Saturday, December 16

Training Your Dog in Simple Commands

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You and your pet

One big thing in pet training is to speak forcefully, without yelling and anger. Being mad at your dog will not help them learn. They learn what you want them to do through rewards. The best thing is to start off giving them little treats and as they master the command simply pet them, then from there go to “good” so they don’t expect something every time.

From the start it is extremely important to give a reward EVERY time, other wise your dog will be confused and think they haven’t done everything they needed to do.

When training your dog you should do about 15 minutes everyday. To ensure the dogs focus it is good to begin training a few minutes after a walk, so they don’t have pent up energy.

Sit

Sit is always one of the first commands you want to teach your dog because other tricks can come off of it. The first thing you want to do is have a few treats in your hand and kneel in front of the dog. Say “Sit” (remember strong voice) and gently push them into a sitting position, promptly rewarding them.

As your dog masters the trick you won’t need to touch them anymore. A hand signal that works for most dogs is simply to hold the treat out in front of the dog, and, only moving your wrist, pull the treat up and towards you saying “sit”. The dog will usually sit, if they don’t, push their butt down until they get the idea, then reward them.

Come

Another good beginner trick. It’s easiest to simply have two people sitting across from each other for this command, holding treats. From there it’s pretty obvious what you have to do. Saying “come” and holding a treat out for your dog to come and get it is the best way for them to learn. With two people you can simply go back and forth saying “come” and your dog can run and get the treats, learning the command at the same time.

Go

Sometimes you don’t want your dog around you when you’re doing certain things. Go is a good command for these times. This command you want to use an even more forceful tone than normally to start. all you have to do is get the dog to come to you and push them gently away, saying “go!” you can continue saying go and pushing them further away to make go more. Once the dog has walked away from you a little bit, you can reward them verbally and with a treat.

Down

Lying down is a good command to teach your dogs especially if they are often around children. To begin, get your dog into a sitting position and make sure you have treats. The only thing you have to do is hold the treat a little ways away from the dog (on the floor) and say “Down”. The dog should lie down to get the treat and if they do, give the dog both verbal praise and the treat.

As the dog masters the trick you can start to drop the hand motion, only giving it to the dog when they don’t understand.

Stay

Stay is a good command to teach your dog for many reasons. If you have guest coming to the door, have to clean up some mess in the kitchen, or just to keep their attention. It is best to start this with a sit. The hand motion for this is just to hold your hand up to them, as if you’re saying stop, and say “stay.”

If you only have one person for the job it is best to just give them a signal that they did something wrong if the dog moves before you tell them they can, (a no or “ah-ah” would do) and then tell them to sit, then stay again. You should start with short periods of time and gradually make them longer. Moving around and talking to other is also a good thing to do as they stay.

If there are two people available, one can hold the collar of the dog as the other says stay, letting go once the dog gets the idea.

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