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This summer is a perfect time to DIY with dog obedience training. For one thing, the weather in summer is conducive to being outside when you are training.
You may be able to get your pooch to obey somewhat indoors, but outdoor training is essential for your pet.
There are many more ways that a pooch could get hurt out of doors than inside, so you must know your pet will obey you in those situations outside.
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Everyone Loves An Obedient Pooch
Now that you have decided your pooch needs some dog obedience training, how do you go about it?
There are always obedience classes that you could take advantage of. But with a little patience, a DIY training program can be an opportunity for you and your pet to develop a deeper bond.
While you love your pooch unconditionally, others may not be so fond of Fido if Fido is hard to manage and has no manners.
Just as humans should be good citizens, so should their furry counterparts. You should endeavor that your pet would be socialized, friendly, and controlled.
Training Vests For Your Dog
Most dogs are really smart, and learning can be fun for them.
Summer is the ideal time for DIY training as you can be out of doors. The added distractions outside will actually be good for your pet’s focus.
It is especially helpful to have a training vest for your dog for use when training out of doors.
A vest will help to keep your dog safe and under your control while they are still learning.
There will be a lot of advice out there on how to go about DIY obedience training.
Various Types Of DIY Dog Obedience Training
Some people will tell you to use a reward basis training that never includes any type of punishment.
While others will say that you have to be the “alpha dog” in the relationship and let your pet know that you are the leader in your pack of two.
Some people feel that the DIY Introduction to Clicker Training is a great way to train your pooch.
The real key to DIY dog obedience is for YOU to learn how to speak your dog’s language.
Communication is the key. Your pooch should understand how you would like them to behave, and that it is in their best interest to do so.
The best way to influence your pooch is to reward behaviors that you like.
Do not reward behaviors that you don’t like.
Tips To Remember With DIY
- Keep sessions short and sweet, less than 15 minutes
- Quit the session before either of you gets tired, bored or frustrated
- Consistently use the same word or phrase for the desired behavior
- Start slow and build up. Don’t expect your pet to “sit” for more than a second or two when first learning
- If a skill is complex, teach one part of the skill at a time
- Practice everywhere. For a dog, if you only trained “sit” in the living room, they would think the command applies only in the living room.
- Use the rewards or treats that your dog likes. There are times when petting will be enough, and other times when a bit of chicken will be needed.
- Be patient
Reward Good Behavior
A dog learns through immediate consequences to their behavior. The nature of the consequences will determine how he will behave in the future.
In general, a dog will work to get good things and will try to avoid bad things.
If a behavior, regardless of what that behavior is, results in a reward like food or hugs and praise, the more likely the dog is to repeat the behavior.
When the behavior has unpleasant consequences, the less likely that behavior will be to occur.
It is our opinion that rather than using punishment for the things you don’t want your pet to do, it is better to focus on teaching your pet to do what you want him to do through praise and rewards.
This will strengthen the loving bond between you and your best buddy.
Take A Reward Away For Behavior You Don’t Like
An essential part of training is teaching your dog that it pays to do things that you like and that it does not pay to do something you don’t like.
A dog’s motivations aren’t all that hard to discern; they do what works.
Any Consequence Must Be Immediate
A dog cannot make a connection between events and experiences that are separated by time.
If your pooch responds immediately to your command and you give them a treat at the same time, the more likely they will be to repeat it.
If your pooch has a habit of jumping up on you when you come in, when you ignore them and give them no attention, they will get the idea that jumping up does not get them the attention they crave.
Timing in training will be critical. Be prepared to reward your pooch with treats, praise, petting, or playing immediately upon doing good behavior. Being consistent is also vital.
If you are not on time with the reward or are not consistent, your pet will be confused.
They will not be able to tell when a behavior is good behavior or when it is unwanted behavior.
Be A Good Leader
Control your dog’s behavior by being a good leader and not a bully. You can control your pooch by controlling their access.
If, for instance, your dog wants their dinner, ask them to lie down before you give them dinner.
If they want to go outside and are jumping with excitement, ask them to sit before you open the door.
Your pooch will “work” for what they want. They will learn to do what you want in order to get what they want.
It is a pretty simple arrangement where both parties can be happy with the results.
Essential Commands For Your Dog To Know
There are several basic commands that every dog should know and be able to perform.
When teaching your pooch these dog obedience commands, you may want to space the training out.
For example, teach one command until your pet is thoroughly familiar with the command and obeys you.
Then move on to the next command while refreshing the first learned command from time to time.
The Command To Sit:
This is probably one of the easiest commands to teach your pet first. That makes it an excellent one to start your pooch on to get them used to take commands.
- Hold a treat close to your pooch’s nose so they can smell it.
- Still holding the treat, move your hand upwards. You want your pooch’s head to follow the treat and cause their bottom to lower to the ground.
- When in a sitting position, say “Sit” and then give them the treat and a lot of praise.
- Repeat this several times a day until your pooch has gotten this command down pat.
Once they have mastered this command, ask them to sit before mealtime, before you snap on the leash or any other instances when you would like them to be seated and calm.
The Command To Come:
This command is an essential one for your dog to obey. If you are outside and they slip their leash or the gate is left open, you want them to come back to you when called to do so.
- Put the leash and collar on your pet.
- Get down to your pet’s level and gently tug on their leash while saying, “come.”
- When your pet comes to you, make sure to lavish on the affection and the tasty treat.
- Again, just like the command to “sit,” you will practice this several times a day.
When you feel that your pet has mastered this command, practice this next step in a safe, enclosed place.
Take the leash off and practice telling your pet to “come.” Make sure obedience is rewarded with an immediate treat and praise.
The Command For Down:
Some dogs will find this command a bit more difficult to obey. The reason is that being down is a submissive posture that can make your pet feel more vulnerable.
- You will need to be calm and relaxed when teaching this command.
- Choose a treat that has a strong smell, and hopefully, one of your pooch’s favorites.
- Hold the treat in your closed fist.
- Hold your fist up to your pooch’s nose so that they can smell the treat.
- When your pooch sniffs the treat, move your hand to the floor so that he follows the treat.
- Move your hand along the floor in front of your pooch to encourage his body to follow his head.
- Once your pooch is in the down position, say “down” and give them praise and the treat.
This will be another command you will practice every day. If your pooch sits up or tries to take the treat from your fist, say “no” and take your hand away.
Don’t push them into the down position; let your pooch figure it out for themselves and continue to encourage them.
The Command To Stay:
Only introduce the “Stay” command once your pet has mastered the “sit” command.
- Ask your pet to “sit.”
- With an open palm towards your pet, say “stay.”
- Take a few steps backward. If your pet stays, reward them with a treat and affection.
- Practice this command while increasing the number of steps you take away from your pet before giving the treat.
This is a hard command for your pet to follow, so make sure you give a reward even if they stay put for just a few seconds.
This command will take your pet longer to master as it is a lesson in self-control. It will be especially hard for high-energy dogs. They don’t want to sit. They want to be moving.
The Command To Leave It:
“Leave it” is another hard, but crucial, the command for your dog to learn. This command could keep them safe from anything hazardous that they run across and want to pick up.
Make sure that your dog knows he will get something even better than the item on the ground when he “leaves it.”
- Start with a treat in both of your hands.
- Show your dog one fist with a treat inside and say, “leave it.”
- If your dog wants, let him sniff, lick, paw, or bark to try getting the treat enclosed in your fist. Ignore his behavior.
- When your dog stops trying to get the treat enclosed in your fist, give him the treat from your other hand.
- Continue this exercise until your dog moves away from the treat in your enclosed fist when you say, “leave it.”
- Next, only give your dog a treat when he moves away from the treat enclosed in your fist and also looks up at you.
This command will be an important one for your dog to learn. You don’t want them picking up anything that could hurt them.
Practice this command periodically so that it is second nature for your dog.
You never know when you will need to use it.
You love your dog, and they love you in return. The summer is a perfect time to do some DIY dog obedience training with your dog when you can both be out in the fresh air.
When a dog knows your expectations and knows that he will get rewarded for following your commands, life for everyone is much more fun.
You can keep them safer and happier when your DIY obedience training has been successful.
Know too, that there are good books available to assist you with your DIY obedience training.
We have listed some top-rated books below.
The Power of Positive Dog Training: by Pat Miller
Ian is an avid outdoorsman and dog lover. He lives in Central Florida with his wife Heather, and their 2 dogs – Panda (Purebread Rough Collie X English Golden Retriever) & Kuma (Blue Merl Purebread Rough Collie)