How To Train Your Dog


You have brought a new pet into your family, and now you have some work to do.  Once he has been to the vet and has all his shots, you should begin to learn how to train your dog.  An untrained dog can be at best a nuisance and, at worst, dangerous.  It is the responsibility of every pet owner to learn how to train your dog.

Basic Commands

Training your dog begins by teaching him the basic commands of sit, stay, no and come.  These commands are sort of the foundation for any further training, and without them, you will have no control over your pet.

It’s usually easiest to start with “sit” as you can teach your dog this command while you are by his side.  Of course, most puppies hear “no” quite often and sometimes they pick up the meaning to that word even without formal training. 


To start, place your dog on a short lead.  Say “sit” and gently push on his rear end.  When he sits, give him a treat and some words of praise.  Soon, you should be able to say “sit” and he should sit without you having to touch him.  Once that happens, remove the leash and give the command from a few feet away.  Gradually increase the distance from which you give the command.  Always offer treats and praise when he obeys.


To teach your dog to stay, place him on a longer leash.  Tell him to sit and stay then walk away while holding the leash.  If he gets up, walk right back to him and repeat the sit then stay command.  Only leave them in the stay position for a few seconds at a time and then slowly build the time up.  Repeat this exercise, eventually dropping the “sit” and using only the “stay” command.  Once he seems to understand, remove the leash and try the same exercises.  Remember, in the beginning while teaching your dog to stay use a nice calm voice. You want your dog to remain in a calm state of mind for this command because it can be very difficult to get them to stay when they are excited.


The “no” command, like the others, should be spoken in a firm, commanding voice.  Unlike the commands for “sit” and “stay”, how to train your dog to obey the “no” command is not an exercise as much as something they learn through the day to day routine.  Anytime you see your dog doing something he should not, say “no”.   If he doesn’t stop, walk to him and repeat the command.  As mentioned earlier, because dogs and puppies hear this word so often, it is usually the first command they learn.


Teaching the dog to come might seem easy, because dogs WANT to go to their owner.  The trick is getting them to come even when chasing a squirrel or car seems more fun that getting a belly rub from you.  Start by teaching your dog to come while he is on a lead. Once he understands the command,  try telling him to come when he is doing something else, such as eating.  

Next, when you’re out playing in the yard, have another family member or friend distract him with play while you  say “come”.   Instruct your helper to keep playing, because the dog needs to learn to come to you even when other interesting things are going on.  Offer treats and praise every time he obeys.

Once your dog has mastered these four commands, it will be easier to teach him more advanced commands.  The keys when figuring out how to train your dog are consistency and using rewards rather than punishment.  Training does take time, but having a well-trained dog is worth the effort. 


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