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How to Begin Obedience Training for Your Dog

Nov 25, 2007
Simple commands such as "Come," "Sit," and "Lie down" should be taught at three to four months of age. Your puppy will learn very quickly to come when he is called if every time he answers the call, he receives a pleasant reward such as a piece of meat, dog candy, or a word of praise.

He will quickly learn the command "Sit" if his head is held high and a little pressure is applied to his hindquarters. He will learn the meaning of "Lie Down" if you press on his shoulders and pull down on his collar. When you do these things, keep telling the puppy that he is a "Good Boy."

The young puppy should learn not to pull on the leash. Use an ordinary leather collar for this training and tug gently on the leash until the puppy learns not to pull ahead.

When you train your dog obedience at six months, you need a chain slip collar for the big strong dog.

A chain leather one or a nylon slip collar is needed for the small dog or the puppy.

You need a leash a foot longer than you are tall. Get one with strong leather. A round one or a chain leash will hurt your hands.

How to Hold the Leash

Take the leash in BOTH hands. Hold your hands close to your body and keep your left elbow straight.

Know Your Dog's Temperament

Handle the shy dog gently. Gain his confidence through encouragement and praise. Pep up the lazy worker. Move quickly yourself and your dog will move quickly. If your dog is a clown, speak more sharply and correct with firmness. If he is stubborn, make each correction more severe.

While training, keep your dog's attention. When he looks away, nudge him with your knee. When he sniffs the ground, give the leash a tug. For all corrections, snap the leash! Never drag on it.

For best results, praise your dog when you give him a command. Praise him when you use the leash.


Heeling means to walk at your side without pulling. Every time your dog passes your knee, say "Heel," jerk the leash backward, and pat your side to encourage him to stay close.

If he passes your knee a second time, stand still and jerk the leash harder!

If your dog holds back instead, don't jerk the leash. Pull on it gently and keep saying "Good Boy! Good Boy!" After he takes a few steps, slacken the leash and pat your side.

While training, stand up straight and don't slow up when you turn!

Don't let your dog play with the leash. Don't let him climb on you.

Before long your dog will understand that if he runs ahead or darts off to the side, he will hear the word "Heel!" and feel a sharp tug on his collar. If he stays close to your knee, praise him and pat him.


To make your dog sit, shorten the leash in your right hand and pull up. Say "Sit!" and push on his hindquarters with your left hand. Dogs like to be praised, so while you make him sit, tell him he is a good boy.

If he braces himself, spank him once on his rear and tell him more firmly "SIT!" Now pat him with the same hand you spanked him with so he will think you spanked him in play. At the same time, push his hips over. Make him sit straight!!

In time and with patience, your dog will become accustomed to all of these commands, and will obey.
About the Author
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