Following on from Part I we would like to think you’ve mastered how to walk your pooch on a leash, ensure they travel comfortably in the car and hope they haven’t made any toilet mistakes. Now it’s time for the next lesson on our Dog training masterclass:
Sit, Stay and Come are particularly useful skills for your dog to master and each follow the same general method – voice control, rewards and repetition.
- “Sit!” – Use healthy and familiar treats with your dog and start in a standing position with one treat between your thumb and fingers. In a strong (but not angry) tone of voice say “sit”. Keep the treat about an inch away from your dog’s nose and guide her into a sitting position i.e. lowering the treat to the floor so that you dog is required to meet the floor with her bottom or more effectively raising the treat above your pooch’s head – to enable the dog to look upwards she will have to sit down (clever trick!). This will take many many attempts but just be patient. When your pooch assumes the sitting position you may reward her with the treat so that she associates this voice command and position with a positive reward. You will not always want to rely on treats so be sure to combine the treat with a gentle pat and a “good girl”. Eventually she will follow the command and grow to expect just a loving pat from her master.
- “Come!” and “Stay!” – Similar to the “sit” command you can follow the instructions above obviously replacing “sit” with “come” or “stay”. When asking your pooch to come to you crouch slighty so that you are at eye level with your pooch and gently tap your knees and call out their name. Make the treat visible so that your pooch knows that there is a reward at the end. To condition your pooch to stay in place use a strong hand signal to indicate that you mean for them to stand still. If your dog moves repeat this process until they remain still. Walk slowly toward your pooch continually signalling for them to stay and if they remain still until you reach their position then reward them with a treat. Do remember that if your pooch does not follow your command –she does not get the treat.
- “Paw!”: Once you have mastered the “sit” command you are ready to teach Fido how to give his paw. Again, start with treats. With your little friend in a seated position simply start by putting a treat in your hand and close shut. The smell will entice your pooch to come and investigate. The goal here is for him to place his paw on your hand. When this happens open your hand and allow him to be rewarded. It’s a good idea to say the word “paw” throughout to help your dog make the connection. If this method isn’t working try making the treat visible and motioning with your empty hand towards the dog’s paw – continually repeating the word “paw”. For the first few times you may need to gently take the paw in your hand yourself in order to explain to the dog what you are looking for.
Again, once you’ve mastered this command replace treats with assuring pats, cuddles and positive voice gestures.
Hounds out of bounds: Here, prevention is better than cure. Here are some top tips to ensure a happy and safe environment for your pooch:
– Cables/ Wires/ Leads: Great teething toy but potentially lethal to pups. Try tucking away any cables or enclose them in a chew-proof PVC tube which can be bought in most reputable hardware stores.
– Cupboards/ Drawers/ Closets: If you store dangerous cleaning products, food and delicate items in cupboards and drawers you are best to invest in child proof latches so that your pooch doesn’t go wandering through lethal detergents, scoff your chocolate caramels or tear through that family heirloom.
– Balconies/ Gardens: curious pups can cause serious damage to themselves if they are allowed to roam freely on a balcony or garden. Balcony ledges can be covered rather decoratively with bamboo fencing or even hanging baskets to prevent your pooch jumping. Gates and clever fencing can provide a safe arena for your four legged friend to frolic and develop. Please make sure there are no dangerous plants in your garden – check out the dog’s trust website for a comprehensive list :
In the next few weeks we will be posting Part III of this blog which will deal with :
Excessive Barking – How to control your pooch’s barking
New Dog, Old Tricks – Basic tricks for your pup
Favour Pets foods is a family run pet food business who have been making dog and cat food for over 33 years, with extensive production and warehouse facilities based in Randalstown, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland. Favour Pet Foods offers a range of complete dog and cat food in a variety of bag sizes, as well as huge selection of treats, snacks, healthcare products, wild bird food and seasonal lines.
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