Dogs can make faithful longtime companions. Knowing how to teach a dog a few basic commands is essiential if you want to get the best out of your canine. This will also be an essential skill if you decide to teach your dog a few fun tricks later on too. Through teaching your dog you not only make it a more obedient and faithful pet, you also make it happier, healthier, and safer.
A few of the most common commands you can teach your dog are to sit, stay and come. These can then be used as a foundation to teach your dog more advanced tricks and commands. A basic method that works time and time again for teaching your dog to sit, come, and stay, is outlined below.
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How to Teach a Dog to Sit
Teaching a dog to sit can be done quite easily and quite quickly. It’s a good idea that you start with this basic command as it will be used a lot later when you build on these basic commands. To teach a puppy to sit you can simply say “sit” each time your puppy is about to sit down at his/her own accord. By doing this and following up with praise each time your pup will soon learn what “sit” means. Older dogs can be taught in a couple of ways. One way is to gently guide your dog into the sitting position using your hands while saying “sit”. Again this should be repeated several times for about a week until your dog understands this command.
The other method is to hold a piece of food just above your dog’s nose. Raise the food up and back over the dogs head. Most dogs will naturally follow the food and move into the sitting position. You can then say “Sit” and give your dog the food. How to teach a dog to sit can be done effectively both ways. Keep in mind that you will get best results if training sessions are short and fun and if you use rewards and praise to recognize good behavior.
How to Teach a Dog to Come
One of the best ways to teach a dog to come is to use a long leash. This method involves tying a long leash around your and moving out to the full extent of the leash so you are as far away from your dog as possible. Once you are separated, get down on one knee and open up your arms into a hugging position and say “come”. If your dog doesn’t come, quickly jerk the leash (not to hurt your dog – just to initiate action) and repeat the command again - “Come”. As your dog reaches you give it praise and affection. Show it that you are pleased with its good behavior. To further advance on this command you can practice increasing the distance between you and your dog and don’t use a leash. If your dog starts to disobey you move back to the initial training from a short distance with the leash attached. As a dog owner, knowing how to teach a dog to come is a vital stage in the training process.
How to Teach a Dog to Stay
The final basic lesson that you need to master is how to teach your dog to stay. One way you can do this is to initially stand roughly 2 meters away from your dog and place a small piece of food directly between you. As your dog approaches the food give a strong command to “Stay” while raising your hand at the same time. Initially your dog may not understand this and that’s fine. Once your dog has stood its ground for a few moments invite it to eat the food. After a few attempts your dog will start to realize that staying following the “stay” command is good behavior and will begin to respond accordingly. As with the “come” command, you can slowly increase the distance between you and your dog when practicing the stay command. Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior when teaching your dog to stay.
Now that you know how to teach a dog to sit, how to teach a dog to stay, and how to teach a dog to come, you can advance to more complicated and advanced tricks.
For more information about how to teach your dog almost anything you can imagine we recommend following a comprehensive guide such as Secrets to Dog Training by Dan Stevens.
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