Train Your Dog: Teach Yourself


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Are you looking for advice on training and looking after your pet? Teach Yourself Roger Mason. Teach Yourself Understand the Middle East since Teach Yourself Stewart Ross. Teach yourself Daphne West. Teach Yourself Successful Consulting: Teach Yourself Anna Hipkiss. Teach Yourself Understand Electronics: Teach Yourself Malcolm Plant. Teach Yourself Bob Reeves. Teach Yourself Get Into Running: The dog will probably lick, sniff, and paw at your hand in an attempt to get to the treat. Eventually, when the dog moves his nose away, praise him and give him the treat. Hold one treat in your palm in front of the dog and one behind you in the other hand.

Place the treat on the floor. Move the treat from your palm to the floor. Continue to reward your dog with the treat you have behind your back. If he eats the treat, go back to an earlier stage. Give your dog a toy to play with. As he takes the toy in his mouth, reward him for the behavior with praise. Plus, he gets to play with the toy! Transition to less rewarding objects. It's easy for a dog to learn "take" when the object is so much fun! When he's mastered the connection between command and behavior, move on to boring objects. Examples might include newspapers, light bags, or anything else you might want him to carry.

Do not get into a tugging match with the dog. When you tug, the dog tugs back harder. The value of the "sit" and "wait" seem obvious, but you may not understand at first why the "stand" is an important skill to teach your dog. You won't use the "stand" every day, but you'll need it throughout the dog's life.

For example, a dog who can stay calmly in a "stand" is the ideal patient at a vet clinic or client at a groomer's. Prepare for the training session.


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Grab his favorite toy or prepare a handful of treats to both focus your dog's attention and reward him for learning the command. Put the dog in a starting "down" or "lie down" position when working with the "stand" command. He should move from lying down to standing up to get his toy or treats. You want to coax him into the standing position by having him follow the toy or treat. Hold the toy or treat in front of his face, at nose height. If he sits, thinking that will earn him a reward, try again, but with the treat or toy slightly lower. Encourage the dog to follow your hand.

Flatten your hand with your palm down. If you're using a treat, hold it with your thumb against your palm. Start with your hand in front of his nose and move it away a few inches. The idea is that the dog will stand up while following your hand. You may need to use your other hand to encourage him from underneath his hips to get the idea at first. As soon as he reaches the standing position, praise and treat. Although you haven't yet started using the verbal "stand" command, you can use it in your praise: Add the verbal "stand" command.

At first, you will work only on getting your dog to stand by following the hand that holds his toy or treat. When he's mastered that concept, begin incorporating the "stand" command into the training sessions. There are many ways to combine commands. Eventually, you'll have your dog performing these commands from across the room. On its own, this command is something of a novelty. Inexperienced trainers sometimes find "speak" training spirals out of control. They end up with a dog who barks at them all the time.

Clicker train your dog. Teach your dog to associate the click sound with a treat by clicking and treating a few times in a row. Continue this clicker training until your dog sees the click sound as a reward in and of itself. The treat will come later. Figure out when your dog barks most. This will vary from dog to dog, so you have to observe your specific pet. He might bark most reliably when you withhold a treat, when someone knocks on the door, when someone rings the doorbell, or when someone honks a horn.

Recreate the triggering event.


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The idea is to encourage him to bark on his own, then praise him for the action. You can see how this might be dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced trainer. That's why "speak" training is a little different from the other commands.


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  • You'll incorporate the verbal command from the very beginning. That way, the dog doesn't think you're praising him for his natural behavior. Use the verbal "speak" command from the beginning. As soon as your dog barks for the very first time, give the verbal "speak" command, click, and give him a treat.

    The other commands thus far have taught the behavior first, then added a command that preceded the behavior. However, "speak" training gets out of hand too easily that way. The dog gets rewarded for barking at first.

    Train your own ATTACK dog!!! for beginners

    Thus, it's better to associate the verbal command with the behavior already in progress. Never reward the dog for barking without the verbal command. If you have a dog who naturally barks too much, you might not think teaching him to "speak" is going to help your situation. However, if you teach him to "speak," then you can also teach him to "quiet. Give the "speak" command. However, instead of rewarding the "speak" barking , wait until the dog stops barking. Give the verbal "quiet" command.

    If the dog remains silent, reward the "quiet" no barking with a click and a treat. Understand the value of crate training. You might think it cruel to pen a dog up in a crate for hours at a time. But dogs are instinctively den animals, so confined spaces are not as oppressive to them as they are to us.

    In fact, crate trained dogs will seek out their crates as a source of comfort. Crate training is a useful way to manage your dog's behavior when he's unsupervised for extended periods of time. For example, many owners crate their dogs when they go to sleep or leave the house. Begin crate training young. Although older dogs can be taught to enjoy their crates as well, it's easier to train a young dog. If your puppy is a large breed, don't train him in a large crate that you think he'll grow into.

    Dogs won't relieve themselves where they sleep or relax, so you need the crate to be appropriately sized. If you use a crate that's too large, he might urinate in the far corner of it because he has so much space. Make the crate an inviting space. You want him to create a positive association with the crate, so that he enjoys his time in there.

    When you begin the crate training process, place the crate somewhere the household gathers. The idea is to make the crate part of the social scene rather than a place of isolation. Place a soft blanket and some of your dog's favorite toys inside the crate. Encourage him to enter the crate. Once you've made the crate an inviting space, use treats to lure him inside. At first, place some outside the door so he can explore the exterior of the crate.

    Then, place treats just inside the door, so he will poke his head in to retrieve them. As he grows more comfortable, place the treats further and further inside the crate. Do this until your dog enters the crate without hesitation. Always speak in your "happy voice" when acclimating your dog to the crate. Feed the dog in his crate. Once he's comfortable entering the crate for treats, reinforce the positive association with mealtime.

    Place his dog bowl wherever he's comfortable eating. If he's still a little anxious, you might have to place it right by the door. As he grows more comfortable over time, place the dog bowl further back into the cage. Begin closing the door behind him. With treats and feeding, you'll find that your dog is growing more acclimated to being in the crate. He still needs to learn how to cope with the door being closed.

    Begin closing the door at mealtime, when the dog too distracted by his food to notice what's going on at first. Close the door for very short periods, lengthening the time as the dog grows more comfortable. Don't reward the dog for whining.

    When a puppy whines, it may be adorable and heartbreaking, but when a grown dog whines, it can drive you nuts. If your puppy whines inconsolably, you may have left him inside the crate for too long. However, you cannot release him from the crate until the whining stops. Remember — every reward you give reinforces the dog's last behavior, which was whining in this case. Instead, release the dog once he's stopped whining.

    The next time you close the door on the crate, leave him in for a shorter period of time. Comfort your dog during long crate sessions. If your puppy cries when he's alone in the crate, bring the crate into your bedroom at night. Have a tick tock clock or white noise machine to help the puppy get to sleep. Young puppies should be crated in your room at night so that you can hear them tell you they need to go out in the middle of the night. Otherwise, they will be forced to mess in the crate.

    My puppy wants to bite my feet. I'm having a hard time knowing how to stop it without giving him attention. I offer his toys, turn and walk away, tell him "No," but all of those things just make him do it more. What should I do? This is a tough one, as the puppy sees your feet as great toys! Be sure to stand still, and try distracting with an especially squeaky toy which you toss for him to chase.

    As a last resort, keep a small spray bottle of water in your pocket. When he goes for your feet, say "Stop" firmly, and if he doesn't, squirt him with water. Not Helpful 19 Helpful Find a tasty treat he loves and make him earn it as a reward. Work on one command at a time "Sit" is a good one to start with in a room without distractions.

    Use the treat to lure him into a sit, and, once his butt hits the ground, say "Sit" and give the treat. Train every time you remember you have a dog. Keep a pouch of treats on you, and train him a little bit at a time, but frequently, all day, every day. As he gets the hang of things, take his training outdoors where there are distractions, and persevere in the same way. Not Helpful 7 Helpful Eating feces, or "coprophagia," is a common problem among dogs. Make sure the dog is fed nutritious food so that he has no dietary deficiencies. If his poop is abnormal, get him checked by a vet, because he may be trying to correct a digestive issue.

    If the problem is entirely behavioral, avoid swooping on the poop to pick it up before he gets to it, because this only makes it more highly prized. Instead, try and distract him with a favorite toy or game, and then praise him for ignoring the poop. Likewise, teach him a "Leave It" command, so he learns to get a truly tasty reward when he leaves the unsavory offering alone. Not Helpful 10 Helpful She is now 14, but she goes nuts if left in a crate. I am fostering her now, and she is going to have to be crated for a long trip to her forever home.

    How can I help her cope better? This is a tough one because she obviously has a learned, deep-seated fear of crates. Forcing her into one will only make the problem worse. You can try desensitizing her by feeding her in the open crate, playing with toys in it, and seeding it with treats, but this all takes time. If she is truly distressed, then a gentle sedative from the vet is going to be the most humane option. Not Helpful 16 Helpful I have a big dog, 6 months old, that has never had training. How can I stop him from barking and jumping on me? The trick is to get the dog to do the focus command "look at me", or its name , and then give the command "sit" and reward that command.

    If the dog jumps on you do not give it a place to land, and reinforce that focus, and sit command. If the dog is overly hyper, probably you should do that, but also add in some structured exercise fetch or go for a jog or run. How to Stop a Dog from Jumping. Not Helpful 5 Helpful Let your dog smell a familiar object, then hide it under something like a towel while your dog watches. Say "find it" and reward your dog with a treat when he uncovers the object. Repeat this process, hiding the object in progressively more difficult locations until your dog learns to search for objects when you say "find it.

    Not Helpful 8 Helpful Make a special command or say "high five" and repeat it frequently so your dog understands that the command is a familiar word. Lift your dog's paw in the high five motion and high five her back with your other hand while repeating the command. Repeat the process until your dog learns to high five on command. Take him outside every few hours.

    Whenever he poops outside, immediately reward him. Soon he will link going to the bathroom outside with a good outcome and he will understand your expectation. How can I train a dog to not eat or chew on things that he should not? Teach him the "drop it" command and use it whenever he starts to eat or chew something that does not belong to him. Give treats to reward your dog when he chews on his toys. You can start with simple commands such as sit, lay, and speak as early as possible and add more complicated commands as the dog gets older.

    Not Helpful 0 Helpful 7. How do you teach a dog to do up and over? Answer this question Flag as Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To train your dog, start by teaching it to heel. Did this summary help you? Tips Be kind but a little firm. Use a harness instead of a choke chain. When using voice commands, use a firm voice.

    You mean for this dog to sit, so speak with meaning. Do not continue to repeat a command over and over again hoping the dog will eventually perform the command. Reinforce the command within two to three seconds if the command is not done and then praise the dog. You want a sit on the first command, not the twentieth. Do not allow your dog to bite you, even playfully. This sets a bad precedent and it will be difficult for you to break them of this habit. Dangerous, aggressive dogs will need special training from an experienced dog trainer.

    In some cases, a veterinary behaviorist will need to become involved. At no time should you take on an aggressive dog without the proper training. It is too dangerous. Remember that every dog is different. One dog might learn at a slower pace than another dog, and that's okay. There is no such thing as an untrainable dog! Remember that dogs do not communicate the same way humans do. Do not let your dog "lean" on you either when you are standing up or sitting down.

    This is not a sign that they like you. This is a sign of dominance. The dog is encroaching into your space. You are the leader. Stand up and let your knee or foot nudge them out of your space. Praise the dog for getting up. Give the dog a command to lay down on their bed or go to their crate if you need to manage your personal space more effectively. If using hand signals, be sure they are unique and distinct for the dog to see and differentiate. If you are unsure, ask your trainer or look online or in a book for a clearer picture of the body language to use.

    Make sure the command and hand signal use is the same each time. If your dog is out of control, another good way to correct the behavior is to isolate them from the rest of the "pack". Put them in their crate or kennel and ignore them. Isolation from the pack is dog language for "your behavior is unacceptable and we don't like it. They may whine and howl, but you have to ignore it.

    Think of it as a "time out" for your dog. When they are quiet and settled, let them out of the crate. Praise your dog often and lavishly. Training dogs requires a large amount of patience. It can be frustrating if you choose a breed wrong for your skill level or lifestyle. If you find you have made a poor choice, ask professionals for guidance. You may need to find a new home for the dog. Call your local rescue organization or veterinarian.

    Don't wait until you and the dog have suffered. If you just don't have the patience, then get yourself some personal one-on-one training from a reputable dog trainer. Don't be cruel to your dog or hit them. If you strike your dog out of frustration, he will only learn to fear you. Clean up after your dog if they defecate on someone else's property or in a public place. Doing this will ensure that others enjoy your dog as much as you do. Obedience training really is not for the dog This training teaches you how to communicate what you want your dog to do in a way that he understands.

    If you send your dog to someone else to train them, they learn to work with that person, not you. Take the time to learn how to train your dog, don't pass the responsibility off to someone else. In some cases, you may need to have your dog learn the basics from someone else. But then, you should have the trainer work with you AND the dog together.

    Train Your Dog: Teach Yourself

    This will make sure that you have the ability to continue the training at home. Never throw your dog your dinner scraps when eating. This will make him think you allow him to steal food, and he might take food from strangers. Also, when a dog begs turn away so he knows you don't tolerate bad behavior.

    And be sure to treat your dog with love and have fun! If you do not have a clicker, use a clicking pen instead. Warnings Keep regular vet visits and stay up to date on vaccinations. You should also keep current on license requirements, and have your pet spayed or neutered as soon as they are old enough. Having a dog requires almost as much responsibility as having a child. If you're not ready for that, don't get a dog until you have done your research, and make adjustments to allow a dog into your life.

    Use a collar and leash that is appropriate to your dogs size. Too loose or too tight collars can cause injury. Regular exercise for your dog will prevent him from being destructive in your home. When they get bored, they find ways to "entertain" themselves. That may include chewing your favorite shoes, destroying furniture, or barking nonstop. Avoid this problem by taking them for regular walks twice a day is best.

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    Add a photo Upload error. Tell us more about it? Click here to share your story. Dog Training In other languages: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,, times. Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. A Anonymous May A Anonymous Mar BS Bernice Speta Nov 12, Living in West Africa, it wasn't that easy to get the vaccination, so she wanted to thank me.

    I am preparing now to train the puppy. CP Celine Park Aug 21, However, she said I can have one when I'm older. Thank you for explaining the benefits of dogs! LF Lara Fina Oct 1, He knows how to lay, sit, beg, speak and dance, no kidding! He is so adorable! GR Genevieve Rulis Nov 27,

    Train Your Dog: Teach Yourself Train Your Dog: Teach Yourself
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