Dog Training - Basic Commands
Things A Dog Must Know

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Dog training should be an enjoyable time for you and your dog. Dog training is not intended to be serious or difficult.

Training a puppy or more mature dog are about the same. With some difficult breeds, training a puppy might take a little longer, but the basic techniques are the same.

Training a dog to STAY. Note the palm of the right hand is facing the German Shepherd Dog. That is the universal symbol of "stay" or "stop" --->

Girl teaching her dog to dance
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Dog Training - Common Mistakes

How to train a dog:

  • Keep sessions light and short. Five to ten minutes two or three times a day is good for training a dog. Dogs have relatively short attention spans.

  • If you or your your dog are tired or just “not in the mood” for a training session, put it off. You both need to be alert.

  • Most dogs will not respond to you until you gain their trust and respect. A dog that doesn’t trust you will certainly do his own thing which will be anything but what you want.

  • You can gain the dog’s trust quickly with a soft, firm voice and food. I’ve dealt with some initially difficult characters. Tidbits (about the size of a fingernail) of hot dogs or chunks of cheese work wonders.

  • Another good thing to do is find something you know the dog CAN do already and then do it! Like, maybe, walk on a leash. Take a little walk with him. Give him praise and treats so he loosens up with you. It builds confidence. This may take awhile, depending on the dog, but you want to make the dog your friend before you start trying to train him.

  • A job well done is rewarded with praise, treats and CLICKS which the dog understands as having done a GOOD thing. Clicker training is the best method for easy training of any dog. We give NOTHING at all when the dog does the wrong thing. It’s called positive reinforcement dog training. The trainer is only heard from when the dog does something he should do and punishment is silence.

  • For the dog to concentrate: Exercise your dog before a training session. The bigger and younger the dog, the more this is necessary. Tire him out quite a bit... not to the point of exhaustion, but get some of that “gotta to run 5 miles” out of him. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did!

Before you can do any serious dog training, you will need to establish yourself as the “top dog” or alpha dog with your pooch.

If you have already done that, or if it isn’t an issue for you, great. If not, please visit the alpha dog page first.

This Tibetan Terrier knows the "DOWN" command.
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Dog Training Commands

Here are some great ideas on how to train a dog:

Training A Dog To Heel
Used when you want to take a walk with your dog and want him to walk quietly beside you. The heel command keeps your dog close and under control.

Training A Dog To Walk On A Loose Leash
The most accepted and sensible way to take your dog for a walk. The dog is in front of you and traveling at your speed, not pulling and not jumping around.

This Great Dane needs to learn how to leash-walk!descriptive text

Training A Dog To Come (Recall)
One of the most important commands you will ever give your dog. “Come” is the one command that may save his life someday. This is a MUST learn!

Training A Dog To Sit
A polite dog will sit while you talk to friends along the street. Sitting is what well-mannered dogs do while their owners attend to non-dog matters.

Training A Dog The Command "Stay"
Without the “stay” command, “sit” and “down” don’t do much good because there is no time limit put on them. “Stay” keeps the dog in those positions and is very important.

Training A Dog The Command “Down” and “Down-Stay”
The Down position is necessary when your dog is too rambunctious or about to run into traffic. It’s good for maintaining order in the house and much more. Down-Stay adds a time frame to the original command.

Training A Dog To “Drop It”
Want to play fetch with your dog? The dog picked up a filthy old bone? Drop It is the command to get that stuff out of her mouth.

Training A Dog To "Leave It"
Leave It is another important dog command. This can keep her out of trouble and must be learned early on. It’s NOT the same as “Drop It.”

Training A Dog To Get “Off” Furniture
Dogs love the feel of fine furniture. They like to be up high on a soft spot. But, not everyone wants to share the couch with the dog. Here are some ideas.

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