It can be fun and exciting to train your dog. It is also a challenge. So, what is the first step to dog obedience training?
First, make sure your dog gets used to paying attention. Call your dog’s name and use certain key commands like “watch” and “look.” You have to have his attention before you can start the lesson.
It is best to do dog training in short sessions. There are attention-getting exercises you can do to make this easier. You can use one of his toys to get his attention, and when you get him to look, give him lots of praise. Through repetition of this simple exercise, you can lengthen the time that you want his attention. Always reward him for his good behavior.
Dogs are easily distracted. Pick a good place for training your dog where there aren’t kids, other animals or lots of noise. A lesson should never be more than 30 minutes. Beyond that, your dog will get distracted and restless.
Be patient. It may take a long time for him to pick up new things.
Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind during your training:
1) Don’t ever hurt your dog. If you do, he will become shy or overly aggressive, and this is definitely not what you want.
2) When he gets distracted, switch your voice’s tone a little to get him back on track.
3) Be consistent. Like kids, dogs get confused if you change things around.
Here are some suggestions on what commands to teach.
Sit - This should be the first command. When you say “sit,” gently push on his backside. When he does it successfully, reward him. Eventually he will associate the word with the motion.
Down - Dogs get excited and jump all over the place. This will help to control them. When they are jumping on you, say “down” over and over and don’t play with him. When he gets down, reward him. Dog training should be fun for both human and dog, otherwise one of them will lose lessons from the exercise. Take this important point on board, if you are not enjoying it, do you think your dog is? If not, how can he be learning well?
Stay - Again, this is a good dog controller. Use a dog treat and put it on the ground. When he starts to go for it, say “stay.”
It might help also to put your hand in the air when you say “stay.” Once he starts to get it, move further and further away. Keep repeating it until you can say “stay” from across the rooom and he’ll stay.
After your dog learns “sit” and “stay,” he will need to learn a command that means it’s okay to get up again. For this, you might want to use “come.” Change your voice when you say it and if he still doesn’t get it, pat your leg and motion for him to come.
After he has gotten these down, you might try “stand.” To do this, pat him on the chest and say “stand” in an excited voice, and he will begin to understand that it’s alright to get up and get a little excited.
Obedience training is fun, and it is exciting to watch your dog progress. Keep at it and you’ll see great results!
Don't forget to get yourself a good understanding of dog conditioning, welfare and health before you commence any training ventures. Important dog health care issues are imperative to understand before training any dog, otherwise you can do more harm than good, and nobody wants that, least of all the dog!