If you have not yet read the previous article (The Basics Part I – Potty Training), please do as this article will be based on the principles that were covered there. Always know that training takes time and may be rather exhausting, however there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Be patient and you will be rewarded handsomely.
After Potty Training…
Great! You now understand the principles of training your dog to defecate in the correct area. Whats next? In this article we’ll cover a few basic commands that are possibly life saving and rewarding to teach at the same time.
Before we begin, it is important to set some basic ground rules, for yourself and for your dog.
1. Training sessions should be held regularly, especially when your dog is young.
2. Each training session should not exceed 20-30 minutes. (Dogs tend to get bored fast)
3. Do not get frustrated.
4. Take your time.
5. Always remember to use positive reinforcement.
Generally speaking, “sit” is usually one of the first commands an owner teaches a dog. Not just because it is easy to teach, but it is also useful in many situations.
The command is given such that the dog will “sit” with its hind legs bent and front legs extended.
Bearing in mind that there are multiple ways to teach this command, you may or may not want to follow our suggestion.
Step 1 : Be on level ground in front or behind your dog. The important thing is to keep your location and the training area constant with as little variations as possible for the beginning stages until your dog gets used to the command.
Step 2 : Once ready, hold a treat close to your dogs nose to catch its attention and slowly raise your hand up. Generally, your dogs head should slowly move up as the treat moves up and its butt should lower into a “sitting” position.
Step 3 : Reinforce this behaviour with the word “sit” in a firm manner immediately after the action has been performed and reward your dog with the treat that is in your hand.
Step 4 : Repeat a number of times until you are able to make your dog perform the action when you say “Sit” and then be able to make your dog perform the command without the treat.
This command is generally one of the easier commands to teach a dog as there is not much psychomotor skills involved.
The command is given such that at any point of time the command is given, your dog will come to a location that is preferably in front of you.
Step 1 : Hold a treat or a toy in your hand and firmly say “Come” to catch the attention of your dog.
Step 2 : Once you have gotten your dogs attention, your dog will naturally “come” to you as you are holding a treat/toy. Remember only give the command once.
Step 3 : Once in front of you, give your dog the treat and praise him.
Usually, this command is coupled with other commands like “Sit” or “Heel” . It is important to know that you should get your dog accustomed to the word “Come” before attempting another command so as to prevent your dog from getting confused.
Apart from “Sit” and “Come” , “Stay” is generally one of the more mandatory commands that an owner needs to teach a dog. This command is not only useful but can be a lifesaver as well. However out of the 3 covered, “Stay” is probably slightly harder to train especially with younger dogs as they tend to be more active. Also, “Stay” is generally paired with other commands like the above.
The command is given such that your dog does not move from its position whilst you move away from it. Discipline is needed for this command such that the dog does not stray after a short time.
Step 1 : Have your dog close to you.
Step 2 : Place your palm flat out about a few inches away from your dogs snout and say “stay” in a firm manner.
Step 3 : Move a step away from your dog and make sure that your dog sees it.
Step 4 : Move back to your original position and reward your dog with a treat so that it understands it has performed the correct task.
Suggestions – With each progressive training session, take more steps back so that your dog understands what the command is exactly and be consistent with your commands and actions.
Like what I have said earlier, “stay” is a command that is generally used with other commands.
For example, you can get your dog to “sit” first before performing “stay” or vice versa.
- Do not repeat the word more than once.
- Be confident in your commands.
- Do not reward if any other behaviour is performed.
- Remember to be consistent in your training.
- Your dog will tire from the repetitions so try performing the command during other times of the day like before feeding or before going out the door for a walk.