Obedience training can make a remarkable difference in a dog’s behavior, and every dog can benefit from obedience training. After successful obedience training, a dog that was once out of control becomes alert to the commands of his owner, and a dog with obedience training often calms down considerably.
There are dog obedience classes available for professional assistance in dog obedience training, but you can begin obedience training at home. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your dog picks up your commands, and your dog will benefit from obedience training at home before beginning formal obedience training classes.
The following information will help you teach your dog basic obedience commands. Most dogs will be able to pick up these obedience commands relatively fast. After your dog learns these basic commands, your dog will be ready to begin other training that will turn your dog into an obedient well-behaved family member that you’ll be proud to take in public.
Praising and Reprimanding Your Dog
Before beginning home obedience training with your dog, it’s important to know how to properly praise and reprimand your dog. When your dog successfully obeys a command, praise your dog calmly and quietly by gently rubbing his head and saying “good dog.” If you get too excited when your dog obeys a command, your dog will think it’s time to play, and this will only encourage hyperactivity.
If your dog is slow to learn obedience commands, don’t lose your patience with your dog. Never hit your dog or raise your voice when he doesn’t properly preform a specific command. This type of behavior won’t help your dog learn the command. It will only instill unnecessary fear in your dog. A dog who is scolded during obedience training will consider obedience training an unfavorable experience. The more upset you become the more nervous you’ll make your dog, and in the end, he won’t learn a thing.
Always use the same tone of voice and the same simple phrase when giving commands to your dog. Changing the pitch of your voice or changing the words in a command will only confuse your dog. Consistence and kindness are the keys to successful obedience training.
Before Beginning Obedience Training
People often make the mistake of trying to teach their dog commands without the use of a leash. A long leash is required to properly teach your dog obedience commands. A leash will allow you to guide the dog, and a leash will help him understand what he’s suppose to do.
A pocketful of treats is also quite helpful during obedience training. When your dog successfully executes a command, offer him a tasty treat as a reward as well as verbal praise and a pat on the head. Don’t offer a treat every time your dog obeys a command. Treats are helpful during training, but they shouldn’t be required after your dog understands what you expect of him.
Teaching a dog to sit is one of the easiest commands a dog will learn, and this command is often the first lesson in obedience training. A dog must first learn to sit on command before he will be able to learn other commands.
To teach your dog to sit, push your dog’s hind end to the floor, and gently pull up on his leash while commanding him to sit. Immediately upon sitting, praise your dog and offer him a small treat for his efforts. Before long he’ll know exactly what you want him to do when you tell him to sit.
Heeling is a command all dogs should learn. Heeling is helpful when going for walks in crowded locations, and walking with a dog who heals is much more pleasant than walking with a dog who pulls and meanders. A heeling dog walks next to the left leg of the owner, and the dog’s nose is slightly in front of the knee.
To teach your dog to heel, simply command your dog to sit next to your left leg. Command your dog to heel while using his name. For instance say, “Frisky, heel,” and begin walking energetically forward. If the dog pulls ahead or lags behind, sharply yank the leash and command him to heel.
If your dog doesn’t understand the command, walk briskly in the pattern of a figure eight. He will be forced to heal while walking in this pattern, and if you praise him he’ll eventually learn the command to heel. Eventually you’ll be able to walk your dog with slack in his leash while he heels properly.
Dogs instinctively want to follow their owners, but teaching a dog to stay really isn’t very difficult. Dogs live for love and praise, and even the most rambunctious dogs can learn to stay.
To teach your dog to stay, simply command your dog to sit next to your left leg while you loosely hold his leash. Place your palm downward, and a few inches from his nose. In a firm voice, tell him to stay. Walk several feet away, and if your dog stays where he is told, go back and praise him with a treat and a gentle pat on the head. If your dog follows, take him back to the original position and try it again. Eventually your dog will understand the command, and he’ll look forward to your praise.
A dog must first learn to stay before you begin teaching him to come to you on command. Once the dog is good at staying on command, walk several feet away from your dog with his leash in hand, and tell him to come while facing him and gently tugging on his leash. When the dog comes to you praise him with a tasty treat and a pat on the head. After he becomes good at responding to this command, you’ll be able to remove his leash and increase the distance.