Training your dog can be a fun and enriching experience. Dogs are good students who trust you to teach them all kinds of things. Training also creates a strong bond between you and your dog. Basic commands such as “come”, “sit”, “stay”, “no”, “down”, “don’t touch” and “off” will make your dog a good pet. Dogs that have received proper basic training will experience less stress in their lives and have a more enjoyable time than those who have not been trained, and they will also be less likely to run away. Enjoy this article about how to train a dog!
Young puppies are very eager to learn and you can start training your newcomer as soon as he or she arrives at your house. There is no reason to believe in the myth that your pup must be at least six months old before you can train him. Therefore, you can start from their first steps. The younger they are, the easier it is to train them and they will learn faster! These are just some basic tips for training your dog. For more information on dog and puppy training read on or you can also contact a professional trainer. Further you can purchase digital information about training your pet or read one of the many excellent books written on this popular subject.
Rules for dog and puppy training sessions.
- Training sessions should be short and pleasant. It is better to have six five-minute sessions per day than one half-hour session. After all, the concentration of puppies is very easily lost. Only train a dog if you are in a good mood to avoid the animal falling victim to your bad mood.
- Make sure to always end the training session with a pleasant moment, let your dog do an exercise that he can easily perform. This way you always end the session on a positive note making your pet looking forward to it.
- Remove any objects that can distract your dog. Be clear and precise in what you want to teach him and choose a quiet environment. Later, you can opt for a more lively place so your dog can get used to following your commands in a variety of places.
- The training must be accompanied by a reward: a candy, a toy, and so on. Methods of compulsive punishment of the dog are not recommended, have a negative effect and often lead to bad results.
This is the first exercise you should teach your dog. Take a piece of candy and show it to your dog. The dog is interested and will follow you with his head, trying to get it. Hold the treat over your dog’s head so he should look up. Then hold it behind his snout so that he has to put his head back to get it.
If he wants to get the candy, he can’t help but sit on the floor. The moment he sits down, give him the candy and stroke him. After a few tries, your dog will understand how to earn his treat and will respond by sitting immediately.
From the moment he clearly understands what you expect from him, repeat the word “sit” one more time when he is seated so that he remembers to associate this command with the action he is supposed to perform. Now that you have teached this with some practice, you can demand him to sit down without using a candy.
This command tells the dog to lay down. Keep a treat on hand and take out only one piece for the dog to see. Show it to the dog and put your hand on the floor. Your dog will do anything to try to get the treat. He will eventually go down. If he lays down, give him the candy. Continue the exercise, and once the dog understands that your hand on the floor means to go down, repeat the verbal command just one more time when he’s down so it will be easier for your pet to remember it. Over time, he will obey the order without any candy and without your hand on the floor.
Teaching your dog to come to you when you ask is probably the most important lesson to him. Example, calling your dog when he runs towards a busy road could save his life. The key to success is to start this training when the dog is still young (six to eight weeks) because puppies love to follow their owner everywhere. From six months on the dog is more independent and learning to come will be more difficult. During this exercise you should be guided by a friend or family member. Ask the person accompanying you to kneel on the floor and keep the puppy in a sitting position with him. Sit in front of the dog at a short distance and shout its name followed by “come!” Look at your puppy and open your arms wide as if you want to give him a big hug. Give the impression that you are very happy to see him come to you. You can make it easier with a candy or his favorite toy. Your puppy will not be able to resist your enthusiasm and will jump on you. Once he’s with you, give him the candy and congratulate him. The exercise should be short but apply it repeatedly. Gradually increase the distance your puppy must travel before it can reach you. Don’t forget to really congratulate him as soon as he’s with you. As soon as the puppy responds well to your call, start calling him without being able to see you. Play hide and seek in the house or in the yard so your pup has to search to find you. You can start practicing this in a public park, where everything is likely to distract him, but only after your dog can do it well in a private yard. Use a flexible leash or long leash to help your puppy feel free while you are still in control of him. Call him several times. Make sure he’s really irresistibly drawn to your enthusiasm because a park is a place where a young dog is constantly distracted by everything. If your pup starts running in a different direction and disregards your commands, don’t chase him as it is very likely that he will interpret this chase as an exciting new game! Instead, walk in the opposite direction (but still keep it on the training line). Your puppy will eventually follow you. Walking away from him will teach him to always keep an eye on you when he’s outside because he doesn’t want to lose you! You should not make the mistake of getting mad if he doesn’t come back when he finally decides to return. This attitude can lead to confusion. Remember, you want him to link the action to come to you with the reward you give him.
“Staying” is probably the most difficult exercise to learn. Dogs simply hate to sit still! But thanks to some short and repeated workouts, you can perform this exercise with control. It will prove to be helpful in many situations, for example if your dog tries to jump out of the car before you can put a leash on his neck. Start with the exercise “down – stay”. Order your dog to lay down. Say “stay” in a steady voice and place your hand in front of you, palm facing the dog. Wait a few seconds, give him a treat to reward him for staying in place. Repeat this exercise a few times. Gradually increase the length of time the dog needs to stay and the distance between you and the dog. Don’t rush it and, if your dog doesn’t listen to the “stay” command, don’t get angry. Not rewarding him will be clear enough and he will eventually learn to obey your command. Getting angry however, would work counterproductive.
Many exercises pay off if you reward the right behavior and ignore the wrong responses. Your dog needs your approval. However, it is sometimes necessary to make clear to your dog that his behavior is not correct. Instead of always shouting “no”, results can be achieved quicker by teaching your dog a signal that means “no” and that he should stop what he is doing, whatever it is, whenever he hears the signal.
Dog training tools.
We recommend therefore that you purchase a set of training discs unless your dog is particularly nervous or afraid of loud noise. A set consists of five training discs that resemble small cymbals hanging from a key ring. You hold the discs in your hand without making a sound and when you want to say “no” release the key ring that will fall and give a characteristic sound that the dog never hears in other circumstances. To teach him “no”, remember to always have some candies with you. This will teach him to associate the sound of the discs with getting a reward if he follows the command. Place a treat on the floor and ask the dog to eat it. If the dog goes forward to eat it, ring the discs in the palm of your hand. As soon as the discs are heard, you take the candy away, but you don’t say anything. The sound does the rest. After a few tries, your dog will no longer be surprised by the sound and will make the connection between the sound and the lack of a reward. Eventually, he will anticipate the sound of the discs and refrain from any attempt to eat the candy. He will look at you disappointed. Now switch to another exercise, such as “sit”, and give him a reward for obeying this command. He will quickly forget his disappointment and frustration from the previous exercise. Your dog will understand very quickly that when he hears the discs, he shows a behavior that does not reward him. He will soon no longer behave like this without having to use the discs.
Your disks can also be helpful in teaching him the “don’t touch” ban. Place a treat on the table within reach of your dog. Say “don’t touch”, count to three and then give him a another treat than the one on the table. If he tries to take the candy on the table, let the discs play. The longer you do the exercise, the longer you wait before giving your dog a treat.
If you find your dog lying on a sofa, say “off” and encourage him to come to you. When he gets off the sofa, reward and congratulate him gently, and give him an easy to follow command, such as “sit” or “down”. That also deserves a small reward. If the dog refuses to get off the couch, physically force him to get off and say “off” as mentioned above. It is very important to remain consistent. If one of your family members does not follow this rule, you will get all the consequences! If the dog starts to growl when you try to get it off the sofa, don’t insist and take a step back. You should then seek advice from a professional trainer as soon as possible. Don’t try to fix aggression problems yourself, as that could make the situation worse.
As you have been able to see, learning how to train a dog actually isn’t difficult at all. There basically are only 2 requirements and these are, above all, patience and also enthusiasm. Enjoy your dog training sessions and let us know in the comments what the results were! Good luck