Thursday, November 15, 2012

Training your dog

As soon as you get your dog into your home (regardless of whether he’s a rescue or a puppy, though that will make things easier) you have to start training them, apart from having load of fun with them.

Say it many times, as many as possible and when he reacts to it and makes eye contact, that’s when you reward him, first with treats and attention and then only with attention. Then say the name a few less times, then just one and he should get it. This should take only a few practices.
This seems like a strange notion to teach a dog, but it will help in potentially dangerous situations. The wait command is a very important one. Hold your dog by its collar and use food to distract him and move it further while repeating the word “wait”. Then start loosening the collar and repeat the word less. This will help not to build a pattern around the word. So he’ll know to wait regardless of the time that you spend holding his collar and eventually only respond to the word.
Fetching and coming back
After teaching your dog to fetch for fun, command him to come back immediately. This way he won’t get distracted by other things. This command is very important because you can shout it from a distance and the dog will drop everything and come your way. It will be especially helpful when your dog chases something into traffic and doesn’t really notices the surrounding dangers.
The rolling trick
Teach your dog to roll on its back but not only to get funny videos of him doing this. It’s important to develop trust, especially with large dogs. When your pet is on its back, it’s on a vulnerable position and he needs to know that he can trust you even if his instinct will tell him not to.
Lure him down with food and once he’s on his back, caress his paws, especially in the spaces between the pads. This is a very sensitive and delicate area for animals, so if comes a moment where they have something stuck or you need to trim their nails, it will be much easier and safe for both of you.
Stay and back off
These commands will teach your dog discipline and control towards something he really wants by impulse. He will want it either for pleasure (food) or to protect you (like “saving” you from somebody that looks dangerous to him). You can manage this urge by dropping something that he’ll like behind you, some sort of delicious treat. When he goes for it, stand in front of him blocking from side to side. When he stops his pace, instantly reward him. Try this with several items and in different places.

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