Start training your puppy early on: While old dogs can be
taught new tricks, what's learned earliest, is often learned
quickest and easiest. Moreover, the older the dog, the more bad
habits will likely need to be "un-learned".
Train your dog gently and humanely:
Teach him using positive, motivational methods. Keep training
sessions upbeat so that the training process is enjoyable for
all parties involved.
Does your dog treat you like "hired help" at home?
Does he beg at the table? Jump up on visitors? Demand your
attention by annoying you to death? Ignore your commands? How
well your dog responds to you at home affects his behavior
outdoors as well. If your dog doesn't respond reliably to
commands at home (where distractions are relatively minimal), he
certainly won't respond to you properly outdoors where he's
tempted by other dogs, pigeons, and passersby etc.
Avoid giving your dog commands that you know you cannot enforce:
Every time you give a command that is neither complied with nor
enforced your dog learns that commands are optional.
One command should equal one response:
So give your dog only one command (twice max!), then gently
enforce it. Repeating commands tunes your dog out (as does
nagging) and teaches your dog that the first several commands
are a "bluff '. For instance, telling your dog to "Sit, sit,
sit, sit!", is neither an efficient nor effective way to issue
commands. Simply give your dog a single "Sit" command and gently
place or lure your dog into the sit position, then
Avoid giving your dog combined commands which are confusing:
Combined commands such as "sit-down" can confuse your dog. Using
this example, say either "sit" or "down". The command "sit-down"
simply doesn't exist.
When giving your dog a command, avoid using a loud voice:
Even if your dog is especially independent/unresponsive, your
tone of voice when issuing an obedience command such as "sit","down"
or ""stay", should be calm and authoritative, rather than harsh
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