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Dog Training - a Few Helpful Tips

Jan 29, 2008
The first thing you need to understand about your dog is that it's a dog. Without training, he or she will behave like a dog. They might destroy your belongings, bark a lot, dig holes in your yard, jump over a fence, or fight other dogs.

While obedience training will not solve all these problems, good training can eliminate many of them.

First, obedience training should be rewarding and fun for your dog. Also, a well-trained dog can make living together more enjoyable, and help the dog become more confident.

Start with a class

The best way we have found to teach a dog obedience is a dog obedience training class for the basics. You can use these classes to establish things such as sit-stay and come, and then do more teaching and training in your home. Experience has taught me that the best time to train a dog is when there are the fewest number of distractions. Once you have taught the dog simple commands such as sit-stay and come, you can take it to different places where there are distractions. You may find that it feels like you're starting all over with the training, but it's not important that your dog stay when it's just you and the dog. It needs to stay when there are other people or other dogs around.

Keep the training sessions short and sweet. You might also integrate training into your daily routine. For example, we once had a Dalmatian who had serious problems with setbacks day. So I would take him with me every morning when I went out for my daily jog and we would practice sit-stay at every intersection. He enjoyed jogging with me, and after a few weeks became much better at sit-stay.

Simple training exercises

You might also try simple exercises like having the dog heel while you walk from your bedroom to the kitchen. Try down-stay while you're shaving or sit-stay when preparing your coffee.

Went the two of you are in the car is the best time to practice car obedience training. The best time to teach down-stay is not when you are trying to change lanes on a busy freeway. It's much better to find time to teach these obedience commands in the car long before you need them.

Reward, reward and then reward some more

Probably the single most important part of training is to reward your dog for good behavior. If you ever watch one of the big dog shows such as initial blow to Madison Square Garden first thing you notice is that the handler rewards his or her dog almost as if they, the more times you reward your dog to quicker If you watch one of the big dog shows, such as the National Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, the first thing you may notice is that the handler rewards his or her dog almost constantly. In fact, the more times you reward your dog, the quicker it will learn the appropriate behavior. It is also important that you set up the same situations repeatedly so that your dog will get plenty of practice at doing the right thing.

Praise him up

Be sure to always praise the dog for good behavior. It is sometimes easy to forget to praise your dog for good behavior because it goes unnoticed. On the other hand, bad behavior gets our immediate attention. We tend to not notice when the dog is lying quietly by our side, but barking gets our attention immediately. Take notice when your dog does something as simple as chewing on its own toys and be sure to praise and reward this behavior.

Say no to a lot of "no, bad dogs"

Finally, understand that if your dog is constantly told reprimands such as "no, stop that, get off, bad dog!" it will get used to it and the reprimands will become meaningless and ignored. On the other hand, if most of our interactions with the dog yield praise for good behavior, then occasional reprimands will take on much more meaning. When you need to reprimand the dog, show it immediately what you want done, then reward him for getting it right. For example, if you catch your dog chewing on your furniture, tell the dog "off." Then direct it to his own toys, get him to chew on them, and praise him for doing so.

Teaching a dog to be obedient takes time and effort. Skipping on either may result in a dog that is very difficult to live with. On the other hand, if you spend the time and are patient, you're likely to end up with a dog that is a wonderful and well-trained companion.
About the Author
Douglas Hanna publishes the popular website , a leading provider of news and information about dogs and dog houses. This site includes a collection of articles about dogs which can be accessed at

Hanna lives in Littleton CO with his wife and two dogs. He is also the author of nearly 200 ezine articles on a variety of subjects.
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