Dog Training Tips
A well trained dog is a joy to own and it will also be a joy for your dog who will be able to join in all activities with you and will enjoy socialising with people and dogs.
- Always try to start a training session with a game or a good walk so that you will both feel in the right frame of mind to start the training.
- Ensure that all members of the family use the same word for each command and the same technique of training as your dog will become confused and the training process will become much more difficult for you and your dog.
- When giving your dog a treat to show him he has done well, always praise him too as eventually you want to praise him and not have to give a treat every time.
- Be prepared occasionally to go back a stage. If your dog doesn't do what you ask, assume that he doesn't understand what is required, NOT that he is disobedient.
- Use very small dog treats to reward your fab dog, not chocolate or biscuits.
- Always have a word so your dog understands whatever he has been doing with you, whether playing or training, is finished and nothing more is required of him. I use "all done" but it doesn't matter what the expression is as long as it is only used for this particular purpose. A good example is when playing tug of war with my dog which gets him quite excitable, when I want to tell him the game is over I just say "all done" and he immediately releases the toy.
- Keep all training sessions short and sweet, especially with a puppy. End on a positive note while the dog still wants more.
This is one of the easiest tricks to teach to a dog. Make sure your dog is focusing on you by having a small treat in your hand.
- Stand in front of your dog and simply move your hand holding the treat towards the dog's nose and then up and backwards over his head. As you do this say your dog's name followed by "sit". (Do not lift your hand too high as if may encourage your pet to jump up).
- As your dog follows the movement of your hand, his head will rise and his bottom will lower to the floor. Make sure he gets his treat and is praised as soon as he sits.
- Some people still prefer to teach a dog to sit on command by gently pressing his bottom on the ground while saying 'sit!'. I suggest you first try the first method though, as most dogs will understand this command very quickly. Later, once he has clearly understood the meaning of the command 'sit!' you can use the second method if he doesn't obey you. Try to be gentle though, there's no point in causing the dog pain when teaching him tricks.
Once your dog is confident with the sit command, the down command is the next lesson.
It provides the foundation for many other advanced commands and establishes you as the leader in the relationship with your dog. The reason for this is that the laying down position is a submissive for your dog to be in, especially when you are standing in front of your dog.
This technique is only using the lure of a treat to encourage your dog in the down position.
- Still holding a treat in your hand to ensure your dog is focused on you, kneel in front of your dog and hold the treat a couple of centimetres in front of his nose. Move your hand straight down to the ground and away from your dog repeating the command "down". Your dog should follow it down (you can praise and encourage him down). As soon as his belly hits the ground, with his legs out in front, repeat the command down and give the treat and really praise him.
- Repeat this action over and over in short training sessions.
- In time, your fab canine will understand the down command and be able to lay down on command from the standing position.
This technique is using your pet's lead to encourage him to understand what is required.
- Put the lead on your dog and place him into the sitting position and kneel in front of him.
- You are now trying to guide your dog into the down position with the help of the lead.
- Always say your "down" command first, then immediately guide your dog down into the lying position by gently pulling the lead downwards and bringing your dog's head down, At the same time guide him down by pressing down between his shoulder blades with the palm of your hand. Keep repeating the command and encourage your dog all the way down. As soon as he's in the down position give him the treat and make a big fuss of him.