If your dog knows a few basic commands, it can be a great help when tackling existing and potential problem behaviors. While enrolling your dog in classes will get your desired result of a well-trained dog, there are some obedience training techniques you can do yourself. With the right attitude, you and your dog can strengthen your bond and have fun doing it.
Teaching your dog to sit is one of the easiest obedience commands and a great way to begin training. All you have to do is hold a treat up to your dog’s nose and move your hand up so that his head follows the treat and is bottom begins to lower. Next, give the command to “Sit,” and give him the treat. If you repeat these steps daily, your dog will master the command in no time.
Teaching your dog to come is very useful in keeping him or her out of trouble and ensuring she comes back to you if she happens to give you the slip. This lesson should be done with your dog already on a leash. Next, go down to her level and give the command “Come,” and gently pull her toward you with the leash. Reward her with the treat when she gets to you. Once mastered with the leash, you can practice without it in a safe and enclosed area.
One of the more difficult commands to teach because this dog obedience command results in a submissive posture. It’s recommended you keep the training as positive and relaxed as possible. Hold a very tasty treat in your closed fist and bring your hand to your dog’s snout. When He sniffs it, move your hand to the floor and he should follow. Next, slide your hand along the ground to encourage his body to follow his head and once he’s down, give the command “Down,” and the treat as a reward.
This command should be taught only after your dog has mastered the “Sit” command. First, give the command “Sit,” and then open the palm of your hand in front of you while saying “Stay.” Take a few steps back and if he remains in place, give him a treat. This can take a while to master because it required a degree of self-control for your dog, so don’t get discouraged.
This one comes in handy when you want to keep your dog away from food and objects that peak his curiosity but in fact are probably dangerous. Place a treat in both hands but show him one enclosed fist and give the command “Leave it.” Your dog will then lick, sniff, paw, and bark trying to get at the treat in your fist – ignore him. Once he stops trying you can give him the treat from the other hand. Repeat this sequence until your dog learns to move away from the first fist when you give the command. This teaches your dog that when he sees interesting things on the ground, when you tell him to leave it alone, he’ll know that he will get something better for ignoring the object.
Obedience training takes a lot of patience, understanding, and a good sense of humor. You are asking a lot of your dog so don’t rush the process. If he seems to be struggling moving forward, it is ok to go back a step until he fully masters it, or to look for help from dog training experts. Learning these basic commands not only keeps your dog safe but strengthens your communication with your furry companion.