Teaching a Dog Basic Commands and Skills


Would you like to discover how you can teach a dog to sit and stay easily?


Teaching a dog for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you have never done it before. There’s always this anxiety that you’re doing some incorrectly because you’re not getting the results that you want. There are also instances when dog owners feel that they’re not really teaching the dog anything because the dog always gets distracted.


If you have been in similar situations before, know that you’re not alone and that with sufficient conditioning your dog will be able to follow and retain commands and skills.


How can you prepare for dog obedience training?


Before training your dog however, you have to make sure that it sees you as a pack leader. Pack leaders are the natural authority figures within a pack and your dog will find it easier to pay attention to your lessons if you’re the big boss of the pack.


Once you have established your role as the pack leader, feel free to start teaching your dog basic commands and skills. You can teach your dog the skills that I will be outlining below.


Sitting on Command


Commanding your dog to sit on command is a good way to establish your authority and reduce a dog’s energy level if it is getting too excited at something.


However, I wouldn’t recommend using this command if your dog did something naughty as this would change the “color” or nature of the command.


The sit command is not a good tool for redirection or correction. If you command your dog to sit when you’re angry or when it has done something that is against your rules, your dog will eventually shy away from the command altogether.


How can you teach your dog to sit?


You can teach the sit command by capturing the sitting action and assigning a hand gesture or verbal command to it. The first step is to capture the behavior.


You can do this by placing a treat a few inches above your dog’s head so that it looks up. Dogs tend to sit down when they are looking up because it’s easier on their necks. When your dog sits down on the ground, say “sit” and give your dog the treat.


In the event that your dog doesn’t sit when a piece of food is dangling above its nose, try this instead: gently stroke the lower back region of your dog until it relaxes.


Apply a very gentle pressure while stroking your dog’s fur to encourage it to sit down. The moment your dog’s muscles move down, lift your hand and say, “sit.” Be sure to give your dog a treat immediately to capture the behavior and build recall.


Down On All Fours


The “down” command can be developed the same way as the sit command. Use a treat like a small biscuit to get your dog’s attention. Start a few inches above its head to gain its focus and lower the food to floor level.


Most dogs will get down on all fours immediately when food is at floor level.


If this doesn’t work, stroke the mid-region of your dog’s back and continue doing so until it relaxes.


When your dog performs the target action, mark it with the verbal command “down.” Repeat a few more times and be sure to enforce the command in the coming weeks so your dog will remember it.


Stay On Command


Why is it important to teach the “stay” command?


The “stay” command can be quite useful for dog owners who have problems leaving their homes because their dogs have a habit of chasing after them.


The “stay” command can be developed after you’ve succeeded in teaching your pet to sit on command.


After commanding your dog to sit, make eye contact and take one step backward. If the dog does not move, say “good” and approach it to give it a treat.


Do not ask your dog to come to you! You should always approach the dog so it can be rewarded. Otherwise, your dog will think that the “come” command is more important than the “stay” command.


Repeat this process until you can take several steps at a time without having to redirect your dog. Eventually you can disappear completely from your dog’s visual field and still get the same results.


Just make sure that you perform the training steps in the correct sequence every time. Your dog will anticipate a treat every time you return so don’t forget its reward for fulfilling your command!

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