I've lived with over 11 dogs in my life, both trained and untrained and I can easily say that training a dog on your own is not a big deal.
Dogs are really fun animals and can become great pets. But if they are not trained properly then they can become a huge headache too because with good training, a lot of problems can be resolved. Problems like pooping and peeing at the wrong place, behavior related problems, obedience related problems, and many more! You might be wondering that there are a hell lot of things to teach your dog and from where should you start? Well, you might get your answer in this article. Also, you can train your dog on your own without spending your money to hire a trainer. In fact, I'll recommend you to train your dog on your own instead of getting a trainer. Training should be one of the most important part of you and your dog's lifestyle because it develops a unique bond. So, now let's discuss the first five and most important things to teach your new dog.
Recall or Come when called
The first and most important trick which I'll recommend you to teach your dog is 'Recall'. Once your dog masters this trick, he or she will come to you whenever you will call out their name. This trick is basically about making the dog realize their name.
So, how will you teach your dog this trick? Well it's very simple. You just have to have some of your dogs favorite treats with you and you are all set to start the training.
- First, stay at some distance from your dog and show them the treat while calling out their name (eg: Max come). The dog will see the treat in your hand and come towards you.
- Make sure that you have to call out there name while showing the treat at the same time.
- When your dog gets the treat, move away from your dog again and do the same thing. This will make the dog realize that he is being awarded for something which means that he should repeat the thing.
- Slowly, start doing this without the treats and just use some positive reinforcement like praising them by scrubbing their back or cuddling them. Keep in mind that you don't have to award them when they do something wrong. This will help in a establishing a good communication with your dog.
This is one of the best tricks to teach at the beginning of your dog's training to make the process easier because it is one of the foundational tricks. This will help your dog to learn many more different tricks in the future.
To teach your dog how to sit, you will require the same things as the previous trick which is some of your dog's favorite treats and you are good to go.
- Grab a piece of the treat and just let your dog smell it in your hand by putting it close to their nose (don't let them eat it now).
- Now that your dog knows that you have one of his favorite treats in your hand, close your hand and make a fist with the treat in it.
- Now, I am assuming that your dog is in the standing position (standing on all 4 legs). Now take your fist close to your dog's nose and slightly take it upwards. You'll notice that this action is luring your dog in the siting position.
- Once your dog is lured in the siting position with that action, call out 'Sit'.
Repeat this process as your dog perfects the 'Sit' command and keep in mind about things like positive reinforcement and not awarding when the dog does something bad.
This trick also has it's own usefulness because this will help your dog to build patience. When your dog masters this trick, they will stay calm in many different situations. To teach this trick to your dog, you'll need the same stuff like the previous tricks. So, let's begin.
- At first, I'll recommend you to make your dog sit first and then start teaching them.
- When your dog is sitting, hold the treat in front of him and notice if he waits for you to give them the treat.
- If the dog waits then, do some positive reinforcement (like saying "yes" or "good boy" or "good dog" etc) and give them the treat.
- If the dog jumps over to grab the treat then just make the dog sit and move a little bit away from him. Then try to find at least one or two seconds of pause after you show the treat to the dog.
- With time, when the dog starts to give longer pauses before taking the treat, you can introduce the command 'stay' and repeat the process and try to achieve more and more time of the pause as you progress.
Leave It or Drop It
One more very important thing to teach your dog is to leave or drop something on command. This can be helpful in many situations like if your dog picks something from the road or takes some important thing of yours in their mouth. So, let's find out how to teach this to your dog.
- I'll recommend to use something which is not very important to you because the dog's bite can damage the thing.
- Let's say you take a toy of your dog and now hold the toy in your hand and let your dog to grab the other side of the toy form his mouth and when your dog grabs it from his mouth, you don't have to fight for it or try to pull it from the dog's mouth.
- You just have to be patient and make the game boring for the dog. If you pull it, the dog will try to pull it back from you.
- And finally, when the dog leaves the toy from his mouth then you have to reward him with positive reinforcement and call out the command 'leave it' or 'drop it'.
The last and probably the most important thing to teach your dog is potty training. I don't think I have to tell that why is this so important. So, let's just jump right to the training method.
- I'll recommend you to teach this to your dog as early as possible. If possible, at the puppy stage.
- When the dog is a puppy, they don't really have any fix time to poop or pee. But there are some common occasions when the puppy tends to poop or pee which are after they eat or after they wake up from their sleep.
- Try to take your dog to a common place for doing their business. This will help the dog to mark the place for their business.
- Also, reward them when they do their thing at the correct place. This will motivate them to do the same thing again and again.
- Finally, potty accidents will happen! So, be prepared for them.
Note: I've not talked about clicker training because I think that your dog should be more familiar from your voice rather than the click sound.
Also, to train any dog, the most important key is PATIENCE.
Thank you so much for reading. Hope this helps you.
All the best for your training!
© 2020 Harsh Giri