Puppy Love: Dog Training Tricks

>> 10/2/09

Got a new puppy? Excited to teach it how to sit, stay, fetch? Need a couple of dog training tricks to get your puppy to behave?

I remember the excitement I felt the first time I went to a pet store to purchase my very own dog. There were a dozen other pups yipping and yelping for our attention, but one puppy caught my eye. It was brownish-gold cocker spaniel with adorable puppy dog eyes, flappy ears and the softest paws. And it was just begging (i.e. jumping, yapping, whining) to be brought home. Well, needless to say, I fell for the shameless puppy-begging hook, line and sinker. But what I didn't know then was that I was in for quite a ride.

Taking care of a dog is a lot like taking care of kid. They're needy, helpless and quite clueless about everything. It takes a while for a dog to understand what you're trying to say to it ("No, pillows are for sleeping not chewing") and - unlike human babies - will never develop the capability to communicate with you through speech.

So, how can you possibly train your dog?

Remember the saying "it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks?" Well, that saying is very true. It is important that you start training your pup as soon as you can, otherwise it'll develop habits of its own that will be hard to break. I started training my dog a few days after I got him when he was less than three months old.

Dogs learn through good and bad experiences. That's why the "reward and punishment" system works best when dog training. If you want to teach your dog to sit, for example, make sure you have a bag of treats ready.

Hold a treat in your hand and hold it up at the dog's eye level, close enough for him to see it and far enough so he won't be able to snap at it. Say "sit" firmly. Raise the treat higher up until the dog assumes a sitting position. When he sits, reward him with the treat. Repeat until he learns to sit even without you holding a treat.

Once your pup has learned how to listen to you, start introducing some dog training tricks. Fetching sometimes comes naturally to some dogs, while others need to learn how to fetch. Take your dog to a fenced in yard and give him some treats while showing him how to run after the ball.

Other dog training tricks to start with are roll-over, paw-shaking, and playing dead. Always offer positive reinforcement and reward them with treats.

Author Resource:

Feel free to check out this great resource for dog training. For more information check out Cris Santeiro's blog for more dog training tricks and advice.

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