Positively Simple Dog Training
What is it? I am going to call it that because it is just common sense dog training in a positive way and it’s simple!
So many times I have had the question posed to me about where can one enroll their dog in a obedience class? Around here, in our rural area, maybe once a summer, someone from another city will come through here and host a class over a 4-6 weeks, one class per week. Hopeful dog owners and their excited dogs go through the paces of learning to walk on a leash, to Sit on command, Stay, maybe the Lie Down command and mostly that’s about it. The dogs and their owners go home after the class is over, and hopefully practice what they’ve learned.
What often happens though is that things get busy, and soon the lessons are mostly forgotten. Dogs continue to pull their humans along like sleds, jumping up on family and guests alike while someone yells… DOWN, DOWN! with no effect. Maybe the dog has learned to sit for a treat, and life goes on.
Who has the time to set aside a training session every day.. to focus on your dog only, while you have about 100 other things to do. I have learned over the years that the best way to train your dog is the way you would teach your child (if you have children) or yourself if you have no children. Train, teach, learn while you go about your day.. Just for fun, watch the following videos on what dogs’ remember, from the Sacromento Bee news.
Five Important Rules to Follow
#1- keep some healthy dog treats handy, either in a pocket, in different places around your home or in a ‘fanny pack’ like I do.With every interaction that I have with my dogs,whether I ask them to Sit, Wait, Stay, Out! etc. depending on the circumstances, I reward them with a treat, some affectionate fur stroking and soft words. When I call them to me, I ask for a Sit (check out the Basic Manners page) and then I whip out that dog treat and reward them. I can tell you that All my dogs learn to have a great recall (coming when called).
#2- When someone comes to the door, that is another opportunity to train, again ask for at least a Sit and hopefully a Stay… insist on this every single time and whip out that reward. Believe me, if you do this every single time, your dogs will start looking to you instead of who’s at the door.
#3- At meal times, ask for a Sit, and Wait ( Basic Manners page), before you say Okay and then your dog can dig in. At your mealtimes, ask your dog to Sit and Stay on a particular spot, close enough to you that you can keep an eye on him or her. Practice in as many ways as you can until it becomes second nature.
#4- When you go through any doorway of your home, let’s say, from your kitchen to your living room and your dog is in your way, insist on your dog moving out of your way. You are the Leader, and your dog should move out of your way. By doing so, your dog is learning to have respect for your leadership and it will flow into other areas of your relationship with your dog.
#5- Walking on a leash should be enjoyable, not a battle to the finish line! Each time you clip on that leash or lead, ask for a Sit at the door, Wait… and then you both calmly walk out the door with your dog beside or behind you. If your dog goes nuts with excitement, this will take some time, but turn around, put your dog back behind the door threshold, make him Sit and tell him Wait, for a few seconds at least and then calmly say Okay and walk on. With repetition, your dog will get better and better at this.
For the walking part
your dog may want to go charging ahead but do NOT allow your dog to go ahead of you! By now if you’ve read the Basic Manners page, you will know that there are training aids that you can use to make this training easier like using a Halti, a Gentle Leader, a Martingale collar, a front clip harness etc. My point here is that training your dog is simple and relatively easy when you make it a point each and every time your dog is close to you.
A house is not built in a day, and your dog will not be trained in a day either. The Plumbers, Electricians, Painters, Flooring Installers and Carpenters have to work on that house on a daily basis, for a long period of time before it’s perfect enough to be lived in and enjoyed. Your dog will need your guidance on a daily and very consistent basis for years, especially when he is young.
By the time your dog is 2 years old, he or she will be well mannered enough that you can relax a lot more with your training but you will still have to maintain the standards. You will still have to show him daily that you are still in charge. I am going to end this post by saying it again… working with your dog should be positively simple dog training when you make it a point each and every time your dog is close to you.
For the Page How to crate train the older dog
For the Page Caring for the older dog