Dog Obedience Training Tips

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Basic dog obedience training can be exciting as well as challenging. This article offers dog training tips for simple commands.

Because dogs have short attention spans, they get distracted easily. Choose a place that is free of distractions such as other pets, children, or loud noises. Make all training sessions short (10 minutes or less) followed by free play.

To get your dog to pay attention to the commands, start with attention exercises. One example is to hold a toy or dog treat in or near your mouth and then call your dog’s name followed by a keyword such as “watch” or “look.” Each time your dog takes the time to watch, praise him.

The more you do this exercise, the longer your dog will pay attention to you. Try getting him to watch for at least a minute, always letting your dog know that he is doing a good job by rewarding him.

Remember be consistent with the commands and have fun!

Basic Dog Obedience Training: Sit

For basic dog obedience training, start with “sit.” Have a yummy treat in your fingers and place your hand near your dog’s nose. Say, “sit,” and move the treat over your dog’s head toward his tail. As he follows the treat, he should sit naturally (you can also gently push your dog’s backside down).

When he successfully sits, immediately give him the treat and verbal praise in an excited voice, saying something such as “good dog!” When you are first teaching this behavior, always give the food treat and the verbal praise. When your dog seems to associate the word sit with this behavior, gradually wean him off the treats.

You may also want to train your dog to a release command, such as “okay,” so he knows when he can discontinue each behavior.

Basic Dog Obedience Training: Down

The second command is “down.” It’s important to teach you dog not to jump on people. When your dog jumps up, tell him “down.” Do not pet your dog or act excited to see him while he is on you. Continue to tell him “down,” and even place his legs down if you have to.

Basic Dog Obedience Training: Stay

To teach “stay,” place your dog in either the sitting or down position. With a yummy treat in one hand, ask your dog to stay while placing your other hand with the palm open in front of his nose (the stop signal). When your dog stays for one or two seconds, give him the treat and verbal praise, and use your release command. Gradually increase the length of the stay.

Basic Dog Obedience Training: Lie Down

To teach “lie down,” first get your dog in the sitting position. Hold a yummy treat in your fingers and place your hand near your dog’s nose. Say, “lie down,” and bring the treat straight down to the floor. As your dog follows the treat, he should naturally place himself in the down position.

As soon as he gets in the proper position, reward him with the treat and verbal praise. If you are using a release command, you can now use it to let your dog know it is okay to stop lying down. As with all commands, as he begins to associate the behavior with the verbal command, wean him from the food reward.

Be Patient

If your dog isn’t learning quickly, you may become frustrated. Don’t take that frustration out on your animal. A few things to remember before starting your basic dog obedience training:

  • Never cause pain to your dog (this will cause him to shy away or become aggressive).
  • If your dog begins to become distracted, change the tone of your voice (this doesn’t mean raising it).
  • Be consistent (animals are like children, if you’re not consistent, they will become confused as to what is expected).
Updated: December 28, 2013 — 8:18 pm

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