5 Essential Dog Training Skills

5 Essential Dog Training Skills for Beginners

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There are many great things that you can do with your dog. It will be more fun for both of you if your dog has some training. Most importantly, your dogs should have a distinguished behavior to the stray dogs. And it is you who gonna make it. But how?

A dog who’s trained will listen to you when you ask him to do something. He’ll turn his attention to you and will be nicer to be around.

No matter what is age or breed, your dogs should know five basic skills to be called a pet dog. The following commands your dog should actively listen are:-

  1. Sit
  2. Down
  3. Come
  4. Stay
  5. Walk

Before you start training your dog, you need to teach yourself how to be a great dog trainer, Here are some important things to keep in mind.

1. Always be Patient: 

Dealing with dogs can sometimes be annoying. Don’t get angry at your dog if he doesn’t do
what you ask. Remember that he’s just learning. Keep trying until he understands.

2. Use Rewards. Treats, Praises:

An upbeat tone of voice and lots of praise and petting will help your dog learn faster. Giving praise and treats for making the right choice is called reinforcing. Reinforcement makes it more likely that your dog will repeat what he was doing when you praised him.

3. Be Kind:

Never hit or yell at your dog if he makes a mistake.

4. Use Treats Wisely:

Find out what treats your dog likes best, and save those for training time. Whatever you give your dog, use very small pieces. Cut back on the amount of food he gets with his regular meals if you‘re giving him a lot of treats. You don’t want him to start getting chubby.

5. Always End on a Positive Note:

When you’re working with your dog, only stop your training session when your dog has done something right. This may mean asking him to do something he already knows how to do well. Ending each training session with success will help him learn faster.

6. Ask for Help:

If you’re stuck and your dog doesn’t get it, ask a knowledgeable adult for help.

After you work on yourself, it is time to learn step-by-step, how your dogs can be trained to learn the basic skills.

1. Sit:

Dog sitting

It isn’t difficult to teach your dog to sit when you ask him. Moreover, it is one of the important skills for him to know, It gives you more control over his behavior when you’re doing just about any kind of activity. It is also a good idea to have him sit at every street corner when you’re out walking and waiting for the light to change for his safety and yours.

Here’s how to teach your dog to sit:-

  • Break up some of your dog’s favorite treats into small, easy-to-swallow pieces. Put them in your pocket or on a table right next to where you’re working.
  • Get your dog to stand in front of you, facing you, with his toes close to yours. (You may need to scooch closer to him to make this happen.)
  • Place a bit of food between your thumb and forefinger. Put the treat near your dog’s nose fo get his attention. Don’t let him have it just yet, though.
  • Slowly raise the treat up in the air. As your dog follows it with his nose, move it back over his head a few inches. While your dog’s head tilts back to watch the treat, he’ll probably sit. As soon as his rear end touches the floor, say “yes” and give your dog the treat. Good boy!
  • Finally, practice about 10 times in a row, until your dog seems to really get it.

If your dog jumps up for the treat, you may have raised it too high over his head. Keep the treat closer to his head when you try again. If your dog stands up or walks backward instead of sitting, try working in a corner with your dog’s back against the wall. This will help him understand what you want him to do.

When your dog knows what’s coming next and starts to sit before you move your hand up and back, he’s ready to learn a verbal cue (a special word) for sit. Take a treat and hold it in your hand at about waist level. When your dog looks like he’s getting ready to sit, say “sit.” When he sits, say “yes” and give him the treat.

Once your dog seems to know the “sit” cue pretty well, practice with him standing at your side. Remember that you need to practice in lots of different places, when it’s raining and when it’s sunny, around different kinds of distractions, and on different types of floors. This way, your dog will know that “sit” always means sit, no matter where he is and what else is going on.

2. Down:

Dog down

After your dog learns to sit, you can teach him to lie down. The down cue comes in handy when you need your dog to settle down and stay where he is for a while.

Here’s how to teach your dog to lie down on cue:-

  • Firstly, put a handful of small, tasty treats in your pocket and sit or kneel on the floor next to your dog.
    Ask him to sit. Good dog!
  • Lightly rest your left hand on your dog’s shoulders, but don’t push down. (Keeping your hand in this position should help prevent him from standing up.)
  • Hold the treat in your right hand between your thumb and your first two fingers.
  • Let your dog lick at the treat while it’s still in your fingers, as you slowly lower
    the treat straight to the floor.
  • After your dog’s nose has followed the treat to the floor, slowly drag the treat away
    from him along the floor. He’ll probably creep forward with his front legs to try
    to get the treat or will lower himself into a down position.
  • The moment your dog’s elbows and chest touch the floor, say “yes” and reinforce him by giving him the treat.
  • Repeat the above steps a few times. Once your dog seems to get it, add the
    verbal cue “down.”
  • Use your treat to lure him down. As his legs are stretched out and his chest is heading to the floor, say “down.” Only give him the treat when he’s lying all the way down. Good job!

When your dog will lie down on cue consistently for a few days, start practicing on different surfaces, in different places, and around different types of distractions. Also, give him the cue while you’re in different positions, such as sitting, standing, and lying down. This way, he’ll know
that “down” always means lie down.

3. Come:

Dog come

There are probably lots of times when your dog comes when you call him, Maybe it’s when you get home from school or want some company in the backyard. I‘ll bet he comes when you call him for dinner, too.

It is important for your dog to come when you call him every time, though. This is especially true when he’s not wearing a leash.

If you’re playing a game with him and you need him to come back to you, you can call him to come. You can call him to come if he’s doing something he shouldn’t be doing.

You can also call him to come when he’s off playing by himself or with another dog and it’s time to go home.

When you call your dog to come to you, he should come right away, the first time you call him. If you have to keep saying his name over and over, he may not understand what you want him to do. Or else he’s learning that he doesn’t have to come until you say his name eight times. That’s not what you want to leach him.

To teach your dog to come:-

  • Go to an area that has some distractions (but not too many!), such as your backyard with other people in it, or a quiet park. Be sure to bring some treats. Now, place him on a six-foot leash. It’s time to learn to come on cue.
  • Wait until your dog is interested in something, such as another dog or person, or a smell.
  • Begin running backward away from him with a treat in your hand. (If your dog is shy, start by running away with your back fo your dog.} This may seem strange, but when we run away, most dogs want to follow us. While running, call the dog to you using his name and the word “come” ~ in a happy tone of voice. “Max, come!”.
  • As your dog gets near you, stop running and bring your hands together with.your thumbs pointing up. Lower your hands to your dog’s nose level so he can smell the treat. Your hands will be like a target for your dog to run toward.
  • When your dog is nearly toe to toe with you, say “sit” and raise your hands up a few inches. (This should bring your hands up a couple of inches higher than the dog is tall.) This small movement will help get your dog to sit.
  • If your dog runs into you or jumps up on you when coming, say “sit” when he’s about five feet away.
  • Alter your dog sits, take hold of his collar with your empty hand before giving him the treat. This will get him used to have his collar held and will discourage him from running away. (If you need to grab him in an emergency, there’s no time to play Catch Me if You Can.) Make sure he gets the treat and a big welcome!

After your dog learns what you mean when you say “come,” you can stop running and say the cue while you’re standing still. Just remember that a moving target is more exciting to your dog than one that isn’t moving.
Save running for special situations, like when you’re calling your dog in very distracting places.

As your dog gets better at coming when called, practice with more and more distractions, with your dog on a longer leash each time. Don’t start practicing with your dog off-leash until he comes at least 90 percent of the time while he’s on a leash.

When you’re ready to start doing it off-leash, practice only in places that are completely safe for your dog, such as in your house, in a fenced yard, or at a local dog park.

Always remember to act happy when you’re teaching your dog to come. Don’t call your dog when you need to do something to him that he won’t like, such as going inside. If you do, he’ll avoid coming to you. Instead, just go get him.

4. Stay:

Dog Stay

If you teach your dog to stay, he won’t get up until you tell him it’s okay. This is a great thing for your dog to know when you’re doing just about anything with him. For example, lots of neat tricks require your dog to stay in one place while you take a step or two away from him.

You can teach this to your dog while he’s wearing a leash, or not.

Here’s how you teach stay:-

  • Get your dog into a sit or down position. Now, bring the palm of your hand (fingers together) toward your dog’s face at the same time you say “stay.”.
  • At first, remain calm and quiet yourself while the dog is staying. He takes his cues from you, so if you’re still.
  • Count to five in your head and give your dog a treat if he is still in the same position. Then let him know he’s done working by saying “okay.” This means he’s allowed to get up. If the dog doesn’! move after you say “okay,” clap your hands or move your hands or body so your dog moves.  This will help him learn that “okay” means he’s done.

Keep practicing. Each time your dog shows you that he can stay, slowly add about five seconds to the amount of time you ask him to stay.

Important Points to Remember:-

When you’re teaching your dog to stay for longer periods, give him a treat every five seconds so he doesn’t think that once he earns a reward, he’s done staying. You want him to learn to stay until you say “okay.” As he gets better at this, you can increase the time between rewards.

Don’t repeat the verbal “stay” cue too often. Use it only when your dog is still staying but seems to be losing concentration, or if he’s just about to get up. Also, use it after you’ve given him the treat to remind him that he’s still supposed to stay.

If your dog gets fidgety when he’s staying, say his name to draw his attention to you. Then show the flat palm hand signals again while quietly saying “stay.”

if your dog gets up before you say “okay,” tell him “wrong” or “eck” and ask him to get back into position by saying “stay” again. Say “wrong” in a quiet tone, not like you’re yelling at him— it’s just to let him know he made a mistake. Keep an eye on him while he’s staying so you can give him feedback as soon as it seems as if he’s about to walk off.

If your dog won’t remain in the stay, you may not be reinforcing him as much as he needs, or you could be making him excited with your movements.

If you give him treats more often and stay quiet but this doesn’t help, try working with him in a less distracting place.

Practice having your dog stay while he’s sitting and lying down on many different surfaces. Do this in lots of different places and with different types of distractions.

Now your dog knows how to sit, lie down, come, and stay on cue.

5. Walk:

Dog walk

It’s way more fun to be out with your dog if he knows how to walk nicely on a leash. This is especially important for big dogs. No one likes to walk a dog who drags them around. Even a small dog isn’t fun to walk when he’s pulling you.

Here’s how to teach your dog to walk nicely on a leash:

  • Clip your dog’s leash to his collar and put some of his favorite treats in your pocket.
  • Take him outside to a spot where there’s not too much going on. Your backyard is a good place.
  • Hold a treat in front of your dog and start walking with him at your side. Take just a few steps like this. If he doesn’t pull but walks next to you, give him the treat. Good boy!
  • Practice this several times and soon your dog will start paying attention to you when you’re walking. When he does, add a few more steps before giving him a treat.

After a while—or even right away—your dog might start to pull on the leash. If he does, just stop in your tracks and call him back to you. When he comes back, ask him to sit. When he does, give him a treat. Then start over by walking a few steps again while you show him the treat. The idea is to repeat this over and over again until he catches on that he’s not supposed to pull or get ahead of you. Be patient—he’ll get it.

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