Training your dog yourself – Part 7

Here’s some tips and tricks I’ve learned through trial and error with my own pups.

-First things first:

Your dog has to know who’s in charge. If you haven’t heard yet, step one is the ol staredown. Sit your dog in front of you and stare him in the eyes. The one who holds the stare longest is boss- make sure that’s you.

Another thing I like to do with a new dog is to spit in his mouth. Sounds weird, but he’ll remember the taste and smell, and he’ll know that he is yours, not the other way around.

Put a collar on the dog and leave it there. Yet another way to remind pup that he is to be submissive to his master.

-The secret to success? REPETITION

-The secret to success? REPETITION

-The secret to success? REPETITION

Drive the point home. It takes patience, but the reward is so sweet when you have a dog that you can count on to do what you say. For example, you want your dog to stay. Sit him down and tell him to stay… until he does. That may take many many attempts. He stands up, “No!” sit him back down and tell him to stay again. Repeat it until he gets it, no matter how many times it takes. Then gradually move further away from him until he understands that the command means the same thing at any distance. Some dogs learn more quickly than others. If you don’t have the patience to do this, pay a professional dog trainer who does. A halfhearted effort from you will result in a half-trained dog who will be just difficult enough to manage that you will still end up sending him to obedience school.

-Reward system

It’s a bad idea to use food or treats as the incentive for good behavior. Your praise is the reward. The treats have their place later, but for now just allow the dog to achieve your approval. The pup wants to make you happy- let him focus on that with a clear head, not one that’s clouded by the smell of Beggin Strips. Once they have that food on their mind, how can you expect them to pay full attention to you?

Good luck!

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