Training your dog requires large doses of patience and repetition, but it is well worth it. Your dog will be happy, responsive, and well adjusted. He will know his place in your family – and your heart.
Once your dog learns these five important commands, both he and you will be happier and enjoy your relationship even more. Remember: patience and repetition pay off. Yelling and hitting definitely do not.
If you want to walk a dog that does not pull or lunge (both unpleasant and dangerous), this is an important command.
While standing still, pull the dog’s leash so that the dog’s right shoulder is even with your left leg. Praise and reward him.
Start walking. Say “heel!” When he lunges forward correct and reward him. Repeat until he walks by your side easily and calmly.
Say “sit!” and as you do, pull up on the leash and push down on your dog’s rump. Give him a treat and lots of praise. Repeat until he sits on command.
3. Lie Down
This is a continuation of the sit command. When he learns to sit, teach him to lie down. Say “down!” and as you do, pull down on the leash so that the dog’s nose (and forelegs) reach the ground.
Reward, praise, repeat!
This is the most difficult of all commands. No dog wants to stay in one place while you walk away.
Hold the leash, attached to the collar, above his head and say “stay!” Put your hand in front of him in the classic “stop” command.
Begin circling the dog and correct his attempts to follow you by pulling on the leash. Reward him.
Over time, extend the distance between you and the dog. Say “stay!” and use the hand command.
This is essential for all dogs, and should be taught once your dog learns to stay.
Walk away from the dog. After a few minutes, bend down, make eye contact, and open your arms. Say “come!” Praise him lavishly but only once he actually reaches you!
Repeat and repeat. Eventually, your dog will come to you whenever he hears your call.
Practice and Patience
Your dog will not be trained after one or two sessions. Work with him daily for about 10 minutes. Don’t expect him to be trained for months – and give him refresher courses regularly. Always praise him.
Obedience classes are great ideas. You will learn useful ways to train your dog and he will enjoy himself.
Once your dog is trained to respond to these five basic commands, you can teach him many more tricks. Every minute you spend with the dog is a minute he will love!
You will come to enjoy the time just as much!