Every owner wants an obedient pet that responds to the typical ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ but beyond these clichés, obedience classes for dogs are important for the cognitive and social development of the dog, as well as to ensure a good domestic and social coexistence. Learn how to train your dog to be obedient with these basic canine obedience techniques.
- What is obedience in dogs?
- Key Aspects of Proper Obedience Training for Dogs
- Tips and Techniques for Dog Obedience: Basic Commands
What is obedience in dogs?
What is known as basic obedience is the most fundamental and basic obedience training for dogs, which involves teaching your dog to obey a series of basic commands that we consider useful and important, such as:
- Coming when called.
- Staying still.
- Following you.
- Not pulling on the leash.
- Dropping something it has caught.
Key Aspects of Proper Obedience Training for Dogs
A Good Relationship Between the Dog and Its Owner
When the owner dedicates time to play and engage in entertaining activities with the pet, the bond will be reinforced, and dog obedience training will be more satisfying.
The process of learning basic obedience rules can take approximately 6 to 10 weeks. Some breeds will be faster than others, but it is advisable to approach the training with patience and goodwill.
Consistency and Progress
You should dedicate daily time to training to achieve your goals as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that puppies have a shorter attention span than adults, so training sessions for obedience cannot be very long. For them to be effective, they should be short and consistent. With adult dogs, you can extend the sessions slightly. On average, you can dedicate about 10 minutes per day. You can extend the time as the animal improves and maintains focus. Choose a quiet place without distractions. Start by teaching one command at a time and move on to the next once it has been learned. It’s a good idea to have periodic reviews of all the commands acquired.
The Word ‘NO’ and the Tone of Voice We Use
The meaning of the word ‘No’ should be accompanied by a tone of voice loaded with authority and firmness. The dog must understand the meaning since this is the word we will use to stop any undesirable behavior.
While the dog may not understand everything we say, it can learn to interpret moods through our tone of voice. Therefore, you should adjust your tone to convey approval or disapproval, correction, praise, or reprimand.
There is no need to yell to be authoritative or firm. Yelling only serves to scare and create stress and anxiety in the animal. Dog obedience should be trained through positive reinforcement and a calm but firm attitude.
Positive Reinforcement, Essential for Dog Obedience Training
Reinforce desirable behaviors with rewards, petting, or praise. Behaviors that are rewarded are memorized much more easily and quickly. The dog will be much more motivated to remember and repeat a behavior that has been rewarded with a treat, praise, or anything else it enjoys. This greatly encourages the repetition of the behavior that has been rewarded.
Tips and Techniques for Dog Obedience: Basic Commands
To teach your dog to sit when commanded, always use the same word, whether it’s ‘sit,’ ‘sit down,’ or a similar word.
- Crouch down in front of your pet while holding a treat in your hand above its head.
- Pronounce the chosen word for this command.
- Gently press on the lower back area with your other hand to encourage it to sit.
- As soon as it sits, immediately give it the treat and praise it.
This command is used to make your dog wait for you while you prepare for a walk, get ready to go out, or fill its food bowl, etc.
- For the ‘down’ command, you can initiate it after the ‘sit’ command. Place the treat in your hand on the ground (instead of above its head) and say the word for the command, such as ‘down’ or ‘lie down.’ Choose a word and use the same one consistently.
- Encourage it to lie down by gently applying pressure with one hand.
- Give it the treat when it lies down.
- To get your dog to stay still, start with the ‘sit’ command. Do not show it the treat. Use the word ‘stay,’ ‘stop,’ or a similar word, and move approximately 2 meters away from the dog. Then immediately return and give it the treat.
- This command should be practiced progressively, moving a bit farther away each time.
- Remember to reward each time it succeeds, and if it gets up when you move away, repeat the command.
The purpose is for your dog to remain still upon receiving the command, even if you move away or other people call it. It’s a very useful command for your dog to wait while you perform a task or to prevent it from approaching someone, etc.
Coming When Called
It’s important for your pet to come to you when called to prevent it from running away and other dangers.
To get it to come when called, choose and use a word for the command, such as ‘come,’ ‘come here,’ ‘here,’ or ‘(dog’s name) come here.’
- Call your pet by its name and add the chosen word, for example, ‘Boby, come here.’
- You can point to your feet with your hand.
- Hold a treat in your hand and place it on the ground between your feet.
- Let it eat the treat when it comes and praise it.
- Repeat the exercise, gradually increasing the distance and replacing the treat with praise.
Not Pulling on the Leash
Getting your pet not to pull on the leash when going for a walk and to walk calmly at your side is the safest and most harmonious way to go for walks. To achieve this, you need to be patient and follow these steps:
- It’s important that the animal has learned to obey commands like ‘stay’ and ‘sit’ because they will be of great help.
- Once you’re on the street and the dog starts pulling on the leash, command it to stay still.
- Resume walking and instruct it to walk beside you by saying ‘here’ or ‘next to me’ and pointing to your side.
- If it pulls again, order it to ‘stay still’ or ‘sit.’
- Resume walking. If it walks calmly at your side, give it a treat. Otherwise, command it to ‘stay still’ again.
Don’t forget to reward and praise when it follows the commands. With patience, it will learn to walk at your side without pulling on the leash.
There are numerous training commands that can be taught to your pet. Training techniques using positive reinforcement are the most effective. For any command you want to teach or to achieve greater self-control in nervous dogs, remember that the key points are to accompany the word with the corresponding gesture and to provide a reward after the execution.