Whether you have just been introduced to your new puppy or you are getting ready to train your dog with some essential commands, training your dog is an important part of being a dog owner. No matter how young, old, big or little your pooch is, your dog and you could benefit from being trained and knowing basic commands. By teaching your dog commands like sit, wait and their name, you are teaching them to be obedient and safe. When first setting out to train your dog, it can be an overwhelming task which requires patience and resilience. It can be easy to throw in the towel, however with perseverance and love, the end result of an obedient dog is worth it.
You know your puppy or dog best, so you will be best equipped to know which reward they prefer, whether it be a dog treat or a new toy, the more favourable the reward, the more likely a successful outcome when training. Lavish praise and positive affirmations to your dog are also a great way to encourage your dogs training behaviour. By rewarding your dog, you are more likely to see repetition in their behaviour.
Keep Training Sessions Brief
Training your dog can be exhausting and not just for dog owners - your furry friend can find the process tiring too. Be sure to keep your training sessions quick but effective, we recommend 10-20 minutes per day is enough. Aim to keep your puppy interested and have fun with them. However, when you get the chance to repeat commands such as “sit” and “stay” throughout the day, reward your dog.
1. Train Your Dog To Sit
Training your dog to sit is one of the best commands to start with when training. It is a valuable and safe behaviour that is very beneficial. We recommend standing in front of your puppy with a treat that is clearly visible to them. As your dog raises their head to get their treat, his bottom will go on the floor. As his bottom sits on the floor, give them clear praise and offer them the treat. Practicing this regularly will encourage your dog to recognise the behaviour and do this unconsciously.
2. Train Your Dog To Stay
You can practice this command in regular intervals or as opportunities crop up, such as playing in the garden or the park. Even at meal times, making sure your dog waits before going outdoors or eating their food teaches them good behaviour. We recommend beginning by asking your dog to sit or lay down and giving them a hand signal - your palm facing your dog, to show action. By saying the word “stay” over time your dog will associate this word with the action, which is why it is best practice to wait a few seconds before rewarding them. Once a few seconds have passed and your dog remains in their seated position, you can reward them. It is important to reward them as they are still in this position, reinforcing the good behaviour.
3. Train Your Dog To Come When Called
This is a great command to teach your dog as it helps keep them safe and allows them the benefit of exercise free from their lead. However, it can be one of the more difficult commands, as you must convince your dog that coming back to their owner is the best thing in the world. Naturally, your dog needs an incentive to return - we recommend either their favourite treat or toy and ensuring they know you have either in your possession. Run away from your dog slowly but far enough away from them to be able to call their name and signal their return to you. Getting low to the ground is a great way to encourage this behaviour. As your dog comes back to you, reward them with their treat or favourite toy. Continue these actions gradually increasing the distance until you can call your dog in and out from the inside of the house. Try it with other friends and family members to increase the effectiveness.
If you are having trouble training your dog on any of the essential commands, why not enlist the help of a professional trainer or training class to allow your dog to interact with others. Training your puppy or dog is a difficult task so only train your puppy if you are both in the mood and feeling relaxed - ensuring you both get the best out of it and enjoy the process.
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