In order to train your dog, you should be familiar with the basics as well. Here, we explain all the techniques and commands you need to train your pooch.
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Teach Puppy His Name
Get started by saying the puppy’s name. When he looks at you, give him food and praise. This exercise should take no more than a few sessions. And remember to give the dog its name when it is a baby or when you adopt it from the shelter. Sometimes dogs are left with no name.
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Teach Dog to Back Off
The idea is that if you step between the dog and something he wants, he'll back off. You don't want to use a verbal command because everyone's command is different, but all people will block something they don't want the dog to get. To block, drop something like a bagel behind you. When the dog goes for it, block him. Block side to side; don't let him push you back so you lose ground. As soon as he hesitates or stops, reward him with a treat and praise. Practice in many locations with lots of distractions.
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Teach the "Wait" Command
This command teaches a dog emotional control. By understanding "wait," if the dog wants to chase an animal running across the road, he knows a "wait" command means he can't act on impulse. Get started by holding the dog's collar. Use food, which now becomes a distraction, and move it away, saying, "Wait, wait, wait." Repeating the word draws the dog off the "sit" command, while he focuses on the movement of the food. Later, drop the repetition. Graduate to holding the leash loosely for different lengths of time. If you don't, you'll pattern him to only stay for a certain amount of time. Add distance, time, and distractions until the puppy understands commands.
Photography: Mary Bloom/The American Kennel Club, Inc.4 of 11
This is important because dogs -- especially puppies -- get spooked by things; unless you stop the fear, your dog may possess it forever. A big mistake people make is talking to the dog in a sweet voice when he's afraid, saying, "Good boy," and letting the dog think it's okay to be afraid or that he's being praised.
Play a game called "Look at This." Walk toward an unfamiliar object and say, "Look at this!" When you're close, give the dog a treat. If the dog is afraid, go back and start again. Never drag. Go back to the "start" point and do it again, giving a treat part-way to object. The goal is for him to be happy and trusting when you say, "Look at this!" Practice with different objects -- such as parked cars and camping tents -- at different times, whenever you see something that might spook him.
Photography: tara sgroi5 of 11
Correcting Jealousy Issues
In order to correct this issues with your dogs, your attention cannot be freely given; your dogs will have to work for it. When you get your dog to work for your attention, its mind is refocused onto working for you rather than on the emotion. You must set the dog up for success and not trigger a fight. Love and affection needs to be on your terms. If both dogs come up to you wanting your attention, walk away. Only give attention when one dog is around, or if they're both together, make them work (for example: sit, lie down) and then calmly praise them. Don't go over the top, as excitement can very quickly trigger a fight.
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Purebred, mix-breed, or mutt, all dogs can learn the "top five" commands, come here, go away, get back, get off, down, with a bit of positive reinforcement, patience, and lots of practice.
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Stopping the Urge to Jump
When your puppy jumps on you, turn your back immediately and ignore the animal until she places all four paws on the ground. Wait three seconds, and then give attention. Your puppy will quickly realize that jumping up results in nothing, while remaining on the ground leads to the positive attention she desires.
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Teaching How to Play Fetch
Start with a treat. Hold the leash tight, throw the treat, and say, "Get it!" If the dog won't go, you can take a step forward and point toward it so he knows it's okay to leave your side. If that doesn't help, you can walk with him to the treat. Once the dog realizes that "get it" means it's okay to get the treat, he won't need you to move with them. Once the dog has mastered this command with food, teach him to pick up something it can bring back and actually give to you, like a small toy.
Photography: Mary Bloom/The American Kennel Club, Inc.9 of 11
Summoning Your Puppy
The minute your dog picks up the food or toy you've thrown, give her the "come" command. Call your dog immediately because you don't want her hanging out away from you, getting distracted with something else. Remember, this is the command that will ultimately be a lifesaver if your dog is ever running toward something dangerous.
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Rewarding Your Dog
Give your dog a treat when he returns to reinforce that the "come" command is rewarding. Eventually, you'll faze the food out altogether and your praise will be the only reward. This is key, because there will be times when there's an emergency and you need your dog to come, but don't have a treat.
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Roll on Side or Back
Gently guide your dog onto his or her side. You can even try to roll him onto his back. You're teaching him to trust you in a position that can be vulnerable. You may need to use the food toy as a lure. Then, touch the dog's paws, spending plenty of time massaging his feet, in particular between the pads. Feet can be a sensitive area for many dogs, but if you're on a walk and your dog gets a piece of glass stuck in his paw, you know he's going to be comfortable letting you look for it. This will also get him more relaxed with nail trimming.