their smaller frame when they are pups these big
dogs will be easier to handle, as they grow older.
Here are the steps for training a big dog.
- Start the training while they are still pups. Not only are pups still conducive to training, they will continue their view of being small in comparison to their human trainers. Intimidate pups with your size and sternness of voice when giving commands.
- Prioritize training to dissuade habits that will be a problem with their size later on. Pups must learn not to jump on people, gnaw on furniture and other objects, climb on tables, pull on leashes or press their weight on things. Toilet training is also important, and knowing to relieve themselves outside the house will translate to a lot of clean-up you won't be doing later on. Finally, establishing unpleasant rituals such as bathing early on will mean that even though they don't like it, they won't snarl or struggle wildly while at it.
- Familiarize them with other dogs. A puppy that easily mingles with other dogs will behave themselves towards both small and large dogs later on. This will avoid having to stop fights with other dogs, which can be dangerous and unwieldy at their size.
- If your dog persists on being aggressive, you may need to neuter him.
- Demonstrate leadership of the pack hierarchy. Even if a dog looms over you, it will still respond to body cues that reflect your alpha male status. Look the dog straight in the eyes when issuing commands in a stern voice. Move determinedly and don’t hesitate to instill discipline when the dog behaves badly. Remain consistent in your commands, behavior and disciplining to confuse the dog less and prevent him from questioning your authority. Furthermore, most dogs will do anything to keep their owner’s affection, so shower them with affection when they behave and withdraw it when they don’t. This will make them think twice about going out of line.
- Be consistent with disciplining for all your pets. When a large dog observes that his smaller counterpart gets more leeway in terms of misbehavior, it may confuse him and breed resentment towards the other pet and even to the owner. Show that discipline is kept for all of the residents in the house, and your big dog will be more liable to obey.
- Consider choosing a big dog breed known for good behavior. Large dogs with known aggressive tendencies can do massive damage given only a few minutes of neglect. If your family has children or other small pets, having a good-natured dog like a Labrador will allow him to work well with these vulnerable elements.
By disciplining them at a young age, big dogs will be easier to handle at their full size. Doing away with problem behavior will mean you can focus more on the bundle of love they will offer.