Puppy Basic Training
Puppy Basic Training
Twelve Ingredients to Teach Any Command
This is a great list to keep handy and review before and after you work with your dog.
- Decide what you’d like your dog to do.
- Decide what clear visual or auditory signal you will use to initiate the desired action.
- Give verbal command using the right tonality, inflection, and volume (don’t plead, mumble, or shout; rather, use a more excited tone of voice, as you would to get the attention of a toddler).
- Preface verbal command with the dog’s name. The name and command should sound like one word( Buster Heel, rather than Buster… Heel). Just one exception: Don’t use her name in conjunction with the Stay command, since hearing her name implies she should be attentive and ready to go.
- Say the command only once.
- Make an association: While teaching, give the command as you make the dog do the action ( for example, say Sit as you pull up on the collar and push down on the dog’s rear).
- Give commands only when you can enforce them-otherwise, you risk teaching disobedience.
- Decide on reinforcement : How are you going to show the dog what to do? Unlike the other eleven steps, this will shange depending on your dog’s stage in training.
- Show your appreciation with precisely timed praise- like firework: full, but brief.
- End every command by releasing with the Chin-Touch Okay.
- Test your dog’s understanding by working her around distractions before progressing to the next level.
- Don’t take obedience for granted. Dogs forget, get lazy, become distracted, and inevitably fail to respond to familiar commands. Especially if she rarely makes mistake, correct her so she understands the rules haven’t changed and neither should her behavior.
Just as important as the cue you use to start an action is the one you will give to end it. Release your dog with words like Okay or All Done. Pair this with an outward stroke under the dog’s chin- what is called the Chin-Touch Okay. Dogs who rely on a physical and verbal release cue are less inclined to “break” their commands. For the first three weeks, step forward when you deliver to make the dog move from her previous command on cue.