Tag Archives: Training

How to start training a dog

388861161_6cc34822dd_z

Introduce the collar and leash
As early as a few weeks old, you can introduce your pup to her collar and leash. Wait until she’s doing something positive such as feeding, playing, or getting affection from you and slip on the collar and leash. The idea is both to get her used to wearing them and to have her associate them with positive feelings. If your dog fights against the leash or collar, try using treats or toys to get her more comfortable.

Go for a walk — inside
Just because you don’t want to risk taking your pup around the neighborhood doesn’t mean you can’t walk. Attach his leash and guide him around your living space so he gets used to you leading him around. If you have a backyard, you should use bathroom time as another opportunity for leash training by walking your pup out to the spot where you want him to go, instead of letting him have the run of the yard.

Help him learn to follow
Ideally, you want to be leading your dog when you’re on the walk — not the other way around. But this is a lot harder to do with a large adult dog than a tiny pup, so there’s no better time for training than now. All you have to do is put on his leash and walk a few steps. When he inevitably starts to pull, you should turn and walk in the opposite direction. You’ll stop-and-start a lot at first, but eventually she’ll get it. You can reinforce this learning by rewarding him with praise or treats when he does follow.

Practice obedience training
By the time your dog is ready to go out on walks, between months 3 and 6, it’s also a good window to start obedience training. Start with basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “heel,” and “down,” and make sure everyone doing the training is consistent, using the same words and gestures. Otherwise, the dog will become confused.

One of the best ways to teach these basic commands is the “Ask, Tell, and Command” method. The idea is that you first ask your dog to do something, such as “come.” Then tell them to do it using a firm voice if they don’t comply the first time. If that still doesn’t work, repeat the command again and physically pull your pup to you. Regardless of whether your dog comes on her own or you bring her over, immediately offer praise. This will help her to associate completing the action with a reward, and next time she may do it sooner.

Keep up with the training and stay consistent. Pretty soon your dog will obey you without even thinking about it!

Advertisements