Dog Training Tips


Dog Training Tip 1 


You have to gain the respect of any dog you wish to train. Without his respect you will have a much harder job to successfully train your dog. Establishing your-self, as the Alpha dog is the most important tip I can give you. Your dog has to learn that he must respect your commands at all times or reap the consequences. But at no time should you be heavy handed, as no dog will work well for you if he is afraid of you. It must be firm but fair reprimands. Once you are Alpha dog it will be easy to train your dog, as his one aim in life is to please you. If you have a puppy you are instantly Alpha dog because he depends on you so completely. All you have to do is maintain that authority, by not spoiling him. Little things like not going through doors first, not having access to your bedroom, eating after you not before, if this is inconvenient “spit” in his food, it implies you have eaten from the bowl first.  If you give a command make sure it is adhered to and that it is not the dog that decides when the command comes to an end.


Training Tip  2


Playing with your dog is really important. Just be sure that you are in control all the time. If you have a large dog do not get into “tug of war” games unless you are strong enough to win the match. If you loose your dog knows that he is stronger than you therefore you loose your status of “Alpha”. All puppies naturally wish to play and if you don’t instigate playtime with him you may find it more difficult when he is older. Playing with your dog strengthens your bond with him while stimulating him and giving him, and possibly you exercise.  While your dog is enjoying him-self playing you can be teaching him all manor of training tricks and commands; sit, fetch stay come, hold to name but a few. A lot of these commands he will do naturally while playing, you just have to attach the word, and praise him. Fun and exercise will help deter him from destructive behaviour.



Training Tip 3


Teaching your dog to not jump up might seem insignificant, but you need to understand that friends, relation and particularly strangers will not enjoy the experience. Dogs do not understand that they can do an action sometimes but not others, so for other people’s sake, and your dog, teach him good manners, about keeping all paws on the ground.  Some people even encourage it their dogs to jump up then tell them off when they do it with muddy feet when they are in their best suit. Puppies automatically jump up, but it is fairly simple to gently push them down then make a fuss of them. If you only pet them when all four feet are on the ground, they soon learn that if they jump up you walk away, and they don’t get the fuss they want. If your dog already has the habit just turn and walk away saying the command “off”. Or if you are quick you can bring your knee up so that he bumps into it. It is not pleasant for him so he soon learns not to jump up to you. Be very aware of when your dog starts to realise that you don’t want him jumping up. If there is a split second, when you come home, when he is remaining down immediately go down to him and make a big fuss of him. You have to stay calm because if you sound excited you will encourage him to jump up.


Training Tip 4


Jealousy; If you already have a resident dog and decide you need a second one you have to be very understanding of both dogs. The new one will need reassurance because everything is strange to him, but your first dog will also need reassurance that you still love him too. It is too easy to cuddle a puppy a lot and not give as much attention to the older dog. Be sure that you give the new arrival a bed of his own slightly away from your older dog. Try to be sure that the new dog does not sit in places that you know belong to your older dog. Be very particular that you do not let the new arrival go any where near your older dog’s feed bowl. Your older dog may well go off his food for a few days, but that will not stop him from protecting it. But similarly you need to gently teach your older dog not to touch the new comer’s feed bowl. It will only take a few days for them to understand, you will see them “eyeing up” the forbidden bowl, at this point praise them. I do not mean to imply that they would not eat from the other’s bowl if left unsupervised, but while you are around they should be able to learn to behave. Apply similar techniques to any other problems to avoid jealousy.  If your new dog is a puppy it should only take a week or two for the older dog to adjust, but may take longer if you have taken on another adult.


Training Tip  5


It is a sad fact that dogs do get run over by their owners, so it is best for all if you can train your dog to avoid being near your moving car. If you can start when he is a puppy all the better, but older dogs can learn as well it just takes a little longer. If you have drive gates train your dog to always sit behind the gate, when the car is being driven in or out. If you have been vigilant your dog will star to run to the gate as soon as the car is started, or arrives at the gate.  If you do not have gates to train him to sit behind then pick a save spot to train him to sit at until the danger has passed. You may need to have a post to tie him to start with, but he will soon get the idea.


Training Tip  6


On a similar note the act of dogs chasing cars, motor- bikes or pushbikes is just as dangerous. Not only can your dog, at the least end up with a broken leg or two, but also it could be very harmful to any one on two wheels. It can all start with your dog simply running after your children playing on their bikes. Kids being kids they scream with excitement. This in turn excites the dog and it becomes great fun for him, the wheels turning also excite him, and as time goes on he will start to attack the tyres, which is very dangerous if it’s two wheeled. This can be a difficult bad habit to solve, so it is best to avoid it starting.


Training Tip 7


All young puppies will chew on everything, including you. Although most of the time no harm is done, at this young age you do not know the character of your dog, so it is best to discourage it. If your dog is going to grow into a strong willed dog, possibly with an aggressive nature, you need to teach him that it is not acceptable to ever touch humans with his teeth, while he is young enough to accept what you say without questioning it. If this type of dog has been allowed to mouth you when young he will be more likely to bite, particularly strangers but even you. So at all times do not allow your puppy to mouth you, if he insists then either have a toy handy so that he can chew it instead or you, or reprimand him. If he hurts you scream and turn away from him. He has to learn that if his teeth touch you, you stop playing. Teaching this lessen is even more important if you have young children.


Training Tip 8


Training your puppy to stay in a box can be very useful as it helps you keep tabs on the mischievous little pup. It just takes a couple of days of continually restraining him, when sitting down in the evening, for him to learn that he is expected to stay in the box when put into it. In the early days he will not stay in there if you walk away, but in time he will learn to stay put even if you disappear for quite a while. This can help to house train him, as he will not relieve him-self where he is sleeping, and because he knows to stay in the box he is not wandering off to spend pennies when your not looking. He will get fidgety and whine when he needs to go out.  It also it teaches him to rest when you ask him to, so if you want a bit of peace and quiet in the evening, just put him in his box. There might be times when you don’t want him running around, for what ever reason, so then you can just ask to go to his box.


You are welcome to use this article written by Valerie Dancer, for your website or publication. Providing it is copied in it’s entirety, including the web site address, linking back to us.

Copyright 2006


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