Dog / Puppy training basics.
Posted by John Dalton

Dog / Puppy training basics.

Dog Training! (in case you didn't know ;)

Hey! Do you have a dog or are planning to get one? It's never to late to train a dog or to break it from some bad habits, and if you're planning on training it you've come to the right place. I'm going to go through how to train them for some basic things, then I'll tell you what to do if your dog has some bad or annoying problems. So sit back, get comfy, and start reading!
Basic Tricks
When you're training your dog, you have a split second after the dog does something to either praise or scold it. If you do it anytime after that, the dog wont get it, or it'll think that your praising or scolding it for something else it did. That is a big reason that dogs develop bad habits, because the owners may be praising them for doing something bad! Also remember that a dog wont learn a trick just after doing it once or twice. It needs to be repeated over and over again over the course of days, but keep the training sessions short. You may want to have a special time every day to work on obedience. Perhaps every time you feed it, before you give them the food, you ask them to do a trick. This will incorporate what they learned into their daily lives. In additon, never, ever yell at your dog. You see, dogs won't understand what your saying. If you yell at them and call them stupid mutts, your voice being loud will just excite them even more. I've seen people scream at their dogs for barking a lot, and guess what, that just made them bark even more! Lastly, be fair. A dog doesn't deserve to be punished for something that it doesn't know. Patience is key, even if it seems like your dog will never obey you, you have to stay calm and keep trying.

Teaching your dog or puppy how to sit is always a good place to start and is very useful when you're trying to get your dog to calm down. Probaby the easiest and most popular way to do this is to use a treat. You hold the treat in your fist, and put your fist by the dogs nose so that they smell the treat. Raise your fist over the dogs head. In order for it to be able to still smell the treat, the dog will raise its nose while sitting down. The second the dog's rear end touches the floor, say "sit" in a firm, clear tone, and give the dog the treat. Keep repeating this. Over the course of time, start fazing out the treats. You'll find that your dog will sit just by hearing you say "sit."
This trick is best done after your dog has mastered sit. First, put your dog in a sitting position. Again, hold a treat in your fist, but this time you move it from in front of the dog's nose to the ground. When the dog lies down, say "down," and give them the treat. It's a very simple trick. As a challenge for your dog, after they have learned it well, would be to try to keep the dog down. Throw a ball away from the dog and let it choose whether to obey you or to get the ball. If it stays down, reward and praise them. If it runs after the ball, ignore them for a couple minutes, and then try again.
This is probably one of the most important commands that your dog can ever learn. A dog can be dangerous if they don't know this, that's why you have to remember never to let your dog off a leash out in public until they are experts at this. You can start teaching your dog to come by if, for example, your dog follows you around a lot, you can reward it every time it comes to you. This will get it into the dog's brain that you like it when they come to you. You may also kneel down and hold a treat while calling your dogs name or "come." If your dog comes, reward them and keep reinforcing.
Leash Training
Training your dog to be comfortable with a leash is needed (unless you enjoy having your dog pull your arm off the second you take a step outside.) To start with, have your dog or puppy get used to a collar. Using a lightweight collar, put it on your puppy when it's distracted, like when it's playing or eating. It's going to try to scratch the collar off, but don't think, "Oh, the poor puppy, that collar must hurt, I think I'll take it off for now." If you do that, how will your dog ever learn to wear a leash? Give your puppy time to get used to it and forget about it before you remove it. After your puppy is comfortable with a collar, you can get them accustomed to the leash. Clip the leash on and let the dog drag it around the house (under supervision.) After your dog is good with a collar and leash, you need to pick up the other end of the leash. Start by taking short walks around the house. If your puppy stays by your heel and on a loose leash, praise them and give them a treat. If your puppy starts pulling, however, stop walking. Don't ever yank on the leash. If you stop, the dog will realize it's not going anywhere when it pulls. If it comes back to you, praise them. Eventually, you'll be ready to take it outside.