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Is Your New Dog Driving You Mad?
So you bought a new dog, brought it home and now you find that the novelty has worn off a bit. It used to be funny when he started eating your shoes or the furniture and knocking the kids down but now its turning into a bit of a problem for you.
You need to employ some basic dog training. Depending on the breed of dog you bought, the training required will vary in complexity. In addition, dogs are very like children - the sooner you start to train them the easier it will be to develop the dog into a well mannered individual.
Training a puppy can actually take as little time as a few weeks depending on the effort you put into it. Despite what you might have heard, it won't take you hours and hours every day for the next few months to teach your pup some basic obedience commands. Just a few short 15 minute sessions every day will do, and before long you will get into a rhythm with your dog and it will all seem so much easier.
So where do you start? As lovable as it may be to show others that your dog knows how to give you his paw in a handshake, there are much more useful commands such as "sit" and "stay". For instance, if you take you dog to the park or out for a walk somewhere you can let him off the leash, you will want to be able to get him back under your control as quickly and easily as possible should the need arise. In this example, you could either call on the dog to sit and then go retrieve him yourself or you could use the "heel" command to get him to come to you.
Getting Your Dog To Heel.
This is usually one of the best commands to start off with and can be taught very easily. You will need one of your dog's favorite toys and some treats. To train your dog with this command, position yourself a way from the dog and use the word "heel" (or "come" or whatever word you wish to use), whilst holding out his favorite toy. When the dog comes over give him praise him and give him a treat. Repeat this several times a day but don't do it too often that he gets bored with it. ALWAYS use the same command word so that the dog can learn what it is you want him to do when he hears it. Keep some excitement in your voice as well so your dog is interested in what is going on.
Getting Your Dog To Sit.
This is one of the most useful commands for keeping your dog out of trouble. Assuming you and your dog have mastered the "heel" command you can now call your dog to you. Place you hand on the rear of your dogs back and press down gently whilst saying the word "sit". When he does sit, praise him and give him a treat as a reward for his conformance. You can get the dog to sit for longer intervals by adding some delay between when he sits and when you give him the treat.
This patterning method of training and use of single word commands can be extended to other obedience training. Once you get the hang of the commands above you can experiment with other commands yourself.