Training can be rewarding for both dog and owner, encouraging your dog to think, engaging them in activity and encouraging good behaviour.
Training is much more effective when your dog is rewarded for good behaviour, be calm and consistent and never use physical force to get them to complete an action.
When teaching a new trick or obedience choose a quiet time with no distractions, use a trigger word to gain attention – sit, stay, lie down, paw etc and reward immediately the action is completed.
Sit – stand in front of your dog, show them you have a treat, move your hand from their nose to above their head, as their head follows the treat their bottom should hit the floor – reward with a treat. Repeat until they have the correct action and introduce the trigger word “sit”
Stay – this should be done over time building up to the desired reaction. stay by the side of your dog until they learn to stay still, add the trigger word “stay”, build up the time your dog stays still until you are able to move away – reward your dog for every correct action.
Leave – start with a treat in one hand and a boring, low value item in the other (a piece of paper, sponge or similar) hold the item out for your dog to see and sniff, once they move or turn away reward with the treat. Repeat until your dog is turning away every time, now you can introduce the trigger word “leave” Hold the item out, say “leave” and reward as soon as your dog turns away.
Once your dog has achieved this you can try dropping the item on the floor, when your dog moves towards it, say “leave” reward for the correct action. Over time increase the value of the item until they leave at every request, if at any time your dog is struggling to leave the item go back to a point where they were successful and try again.
These commands are a starting point for good behaviour and a foundation for a great relationship with your pet enabling you to teach new tricks or commands over time.
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