It is easy to assume you might not have the skills for teaching dogs basic obedience, but you won’t know until you try. Depending on the type of breed and your level of patience, it shouldn’t be too challenging to establish some of the fundamentals. And to help you, this article will outline some tips to get you there. And remember, you need to be confident and establish yourself as the pack leader. Otherwise, your puppy is going to wipe the floor with you. Just like they require love and attention, they also require a confident and authoritative voice every now and again for some guidance.
1. Get The Right Tools
Teaching dogs basic obedience are made easier with tools and some extra knowledge. In other words, do a little research regarding the breed of your dog, because this will tell you a lot about their personality. For example, some types are very playful and make it a little harder for owners to maintain control. Then you get breeds that are naturally good at listening and following orders.
If you know the characteristics of the breed, it will give you more insight on how to approach them. Also, other tools like healthy snacks (food reward system)can be incredibly helpful in keeping the dog motivated and focused.
2. How To Teach Sitting
Teaching your dog to sit is typically one of the first obedience commands because it is effortless and straightforward.
All you need is one of those “tools” mentioned earlier (doggy treat), and you are good to go. Now, hold the doggy treat a few inches from his or her nose. Then, gradually lift the treat and make sure they follow it with their eyes.
You’ll notice that when the treat gets a little higher than their head, they will naturally lower their back and move to a sitting position. And the moment you start seeing this movement, you say sit.
After a few times, the dog will associate the sound with the movement, and without the doggy treat, they will react to the command.
3. Lying Down
This obedience trick works on the same principle as the sit command, and it also starts with a doggy treat.
Place the treat on the floor, near the body of your dog, but not too close for him or her to reach. Now, while they are focused on the treat, pull it away slowly, still keeping it on the ground. And just like sitting, the dog needs to lie down for him or her to get the treat.
And just like with the sit command, tell them to lay down as they start going through the motions. If you do this regularly enough, the habit will sink in, and they will react to your command without the need for a treat.
What one thing dog owners usually struggle with is getting their dogs to listen while taking a walk. Their surroundings get them all excited, making it harder to maintain control.
However, there is a fundamental obedience lesson you can implement on your next walk, and it involves standing in place. It is commonly referred to as the stay command.
For example, if your dog wants to go in a direction he or she shouldn’t, just stand in place and hold the leach. At the same time, you want to establish the “stay” sound. This means not following them where they want to go, but getting them to follow you. So, every time they lose focus and want to head in a different direction, just stop, tighten the leach, and tell them to stay.
Some dog owners like to use a “step back” as well, but this is up to you and your dog. The step back is sort of like a small punishment for going in the wrong direction. You want them to know that if they stray, they will be punished by losing distance. In other words, you stop and tighten the leash, then take two or three steps back.
5. Work With An Expert
Dog trainers can help you train your canine. You’ll want to look for a top-rated trainer so you can be sure you are working with someone who not only has experience, but also has methods that are supported by the owners of the dogs.
It is important to note the working with a trainer doesn’t exclude you as the owner from any work in the instruction process. With the exception of a few organizations, working with a trainer means taking the lesson with your four-legged friend and then reinforcing what was learned in between those lessons, at home with your dog. Arizona’s Scottsdale dog training expert Dianne Marcinizyn from Find Your Inner Dog is one of those top-rated trainers that you could work with in that effort.
Always Be Loving And Patient
The two things you should always remember when teaching obedience to your dog is to be patient and loving. Instead of getting them to fear you, let them respect and love you back.