Published at Tuesday, 21 May 2019. Dog Training. By Marianne Gerard.
The first command you should teach is SIT. With a few slight differences, most advice about dog training agree. The easiest way to teach this command is to cause the desired outcome to occur without much effort. For very young puppies, hold their food bowl above and behind their head. Your puppy looks up, loses his balance, and sits. You reinforce by saying the command, SIT, then praise puppy and reward with a treat. Repeat this process during each meal time and with treats until he will SIT on command without a food stimulus. Older dogs have better balance so an extra step may need to be used. Some dog training techniques suggest using a leash with no slack to keep your dog still, then just using a treat held above and behind his head, command SIT. If your dog resists, use your forefinger and thumb to apply pressure just in front of his hip bone or slide your hand over rump and apply pressure as you tuck legs and tail under to cause him to SIT. As always, praise and treat for desired result Every other fundamental command will build on the success of the SIT Command.
Communicate confidence. When training your dog, especially a dog new to you or new to training, your movements and body language should give off an air of calm, relaxed confidence. As much as is realistic, remain upright without being rigid. (Remember your facial expression? Your body language should also ”invite learning”.) As a rule, an upright but relaxed posture helps communicate confident authority – an excellent teaching posture. If your body needs to bend, keeping your shoulders relatively back will help maintain a bearing of self-assurance. While this is more important with a dog beginning its training, and with naturally effusive or assertive personalities, any dog can become confused by too much bowing, bending, ducking, and bobbing. He may naturally assume that you are playing, acting submissive, anything but training! Any hand signals associated with commands should be clean, simple and definitive. They should be free from excessive, meaningless motion, and should never be used to threaten or pester the dog.
In this day and age, you have a myriad options for training your dog available to you. In fact, the difficulty is more often deciding which approach will be the most effective in training your particular dog (and the method that will mesh the best with your particular situation). Now that you've decided that you're going to put the effort into training your dog and that the effort is worth the results you know you'll get, it is time to decide what kind of training program you will use.
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