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Dog Training Basics

 Submitted by Michael Adams on March 11, 2010

Dog training may sound like an extremely simple task but in essence, may be very difficult when you actually get to it. Most people who don’t want to deal with the training issues of their dogs usually send their dogs to obedience schools when they are about six months old. At the obedience schools, most dogs are not able to learn much.

In most cases, the owners back out after a few sessions, finding the training sessions to be taxing on their time or pockets. It is therefore important that you get some dog training basics right to begin with.

The first command that you should start with is sit.

This is a simple command and is considered the most useful universally. Sitting the dog down is the first step towards disciplining it. When your dog is sitting, it is not doing anything else and is definitely not getting into a scrape. The sit command is the easiest way to put your dog under your control. The traditional way to teach this command is by putting the dog on a leash and then repeating the command ‘sit’. Each time you repeat the command, push the dog’s hind area down while pulling up on the leash. Though this can be a stressful, when you repeat it over and over again and reinforce the teaching with treats and other positive reinforcements, the task will become much simpler.

For training your dog, reinforcing instructions is extremely important. You should ideally repeat the instructions several times a day and each time your dog performs the instructions, it should be rewarded with a treat.

Praise is as good a reinforcement as treats. If you praise your dog every time the dog follows the instructions, it can eventually be very rewarding for both you and your dog. Once your dog has been trained to sit, there are many more commands that you can teach your dog with relative ease. Once your dog learns to sit, the next command that naturally follows is stand. The stand command is especially important when you are grooming the dog.

After these two basic commands, you can graduate your dog to more complex commands like stay. It is best if you combine the stay command with a command that the dog has already learnt. Commands like sit can be easily paired with the Stay command. Therefore, to begin with stay, first ask the dog to go in the sit position. Now when the dog sits, asks it to ‘stay’, using a brisk tone. Do not immediately give your dog a treat. Wait for a few minutes first and if the dog doesn’t move, give it a treat and allow it to move.

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