Training Dogs; Advanced Training for your dog

 

A well behaved and trained dog can bring many benefits to both pet and owner and in this guide to training dogs we will build on the basic commands you may have already taught.

In our previous dog training articles we guided you through bringing home and house training your puppy and teaching it the basics.In teaching your puppy the basics we looked at the commands to sit, lie down, come, and leave it. If your dog doesn't yet have all these skills then take a look and come back to this article. The basic techniques learnt there will help you with these more advanced commands.

In this guide we are going to look at the commands; stay, fetch, drop it and how to walk on a lead without pulling. For all of these techniques to work you are going to need to be familiar with reinforcing correct behaviour with praise and treats.

Teach your dog to sit

Training Dogs - Teach your dog to stay

 The purpose of the command 'stay' is to teach your dog not to move from its position until you give it the ok to do so. This can be useful in many day to day situations from a visit to the vet, crossing a busy road or just when you need a bit of time to yourself. It can be taught to your dog from standing, sitting or lying down, but we will start with sitting which is probably the first command you taught your dog and therefore the one they are most familiar with.

1. get your dog to sit comfortably in front of you. Sit or stand in front of him and put your palm out in front of his face and issue the command stay.

2. step two paces away from the dog, turn to face him and say the command again.

3. Have him stay for just a couple of seconds before praising him and giving him a treat. Allow him to play for a while.

4. Repeat the process several times.

5. Once your dog seems to have mastered this, start gradually increasing the length of time and distance you are apart.

6. Eventually you may be able to take the step of moving out of view.

remember the key is to convince the dog that waiting for your command is worth the reward so be sure to celebrate any success and make it clear that his behaviour has pleased you.

Understanding fetch games

Training dogs to fetch

 Many dog will instinctively chase a toy if thrown, many seem to lose interest. The video shown here shws some great ways to engage with your dog and have it show genuine interest in the game in hand. It explains your dogs behaviour and provides a great basis for teaching your dog to fetch.

Once you are familiar with this video, try the following trick for using a friend to teach your dog to fetch;

1. Keep a tight hold of your dogs collar and throw a ball as far as possible.

2. Yell fetch to your friend using their name and repeating 'fetch' as they chase the ball.

3. When they reach the ball have them hold up the ball so your dog can see what they have. Yell at your friend to 'bring the ball'. When they return let go of your dog and make a fuss of your friend, rewarding them as you would your dog. If your dog is keen on treats then reward your friend making sure the dog sees this.

4. Repeat the previous three steps.

5. Repeat the steps but this time release your dog instead of your friend. Use the same commands and reward.

tip;Indoor games can be enhanced by having the dogs bed by you when you throw the ball. Many dogs love bringing prizes back to their bed.

Training dogs, teaching your dog to drop it.

 Training a dog to drop what is in its mouth can be a challenge to many dogs but it doesnt have to be that way. Expecting a dog to understand that a game is over or that it has picked up something wrong is and unfair demand. Instead you are going to offer it a swop for something it would like more. A common mistake is to try and take the toy from the dogs mouth, but how is the dog to distinguish this from a game of tug?

1. Have your dog play for some time with a popular toy whilst you get a supply of its favourite treat.

2. Have your dog come to you with the toy in its mouth. Put one of the treats right in front of its nose. If you have chosen the right treat, the dog will go for the treat, opening its mouth and dropping the toy.

3. Do this several times until you both have it understood.

4.Now associate the command. At the exact moment that your dogs mouth opens use the command drop it. Correct timing is critical, you want the dog to associate opening its mouth with the command drop it.

5. reinforce this command with treats over several days of training, taking every opportunity. After time this should become instinct for the dog. Try occasionally issuing the command with no reward immediately. start making the reward less and less common. you want your dog to learn that a treat will not always be forthcoming immediately. Eventually you should be able to acheive this with your dogs most treasured toy with no treat on offer.

Training Dogs - Walking on a lead

Walking a dog that is forever pulling on its lead can be exhausting and intimidating for you and other walkers. Teaching your dog to walk on a lead without pulling is great for showing everyone involved including your dog, who is boss. Making walkies a far more enjoyable experience for all involved.

The first step will certainly be to get your dog used to the equipment that you are going to use. In this case yoyr dog will need to get used to wearing a collar. At first your dog may resist and try to scratch and dislodge it. Do not remove it until the dog has calmed down and forgotten it. It can also be useful to get the dog used to having the lead attached whilst playing at home. This must always be supervised.

These are two excellent videos that demonstrate far better than words how to have success training dogs to walk on a lead.

 

Moving on from advanced training.

 If you have enjoyed this article and taught your dog all this skills to a good level of competence then you have a great dog on your hands that may enjoy and benefit from learning more advanced techniques and even some tricks.

You can find our article on tricks and advanced techniques here

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