Training your dog doesn't need to be difficult or complicated.
You might be surprised how much smarter
your dog is than you may be giving her credit for…
This ONE simple technique can be used to train your dog
to learn just about any behavior you want to teach.
Dogs are incredibly quick learners. Their main goal in life is to please, so with the right reward system in place, your dog can be trained in practically no time at all! Training your pup can begin as early as just a few weeks old. As soon as they are able to get up and about on their own, you can begin implementing good behavior techniques. Simple commands at first of course, and don't expect it to be perfect. They are just learning about their new world, after all. But they can begin learning commands like sit, stay, lay down & paw as well as early potty training, with some simple but effective training methods.
PLEASE TAKE A SEAT
This command is about as old school as it can get, and if taught the right way, amazingly simple for your dog to learn. The first thing you need to do is come up with a reward system. To be effective, the reward has to outweigh whatever possible distraction your dog might be facing. Small training treats like Zuke's Mini Naturals Wild Rabbit Recipe Dog Treats work really well. They have a yummy, meaty smell that will keep your dog's interest and are small enough to use several in each training session without overloading your dog with too many treats. Because they're soft, you can break them down to even smaller nibbles as well.
To teach "SIT" …while having your pup facing you, get down to her level and have a treat in one hand, near enough that she can smell it. Hold it tightly between your thumb and forefinger, so she can't get it until she's earned it. She should be getting excited and may start trying to get the treat from you by nibbling, licking and pawing at your hand. Keep repeating the word "SIT" as she continues to fuss with different ideas on how to convince you to give her that treat. She is going to try all kinds of angles and tactics to get it from you and eventually she will stumble upon sitting down. The very SECOND her little bootie goes to a sit position, RELEASE the treat and sing her praises including "Good Girl SIT!!" (or boy for the little fellas, LOL). Continue this routine several times and within a few times of getting the reward for the behavior, she will begin to catch on to how she can earn that treat for herself! Practice with her several times a day and several days in a row, so that she can master her new found skill. Eventually, you can ween her off the treats and simply reward with praise, so you don't end up with a little tanker dog. Plus you want to have the ability to have her sit, even if you don't have treats for her. This is simply a way to get her to initially learn the behavior.
LAY DOWN, PAW, STAY, COME, SPEAK, HEAL, ETC…
With some minor adjustments, this same simple training method can be used to teach literally any behavior you want your dog to learn. Go through the same steps, holding the treat they want, saying the command you want them to learn. When they do that specific action, release the reward and give the praise repeating the command. Repeat these steps until that new trick has been mastered and then you can try adding a new one to their routine. Make sure you give your dog time to learn each new behavior. You don't want to confuse them with too much all at once. Adding a hand gesture will also help your dog to learn these new behaviors and will help to enforce them later on when you have weened them off the treats.
Sit - Closed hand, flick of the wrist with fingers up.
Lay Down - Closed hand, swift hand motion toward floor. This will help your pup also, because by placing your hand with the treat down on the floor, she will practically be trying to crawl under your fingers to get that treat, so as soon as she drops to a lying down position, release the treat & praise.
Stay - Open hand, like a stop sign. This trick is a little harder to teach and requires more patience. Move your dog into a sit position first. Wait until she has calmed and then while holding your hand up, repeat the word "STAY" softly but firmly. Now take a small step backward and repeat the word "STAY" while still holding your hand up. In the beginning, when she is able to hold for a count of 5, call her to you, treat, praise and then repeat. Each time adding another step. When you've gotten about 5 paces away from her and she is holding for a count of 5, gradually increase the count to 10, 15, 20, etc, until she can stay indefinitely.
Implementing a clicker can be a helpful tool for your dog's training too. "Loading" the clicker is as simple as getting your dog to look in your direction when you click the device and rewarding with a treat as soon as they look. Repeat this several times and before you know it your dog will be responding to the sound of the click every time. This works great for training a dog that is easily distracted because it gives them something additional to focus on, besides just the treat. Once the clicker is loaded, you can then gain your dogs attention and begin to combine the command with the click. For example, with a loaded clicker, give your command and when the dog does the behavior you are requesting, CLICK, TREAT, REWARD…
PetSafe Treat Pouch Sport
Pet Training Clicker
Treat Ball Dog Toys
Be sure to give your dog time to learn and room to make mistakes. Consistency is key and patience is a must, but soon you will have a very well trained, well behaved pup that can show off their fancy new tricks and make you look like a super star dog trainer in no time at all!
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