Dog Training Commands
To teach any command, you should follow these simple steps:
1. Decide what you would like your dog to do.
2. Make up an auditory and/or visual sign to initiate the desired action.
The auditory command should have his name in it (e.g. "Buddy, sit"). Your voice should be of right tone and volume (e.g. don't mumble, shout).
3. Say the command only once.
4. To help the dog make the association of the command to the action, make your dog perform the action after the command is given.
5. Use reinforcements for good behaviors (e.g. petting him or treats)
6. After your dog follows the commands consistently, use distractions and see if he still obeys.
To teach your dog how to sit, first place a leash on the collar of your dog. Say the command in a firm voice once. Pull up in the leash while pushing down on his back until he is in the sitting position. For larger dogs, if you are unable to push the dog down into the sitting position, and easy way to do this is to walk the dog forward a couple steps and this will allow you to easily push the dog's rear down. If your dog is fidgeting around and won't sit, keep a firm grip on the leash while pulling upward. After your dog is in the position, praise the dog, but do not let him get up. This enables the dog to associate your command with this position. After a few seconds, you can allow your dog to get out of that position by petting under his chin. This tells the dog it is okay to move. Continue this process until your dog obeys the command.
After you teach your dog to sit, you can teach him to stay. First, have him sit. Then command him to "Stay" while you stand in front of him with the leash over his head. You should act distracted (e.g. look the other way, tie your shoes). if your dog gets up, you should pull the leash upwards until the dog sits again. Prevent your dog from lying down by holding the leash high enough that he can't comfortably lie down. After some time sitting and not getting up, you can pet under its chin, which the dog will associate with being okay to move. After your dog successfully stays seated, you can eventually move one or two paces away. You can also start to use other distractions like food or toys. The dog should still obey your command and stay in a sitting position, despite the distractions.
Teaching your dog to lie down starts out similarly to the sit routine. Command your dog to lie down. You should then force the dog to lie down by placing your hand above his shoulder blades and pushing down. This can be very tricky. Some dogs my hold their front legs very rigid that it is too difficult for you to push them down. If this is the case, you should push down on the shoulder blades while you lift up on of their legs. You may want to wear gloves and long sleeves because the dog may resist you by flailing its paws. When the dog is in the proper position, you may reinforce the dog, but don't allow him to move until you pet him underneath the chin, which signifies he can get out of whatever position he may be in.
After teaching the dog to lie down using this method, the next step is to teach him to lie down without pushing his front down. You should pull the leash diagonally toward the back. The first few times, you should push down on its front so he knows to lie down. After that, he should associate the diagonal pull on the leash and the command with the proper action.
After you dog learns this, you can teach him to lie down by just using words. To do this, you should command him to go down quickly several or more times a minute.
Teaching your dog to get up from lying down or the sitting position is very similar to the previous methods. Hold his collar and give the command. Pull forward on the collar slightly. As the dog stands, reinforce his behavior, and make him stand still for about 20 seconds. If the dog tries to move, jerk the collar in the opposite direction until he stands still. After he stands still for about 20 seconds, release him by petting under his chin.
After you dog consistently obeys the stand command, you can teach him the stay command. Have your dog stand. Walk around your dog while one hand is firmly holding his collar prohibiting him to move, while the other hand is petting and reinforcing him for not moving. After you dog stands without moving, you can try walking around him, without petting him.
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