Obedience Training – Teaching to Sit

dog sit photoIt?s important for your puppy to learn to sit. It?s the starting point for many other commands, and it?s an important skill when you?re outside amidst cars, at curbs or when someone is coming into your house. It?s an easy command, and your puppy should master it quickly. As always, treats play the most important role.

Stand in front of your puppy and hold your hand above his head with a treat in it. He will look up at it. Use your other hand to gently push down on his hind quarters to the ground, into a sitting position. At the same time, while still holding that treat, say ?sit? in a calm but firm voice. Once he is able to hold the position, give the puppy the treat.

Keep repeating this action several times each day until the puppy is able to put himself into a sitting position without your guidance. If your puppy temporarily loses the training you’ve mastered, simply start again. You might notice your puppy jumps on people when they come into your house or runs after children in the neighborhood. Give the command to sit, and if the dog does not listen, go back to the basics with the treat and the physical lowering of your dog into the sitting position.

Obedience Training – Teaching to Stay

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The ?stay? command should logically follow the ?sit? command. After all, what is the point of teaching your puppy to sit if he doesn?t stay down? Once he learns to stay, he won?t lunge and jump at your guests. It will also keep him out of dangerous situations. Please keep in mind that ?stay? may be difficult for your puppy to grasp, as his favorite thing is to follow you and stay by your side.

Start by having your puppy sit. After the dog is in the sit position, tell the dog to ?stay,? wait two seconds, and then give the dog a treat. Increase the amount of time you make the dog wait for the treat until the dog is able to wait for 10 seconds, each time, telling the dog to stay.

Each time you say, ?stay,? put up your hand, flat, with the palm facing the dog. This will become your hand command once your dog learns how to stay. If the dog gets up from the sitting position, say, ?No,? have the dog sit again, and start the process over.

When the dog is able to stay in the sitting position for 10 seconds without getting up, continue the process, but this time take one step away from the dog. Repeat the word, ?stay.? Take two more steps, repeat the word, ?stay.? Finally, step out of the dog?s sight.

Continue to work with the dog until you are able to stay out of the dog?s sight for two minutes without him moving.

Incorporate the ?stay? command into your daily life. He may obey in the kitchen, but not in the yard or while walking, so use different situations and places to train him. Have him stay while you get the door, go through the mail, chat with a neighbor, or are on the phone. Slowly, remove the treat and continue with the hand signal and lots of praise.

Obedience Training for Puppies

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Training your puppy to obey will open up new lines of communication between the two of you and bring you even closer.  You will be able to instruct him in proper and desired behavior, and he will know what you want him to do.

Dogs are hierarchical beings and easily adapt to the social pecking order. Obedience training puts you in charge and allows the dog to show respect. Dogs usually love to perform submissive tricks such as raising a paw in a shake or licking your hand, gestures which underscores the hierarchy in your home.

Make obedience training fun for both of you. It?s a great bonding experience and will make your dog more confident and enjoyable to be around. However young your puppy is, you can start behavior training now.

Begin training your puppy in familiar surroundings. Sure, you want your puppy to heel while taking a walk, but you shouldn?t start training on the street. Do you want him to sit and stay in a car? Don?t do the training on the highway.

Remember that puppies are young and active, so keep your training sessions short and make sure they are not hungry or tired. If your puppy, like most puppies, is constantly underfoot and demanding attention, make use of that time and teach. Have him ?heel? while you go from the bedroom to the kitchen, have him ?sit? while preparing coffee. This way, training becomes a part of the day.

As we?ve discussed, rewards for proper behavior and praise are the most critical part of training. Be sure to use real rewards. Some dogs will train for kibbles alone, but others will not. Try using bits of left-over chicken, pieces of cheese or a favorite toy to see to what your dog best responds.

Potty Training Tips

potty train for dog photo
Photo by BuzzFarmers

Once your puppy has reached the right age, it’s important to establish a potty training routine, and to be consistent and patient with it. You will need to take your puppy out immediately after he wakes up, 15 minutes after he eats or drinks, at least once an hour while he is awake, before you put him in his crate and immediately after you take him out of the crate. To help prevent accidents, be sure you keep your puppy on a regular feeding schedule and remove the food once he has finished eating, but always allow him access to water. Puppy’s digestive systems are quick and efficient and taking him out 15 minutes after he eats will help get him used to going potty outside.

Puppies cannot be expected to hold their bladders all night, so you will also need to set an alarm during the night so you can take him outside. Expecting your puppy to hold his bladder throughout the night is not only unrealistic, it is a sure-fire way to ensure he soils his crate or gets a nasty bladder infection trying to hold it far longer than he is capable of or should be expected to. It is also important to watch for bathroom “tells” puppies often display. Twirling in circles, whining, scratching, and sniffing the floor are often indications the puppy needs to go potty, so if you see or hear these things, take him outside immediately.

It is also important that you take your puppy to the same spot every time to use the bathroom. Be patient with your puppy and do not try to force him, yell at him, or rush him to use the potty. Simply stand in the designated spot and use upbeat, positive verbal encouragements to “go potty” and allow your puppy time to sniff out the perfect spot and relieve himself. Once your puppy does his business, be sure to reward him with positive praise, a treat, and lots of snuggles, pets, and kisses. If he is leash-trained and enjoys going for a walk, that could be a great reward. Most puppies truly want to please their masters and letting your puppy know he is good and did the right thing will help your puppy’s potty training progress at a faster rate.

Potty Training Your Puppy

For many people, potty training their puppy is the most daunting part of bringing a new dog into the family. Potty training a puppy can be time consuming and messy. However, it’s absolutely essential for your dog’s growth and development, as well as your peace of mind. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are ready to begin the potty training process.

Wait Until Your Puppy Is the Right Age

Puppies less than 12-16 weeks old simply do not have enough control over their bladders to be potty trained. Hold off on potty training until your puppy is at least 12 weeks old. Until then, keep a supply of disposable or washable potty pads your puppy can use. These pads usually have a scent embedded in them that attracts the puppy to eliminate on them. If you see your puppy using the bathroom off the pad, gently pick him up and move him to the pad, then praise him for using the potty.

Puppy-Proofing Your Home – Poisonous Plants

Congratulations! You have found your dream puppy. Before that fluffy bundle of fur bounces through your front door, there are some preparations to do.

Puppies are full of energy; they are curious and love to explore. This makes them fun and lovely, but can also lead them to harmful situations. Before you bring your puppy home, make sure you survey your home and remove potential dangers to provide a safe environment for the new member of your family. Puppy-proofing your home is similar to preparing your home for a toddler.

Poisonous Plants

Some plants are poisonous and dangerous if your pup ingests them. A few common plants that you need to be aware of include:

Azalea: Eating just a few leaves of the azalea plant can be dangerous to your dog. It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Daffodils: Ingesting either the plant or the bulb can result in abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Lily of the Valley: These can cause severe cardiac problems, seizure, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Autumn Crocus: The autumn crocus is severely toxic and can cause respiratory failure, liver and kidney problems, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Cyclamen: If ingested, this plant can be fatal to your dog.

Oleander: The leaves and flowers of this garden shrub are toxic when ingested.

Dieffenbachia: This plant can cause nausea and vomiting.

Tulips: It?s the tulip bulbs that are toxic, so make sure your dog doesn?t go digging for them in your garden.

These are just a few of the plants that are a real danger to your dog. Check with your veterinarian or Pet Poison Control for a complete list.

Train Your Puppy to Not Bark

Puppies bark for a reason. If you want to control your puppy?s barking, you need to understand why he barks. He may be barking at anyone walking by the house, or he may bark to alert you to someone approaching the front door. Or he may need to go to the bathroom.

Barking is also the puppy?s way of expressing distress. Consider whether his environment is calm or frantic. Does he get enough exercise? If these are a problem, excessive barking is the effect and not the cause of the problem. If he barks excitedly when you come home, what he?s communicating is loneliness after spending hours alone. Consider if there are factors in the dog?s environment that need to be changed. Having a sitter take him for a walk and play with him during the day could alleviate some of his frustrations.

The odds are you don?t want to stop your puppy?s barking entirely. You certainly want him to alert you to danger, and maybe you appreciate being warned when someone is at the door. What you want to stop is barking for no reason. The better you know your dog, the better you will understand him.

One way to stop your puppy from barking is to teach him a command to bark when you want him to bark. This allows you to control when he barks and when he stops barking.

First, get him to bark while he?s on a leash. If the doorbell sets him off, have someone ring it. The leash will allow you to distract him when you want to. Teach him that he can bark when the doorbell rings, but must remain quiet while you open the door.

  1. When the doorbell rings, give your puppy the command to ?speak.? This lets him know it?s okay to bark.
  2. Before opening the door, show him a treat and say, ?quiet.? He does not get the treat until he stops barking.
  3. When he stops barking, praise and treat him and open the door.
  4. You should add the ?sit? or ?down? command so your puppy knows what he should do instead of barking.

If your puppy is barking due to pent-up energy, find ways to distract him. Usually, simply slamming something down will create enough noise to make him forget why he barked in the first place. You can also drop something, like a book, in front of him. Just make sure you don?t hit the puppy.

There are bark collars that set off a noise when your puppy barks. The drawback, however, is that the collar will inhibit reasonable barking that you want, so take that into consideration.

Behavior training for puppies might seem overwhelming, but if you follow these tips, you’ll have a well-behaved dog in no time.

Train Your Puppy with Rewards

If you want to raise your puppy into a good dog who knows what is expected, then you need to train him early. Initially, the puppy won?t have any reason to follow your commands. Why should he stay when there?s a fun world out there? Why shouldn?t he steal your lunch when it?s so tasty? That?s how your puppy looks at it, and it?s hard to argue with his logic.

That is why consistent reward and praise are so important. Rewards are the motivator to help the puppy see life your way. Training a puppy takes an abundance of patience, but the results are always worth it.

Proper training lets your puppy become a valued member of the family. Your life and his will be much easier if he knows what you expect of him. He will be welcome in more places if he can walk nicely, not jump on guests, and can keep from destroying furniture.

Training should be fun, exciting, and provide you with better means to communicate with your new family member. Start your training right away and don’t give up until you have the behaviors you want from your puppy.

Useful Puppy Training Tips – Be Consistent

From your puppy?s point of view, you are the alpha dog. It?s up to you to keep your new puppy safe and protected, and to help him establish boundaries. Here are some puppy training tips you can use to teach your puppy everything he needs to know to start the journey of becoming your very best friend.

Be Consistent

Your puppy is eager to please you, but he can?t always tell right from wrong. He can?t read your mind. A puppy?s world can get very confusing, and it is up to you to provide immediate positive reinforcement for good behavior and absolutely no reward for bad behavior.

Dogs need to experience the consequences of their behavior immediately. They will work hard to get what they want and to avoid what they don?t want. But they need to understand the consequences between behavior and result. If you give your puppy a treat fifteen minutes after he followed your ?sit? order, he will be happy, but he will have no idea why he?s getting a treat. There is no connection between the ?sit? and the biscuit, and it will have no bearing on future behavior. Immediacy and timing are crucial.

The same is true for withholding rewards. If your puppy behaves badly, you should hold the treat so that the puppy can see it, but do not give it to him. If you don?t give him a treat fifteen minutes later, it is much too late to serve as negative reinforcement. Remain consistent in your own behavior, and your puppy will quickly learn cause and effect.

Keep in mind that no reward is not the same as punishment. No reward means withholding something your puppy wants. Getting punished confuses him. He understands that you are upset, but he?s not clear why. Your puppy is unable to reason. But if you withhold a treat, the cause and effect of behavior becomes clearer.

Establish routines with your puppy, such as regular feeding times, walk and play times, and bathroom breaks. Stick with your routines and this will help speed up the process. Be consistent since inconsistencies will only confuse your puppy and prolong the training process.

If you don’t want your puppy to jump on people when they come through the front door, you need to reinforce that expectation every time. Allowing the pup to jump all over your sister but not your neighbor will cause confusion. Use the “sit,” “stay,” or “heel” command to get your puppy’s attention and do it every time.

Useful Puppy Training Tips – Be Patient

Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated or impatient during the training process, with yourself, or with your new puppy. It will take some time to accomplish all of the goals you have set for you new pal, and for you to get the hang of your puppy’s unique personality, likes, and the techniques and rewards that work best for your puppy.

Give your puppy time to understand new commands. He most likely won?t learn it the first couple of times when you teach him. Repeat old commands in new training sessions, so that he doesn?t forget them. The attention span of dogs is pretty short, so keep your sessions frequent but short in length, otherwise your pup will become bored.

Work on simple commands before moving on to more complex behaviors. For example, if you want your puppy to sit and stay, first work on the sitting, then the staying, before doing both. If your puppy is having difficulty, you may be moving too fast. Take a step back and start over.

Never get impatient with your puppy and never call him to you if you are going to punish him ? all that will do is teach him that to come to you is not a good thing. Keep your voice firm but gentle, and never let any frustration creep into it.