A poorly trained dog is a constant source of frustration for owners and many relationships are broken this way. Owners can’t understand that problems may have arisen because they haven’t trained their dogs in the correct way. Properly training your dog is of paramount importance for a happy relationship between you and your pet.
Basic commands like ‘Stay’ not only help owners to control their pets but it can be vital for a dogs safety in various environments like traffic or from other dogs. We will give some guidelines on how you can instill basic obedience training in your dog but before we proceed please note that;
- You should always use the dog’s name when giving a command. This way he will know who you are talking to.
- Be consistent in the type of words used in commands. Trying to use two different words for the same action will only confuse the dog.
- Give one command at a time.
- Always reward your dog either verbally or with a treat when he performs the task properly.
- Don’t use a harsh tone. Many dogs have the feelings of children and a stern attitude will only make them fear you.
- Never ever beat your dog even if that is only symbolic and not really hurting him.
a) The “Come” command
The easiest command for a dog to learn is coming to you. Divide his meal into 8 or 10 parts (depending on how many times you want to practice with him) and take him to a quiet area with a house line. With a food treat visible in your hand, step back and call out your dog’s name to attract his attention. Clearly command “Come” as he approaches. Hold out the food treat to him as he moves towards you. Encourage him with praise for correct execution. Kneel down to get closer to his level once the dog reaches you, Hand him the treat and keep praising him with nice words. Once he starts to get the hang of it try to take him to different places and repeat the exercise.
b) The “Sit” command
Put a lead on your dog’s collar and hold it in one hand. Now give the command to “come” while holding a clearly visible treat in your other hand. Slowly move the food treat above his head as he approaches. The dog will instinctively sit down to keep his eyes on the rising treat in your hand. Once you start to see his hindquarters bend say “sit”. If the dog is reluctant to sit you can apply gentle pressure on his back legs to encourage the dog to sit down.
c)The “Stay” command
Choose a spot with few distractions and command your dog to “Sit” while holding a treat in your hand. Once he sits down show him the palm of your hand and give the command “stay” and take a few steps back. While this method encourages the dog to stay in his spot, it won’t be apparent what you want and he will begin to walk towards you after your first few steps. When the dog starts to move stop and begin the exercise again. Increase the distance that you move away from the dog until you are at the limit of the line. Reward the dog once he sits and stays obediently. Keep the stay brief when starting out and prolong the duration gradually until he understands what is required.
d) The “Lie Down” command
First order your dog the sit command and then kneel down by his side. Hold his collar in one hand and a treat in the other directly in front of his nose. Start to move the treat downwards and the dog will follow with his nose. Move the treat hand forwards and downwards. Once the dog starts to lie down give the command “Lie down”. Reward him once he is completely lying down. Repeat the exercise until he responds to words alone. Occasionally the dog will fail to follow you correctly or refuse the command altogether. In this case make him sit and kneel by his side as before. Gently raise his forelegs with the palms of your hands so that he is now in a begging position. Lower him into a lying position as you give the command “Lie down”. You can apply gentle pressure on his back to keep him lying down.