How To Train A Dog
House training your dog plays a huge part in your relationship with your dog. Training your dog includes potty training, crate training, house training, leash training and obedience training. With all the training, you can be the proud owner of a happy, healthy and well adjusted dog or puppy. And if you were a cat owner, the training is very different.
Training your dog encourages socialization and problem solving in your dog. During the training, it is a fantastic opportunity for you to know your dog better. Having a trusting and loving relationship with your dog will bring years of joy as a pet.
Table Of Contents
- 1 How To Train A Dog
- 2 Introduction to Dog Training
- 3 Why Dog Training is Important For You
- 4 Why Positive Training Is Important For Your Dog
- 5 How to Get Started in Training Your Dog
- 6 Only Reward When It’s a Job Well Done
- 7 Keep Cue Words to One Word
- 8 A Hungry Dog is Easier to Train
- 9 Remove all Distractions During Dog Training.
- 10 Do not Train Your Dog When he is tired or sick
- 11 Be Patient and Do Not Get Angry With Your Puppy
- 12 How to Find a Good Dog Trainer and Obedience Class
- 13 Class Size is Important in Selecting Dog Training Classes.
- 14 Where To Find a Professional Dog Trainer
- 15 Is the instructor an experienced dog trainer?
- 16 Is the Dog Trainer experienced in Obedience Classes?
- 17 Is the Dog Trainer Knowledgeable About Dog Behavior?
- 18 Is the Dog Trainer able to communicate well with you?
- 19 Do you feel the Dog Trainer Love dogs?
- 20 Many times, your gut feel tells you things beyond observation. You need to get the feeling that the dog trainer genuinely loves dogs. A good dog trainer does not only train dogs, they love dogs.
- 21 Does the Dog Trainer give additional advice?
- 22 How To Select The Right Obedience Class
- 23 What facilities are available at the training premises?
- 24 Does The Dog Trainer Impose Dog Health Certifications from the Owners?
- 25 How does the Dog Trainer Handle over aggressive dogs?
- 26 What is Crate Training?
- 27 What Kinds of Crates are there?
- 28 How To Crate Train a Dog
- 29 Why Do Crate Training?
- 30 Crate Training Reduces Dog Anxiety
- 31 Creating a Crate Schedule
- 32 Additional Tips For Crate Training Your Dog
- 33 How To House Train a Dog
- 34 How To Leash Train A Dog
- 35 Before Your Start Leash Training
- 36 Steps to have a Leash Trained Dog
- 37 How to Teach Your Dog to Walk by your Side
- 38 Basic Obedience Training For Your Dog
- 39 Teach Your Dog How To Sit
- 40 How to Teach the “Come” Command
- 41 How to Teach your Dog The Stay Command
- 42 How To Teach The Down Command
- 43 Advanced Training For Your Dog
- 44 How To Teach Your Dog to Stand
- 45 How To Teach The Place Command To your Dog
- 46 How To Teach Your Dog Touch Command
- 47 Dog Training Tips For Beginners
- 48 What are The Consquences of No Dog Training
- 49 Summary of Best Practices In Dog Obedience Training
And remember this fact:
You Are The Best Person In The World To Train Your Dog
This Video Shows what a well trained dog should behave:
To keep you motivated to train your dog, let’s run through the many benefits of dog obedience Training:
There are many areas of dog training, I will share from the start assuming you are a newbie in dog ownership.
Introduction to Dog Training
Having a well-behaved dog brings lots of joy to the family. Your dog will behave responsibly, react calmly and respond without striking alarm or fear.
Why Dog Training is Important For You
Training a dog does not involve punishment. Through training sessions, your dog will grow to respect and love you more. Your dog needs to know what you expect of him. As the training progresses, your dog will understand you more and you will grow closer to your dog.
Training a dog takes patience. You need to place a lot of time, effort and practice into your dog. If you wish to outsource the training, you can hire a private dog trainer or enrol in a dog training class.
It is better to start training your dog at the puppy stage. This is where habits have not formed making it easiest to groom. Puppy kindergartens are available for small puppies. If your dog is older than one year old, you can sign up for obedience classes for your dog.
The benefits of Dog Obedience training includes:
- Gives Your Dog Clear Instructions
Your dog will understand what behaviour is acceptable to you. He will recognise you as the pack leader. Dogs generally prefer to have you as their pack leader and by training them, you demonstrate that authority.
- It’s Fun
Training your dog is fun for both of you. When you see your dog progress in training, it is also rewarding.
- Having a Balanced Dog
An Obedience trained dog is a balanced dog who will listen to your instructions. You will feel confident and relaxed when you bring your dog out. Your dog will be a great companion with more freedom. Because your dog’s actions are predictable and controllable, you can bring him to see more places.
- Having a Safer Dog
Any sudden aggression from your dog can be controlled with basic obedience commands. In this article we will go through the commonly used commands Sit, Stay, Place and Down.
- Trust and Respect From Your Dog
As your dog follows your instructions, he regards you as a higher authority. When done often, it will develop trust, respect and loyalty. This is when your dog becomes your best friend.
- Puts Family At Ease
A well trained dog will not threaten, challenge or harm any of your family members and friends. As their actions are controlled, any deviation from normal behavior can be stopped quickly.
- Training Breeds Stimulation
Every dog needs daily stimulation, whether its physical or mental. Being trained will exercise both forms of stimulation. A dog with excessive unexpended energy tends to be restless and unstable.
- Reinforce who is the Pack Leader
Many dog behaviorial problems arise due to the dog’s dominance. With your dog obeying your commands, it constantly tells the dog who is the real leader. This prevents any potential behavioral problems from arising
- Obedience Training is A Good Foundation
Most advanced training require obedience training skills. Without knowing the four basic commands, it is hard for your dog to progress to more advanced training. Obedience training also builds up confidence in your dog to take on bigger tasks.
These benefits will have a permanent impact on your relationship with your dog.
Why Positive Training Is Important For Your Dog
Dogs have a fun nature. They like to explore and discover new things. By making the training sessions fun, you tap into this natural enthusiasm of your dog. Animal experts believe that the old way of imposing punishment is not only outdated, but inhumane.
Using punishment as a deterrent for bad behaviour will cultivate hatred and fear towards you in the long run. Your dog will not understand the reasons behind the punishment.
Dogs love to please their owners. They have excellent memory. Positive training reinforces the positive experience of pleasing you when they do the right thing.
Wanting to please you, you dog will repeat that positive behavior the next time.
There are different rewards you can use for dog training. Most owners will give food, toys or even a simple warm hug. Dogs are easily pleased. Even more play time can be a fantastic motivator for you dog.
Your rewards must be consistent. The timing of the reward is very important too. It must be given immediately after the right act has been performed. At the start, you have to reward your dog every time he gets it right.
For more complicated tasks, it takes 2 – 3 weeks of positive reinforcement to complete.
But once your dog gets it, he will remember it for a long time.
Reward your dog with food treats, toys, petting or a good hug.
Always accompany your reward with verbal praise.
Fill your praises with energy, your dog can feel it.
How to Get Started in Training Your Dog
You can start within a few days once your dog is gets familiar with your house surroundings.
Restrict training sessions to 10-15 Minutes
It is vital to keep the dog training sessions short. They should be between 10-15 minutes long. Take a break or split the sessions between day and night. After 15 minutes, you dog might seem restless. Stop the training and repeat again later.
Only Reward When It’s a Job Well Done
One of the favourite rewards for dog training is a food treat. You can purchase off the shelf ready-made bit sized treats. Or you can use small bits of hot dog that he can swallow quickly.
Crunchy and hard treats will require time chewing. You would not want your dog to be distracted during the training. Because during the chewing process, you dog’s mind might wander around and forgot the purpose of the training.
Give your dog the appropriate treat and follow up with a “Good Boy!” or”Good Girl!”
You dog might get over anxious and try to get the treat from your hands before performing the required task. DO NOT give the treat to your dog unless he performs what you ask for COMPLETELY.
Giving your reward prematurely tells your dog that he can get the treat even without performing what you want. If he does not perform, just keep the treat from him.
Keep Cue Words to One Word
For simple commands, its important to keep the cue word to ONE word. Too many words in the command leads to confusion of your dog.
Say out your command in a calm manner and avoid repeating the command again and again. You can be sure that your dog heard you the first time. Just don’t keep repeating your commands.
A Hungry Dog is Easier to Train
This might sound silly but its true. A hungry dog looking forward to his next meal will listen to you more intently. Thus, to increase the effectiveness of your training, schedule it before meals. You dog will aim to please just to get the food.
Remove all Distractions During Dog Training.
Take dog training sessions seriously. Select a time when no one will disturb you or pressure you. Best to turn off your cell phone and switch the television off to ensure maximum focus. Devote the quality time required to train your dog.
Prepare a space big enough for your dog to move around. Once he gets your training right, introduce more distractions gradually by moving him outdoors. Cars, buses and people walking around are the worst possible distractions. Let him get used to it and perform the task required of him.
Do not Train Your Dog When he is tired or sick
Your dog’s health is more important than anything else. Call off the dog training session if your dog shows signs of discomfort or illness. Dogs that are tired and sick should be given enough rest and love to get them well again.
Be Patient and Do Not Get Angry With Your Puppy
Getting upset with your dog is the last thing you should do. Different dogs learn at difference pace. Just like human beings, some dogs take a longer time to learn. Be patient, knowing that all dogs can be trained.
If you get no results at the end of a training session, end it, pat and hug your dog. Do not impose any punishment or verbal scolding after the training.
You dog will associate what happened after the training with the training. If you dish out verbal scolding consistently after a training session, you dog might choose to avoid training sessions altogether.
How to Find a Good Dog Trainer and Obedience Class
Selecting a Good dog obedience training class and dog trainer is an important part of having a disciplined and balanced dog. The investment you make on dog training will go a long way in building your relationship with your dog.
A dog training class provides the opportunity for your dog to interact with other dogs. This provides socialization for your dog and conditions him to respond to you despite all the distractions.
Have the wrong trainer in the wrong training class and you will be need more corrective measures to unlearn the bad habits. A good trainer will be able to point out certain salient mistakes you might be making. So, follow the tips below to choose a trainer that fits your dog.
Class Size is Important in Selecting Dog Training Classes.
A good class size for puppy dog training should be between 8 to 10 dogs. Any class bigger than 10 dogs per trainer or team will encounter control difficulties. Too many puppies per class will prohibit your trainer to provide more personal training for your dog.
You dog first lessons should include basic commands such as sit, come down stay and walking on a leash. These basic lessons will enable you to interact with other dog owners who are also learning the fundamentals of dog training.
Besides teaching your dog to obey simple commands, it is important that you know how to read your dog’s body language, the position of the ears, the position of the tail, timing the rewards and when to motivate your dog to act appropriately.
Where To Find a Professional Dog Trainer
The internet is a good source of information on dog trainers. Dog forums and communities are good places to check out who are the credible dog trainers in your area. The Dog Training Industry is not regulated and it is wise to do your research before parting with your hard earned money.
Even with the proper research, request for a face to face meet up with the instructor. Or if possible, sit in one of the classes conducted by the trainer. And when you meet your instructor, observe the following:
Is the instructor an experienced dog trainer?
This sounds like a dumb question. But there are indeed many so called dog trainers around that do not know much about dog behaviour.
The easiest way to tell is how the dog trainer disciplines his own dog. Does his dog obey his instructions? Observe the way the dog trainer corrects mistakes his dogs make. Is he patient? Does he practice positive reinforcement? Or does the dog trainer yell and hit the dog? If the trainer’s dog does not seem well behaved, it is obvious that his house is not in order – Avoid him at all costs
Is the Dog Trainer experienced in Obedience Classes?
The number of years of experience under the Dog trainer’s belt does not mean much. Training a single dog and a group of dogs in a class requires different skill sets. Check if your instructor has experience teaching in a class or helping out another trainer.
Is the Dog Trainer Knowledgeable About Dog Behavior?
When you communicate with the dog trainer, ask about his credentials.
Is he or she knowledgeable about the industry trends and training techniques? Has he attended seminars or workshops to upgrade himself?
Does he have knowledge he has applied or does he have only theoretical knowledge?
Is the Dog Trainer able to communicate well with you?
Does the dog trainer answer your queries to the point?
Is he trying to hide something from you?
Does the dog trainer spot difficult dogs in the class quickly?
If dogs in the class misbehaves, is he able to teach the dog to calm down without resorting to extreme measures?
Do you feel the Dog Trainer Love dogs?
Many times, your gut feel tells you things beyond observation. You need to get the feeling that the dog trainer genuinely loves dogs. A good dog trainer does not only train dogs, they love dogs.
This is a very important aspect in selecting your dog trainer. He needs to enjoy training too. Does his eyes sparkle with joy when some of the participants’ dogs perform what was required?
Does the Dog Trainer give additional advice?
Some dogs in the class might need further attention after the class. Does the dog trainer just pack his bags and go after the class? Or does he stay back and answer additional questions or provide special advice?
Such small actions tell you about the dedication of the dog trainer to his profession. A dedicated dog trainer will take his client’s interest at heart.
How To Select The Right Obedience Class
A good obedience class should include a good environment. A good environment is determined by the size of the class, the facilities of the place, the rules to protect your dog and the training centre’s policies and procedures.
What facilities are available at the training premises?
Is the space allocated for the dog obedience classes big enough? Observe the cleanliness of the space. The cleaner the space, the more responsible the dog trainer because it reflects the pride and care he has for his customers. Is the potty area clean? Or is it full of filth?
Does The Dog Trainer Impose Dog Health Certifications from the Owners?
Is it a requirement to show vaccination certificates before the commencement of the course? If yes, this shows that the dog trainer is responsible for the well being of all dogs. Dogs without vaccination pose a serious health threat to other dogs.
How does the Dog Trainer Handle over aggressive dogs?
There might be an aggressive dog amongst the participants. How does the dog trainer deal with it?
If the dog goes out of control, what are the precautionary measures the dog trainer has taken to protect the other dogs?
Protecting dogs under this care from injury and accidents should be his top priority.
Remember you make the decision to enrol your dog in the class. So long as you feel uncomfortable about certain aspects of the class, just ask questions and explain your point of view. If you feel that dogs have been mishandled during the class, voice out your opinion.
The dog trainer might have valid reasons for certain techniques. But if the techniques used are violent and resort to aggression, then you should walk away from the class.
A good dog trainer should prove to be confident and calm. Walk away from any class that will put your dog in physical danger. Preserve the trust your dog has in you.
What is Crate Training?
Crate training refers to the starting stages where the crate is introduced to your dog. Some breeders help you to crate train the dog before handing over to you. But most of the time, you have to crate train on your own.
The crate will serve as your dog’s own private area where they feel loved and secured in.
The objective of crate training is to enable your dog to understand that the crate is their home and the safest place to be.
What Kinds of Crates are there?
The crate size should be just enough for your dog to stand up and turn around. If you allow too big a space, your dog will start to form his pooping corner within the crate. This will cause frustration and cleaning problems. There are crates with adjustable sizes where you can customize it as your dog grows bigger.
It’s a good practice to put a blanket or towel at the bottom of the crate to ease the pressure points on your dog’s feet. Make the crate a comfortable refuge for your dog.
There are crates made of steel or plastic. Plastic crates tend to be lighter and portable. However, they are susceptible to the ever chewing jaws of you canine. Gauge the behavior of your dog. But generally, puppies chew on stuff and its best you start off with a steel crate.
How To Crate Train a Dog
Once you get your dog to like this crate, your dog ownership experience is so much easier. Your dog will be more obedient. You will not worry about your guests being hounded by your dog. But it will take some time before your dog develops a sense of belonging to the crate.
First, there are a few things you need to do:
- Keep your crate clean at all times. No dog loves a dirty crate. Having a dirty crate breeds diseases and creates a stench. Practice proper hygiene for your dog.
- Place a toy in the crate and leave the door open
- Have your dog sniff around, and retrieve the toy from the crate
- Make play with your dog with the toy. Draw his attention to his favorite treat and place it in the crate, leave the entrance to the crate open
- After your dog enters the crate to eat the treat, close the door for a few seconds slowly. Open the door and repeat the same steps a few times till he stays in the crate for 5 minutes
- Subsequently try to feed your puppy dog in the crate with the door open to breed familarity
The most important part of this process is not to alarm your dog in any way, whether playing with the toy or retrieving the treat. Your dog must identify the crate as a safe haven.
Remember to provide fresh water in the crate too.
Do not use the crate as a punishment for your dog. Never “lock” your dog in the crate because he did something wrong. Never associate the crate with punishment.
Doing so will cause resentment against the crate and you will have a hard time reversing that in future.
Why Do Crate Training?
Crate Training a proven method to manage the safety and well-being of your young dog. When executed well, crate training is the foundation to establish good habits in your dog.
Crate training is necessary as it helps your dog learn his toilet manners much quicker.His crate provides a place for him to take a nap or short break. The crate is your dog’s home and place of sanctuary.
Crate training encourages your dog to chew on the specific toys you allow them to. Being in the crate protects your puppy dog from dangerous household items such as knives, exposed wires and scissors.
You would not want your dog to go on a rampage chewing all your furniture. Crate training discourages destructive behaviour at a puppy’s age to prevent bigger problems in future.
Crate Training Reduces Dog Anxiety
Making the crate your dog’s preferred resting place also stops separation anxiety. Some dog owners need to work during the day and might need to leave the house for long hours. The crate becomes a place where your dog feels safe even when alone or when night time approaches.
In the event you are sending your dog for competition, the crate serves as a resting place in between performing tasks in the competition. Many crates are now are light and portable. With the crate, it reduces the nervousness and anxiety caused by the competition.
Creating a Crate Schedule
No dog should be locked up in the crate for long hours every day. Dog owners who enclose their dogs inside such confined spaces everyday are cruel to their pets.
Have a schedule when your dog should stay in the crate. Preferably, allow your dog to enter the crate at his own freewill after recognising the crate as his home.
Remember, your dog is a part of your family. And no part of your family should be locked out of sight.
Additional Tips For Crate Training Your Dog
- Position the crate where you play with your puppy most often. And leave the crate door open.
- Any time when your puppy dog looks for the crate or touches the crate, reward him with a treat. Repeat many times
- Remove the dog collar when your dog is in the crate. Lose collars can get caught inside the crate and result in choking your dog.
- Do not lock your dog inside the crate without any escape route for a toilet break.
- When your puppy dog relieves itself in the crate, it’s a sign that he might be kept in there for too many hours. Never mind about the mess, learn from the behavior.
- When transporting your dog in the crate, NEVER leave your crate with the dog in your car. This is very irresponsible. Temperature in your car can rise up very quickly and kill the dog.
- Never restrict your dog in the crate for longer than 5 hours. Ask yourself, would you like to be locked up for 5 hours? If its no, you get my point.
- If you are going to leave your dog in the crate for long hours, make sure you incorporate enough long walks and exercises to vent some of the stored energy in your dog.
- Never accede to your dog’s barking, whining and growling to be released from the crate when its not appropriate. Never give in to your dog’s barking as this will only reinforce a negative behavior.
- Do not crate your puppy dog ever ytime right before you leave the house. This will cause a negative association with the crate.
How To House Train a Dog
One of the keys to successful houstraining for dogs is to have patience. Dogs are not human beings. Your messages to them might not be clear. So do not expect instant obedience from your dog. Some dogs take a week to house train while some take several months.
So each dog is different. Have patience.
Generally, house training has two main methods, paper training and crate training.
Paper training involves the placement of newspapers on a floor area designated for pooping and peeing. Once your dog has identified that is the area designated for the purpose, you should slowly shrink the designated area. The minimal floor space for this purpose should be no smaller than a normal “spread out” newspaper.
There are certain pros and cons to paper training. One advantage is that your dog will be relieving itself at the right place indoors. There might still be accidents but they should be minimal.
The problem with paper training is that your dog might not learn to relieve itself outdoors. Most dog owners prefer their dogs to pee and poop outdoors (for obvious reasons). But some paper trained dogs are so used to peeing and pooping on newspapers that they can relieve themselves without them.
Some dog owners NEVER allow their dogs to relieve themselves indoors. If that is the way you want it, you have to bring the dog out for walks several times a day. This is really a matter of preference.
Another method of house training is using crate training (covered above). As your dog recognises the crate as his home, he will not want to poop or pee at the place he sleeps. You can make it a routine activity to bring him out of the crate in the morning to pee and poop.
For the first few times he pee and poop outside his crate (outdoors), give him a hug and play with him as a form of praise. You dog will view this as a sign of approval from you. As your dog aim to please you, he will adapt to the routine set by your daily.
Its not the end of the world if you dog accidentally pees or poop on the floor or the sofa. As a dog owner, you should learn to love your dog and train your dog. No dog is the same. Some learn faster than others. So be patient and look forward to the day when your dog knows exactly where to relieve himself.
How To Leash Train A Dog
Every dog should be taught basic leash walking skills. It does not matter what breed, size or age of your dog. Depending on your lifestyle, the need to walk your dog in the park may vary.
Taking your dog for a walk in the park or along a busy street walkway should be a relaxing journey.
But not everyone is experiencing this peaceful activity because some dogs take longer time to leash train.
If you dog starts to challenge you and others, pull at the leash, spins round and round or incessantly bark at others, walking your dog can be a real stressful activity.
Besides, having good leash discipline adds to the safety while walking your dog. Having your dog obey the basic sit, stay and go along commands will make your dog walk a more enjoyable one.
Teaching your dog how to walk obediently and calmly beside you takes time and effort, but the payoff is fantastic.
Before Your Start Leash Training
Check the size of the collar or body harness. Does it fit your dog snugly but not too tight? If the collar is too tight, your dog will focus on the discomfort instead of learning your leash techniques. Too loose and your dog will focus of getting away. Get the right-sized collar.
Buy a suitable leash for your dog. A bigger and thicker leash will be required for bigger dog breeds such as Rottweilers and Golden Retrievers as you might need stronger tension to control them.
Have his favourite treats on hand or in a handy pouch. Its good to have a clicker (but not necessary) to give an encouraging click when your dog does well during the walk. If you do not have a clicker, an enthusiastic “yes” can have the same effect to your dog.
Decide which side you want your dog to walk on. Some dog owners prefer their dogs to walk on the right side if they are right handed. This is probably due to the greater degree of control they have.
But there is no right or wrong side. But once your select the side, let it be consistent at least for the beginning. You wouldn’t want your dog to criss cross in front of you while you are training him.
Steps to have a Leash Trained Dog
- Put the collar on your dog. If this is the first time your dog is on the collar, he might demonstrate some feelings of anxiety or try to bite off the collar. You cannot leash train him in that state. Do not take the collar off.
Wait for him to calm down and stay still. Then reward him with a treat once he calms down.
- Put the leash on and start to walk. Your dog may start to pull and stay still at this point. If he stays still, offer a treat at a distance while holding the leash and wait for him to come get it. Once he gets up and start moving towards the treat, say “Yes!” and pat his body to encourage him.
- Once you start walking, your dog might run ahead of you and pull you along. Never let that happen. Not even once. When that happens, stand still and wait for your dog to stop the tugging. When he stops tugging, give him a treat.
- As your dog walks along with you without a tight leash and follows you, give him treats now and then to reward him for good behavior.
As with all dog training, some dogs take a longer time to leash train. Many dogs have a tendency to pull on his leash. But you must never let your dog have its way. Be a calm and assertive owner. Do not throw yourself into a frenzy and hit your dog.
Just stay still and calm and wait for your dog to stop and look back at you. That is where you reward your dog. Such positive reinforcements teaches the dog that you are the pack leader and his wild behaviors is not acceptable.
Different dogs respond to different training methods. You can use alternative methods demonstrated in the videos above.
It is also helpful to keep your leash short. Preferably, use a fixed length leash instead of the retractable leash. Fixed length leash gives you more control and develop a more consistent distance for leash training.
How to Teach Your Dog to Walk by your Side
Having your dog walking by your side does not only look cool but also ensures safety of your dog. The risk of tripping over and stepping on your dog is greatly reduced.
Here are some tips to keep your dog on your side:
- Keep the dog leash short, enough for him to walk beside you but not long enough to cross you.
- If your dog has the habit of wandering around, stop, and guide him to the correct side. Reward with a treat
- As your dog walks along on the correct side, reward him along the way till it forms a habit to walk along with you.
Tip: If your dog is very aggressive towards moving forward and neglecting your commands, you should turn around and walk the other way. Your dog will eventually follow you. And when he returns to your side, reward him
Basic Obedience Training For Your Dog
These are the simple commands that every dog should know. With these commands, your dog can progress to more advanced training and more intricate tasks.
If you are training a puppy, take note that they have short attention spans. Your training sessions should be full of energy and short. Keep distractions to the minimum during the training. You can gradually add distractions along the way. Be ready with treat before you begin the training.
Teach Your Dog How To Sit
Teaching your dog to sit is one of the easiest skills. The sit command is important to control your dog in situations such as someone ringing the doorbell or a friend entering your home.
A dog who knows the sit command is less likely to misbehave or jump all over your visitors. Before you start the sit command training, make sure your dog is confident and comfortable around you.
Steps to Teaching your Dog Sit
- Hold his favorite treat in your hand
- Your dog will get excited at this stage, either stand on its hind legs or just jumping around
- Stand still and say the command “Sit”
- At this point your dog will still not understand and continue in its effort to get the treat off your hand
- Wait for the moment your dog calms down and sit in front of you
- Reward the treat to your dog
- Repeat again
Soon, your dog realises that only by obeying the command “sit” and lay its butt on the ground, he will get the treat. Slowly replace the treat with verbal praise.
You can also use meal times to reinforce the sit command. During meal time, hold the food bowl in your hand and say “sit”. Only lay the bowl on the ground when the dog sits.
How to Teach the “Come” Command
The Come Command can be a life saver during dangerous moments. It helps to keep your dog out of trouble situations. It can be followed up by a task for your dog to do.
If your dog darts out onto the open road, the Come command can save his life. The Come and Sit commands forms the foundation of any other dog training. It is a skill that you will use to control your dog for the rest of his life.
Below is a video showing how you can teach your dog to “Come”
Do not use the come command for as a precursor for punishment. You dog will associate Come with a negative outcome. This is stop your dog from obeying your Come Command.
How to Teach your Dog The Stay Command
The Stay Command can be difficult for your dog to master. Dogs are naturally active and curious. Most times, they will try and run to you. The Stay command, like the Come command, can help to save your dog’s life in dangerous situations.
The video below shows how to teach your dog to Stay.
When your dog learns how to “Stay” on command, it makes for easy future training as he awaits further instructions.
The objective of Stay is for your dog to stay put no matter how much distraction is around him.
How To Teach The Down Command
The Down command, like the Stay Command, can be a challenge for your dog to obey. The Down position is a position of submission for dogs. Thus, aggressive dogs will take a longer time to obey the Stay command.
But most dogs will eventually learn this command given enough time and practice. It is important that you should never reward the treat unless the Down Command is fully carried out.
Watch the video to see how its done:
NEVER Try to push the dog’s butt down or try to fold its legs. IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. This will only cause resentment in your dog. Offer plenty of encouragement during the training sessions.
Advanced Training For Your Dog
How To Teach Your Dog to Stand
Why do you need to teach your dog to stand? In situations where you need to take a picture of your dog or in special situations to form a formation with other dogs, you will need the Stand Command. If you intend to engage your dog in obedience competition, then the Stand Command is a must.
Here’s a video showing exactly how to teach the Stand Command:
How To Teach The Place Command To your Dog
The Place Command should make your dog proceed to a designated place and stay there till further instructions. This command is useful when you want your dog to be away for a while.
For example, when there are too many visitors in your house party, you might want your dog to go to his crate for his safety.
Though most dogs know their way around the house and instinctively know where to go, some dogs require this additional bit of training to get them up to speed.
How To Teach Your Dog Touch Command
The Touch Command requires your dog to use his nose to touch your hand or object. This command allows you to direct your dog anywhere you want him to go.
When you dog understand the Touch Command, it becomes a powerful bonding force between you and your dog. Because when your dog follows this command, it has a lot of trust in you.
The Touch command will make your dog follow your hand or object regardless of the distractions present. This command is necessary if your dog were to take part in agility contests. Without this command, your dog will find it difficult to complete the tasks.
Dog Training Tips For Beginners
- Listen To Your Dog
You know your dog best. If your dog shows any signs of distress or sickness in a training session, give him some space. Call the training off for that day. By forcing your dog for the training session will create bigger problems in future.
- Show Ample Affection To Your Dog
When you dog does something wrong, chances are you will try to correct your dog. But what about those times when your dog did a great job? Did you lavish enough praises and hugs?
Like human beings, dogs need to feel loved by their owners. A simple pat on the back or a short snuggle means everything to your dog. Build that relationship and training your dog could be much easier
- Only Offer Treats That Your Dog LOVES
Treats loved by other dogs might not be the favorite treat for your dog. Each dog has his preferences. Observe which is his favorite treat and use it for the training sessions.
Your training sessions will be a disaster if your try to motivate your dog with unwanted treats.
- Consistency is Key to Success
Encourage your family members to be consistent in their commands. If you are using the word “Sit” for the Sit command, make sure your family members do the same. If your other family members uses “down” for the “sit” command, your poor dog will be confused.
Also establish consistent criteria for receiving rewards (treats). Never give a treat when it’s a job half done. Only give treats when the command is carried out fully.
- Give Your Dog Time
Patience is key to dog training success. Changing of behavior takes time too. The length of time it takes also depends on how long has the dog had its way. If you are trying to stop your dog from barking at visitors and he has been doing it for the last five years, then it will surely take a longer time.
Do not be easily frustrated when your dog does not get the message. It is not too late to make any changes to your dog.
- Feed nutritious Meals To Your Dog
A dog who is on an optimium diet will respond to the training classes with more enthusiasm. Proper nutrition and health are crucial to successful dog training. Consult your vet on the applicable diet for your dog.
- Do not Reinforce negative behaviors
When you do not want your dog around the dinner table, then do not give food to them when they are near the dinner table. Some dog owners think that by doing so, their dog will take the food an walk away.
Which more often than not, the opposite happens. The dog will keep hounding the owner during dinner time for extra food. This is reinforcing negative behavior. And if allowed over time, it can get worse.
If you set such a precedent, and try to correct it later, you will face strong resistance from your dog.
Just stay firm and say NO.
- Always replace Treats with Praises After a While
As your dog learn the commands, gradually phase out treats as rewards. Use verbal praises and hugs instead. You want your dog to carry out the command because you told him to, not because of the treat.
Of course, at the beginning, its necessary to use treats because you need to motivate your dog to take the first steps. But treats should be removed at later part of the training.
- Allow Freedom In The House Gradually
When you first introduce your dog to the house, restrict certain areas lest you wish your furniture be damaged by its chewing. Letting your new dog into all areas of the house before house training will end up with frustrations.
With pee and poop all around the house, anyone will find having a dog troublesome. To reduce a new dog owner’s anxiety, it is advisable to keep the dog in a confined space, eg the living room, till potty training is done.
- Observe Good Behaviors of Your Dog
As dog owners, you need to observe certain good things that your dog did even WITHOUT training them. For example, when someone rings the doorbell and your dog remained quiet and calm. Praise your dog, give it a treat. Let your dog know he has done a good job by staying calm.
Your dog could have barked non-stop still the visitor enters your house. Do not take such low key correct behaviors for granted.
What are The Consquences of No Dog Training
- Lack of dog training results in unwanted behavior in dogs. Blame should never be on the dogs, but the dog owners who refuse to administer proper training. Puppies and dogs are left at dog shelters. These poor dogs are usually put to sleep and have their lives shortened.
- Without proper training, your dog will never be close physically to all family members for fear of attacks and bites. A dog should always be part of the family. Such physical separation results in the dog being treated not as a family member, but just another animal.
- Your dog might be the cause of another unfortunate dog aggresssion incident on the streets.
- Untrained dogs cause havoc and pose challenges to the owner. Control becomes non existent and your dog will only grow in more aggression
- Untrained dogs are usually left outside the main house compound, giving them a feeling of isolation. Dogs need to be loved.
Summary of Best Practices In Dog Obedience Training
Here is a sum up of the best practices in How to Train a Dog
- Give immediate praise and reward when your dog performs his task well. Corrections should not involve physical punishment. Preferably a repeat of the task should do.
- Your dog takes time to learn. Even if your dog got it right the first time, it does not mean he will perfect it every time. Repetition creates more consistent outcome.
- Be consistent in your commands, including your family members
- When your dog has not been taught a task, do not expect him to complete it. It’s irresponsible on the part of the dog owner to do that.
- Keep training sessions SHORT!
- Do not try to master more than 4 commands at one session. This creates more confusion in your dog. Preferably teach one command at a time.
- You are the BEST person to train your dog. Accept it and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
- Gradually add distractions as you train your dog
- Always try to use every day activities to include obedience training.
- Any mistakes made should be corrected immediately. Delayed correction only confuses your dog
- Always offer the your dog’s most preferred treat for training.