Trust me when I say that humans need dog training commands more than dogs do.
You may think that is an absurd declaration, but it’s true. Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or a seasoned pet parent, no one is perfect. It’s not always easy to teach basic dog training commands, but training can keep your dog safe and also boost their confidence. If you’re having trouble training your dog, you may need to learn a few tricks yourself.
Even the AKC agrees that consistency is one of the most influential factors in training your dog. Not only is daily training recommended, but you want to make sure that all members of your household are on the same page. If one person is trying to stop your dog from begging for table scraps, while another family member is feeding them, it just won’t work. The only thing your dog will learn is that one family member is going to give in and the other isn’t.
Watch your tone.
When giving dog training commands, it’s important to stay calm and provide instructions in a deep, monotone voice. Dogs are very receptive to a human’s energy and will not take direction from someone that is acting excitable or hysterical. Your inflection should be steady, authoritative, and free from any nervousness. Keep your volume reserved and avoid yelling at all costs. Shouting just creates anxiety and increased anxiety can lead to other unwanted behaviors.
Treats are a good reward, but not the only form of praise.
Small treats can help increase the effectiveness of your training, but affection and verbal praise are sometimes just as powerful. Make sure you verbally reward your dog when they engage in healthy behaviors. You will have better luck achieving obedience when you praise what your dog does right instead of punishing them for what they do wrong.
Once you master your training approach, you can start to practice dog training commands with your pet.
It’s smart to teach your dog the basics to keep them safe. ‘Sit’ and ‘stay’ can prevent your dog from running off and getting hit by a car. ‘Drop it’ or ‘leave it’ can help prevent the consumption of dangerous food or items that may make them sick. It’s not necessarily about being in control, but taking good care of your furry companion.
The following dog training commands are a must have for your obedience arsenal:
The first command you will want to master is getting your dogs attention. This command matters the most because without it you would not be able to teach any others. Another surprising fact is that eye contact with your dog is a great way to enhance happiness and well-being by increasing their oxytocin and serotonin levels.
To work on the “look” command start by holding a treat up for your dog to see. Take the treat and slowly move it towards your eye-level while maintaining eye contact. If your dog keeps contact, praise them verbally and follow your praise with a treat. Once they master responding to the treat near your face, you can show them the treat and hold it in different spots to see if they have enough self-control to maintain eye contact with you. This YouTube training video by K9-1.com may be a better guide for pet parents who are visual learners:
Teaching recall is one of the most helpful dog training commands. When learned, this command will allow your dog some freedoms that not all dogs may be able to enjoy.
It’s important to present rewards that hold high value for your dog. Whatever you choose should give your dog a reason to be excited about coming back to you when called. Next, you’ll want to get in front of the dog and move backward while calling them to come to you. If they stay focused and listen to your instructions, reward with a treat and praise. Your voice, in this case, should sound happy and excited to encourage them to return to you. Practicing this command indoors is your best bet. As they get better at it you can practice in your yard or at the dog park. Until you are sure your dog can follow command, you are better off in your home, free from distractions like cars and squirrels.
For an in-depth look at this training process, check out another video from K9-1.com about teaching recall:
Sometimes it’s a matter of playing a good game of catch, but there are times where your dog may have grabbed your child’s favorite toy, or maybe an expensive pair of shoes. Perhaps they are a fan of stealing socks or gloves. No matter what their favorite item to take, eating foreign objects can leave your dog with terrible tummy troubles. For safety’s sake, it’s time teach your dog how to drop it or release on command.
Teaching release takes patience because some dogs are just stubborn. Another reason for unsuccessful release training is using the wrong training tools. You should never use a favorite toy for this exercise. Instead, choose a neutral toy. Once you have your item of choice, you will want you to coax your dog to take it.
Once they accept the object, say “drop it.” It may take repetition for your dog to release, but when they drop the object, you should reward them with praise and a treat then move the object farther away. If your dog still doesn’t drop the object, try to coax them with a treat in front of their nose. Practice makes perfect, and patience is critical. You should keep this type of training fun for your dog by incorporating this exercise into play time. If they can learn to catch and release a ball, they should listen when it comes to other objects.
Remember how I said that humans needed dog training commands?
By teaching your dog a few essential commands, you are giving your pet a higher quality of life. There is less frustration when “bad” behaviors are under control, and your pet will gain confidence by making you proud and hearing your praises.
Which dog training commands have helped you and your dog have a better quality of life?
Side note: Do you run a business in the pet industry? Would you like to drive more traffic and sales to your site through a search-optimized pet blog? Get in touch with my office-mates at Lantern Content Marketing!