How can I train my Dog?

Having pets can be a very rewarding experience, but if your pet does not obey you, or has disruptive behaviours, you may find yourself wishing you would never got that puppy. An untrained dog can also get into danger without its owner being able to prevent this. (Dog Training For Dummies:Amazon)

Choosing a dog

If you are considering getting a dog, which breeds are the most likely to be obedient and easy to train?

In general, breeds that were created for close co-operation with their handlers such as herding dogs or retrievers are among the easiest to train. Dogs that are bred to perform a task independently, such as terriers, require more energy and patience to train.

When should I begin training a dog?

Dogs learn from everything around them, so start early, thereby preventing your dog from falling into bad habits. Your pet wants to please, so show what you didn't like by saying "No" or "Bad" sharply. If necessary, physically restrain them whilst repeating the "No". Make sure that your reprimands are crisp, short, consistent and immediate. This prevents your dog from becoming confused. Only good behaviours should be rewarded, and this should take place immediately with lots of attention or a treat.

What should I teach my dog first?

In most cases, the best place to begin is by getting your dog accustomed to walking with you on his leash. The most important thing is that your dog should learn one command at a time only.

Usually, the basics of obedience are the come, sit, heel, down or lie down and stay commands. These are commands, not requests, so use a commanding tone so that your dog knows you mean business.

Additional commands may be needed, such as back, in the case of aggressive dogs or drop it, leave or give since dogs might pick up items that are not pet toys!

How should I teach my dog?

There are various gentle ways of showing your dog what is required from a command, such as placing your hand under the chin and pressing down gently but firmly on the hindquarters to demonstrate the sit command.

Placing a treat at your feet, pointing at it, and saying come, may even teach your dog to obey when you give the hand signal without the verbal command.

Teach stay by having your dog sit first. Then, place your hand, palm open in front of the dog's face and give the stay command. Back off slowly, and repeat the sit command followed by the stay when it attempts to follow you. Go only a step or two before rewarding the dog at first, then increase the distance gradually.

Research the accepted methods used for every command to make your task easier.

Make sure that your dog has positive associations with obeying your commands. Using treats as rewards will make your task easier. Ensure that your dog is rewarded immediately on obeying your command, and withhold the titbit or any other reward until your dog obeys.

When you reward the dog, change your tone of voice and repeat the command with the word Good to remind them that they are getting rewarded for obeying the command.

Repeating a command sternly and withholding a reward is considered to be sufficient as a reprimand by most dog trainers. At most, deliver a light but firm tap on the muzzle any painful punishment will destroy your dog's trust in you.

Jerking on the leash when giving a command will make your dog think it is being reprimanded and may confuse it. Only jerk the leash if your pet is misbehaving badly. This simulates the behaviour of your pup's mother, who will discipline her little ones with a gentle nip to the neck.

Be certain that your dog has mastered one command before moving on to the next one. The dog should be able to obey your command almost every time you give it before you should consider the command to be learned.

Don't overwork your dog. Training should be a fun bonding experience for both of you. Enjoy your dog, enjoy the training, and let your dog enjoy it too.

Recommended Resources

The Perfect Puppy: Take Britains Number One Puppy Care Book with You : Written By Gwen Bailey who was the Head of Animal Behaviour for The Blue Cross, one of Britains foremost animal welfare charities.

Go Back to Pets for more

Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice