Lifestyles for Better Living

Dog Training Tips

Training Exercises

Dogs, like little children, tend to have a short attention span. It's crucial to have your dog's attention and to end your training before they lose attention. Puppies are already hyperactive, and can be over stimulated.

Using a touch and simple sounds is the best way to communicate naturally with dogs. They don't understand words, so they must be conditioned to what the sound means.

A clicker can also be used. Use it to make a "clicking" sound to acknowledge that the dog has done the behavior you asked for. Then give the reward and praise. The dog begins to associate the sound with a treat, which makes them want to keep doing it over and over again.

Try to always use hand signals with your commands. In fact, I find it more useful to train your dog using hand signals before teaching them with word commands. Once your dog knows the behavior that's expected, it's easier for him to associate with the word used.

There are many different techniques for teaching basic commands like "sit." To make him obey the sit command, call your dog's name and use the hand signal you chose along with the command sit. Gently but firmly push down on his hindquarters, while gently pulling up on the leash. When he does the sitting position right, use the clicker, praise him and give him a treat.

Puppy on a Leash
If you have a puppy, first let him get used to a collar and leash by itself. Let him run around the house or yard wearing the collar and with close supervision, dragging the leash.

While holding the leash, you can keep a treat in your hand. Hold your hand by your side at about the level of your dog's head to get him walking alongside you. Then make him stop and sit for the treat.

When walking your dog, it's important to keep the leash short and loose. When it is necessary to make a correction, do it quickly, and then relax the leash again.

Mastering a walk with your dog is one of the most beneficial things you can do for bonding with your companion.

To make your dog stay, first have him sit. Then use your hand signal while telling him to stay. When he does, give him praise. If he does not stay, put him back in position and start again. Again, be patient, but firm.

Just like in the stay command, you start by putting him in a sitting position. With your dog sitting, give the down command, then slowly push on his shoulders and push him off balance at the same time.

If your dog learns this command, you can keep him away from many bad habits. First pick a mat or dog bed that is easily movable.

Put your dog on a leash and walk him toward the bed. When you are about two feet away, give the command, "place". When your dog gets on the bed, stand there with him for about 20 seconds, then give him the command to release, ("release" or "okay") and guide him away from the bed.

If the dog leaves the mat before given the release command, say "no" and take him back to the mat.

Repeat this exercise several times a day. Gradually, give the place command further from the bed and leave him for a longer period of time.

These are just a few training exercises that you can do to develop a well-behaved dog. First and most important, be patient! Your dog will love to please you, he just has to be given time to learn what is expected.

For more information and help on dog training and health, these Nook books are also available at Barns and Noble.
You and Your Dog: Training and Behaviors
Ultimate Guide To Mastering Pet Training: With A Clicker
The Ultimate Guide for A Healthy Dog

  You can also buy and download these and other books as a PDF File from Paypal.

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