We all want a well behaved dog; especially if you have children, neighbors, family, and possibly a girl/guy friend. So what are the basics to a good dog?
There are many things every dog should know, but sadly as we all know there are a lot of things
(that are very important) that most dogs don't know.
What it all comes down to is the trust an bond you have with your dog,
Remember, a good dog doesn't do tricks, a good dog listens and obeys out of respect not fear or dominance.
Step 1: "No" & "Yes!"
The 1st "No" is not "NO!" and "Yes" should be "YES!!"
When we first get our dogs we like to make sure they know who's boss. "No!" This word is thrown around very loosely around dogs.
My belief is "No!" should be "No." Firm and calm, not controlling and angry.
Don't be fooled into thinking 'My dog is an ancestor of the wolf therefore i need to dominate him.'
We domesticated dogs to work with us, so why are we so convinced that they don't want to respect us and listen to us?
Dogs where created to do work on our behalf, any dog that is misbehaving is crying out for you to pay attention and to listen.
There are very few cases where you do need to tend to the dog's behavior due to abuse and sociological damage; i seen several dogs with this problem their owners are very pleased with the work I've done.
Once you begin to work with your dog you must give the right responses.
let's say you are trying to teach your dog the "Down" command.
Instead of down, your dog sits.
Do not ever use "No." EVER! "No" is for when your dog has and accident on your carpet, not for a wrong command.
Once your dog does the command right it's not. "Yes"
You need to freak out (positively) with praise. "Yes" needs to be "YESS!! WHAT A GOOD DOG!!!!" then a thousand kisses.
That way your dog is extremely sure of what it is you want him to do.
Step 2: "Listen to Me/ Watch Me"
This is the attention getter.
When your dog hears this his ears should go up, and his eyes should be on you; waiting for a command.
Most people will use their dog's call name for this. I think the the call name is for getting your dog to come to you and this command is for getting your dog's attention.
This command is easily taught with a small reward. Give the dog the command to "Watch me", "Listen up", "Listen to me." (i've also heard people who have multiple dogs use their names in the command, EX. "Rover listen up!")
(never alternate between the three, simply pick one; don't confuse your dog.)
Then once the command is given put the reward to your eyes until your dog makes eye contact, even if it's just for a moment.
Then reward with dog with a big "YES!"
Step 3: Let's Walk
While walking on a leash is a very difficult task for some dogs, for others it's as natural as eating. I do not condone the usage of prong collars, harnesses, choke chains, or flat collars. I use no collar or leash unless i am required to (city walking), in which case i use a flat collar or depending on the dog's training level or bond with me a chain collar.
Steps for an easy walk:
1: Make sure your collar is properly fitted and safe for your dog. If you are using a dominance collar (chain collar or prong collar) make sure the collar is high on the neck.
2. Make sure you do not walk with a retractable leash, you will have little to no control over your dog.
3. Place your dog beside you, allow him some room to walk don't attach him to your hip.
If your dog pulls put a small reward in front of their face, this is known as baiting*
4. After baiting your dog for a while reward the dog with the treat. Do not become over excited because you will excite the dog and the unwanted behavior of pulling will return.
* Baiting is a way to distract your dog, while keeping his attention. Put the treat between your thumb and index finger and hold it there with a small amount of the treat sticking between your fingers. Hold the treat to your dog's nose and aloow him/her to nibble on it. Look at the picture for an example. Once you dog has done the task you wanted, reward the dog by opening your hand and reveling the treat to them.*
Step 4: "It's Nothing/ Leave It/ Doesn't Matter"
Your dog know the attention getter, now what about the ignorance?
I like to use this command when i'm walking my dogs. Let's say i'm walking my dogs in the dog park (off lead.) And their favorite thing comes up, a large gross puddle of murky water. i can quickly give the command of "Leave it!" and my pack will walk around it.
Now don't expect your dog to completely leave any object alone after this command. They will usually continue to try to sniff and look interested in the object (they'e a lot like kids.) Don't get upset when this happens as long as they aren't trying to bite, chew, or pick up the object they listened to your command.
This also works well i you have small children, your dog might try to sniff their face.
The easiest way to teach your dog this command is to:
1. Put a toy in front of the dog
2. As soon as your dog attempts to sniff it; brush his nose away with your hand while giving the command.
3. Once your dog's eyes leave the object and look at you or somewhere else give the dog a reward. (This make take a while depending on how determined and play driven your dog is. Be patient)
Step 5: "Stay Back!"
This command is often used to keep a dog from bolting out the door.
It's very simple to teach. (Keep your dog on lead until he waits for you to let him out)
1. Grab the handle of your door, if your dog runs in front of you, his nose against the door. Or he is right at your heals; toss back your foot gently, and tell him to "Stay back"
2. Your dog may simply ignore you and keep trying to push his way out. So don't open the door, just grab the handle and give it a twist, if he remains calm and keeps his distance, reward him.
3. whenever you go to your door give this command even if you are going on a walk, repletion is key.
Step 6: Treats or Toy?
This isn't part of the 5 steps; it's simply to let you know when to use a toy or a treat.
Now if your dog is only motivated by treats or toys then only use a treat or toy. But if your dog loves both treats and toys here's what you need to know.
Toy opportunities: Any physical training! Such as agility, fly ball, or if you want to do a trick that involves jumping or some other extreme movement. Once your dog preforms the trick you want, give the toy a quick toss and the reward has been given. Remember only use toys if your dog has been trained to bring it back to you.
Treat opportunities: When you need a quick reward. Almost any other time when playing isn't appropriate or is too energetic for the dog. When you want the dog calm and completely attentive i'd use a treat.
Step 7: Questions?
If you have a question post it or message me!
I have trained for Greater Lincoln Obedience club, also i train dogs in the foster program for shelters.
I am pro spay and neuter.
I am anti breed specific legislation.
And i love dogs!!