Teaching your dog everyday commands
An obedient dog is every dog owners dream. Side note: How cool is this dog up there?
Personally, I don’t think you need a trainer to teach your dog some good everyday habits. Its applicable when you want to train your dog to attack and be aggressive when necessary. Getting your dog to perform the basic commands like sitting, staying and walking nicely on a leash takes time. Some other tricks like jumping through hoops or sliding down a children’s slide can be done in a day for most dogs.
Here are some tips we found useful when training your dog.
To teach the sit:
- Get on your puppy’s level, either on the floor or in a chair next to him.
- Hold a treat close to his nose and let his head follow the treat as you move your hand up.
- As his head moves up, his butt will lower.
- When his butt hits the floor, release the treat to his mouth. Immediately praise him for his brilliance. (Don’t release the treat so high that the dog will have to jump for it)
- Repeat multiple times every day. Pair the behavior with the word “sit.”
To teach the come:
- Clip a light line to your dog’s collar and let him drag it around.
- After he is accustomed to the line, pick up the end and hold it as you follow him around the compound. As he gets used to this, he’ll begin to understand that the two of you are attached.
- With your marker word in mind, “Yes” and a few treats, walk backward, encouraging him to follow along. When he twirls around and comes toward you, say “Yes!” and treat. Tell him that he’s the cleverest dog in the world.
- Begin to pair the behavior with the word “come.” Every time he responds correctly, praise and reward him. Make the come command a game that your puppy wants to play.
To teach the stay:
- Put a leash on your dog and have him sit comfortably next to you.
- Wave a flat palm toward his muzzle and say “Stay.”
- Step in front of your dog, wait a few seconds, and then step back beside him.
- Reward him for not breaking his stay.
- If he moves, calmly say “Nope” or “Uh uh” and put him back where he was initially. Again, give the stay command along with the hand signal.
- Practice this multiple times every day in different locations.
- After rewarding him with praise and a treat for success, teach him a release word, or the word you will say when it’s time for him to be released from the stay. A good release word is “okay.”
To teach loose-leash walking:
- Attach his leash to his buckle collar and say “Let’s go” using your happy voice. Put treats in your left side pocket or a bait bag.
- Encourage his forward motion by patting your left leg. When he is close to your side, pop a treat in his mouth.
- Every few steps stop to praise him for being in the correct place.
- When he forges ahead or lags behind, stop to let him wander to the end of his leash.
- The slight leash tension will cause him to turn around. As soon as you feel the slack in the line, say your verbal praise marker: “Yes!” Praise and treat when he bounces back to you.
- When he pulls, practice the “be a tree” principle, stopping all motion. His unwanted behavior will self-correct. Wait him out if he doesn’t come back to your side.
This technique requires you to be very patient with the dog.
So dog lovers/owners, as you have noticed, all these scenarios require treats and your patience. Also, always reward your dog when he/she does the right thing. Use your happy voice and give him/her praise when needed. With this in mind, your dog will be a well behaved furry friend!
*Training tips are from our dog handlers at Pets Paradise and nylabone.com