Do you ever wonder what it’s like to have a dog that knows all sorts of tricks? Maybe you’d like your own Lassie, but that seems almost impossible with your lovable but unruly mutt always messing around. Well, let me tell you a secret every talented dog started out just like yours. When they learn the basic dog commands, they can progress to the more complicated and entertaining tricks you’ve always wanted your dog to do.
How about you are you up for the challenge of training your pet? Sure you won’t get the results overnight, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor to pursue. As long as you are consistent and patient, you can accomplish great things in dog training.
Before you commence your personal dog obedience school, keep in mind one critical factor: you must establish your position as the alpha dog of the pack. This means that your dog knows you are his leader. Do this by being kind but strong and firm when giving the commands. Do not concede to your dog’s wishes when he whines or cries or throws a tantrum. The sooner he knows that you are the boss, the easier and faster the training will be.
Because dogs do not possess the same language skills as us humans, you can communicate with him through operant conditioning. This simply means that you reward him for good behavior and scold him for bad behavior. Simple enough right? Let’s see how this works with the simple, basic commands.
To teach him how to sit, you can say “Sit!” and gently put him in a sitting position. When he gets in the right position, praise him profusely and give him a treat. Use the exact command each time and pretty soon he will understand what you mean.
“Come!” is a command that can help save your dog from dangerous situations. Call out your dog’s name and say “Come!” while you run in the opposite direction. Let him chase you and when he catches up with you, give him a treat and praises. Make sure he hears you loud and clear so he can associate the word with the desired action.
Another potentially life-saving command is “Drop it!” Put a toy in his mouth. Dangle a doggie treat before him and say, “Drop it!” in exchange for the treat. When he drops the toy in his mouth, be sure to give him lavish praise. You can also do this for “Leave it!” Walk by a toy and when your pet goes near it, say “Leave it!” and gently pull him on his leash. When he walks away, give him doggie treats and more praise to encourage him that he did the right thing.
Dog training is extremely effective when you use positive reinforcement. Remember, be patient in teaching these dog commands and enjoy this bonding time with him. It won’t be long before you have a well-trained dog that anybody will be proud to have.