If you have a dog, you’ve probably already performed some basic training with them, but maybe you’re new to pet ownership. If you have just gotten a dog or new puppy, you’ll want to start training them to learn some basic tricks or commands. You may be wondering, where do I begin? Here’s 5 basic tricks to train your dog!
- Sit – teaching a dog to sit is one of the easiest behaviors to train your dog. Begin by holding a treat close to your dog’s nose. Once you have his attention, get him to follow your hand up which makes him lower his hind end. If the dog actually sits down, tell him “Sit” and give him the treat. Repeat this several times and soon you won’t have to have the treat, your dog should sit when you tell him to.
- Come – getting your dog to come back to you is called a “recall”, or training your dog to come when called. You can train this by working with your dog on a leash, gently pull the dog to you and say the command “Come”. When the dog comes to you, give him a treat. Do this several times while on a leash and make sure the dog has a good understanding of what you want. You can then remove the leash and practice it inside before moving outside.
- Lay Down / Down – teaching your dog to lay down can be challenging but a good way to train this is with a favorite treat. Hold your hand up to the dog’s nose and let them smell the treat in your hand, then lower your hand to the floor. The dog will follow your hand down but to get them to lay down, you’ll have to move your hand forward and get the dog’s body to follow their head. Once they lay down, tell the “Down” and give them the treat.
- Stay – be sure your dog knows how to sit, then train him to stay. Take a few steps away and tell your dog, “Stay”. Then reward him if he doesn’t move. You can move further and further away as you train and always keep rewarding your dog when he remains in the sitting position.
- Drop It – a great trick for when you’re playing with your dog. Teaching a dog to drop means teaching them to give you a toy on command. Give your dog the toy and then hold a treat in your hand. Give your dog time to see the treat, smell it and eventually drop it. When they do, tell him “Drop It” and give your dog the treat. Repeat this several times.
These 5 simple tricks will help you learn how to train your dog and also strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Be sure to take your time and be patient, you want the training sessions to be positive for both you and your dog in order to be a success!
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