Starting Dog Obedience: Some Training Tips; Sit, Stay and Don’t Jump Are you dealing with a particularly stubborn or aggressive dog? No doubt, you have already considered the possibility of dog obedience training as a great option to civilize your dog in the best possible manner. While dog obedience may not solve every possible behavioral problem out there, it can certainly help you to build a more rewarding relationship with the dog. Obedience training works by motivating your dog to build both greater sense of trust, and a desire/reason to follow your commands. The idea is to give the dog what is considered (by your dog) a high value reward (something your dog really likes) for positive actions in the direction of obedience, so that these kinds of behavioral patterns are reinforced in the future. This will certainly require a lot of practice and patience your part to get right, but will inevitably enhance your relationship with your dog making such tasks as being exposed to public places like going to the veterinarian or grooming much easier in the future.
Getting Started On the Right Track with Dog Obedience Training So, you have just purchased your first adorable little puppy and are interested in teaching him many new tricks? What is best to get him started on? How can you teach him a generous level of obedience so that he will comply with all of your commands, without a good foundation? Great questions! If your puppy is not used to being handled or does not like being handled, the your first step in your dog training program is to get the puppy accustomed to being handled, so that touching them is something that they never will be afraid of and actually enjoy. This is also a necessity when the dog is ready to be groomed, as the dog will be less likely to make a fuss over it. To begin, brush your puppy’s hair very gently and talk quietly, in soothing terms. Say something that put’s your dog at ease, such as “isn’t this a wonderful feeling?” (In addition to having some goodie treats from your pocket.) The idea is to show him that touch, be it your hand or the brush, should always be something pleasant, and brings rewards. When they have become more accustomed to your loving touch you can move on to work on commands.
Teaching the Dog How to Sit on Command The sit command is one of the easiest to learn. You can begin by holding a treat in close proximity to the puppy/dog’s nose and then slowly, slowly raising it straight upward. If you have a clicker, (if you don’t know about clickers, see my article under Featured Content) use it now. The moment he sits, click and treat. Remember you get what you click, not what you want. So if you click when the puppy’s bottom is getting up off the floor, you are telling puppy that getting up is going to get him the click and treat. So click the moment his butt hits the floor. Timing is everything. Once you see that the motion of sitting is pretty well established, start to add the verbal cue, “sit.” Slowly fading the hand movement (remember to use the clicker. Please see my other posts).
Learning How to “Stay / Wait” Since dogs tend to prefer a movement over sitting, this command can be a little trickier to master. After sitting, start moving backward just for a count of one half beat. That’s it, just one half of a beat. Slowly. If the dog remains in the sitting position, immediately reward (click and treat) him! Just make sure you when you click and reward, the puppy or dog has to physically move from its sitting position, to get the treat. That’s what the click means, exercise finished. If he gets up, you waited too long, (no click, no treat). Try again, taking shorter beats. When he is good at one half beat, go to one beat. Keep trying to progress, going one half beat at a time. You are going to gain nothing by going too fast, so take your time and progress in thin slices not big lumps. Once you can tell he knows the point of the command, start adding a verbal cue such as “stay” or “wait.”
The “Don’t Jump!” Command Some dogs are naturally inclined to do a lot of jumping and it can be helpful to replace this behavioral pattern with one that involves sitting. The best way to approach this to teach the “stay” or “wait” command. He or she can’t be jumping up and hold a proper “stay” or “wait” command. Don’t forget to reinforce the good behaviors by sending your dog clicks and treat rewards. (Of course, using your dog’s “high value” favorite treats), in addition to lots of praise any time the direction is positive. These are just highlights of some of the most basic commands