Basic Training Tips
Training the “Sit” Command
The sit command is one of the easiest commands to teach and should be taught first. This allows you and your dog to learn how to learn. Begin by taking your dog to a place without distractions. Have your dog stand to your side and give the sit command. At the same time, take your hand and gently put pressure on your dog’s hindquarters. He should sit immediately. Give him praise, but not too much. Make your dog stand and then repeat this process 10- 15 times. Try to do this twice a day for as long as it takes.
Training the “Down” Command
To train the down command, have your dog start by giving the “sit” command. When your dogs sits, do not praise him. Give the “down” command. Then Immediately grab your dogs two front legs and slide them outward away from his body. This will pull him into the “down” position. Then take your hand and lay it on his back to let him know you want him to stay there. Repeat this command 10-15 times during each training session.
Training the “Stay” Command
Have your dog sit then give the “stay” command. At the same time, place the palm of your hand in front of his face. Then step back two paces. If your dog follows you, then calmly replace him to the original position and repeat the command. If your dog does stay, then praise him and give him a treat. Each time that he is successful step back one step farther. If he fails on the command, then once again replace him and don’t step as far away.
Training the “Come” or “Here” Command
The “come” or “here” command is slightly more difficult. Always choose either “come” or “here” as your command. Never use different commands that mean the same things. Also, never combine the words like “come here”. This will only confuse your dog. To make this easier, it is important that you never call your dog to you to scold him or to do something he would not like, i.e. give him a bath. By doing these things, your dog will associate coming to you with being bad.
Start by placing your dog on a leash. Have him sit and stay, then walk out about 3 to 4 feet in front of him. Turn and face him and give the “come” or “here” command. At this same time, bend down to the ground and show him a treat. If he is hesitant about coming to you, give a gentle tug on the leash. This should get him up and moving. Each time he successfully does the command, step back one foot farther and repeat the command.
Training the “Heel” Command
The “heel” command is not a difficult command to teach on your part, but takes time for your dog to learn, so don’t get frustrated. Start by putting a short leash on your dog. When you place the leash on your dog, have him sit to your side. Then take on step forward and as soon as he begins to walk, give the “heel” command. Hold the leash with slack as long as he walks by your side. Once he starts to stray, and he will, give a quick jerk on the leash and repeat the “heel” command. This will take time to learn, so please be patient.