The Australian terrier is a bright, inquisitive, intelligent, self-confident small dog that learns very quickly but often prefers to make up and follow his own rules or ideas. Although they love to please their owners, these terriers do not respond well to severe or harsh training methods or corrections. Your Australian terrier requires obedience training so he understands what acceptable behavior is and what you expect of him. Working with your terrier on obedience training establishes your role as dominant owner or leader of the pack, so to speak. Dogs understand social hierarchy, and obedience training helps your terrier fit into the role as subordinate and he then takes your commands seriously. You both benefit because your Australian terrier is more confident, understands you so he does not become frustrated, and you have a dog that is well behaved.
If you have a new Australian terrier puppy, it is important to start socializing your pet so he does not become dominant or aggressive. An introductory puppy training obedience class, often offered by pet supply stores, local recreation departments, dog clubs, and some breeders, serves to socialize your terrier puppy. It introduces him to other dogs, people, places, sights, and smells. Your puppy learns how he should behave on a leash, car manners, and basic commands. It also helps you as a new puppy owner with support and suggestions for problems you might have encountered such as housebreaking or chewing. Crate training your puppy not only helps with housebreaking but is also a comfortable, safe way for him to travel in your vehicle or staying in places such as a motel.
Motivation is very important when training your Australian terrier puppy or adult dog. Obedience training should be a fun, challenging, positive experience and using incentives such as verbal praise, rewards, and treats is an excellent way to motivate your terrier. With positive training, you reward your Aussie for good behavior when he does something right and you will be amazed at how quickly he learns. Keep the training sessions short because Australian terriers, like many other dog breeds, quickly become bored with routine. Instead of trying to hold your dog's attention for an hour during a training session, have short, frequent sessions such as two or three times daily but only for about ten minutes each. Having playtime, such as a game of catch or another or his favorite activities, after a training session is not only fun for both you and your dog but he will be anxious for the next training session.
The two main types of dog training are obedience training and behavioral training. Obedience training is teaching your Australian terrier new things such as sit, stay, heel, or come. Behavioral training is correcting bad habits developed by your dog such as excessive barking, begging, or climbing on furniture. Regardless of the type of training, be consistent, use the reward and praise system, keep a sense of humor, and you will soon have a well socialized, well trained Australian terrier.