How to Train a Dog? Basic Dog Training

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In today’s busy urban life, it is already harder than anything to teach good manners to one’s own kids, let alone the dogs, but let us bite the bullet; if we own dogs, we have to train them too. The biggest problem with taming the canine is its wild nature; dogs are known to be the most loyal animals, but still they are animals of prey and taming them becomes an issue, especially when you have to tame a grown-up dog. Dog training is not at all the same or as easy as puppy training.

However, both of them are entirely possible if some effort is put in doing so. It is actually their point of vulnerability that one has to stimulate and make them learn that their job is to be a “good dog” and do what the master asks them to do. This is where some very effective dog training techniques come in handy; yes, there are some simple to follow techniques that you can follow and make sure that your dog becomes a well-mannered canine that you always dreamed of. Let us have a look at the questions that dog owners ask us when they want to know more about dog training.

All you need to train your dog to “come” is a light-weight stick and his favourite treats. Clip the stick to dog’s collar and let him drag it. After he get used to it, pick up the stick and make the dog chase you around the yard.[1]

This will initiate a learning procedure. The dog will chase you and all you would have to do is make the dog follow you. If and when he comes to you, say “yes” and drop a treat. Now you would walk backwards and encourage your dog to follow you. Every time when he follows you, you are supposed to repeat the same; say “yes” and drop a treat. After your dog has been through much trial and error and he starts acting upon the commands, start pairing this behavior with the new keyword “come”. Sooner or later, your dog’s ears will get accustomed to this new word and every time when you will say “come” he will come to you. This is how you train your dog to come.

  • How to train your dog to sit?

Get to your dog’s level and hold a treat close to his nose. His head will follow as you move your hand upwards. This will eventually lower his butt. As soon as his butt hits the ground, release the treat to his mouth and praise him.[2]

This is how to train a dog to sit. The role of treats is very crucial. It is actually something discovered by famous scientist Ivan Pavlov. He was doing experiments on dogs and he learnt that dogs conditioned themselves to respond to certain stimuli. For example, his servant used to come and feed the dogs; after enough feeding dogs started to drool whenever Pavlov rung the bell to call his servant.

Dogs show how vulnerable we living beings are. They can be conditioned and we can get any response that we need. This means that how to train your dog is not a matter of hard-work, but smart work. Use a good stimuli to elicit the required condition and you will get it. In the case of dogs, a good stimuli is their favorite treat. It is the basic system of reward and punishment. While you would not like to punish your lovely dog, you reward them with their favorite treat whenever they do what you want them to do.


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  • How to train your dog to roll over?

To do this, kneel down and make your dog sit down in front of you. Hold his favorite treat close to his nose and with other hand turn his nose towards his shoulder. As soon as he would follow the treat, he will be unbalanced and will roll over naturally.[3]

Let us not forget that conditioning is the key whenever it boils down to dog training. This means that you always have to use a treat as your dog’s reward and make sure that it is “the most favorite treat” that you dog loves. You will have to do this action again and again, praise whenever your dog rolls over and pair this activity with the keyword “rollover”.

  • How to train your dog to stay?

Make your canine sit on your left side, making sure that his leash is attached. Now open your palm and bring it closer to your dog’s nose saying “stay”. Making sure that the leash is still loose, take a few steps backwards and see if dog stays.[4]

The philosophy behind this technique is to train the dog how to stay, without making it feel that it feel that it is forced to learn something new. Treat plays an important role in this activity as well. As a matter of fact, treat is the key to puppy training. So, if you see that your dog has learned how to stay, go back to your dog, put your foot on his leash and say the release word, be it “ok” or “come”, and do not forget to treat him with his favorite meal.

  • How to train your dog to lay down?

Get in your hand a treat with very good smell and take that hand closer to your dog’s nose. Now slightly open the hand to help your dog sniff the treat and then move the hand closer to the ground to make your dog follow the same action.[5]

This is all what there is to making a dog learn how to lay down. Once your dog is a down stance, slide your hand along the ground in a right to left movement in order to encourage your dog to follow the same movement. Soon, you would see that your dog has caught the rhythm and moving his lower body in the same way as you move your hand. Once your dog is completely down, say the word down and give him the treat. It is obvious that dog training requires patience and resilience. Repeat the same activity again and again, unless your dog learns how to lay down, and do not forget to praise him and treat him on every successful attempt.

  • How to train your dog to fetch?

Encourage your pup to chase the item that you him to fetch. While firmly holding him, encourage him a lot to chase the item. Keep a long leash attached to the dog and once he picks the item in his mouth, pull the leash to make him come back.[6]

In order to make things exciting, you can make sure that the item is his favorite treat. The way to make your dog bring back the item to you and not to keep it or eat it then and there, you can either pull back the leash or you can start running in a direction opposite to your dog’s direction. This is will make him chase you and bring the object to you. Once your dog gets mature in doing this, you can use some advanced puppy training tactics and also not forget to give him a treat and pair this activity to words like “go”, “run” and “fetch” etc.

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  • How to potty train your dog?

Make sure that your puppy does not eat anything apart from regular feeding intervals. Take your pup out to do potty in the morning and then once every thirty minutes. Take him out for potty after meals and take him to the same place every time.[7]

Let us be frank on this topic. The hardest part of puppy training is the potty training. For this matter, it is the hardest part for all animals. They are wild. Most of the dogs or pups are acquired from pet stores or shelters and this makes them learn bad habits of other dogs and pups. In the beginning, your puppy or dog will show no interest in being civilized, but with resilience and some smart techniques, you will finally do the most difficult task on the dog training manual. An important thing to remember is to stay with your dog or pup outside unless he is fully done.

And yes, here comes a treat too. If your dog finally learns how to eliminate without creating a mess, he deserves some praise, patting and obviously, his favorite treat. Treat your dog with whatever he loves if he acts flawlessly on your commands, or even if he is close to it.

  • How to train your dog not to bite?

Play with your dog or pup and let it take your hand in mouth. As soon as you feel that it is too much, let your hand go limp and try to groan just a dog or pup would do if the trainee dog or pup bit him.[8]

The reasoning behind this trick is very simple. Just like human babies, puppies also learn about the strength of their jaws and teeth by latching onto different items. What we do for our babies is to give them teethers to bite on. We can do the same for our puppies and show some smart and proactive puppy training tactics. This way, the pup will learn to latch only onto a soft item or toy and they will not bite you or your guests.

However, we must not forget that dogs like to get intimate with humans: especially their owners. Thus they need to know as to how much biting is too much biting. This is why we do the limp hand and groan act; it is to let the dog know that now it is no more fun, but it has started to pain. Once you know how to train your dog, making it refrain from biting is not a big deal.

Role of Reinforcement and Stimuli

One must not forget that all of the abovementioned dog training techniques are based on Ivan Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning. In this kind of training model, one always needs something to play the role of a stimulator. There is always a reinforcement to make the subject believe that the required behavior will always result in them getting rewarded.

The best reward that you can use for your dog is praise and treat. A dog feels emotionally close to its owner. They want to get good things from you. And when we say good things, it does not only mean their favorite meal, but most importantly some praise and patting on their back. So, make sure that whenever you try any of the abovementioned dog training techniques, you should end it on a treat and praise. Also, your dog will never come to you even if you yell from your epiglottis: “Come!” He would only come if you paired this word with the activity that you call “come”.

See, dogs do not use dictionaries. What we call words are mere sounds to them. So a dog will not sit unless you train him to sit and pair that activity with the sound of the word “sit”. Once done, whenever you would use the word “sit”, it will reinforce your dog’s brain and make him recall about what to do when his owner says “sit”.

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Dog training or puppy training is only a matter of smart work and time. Once enough efforts are put and enough time is spent on training these lovely canines, you would definitely see good results. Let us not forget of those “dogs of honor” who served life-saving and law-enforcement organizations and saved many human lives. After all what made them “super dogs”? Nothing, but smart, resilient and timely training.

You have to spare some time, even if an hour or so, and train your dog or pup to act upon the commands that dog owners use in their everyday life. Once done perfectly, how to train a dog will not remain your headache, but it will become your specialty. You can use it to help friends and family with undisciplined canines or even turn it into a business. Ever wondered how much money those dog walkers, dog sitters or dog trainers make? Well, this is time to find out for sure!