Any dog, regardless its size, shape or breed should be taught the five basic commands. Let's be honest, dogs are cute, but a trained dog is even more pleasant to be around. These commands, if taught correctly, will make your life and your dog's a very happy one.
It is very important that you train your dog with positive reinforcement. Find out, or you might already know what motivates your dog the most. For some dogs, is about food, and for other, affection will move him. Either form of reward you will be using to train your dog, remember that timing is the key factor when training your dog. If you reward your dog even 5 seconds later, you may be rewarding the wrong behavior. It is also important to fill yourself with a lot of patience and consistency. The more you practice with your dog, the better he'll get at learning the new command. Practice one million times until your dog automatically does the command you ask him to do.
The basic commands are "Sit", "Down", "Stay", "Come", "Heal".
Sit: Your dog pretty much sit and remains sat until you release him.
Hold a treat in your hand a bit higher above your dog's head, and slowly move the treat backwards over your dog's head. This will make your dog to sit. If this doesn't work, keep moving the treat above his head backward towards his tail until your dog sits. The second your dog sits, reward him with the treat and praise the behavior by saying "Sit!" Once your dog sits repeatedly, wait for a few seconds before rewarding, and remember to give the treat only when your dog is in the correct position.
Down: when your dog is sitting facing you. Hold his favorite treat on your hand and put it on top of his nose. Move the treat slowly straight down to the floor. Your dog should follow your hand and naturally drops to rest on his chest or belly. This is when you release the treat and praise him by saying "Down!" only and only when your dog is on the right position-down! Sometimes, your dog will follow your hand with the treat in with his head without lying down. If this happens, once you have lowered the treat to the floor, move the treat toward away from your dog. This will make your dog lay down, and it is when you release the treat and praise him.
If your dog is not responding to the food reward, it is fine to slightly push your dog's shoulder down and to the side. Once your dog drops to the floor, then immediately praise him and release the treat.
Stay: with this command, your dog will hold his position, which it's mostly when sat, until released.
Ask your dog to sit or lay down. You can also use a leash to keep control of your dog. Once your dog is sat or laid down, stand in front of him, and a firm tone of voice say "Stay" holding your palm flat, very close to his nose. Then, move to a short distance away from your dog, and keeping eye contact with your dog, and return to him. Praise with your dog by saying "Good", or "Great", and give him a treat. Once again, make sure you praise and give your dog the treat only when the dog remain sat and in the staying position. As you practice, increase the time you ask your dog to stay and the distance between you and him. Keep in mind that consistency will pay off and sooner than later your dog will begin to understand.
Come: This command is also called the "life saver". Thus, it is very important that your dog learn this command properly.
Attach the leash to your dog (preferably, a long leash) and walk away about 2 to 4 meters facing him. Say "Come" and pull him quickly in to you, where he will be praised. Make sure you sound happy and welcoming, but firm. And give the command only once. As your dog improves, increase the distance of the leash.
At some point you will be confident to practice off-leash, when so, do it in a fenced area. Give your dog the command and if he doesn't respond, go grab your dog and take him to the spot where you initially gave him the command. It is imperative to not praise or reward your dog until he obeys to your command on his own the very first time. Before practicing this command off-leash, make sure you practice as many times as possible with the leash on. Also, it is a recommendable to reinforce this command for life. Always.
Heel: this command may take some time for your dog to learn it. The purpose of this command is to stop your dog from pulling you. Be aware that you must make it clear who the pack leader is, which it should be you. When on a dog walk, your dog might pull because he simply is excited to be outside, or his walking pace is faster than yours.
Start by having your dog sit next to you on your left side. Walk your dog always on your left side, this action will send your dog the message that you are on charge. Once your dog is calmly sitting next to you on your left. You step out first, and say" Heel" while you start walking. Say "Good Heel" if he walks behind or next to you. If your dog tries to walk in front of you, tag his leash firmly but gently. This should make him to back off. If your dog is pulling you badly. You can stop this behavior by simply stopping every time your dog starts pulling. This will give your dog the message that you aren't going anywhere if he keeps pulling. You will need to fill yourself with tons of patience. But it does pay off. Your dog will learn.
These methods are used at Manhattan Paws Walkers, a NYC dog walker and puppy training Service.
Vera Torres is a professional dog walker at Manhattan Paws Walkers, a NYC Dog Walkers service, and puppy training tips and tricks resource.
Visit our site at http://www.manhattanpawalkers.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6595906
When Puppy Antics are NOT Cute.
Between three and six months old, puppies can develop fear aggression around other dogs, cats, strangers, grandma...oh, there are so many triggers. And we are inclined to excuse it so readily. The nip is so small; isn't it cute to see how they run and hide behind their favorite human? No, it is not! This willful adolescent behavior is unacceptable in any environment and indulging it can lead toward adult problems that land that formerly cute puppy in the shelter. A stern "NO" and removal of the puppy from the group to a quiet spot where he will be ignored for a while are the kindest reactions.
Helen Fazio and her dog Raja are world travelers. Click here to visit their blog
Snacks fuel much of our relationships with our dogs, especially dogs in training, since a snack is the reward of choice for most training programs. Nothing really wrong with that, but if poochie is getting pudgy, you might try breaking up those rice crackers into small bites as rewards. Same as it is for humans, the crunch is all there, but the calories are not.
by Helen Fazio, Travel Dog Blogger, www.traveldogbooks.com
How to Train a Dog and Establish the Rules of the House
If you have no idea how to train a dog, fear not! Whether you seek effective puppy house training methods or basic dog obedience training, training your dog will probably be easier than you think.
Puppies Puppy training should always focus on socialization and the prevention of unwanted behaviors. The jumping that may be cute in your puppy will not be cute when he grows into a 175 lb. adult Saint Bernard. Rather than focusing on puppy training obedience, you should concentrate on puppy socialization and the prevention of problem behavior through rewarding desirable behaviors, and removing reinforcement for unwanted behaviors through extinction, management, or negative punishment (more on this later!)
How To Train A Dog Step 1: Reward Desirable Behavior It is a human tendency to focus on what we don't like, often to a fault. The crux of effective dog training, whether you are house training your dog or teaching obedience behaviors, is to never miss an opportunity to reward your dog for doing the right thing. Dog owners generally like dogs to sit politely, lie down, go settle on a mat or in a crate, or be quiet - remember to click and treat your dog for these behaviors to increase the likelihood that your dog will offer the in the future.
Depending on the situation, the right thing may vary. For dogs that are excited and jump to greet visitors, the right thing may be "four on the floor." Click and treat your dog for all four paws on the floor when a new person approaches or enters the house. If your dog is usually barky when she sees another dog, click her for eye contact or for looking at another dog without barking.
Concentrate on what you want your dog to do instead of what you want your dog to stop doing. For problem behaviors like barking, nipping, jumping, or growling, think of what you would prefer the dog do instead and develop a training plan to get there. If you need help, find a qualified trainer in your area to assist you.
How To Train A Dog Step 2: Dealing With Unwanted Behavior Extinction: Extinction involves the principal of "non-punishment, non-reinforcement," essentially, ignoring the behavior. A lot of dogs offer unwanted behaviors because they've "paid off" before - dogs pull on leash because it gets their owners to move forward/faster on walks, dogs bark for attention, jump to greet, etc. Often, ignoring the behavior is the best bet - wait the dog out and then reinforce when he offers an alternative behavior (sits instead of jumping, for example). Extinction requires some patience, especially if the behavior has "paid off" for quite some time.
Watch out for extinction bursts. If the dog is used to getting your attention through barking, and suddenly you ignore the barking, the barking may intensify before it goes away. A human example is a soda machine - if for 20 years your dollar got you a soda and suddenly, no soda comes out, you may put in a few dollars before you start kicking the soda machine in frustration. Then, you give up and try the soda machine on the next floor, which is operating correctly. You must be prepared to ride out the extinction burst or the unwanted behavior may return, stronger than before.
Management: Does your dog counter surf? Get the food off the counter! Dogs counter surf to get food. Managing the situation means crating or gating your dog when food is on the counter, and removing the temptation of engaging in the unwanted behavior by cleaning up when you are not there to supervise. Management is preventing your dog from rehearsing unwanted behaviors.
Training Alternative, Incompatible Behavior - A dog cannot jump or mount if he is settling on a mat. A dog cannot bark if he is fetching a buster cube that fills his mouth. A dog cannot be aggressive with another dog when he is focused on targeting his nose to your hand. If your dog is doing something you don't like, think of what you would like him to do instead and train that alternative, incompatible behavior to fluency!
Negative Punishment: In laymen's terms, negative punishment means a time out for the dog. Negative punishment is very effective for self-reinforcing behaviors - behaviors dogs do because they're "fun." Barking, jumping, resource guarding and nipping can be self reinforcing. For guidance on when to use negative punishment as opposed to extinction - check out Laura VanArendonk Baugh's article on eliminating unwanted behavior in a toddler.
This is but a simple introduction to training your dog. For more help, find a trainer near you. Remember, if the training isn't fun for you and your dog, you're not doing it right! A good trainer will produce dogs that love to work and people that love training their dogs. If either of these elements is missing, seek a new trainer today.
AS FEATURE IN http://www.dogster.com/articles/How-to-Train-a-Dog-and-Establish-the-Rules-of-the-House-101
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