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Dog Obedience Training: Where to Begin With Your Puppy

By    |   Monday, 12 January 2015 01:21 PM

It’s never too early or too late to begin dog obedience training. Training not only creates a well-behaved dog, but also brings about a bond between the dog and pet owner.

The best place to start with your puppy is by teaching him commands that will keep him and others safe. "Sit," "stay," and "leave it" are important to master before more fun tricks like rolling over or playing dead.

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Training a puppy can be fun. You can teach obedience to a puppy by combining its favorite activities with training sessions, which become kind of a game. Use positive reinforcement like treats and praise when your puppy does what you want.

Spend about five minutes on each command and repeat it whenever time allows you. It also helps to practice commands in different areas of the house or outside while walking the dog.

Puppies can learn very quickly. Keep in mind your own body language to help communicate with him. For example, a welcoming sign is when you crouch down, but standing in a towering position over him could be seen as a threat.

Rewards are essential for dog obedience training. Rewards may include a few pieces of dry food or praise, as well as both. A puppy will learn quickly with the more rewards it receives for good behavior.

Set aside time to practice your sessions repeatedly so your dog begins to understand the right thing to do. Always praise or reward the good behavior from your puppy. If you happen to catch him sitting when you didn't ask, you can say praise him along with using the word for the command — "good sit!" — and that can help him connect the action to the word.

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When a puppy hears the words “no” or “stop” too often, he can get used to it. Sometimes it's better to use an abrupt sound that will get his attention.

There are times when the word "no" can be used effectively when warning your dog away from dangerous situations, but consider using a command like "leave it." Reward the dog when he pays attention to these commands. Speak firmly, but not necessarily loudly. Dogs sense the stress in a person’s voice, which can create fear and won’t help him learn.

Puppies have a tendency to chew things and if you catch your puppy gnawing on a piece of furniture, tell him a command such as "off" and guide him to his own toys to chew on. Then praise the dog for that.

One way to control your dog’s barking is to let him know barking is acceptable as a warning or alarm, according to Hill’s dog care site. But say, “stop barking” after the dog does it two or three times, then hold out a treat. When the pup stops barking, give him the treat after a few seconds.

Do not hit or slap your dog. This only creates a puppy that becomes fearful and may engender aggressive behavior.

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It's never too early or too late to begin dog obedience training. Training not only creates a well-behaved dog, but also brings about a bond between the dog and pet owner.
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Monday, 12 January 2015 01:21 PM
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