Dont let your dog be the boss

Having control of your dog at all times is what every dog owner wants and it starts with obedience training. The best way to define “obedience training” is: “training dogs to be obedient, to obey anything and everything their masters tell them to do.” This training covers a wide range of lessons that a dog can learn, including manners, skills, tricks and show-ring exercises. The basics of obedience training always start with manners and move on from there. Police dogs, search and rescue dogs, service dogs for handicapped people, etc., all have been trained in obedience. They are trained to obey not only basic commands, but a whole special set of commands so that they can be more helpful in specific ways.

If you do not start out by teaching your dog basic manners, then you are not training your dog the right way and you might be in for a world of trouble. Basic manners include sitting, staying and coming on command. Obedience training can be accomplished at home, with a private dog trainer, or in a class. It does require patience, persistence, a collar, a leash, and some understanding of dog behavior. You can start learning about dog behavior by reading one of the many books written about dog training or from a professional obedience instructor.

Above all else, consistency is vital to training a dog the right way. For instance, if Brandy was allowed to sit on the sofa yesterday with you and then is yelled at when Grandma comes to visit today, Brandy will be confused. It is better to teach Brandy “up” and “off” commands so that she will only climb on furniture when invited to do so. If people in the family feed the dog when they are eating, then the dog will learn to beg and steal in spite of what anyone else wants. If you do not want “begging” dogs, do not feed them when you are eating.

Make Learning Fun

Everyone likes to have fun, and that goes for dogs too! Learning is not always fun, but when done in a fun way, lessons will stay. Every training session with your dog should be punctuated with games, praise, and a lot of hugging. Ever session should be short, not lasting more than 10 to 15 minutes and then followed by some added “playtime.” Your dog should look forward to each “learning” session, just as when looking forward to going for a walk with you. In addition, every lesson should be useful at home.

The first basic training lesson is “sit.” Every dog should learn how to sit on command and be conditioned to do so before going through a doorway, getting a meal or a treat, getting in or out of a car, and before getting petted. A sitting dog cannot knock over visitors when they arrive, knock things out of your hand, jump out of a car before you have a chance to clip on a leash, lunge through a narrow opening in a door, and so forth. The second basic training lesson that dogs should learn is how to lie down on command so that they will not bother kids at play and will ride quietly in the car, etc.

Many people do not know how to train their dogs, especially when a dog’s personality and attitude differ from one’s own. Just about every dog presents some sort of training problem. Some do not respond well to tenderness and coaxing, and others simply melt when they hear a firm tone of voice. Some dogs are quite dominant and require strength of muscle, while others are very eager to please. It is very important that you “learn” your dog’s personality and attitude in order to train him/her in the right way. If you are unsure about what kind of learner your dog is, then it may be best to take him to professional obedience training where the trainer can help you make this identification.

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