Training your dog yourself – Part 3

You may have decided to train your dog all by yourself to save money. You may have decided to train your dog all by yourself to save your sanity. Perhaps you have your own idea of exactly what you want from your dog or perhaps your home has special rules that just don’t apply in a traditional obedience course. Whatever your reason, training your dog yourself is going to be a wild and rewarding ride.

Housebreaking and walking on a loose lead are two of the most important things you are going to teach your dog. It is important in these instances to be consistant. Set meal times and outdoor times and house breaking will be much easier. Don’t ever allow your dog to pull you with his leash. Instead switch direction as soon as you feel the tug. This will let him know you are in control of the walk’s direction and pace.

For a well trained dog you’ll want to teach stay, come, lie down and heel. These are safety measures more than anything. A dog that will listen to these commands is much less likely to bite a stranger or be hit by a car. You can pull it from danger with the sound of your voice. Call for it to come if it gets to close to the road, make him sit if he is up in a stranger’s face. If you can get your dog to stop an amazing play session and immediately listen to these commands then you have successfully trained your dog.

First and foremost, read up. Surf the net, visit your local library, make a few purchases at the petstore. This step is important to give your training regimen the backbone it needs. While there are nearly as many methods as there are dogs and owners, you will eventually find one that you approve of (and one that works).

Basic examples of different methods are:

CLICKER TRAINING- the use of a small device that makes a loud “clicking” noise. Depending on the type of clicks you make your dog will eventually learn all the basics and you won’t lose your voice. Clicker training is nice because it takes a variable out of the training that might confuse your dog, your voice. By clicking that tiny button you will always make the same sounds regardless of whether or not you are angry, frustrated or sick.

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT- This is perhaps the kindest way to train your dog, but it can also be one of the most difficult because you have to catch your dog doing all the right things and ignore all the bad. I’ve tried this method on several dogs and while it makes a nice addition to any training regimen it never seems to be enough because there

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