Pet Tips

Dog Training Tips – Pet tip 236

Training your dog to follow some basic commands does not have to be difficult if you have a bit dedication and patience. Depending on the command you wish your dog to learn all that is needed is some repeated practice that gets reinforced occasionally. Getting your dog to sit for example can usually be taught in one to two training sessions. All that is normally needed is a small morsel of food that the dog loves. Hold it above your dog’s nose in a closed fist so the dog smells it. Now you have the dog’s attention. Move the treat slowly a few inches over the dog’s head and toward the back of the dog. The dog’s nose should follow your hand as its butt lowers to the ground. The second the dog sits say “Sit” and immediately give your dog the treat. The sit command is one of the easiest ones to teach which is why so many dogs know that one command.

Although the sit command is easy to teach, there are many important commands that all dogs should know. Some of them include; coming when called, staying when told to stay, heeling, dropping a toy or object on command, lying down etc. Most dogs can learn these basic commands as well but because they are a bit harder to teach, many owners give up before the command is fully mastered. The following tips are meant to help your training sessions be more productive.

  • Keep training sessions short. If you are starting a new command the first session should only be about five minutes long. After that, training sessions for puppies should be about ten minutes and about twenty minutes for adult dogs.
  • Only teach your dog one task at a time. Only after the dog has fully mastered the task should you move onto a new task.
  • Do not get mad at your dog if the training isn’t going well. Do not try training exercises when you are in a bad mood. Dogs want to please you and if you are getting frustrated, dogs will sense it. Never ever hit your dog or punish your dog if the training is not going well. Take a break and try again later.
  • Reward the dog IMMEDIATELY when it performs a command successfully. Waiting a few seconds too long confuses a dog and compromises the efficacy of the training. Have the reward ready before you ask the dog to complete the task.
  • Only give the reward if the task is completed successfully. Do not give the reward because you or the dog is getting frustrated or you feel sorry for the dog. This only confuses the dog.
  • Couple giving the reward with a phrase like “Good dog” in a positive voice.
  • Although food is a great reward, try other rewards (like petting, toys, brushing) as well. You can alternate between rewards especially after your dog has mastered any given task.

It should be noted of course that all dogs are different and some dogs are harder to train than others. Older dogs in particular might need the help of a professional dog trainer if you are having trouble. Regardless of age and breed though, all dogs need basic obedience training. If you are not capable of doing it yourself ask your vet for a reference for a professional trainer.

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