Dog Training – 4 Quick Steps to Good Doggie Manners
By Marilyn Burnham
After you’ve housebroken your dog, he needs to learn four behaviors to be a well-mannered pet. You can’t teach them to him all at once, however. Focus on one behavior for a week or so. If your dog is mastering one behavior, add another.
If you have the time, work with your dog twice a day for about 15 minutes. “All work and no play,” applies to him as well. Use your dog’s leash and training collar during each training session.
1. Sit. This is usually the easiest behavior for your dog to learn, and most trainers start with it. There are two ways to teach it, but both involve you taking the slack of the leash with your right hand. Don’t pop the leash.
In method one, use your right hand to offer a treat slightly over and behind your pet’s head. Give the command, “Sit.” This will cause your dog to sit because he’s off balance. Praise him and give him the treat. If you are training a puppy, use this method but without the training collar and leash.
In method two, you press your dog’s rump, exerting gentle pressure down. The first few times he may not sit down completely, but praise him and give him a treat anyway.
Only say the command one time. Give your pet up to 30 seconds before trying again. He may want to think about it. If he doesn’t sit, tell him, “No,” and try again.
Develop a word to let you dog know that he doesn’t have to sit anymore. Called a “release” word, it’s similar to the military term “at ease.” Most trainers just say, “OK.”
2. Stay. “Stay” is a command used in conjunction with another, like sit. You are asking your dog to hold the position you put him in. After your dog learns “Stay” in relation to another particular command, it’s easy for him to understand what to do when he’s in a different position.
To teach your dog to “Stay,” start by commanding your dog to sit at your side. Hold the slack leash in a straight up from his head. Hold an open palm in front of his nose and say “Stay.” Step in front of your pet so you can block his forward motion. If he moves, give him the stop signal with your hand again, and repeat “Stay.” If he stays, move back alongside him, wait a second, then praise him.
Once you get your dog to stay, build up time and distances slowly. When you can get him to stay at the end of a six-foot lease, tug a little. If he moves, correct him by telling him, “No.”. Repeat and try again. Continue to work on this with a 20-foot retractable leash if you want.
3. Come. This is probably the most important command you’ll teach your dog, because a loose dog can easily be injured or killed. Knowing this command could literally save your pet’s life. Many dog owners think this is the hardest thing to teach your dog, but actually it’s the easiest! All you have to do is ask your dog to sit while he’s on the leash, call his name, say “Come,” and praise him when he comes to you. Use longer and longer leashes over time, and your dog will come when called.
So why is it that so many dogs bolt out open front doors and take off for the hills? Some dogs are bored. If your pet isn’t stimulated enough, he’ll head for the places that he smells may have more entertainment – like your neighbor’s yard with its inviting trash cans. Keeping your dog stimulated helps.
Mostly, bolting dogs that won’t come back to their owners are the result of poor dog owner training. Your pet, having been mightily scolded for tearing off down the street, narrowly escaping speeding cars, chasing the neighbor’s cat and knocking over trash cans, knows he’ll be in big trouble. The key is, once you’ve cornered the escapee, DO NOT scold him or yell at him. As hard as it is, try not to show him your anger or fear. Squat down, open your arms, and every time he moves toward you, praise him more. It is important to never, ever correct or punish a dog that comes to you, even if it’s too late for the trash cans. Try positive methods instead like commanding him to sit – most dogs do this well. Some errant dogs respond to their owners running away from them.
Other dogs don’t know the “Come” command. That’s because you probably just call your dog’s name to have him come to you. It’s important to use the “Come” command daily around the house.
If you really are a remedial dog owner trainee, your dog won’t come because you haven’t been training him or showing him that you are the leader of the pack. Your dog has to respect you and know what you expect of him to listen to your commands.
Be sure to train your dog to “Come” under all kinds of circumstances, including when other animals are present, when there are a lot of distractions, and in different settings. If you don’t teach your dog anything else, teach him to come to you for his own safety.
4. Off. This command teaches your pet not to jump on people or furniture. Your pet will try to do jump on people to elevate his order in the pack – it’s normal dog behavior. It’s up to you to remind him that you are the leader. Keep your dog’s leash on him when he’s in the house. When he jumps up on you or other people, snap the leash to engage the slip collar, and say, “Off.” Praise your dog when he stops jumping.
This is the same command you use when you want your dog off a piece of furniture. Simply take him by the collar, say, “Off,” lead him off the sofa and praise him. Remember, if you let your dog on your bed or furniture, it’s important to remind him that he has to be invited. If he jumps up next to you uninvited, be consistent with the “Off” command.
You’ll notice a difference almost immediately. Don’t stop the daily training sessions. He needs reminders, just like humans do!
Author: â€˜Dog Owners Boot Camp’
The How To Guide, Dog Training Secrets Professional Dog Trainers Don’t Want You To Know!
For More Information On Dog Training
Marilyn Burnham was the owner operator of 4 successful dog grooming stores in British Columbia, Canada for more than a decade. To spend more time with her children Marilyn made the decision to sell her business in the mid 90’s. Get a copy of her book: â€˜Dog Owners Boot Campâ€™ The How To Guide, Dog Training Secrets Professional Dog Trainers Donâ€™t Want You To Know!
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