Basic Obedience Commands: How to Teach Your Dog to Sit, Stay, Come… etc.
In the midst of all the excitement that comes with having a puppy, there is a fear that looms at the back of your mind: “What if I don’t train it right and it becomes a terror?” Well, I believe you have all it takes to be an excellent trainer. The first thing you need is to love your dog, which is probably why you got it, the teach it the Dog Basic Obedience Commands. Second is the willingness to train it, which is why you are reading this blog.
Today, you’ll be learning how to train your dog with some basic foundational commands, using the Positive Reinforcement method. It is really easy and if you’re patient and consistent, your dog will be well trained in no time.
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How to Teach Your Dog to Sit
Get your bribes ready because you are going to need a lot of them. Get a small treat in your hand and sit or kneel on the floor. Allow your puppy to sniff it out, but don’t allow it to get the treat until it sits down. This is bound to happen after it begins to get tired. When it finally sits down, release the treat, and admonish praise with something like “Good boy, good girl” etc.
Repeat the process again, but this time, as it sits down, say the word “Sit”. This will not register yet, and you have to wait until your pup completes the sitting motion. Repeat this a few times, always being careful not to release the treat until your dog actually sits down and remains seated for a couple of seconds at least.
Your dog might lift its paw up to try and get the food, and we can permit it the first few times. Soon, your dog will begin to figure out it needs to sit to get the treat, but it must also learn to keep its paw down. So, repeat the exercise, this time, tell it to sit much earlier and if it responds, give the treat immediately.
As you run through the exercise again, do not give the treat if the paw goes up. Your dog should sit and wait for the treat and not try and bite it out of your hand or claw it out. When you are successfully able to tell it to sit a few times, you can take a break. You don’t want the training times to be too long or your dog will get bored or finish all your treats. It is also important that you do not try to force your dog to sit by pushing its rear down.
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How to Teach Your Dog to Come
This is the easiest and most important part of the training. If your dog does not respond to your call, then it can’t be taken outdoors. Therefore, the sooner it masters this, the better.
Whenever you call your dog, it should be happy to respond. The way you accomplish this is by rewarding it every time it comes to you. Rewards include treats, toys, playing games, and petting it.
You might have noticed that when your dog comes, it doesn’t hang around or come close enough to hold it, so it is important to include the play element. When your dog does respond, try to touch its collar area, so it begins to gain a positive association when it is time to put a leash on it.
It can be heartbreaking when it feels as if your dog is ignoring you but don’t punish it when it finally responds. Be loving and gentle with it every time it comes, even if you had to call its name over and over again. It is also important that you don’t end its fun whenever it comes to you, by putting a leash on it immediately unless for some reason your dog enjoys being on a leash.
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How to Teach Your Dog to Lie Down
The training wheels are off and we are ready to dive into the deep end. Are you feeling up to it? Alright then. Getting your dog to lie down works the same way as teaching it to sit. This time around, before your dog gets the treat, it must lie down. To get your pup to lie down, place the treat on the floor with your hand covering it. It will eventually lie down, and you reveal the hidden goodies. Magic!
Same as before, as your dog is lying down, say the word ‘down.’ Run this through a few times, and then begin to tell it to go down earlier and wait for a response. If your dog decides to stay down so it keeps getting the treats, you have to lure it back to its feet so that you can repeat the process.
It is best to begin this training while you are seated or kneeling on the floor, but as the training graduates, you need to change your position – kneeling up, sitting on the couch, and standing up. Over time, you won’t need the treats to get your dog to obey. The same concept works with a toy instead of a snack, or whatever your dog can be rewarded with.
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How to Teach Your Dog to Stay
Getting a dog, especially a puppy, to stay in one place can be quite tricky. Having taught your dog to sit and lie down, you will have a greater chance of success getting it to stay. There are two things to consider with this training: duration and distance. I learned to use duration first before distance and it works like a charm, though some people do it the other way.
Before training begins, pick a place free from distractions. As with other training, limit your commands to one word or two, not a whole sentence. Now, stand over your dog and tell it to stay with an accompanying hand gesture. This combo works well so that you can use them interchangeably later on. After your dog has successfully stayed for a few seconds, give it a treat. Repeat the process, with a greater time duration each time.
Easy, right? Now, time for the distance. Tell it to stay, then take a couple of steps back and then come right back. Do this a few times, then increase your distance each time. Try not to walk away too quickly or stay away for too long. Come back quickly and give your dog a reward.
Once you’ve got the hang of this, try more complex maneuvers like walking around it, or in zigzags. The aim is to get your dog to be able to stay even when you are not in the same place. With time, you can then move on to running around your dog, which will be a huge temptation. Dogs love chasing moving objects, so if it can pass this test, you know your training is nearly complete.
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How to Teach Your Dog to Take it or Drop it
Let’s be honest, puppies are like little kleptomaniacs: they take whatever they like when they like, and they never want to put it down. Is this cycle doomed to last forever? Not on my watch! What we need to do though, is to prevent it from ever happening.
First thing you’ll need is a nice toy. Give this to your dog with the dog basic obedience commands ‘take it’ and let it play around with it. Then get another toy and start having fun with it. Soon your dog will come around wondering what has stolen your attention and it’s going to want a piece of the action. As it lets go of the first toy, say the command ‘drop it’, and when it comes for the toy you’re holding, give it with the command ‘take it’. This cycle of giving and take is helpful because dogs usually trade one thing for something better.
Do not be in a hurry to switch the toys out. Let your dog have some fun with it for a little while. After you’ve run through this cycle a few times, be a part of the dog’s fun by playing with it or holding your puppy while it is chewing on its toy. The dog gets a picture of you in its head as a giver, and not someone it needs to hide or keep things from. Avoid yelling or pushing your dog and try not to lose your temper. With time, it will get easier and you can swap the toys out more often.
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Conclusion On Dog Basic Obedience Commands
As a parting shot on the dog basic obedience commands, when training your dog or dogs, always be mindful to keep the commands short. Dog Training times should be short to prevent fatigue and whatever you do, use the same commands. If there will be anyone else training your dog, they should use the same techniques and language. Different styles or different commands will cause confusion and will delay progress. Do these every day until you are confident your dog has mastered it, then do it a few more times.
Now, you know enough to start training your dog. If you have any questions, do contact Dogzone and we’ll be happy to help.
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