Dog Care: Dog Training

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As dog owners and people who care deeply for animals and wildlife, we wanted our Dog Encyclopedia to be a website that could empower pet owners to create the most positive, loving environment for their dogs. Dog Encyclopedia realizes that owning a dog is like adding a new member to your family.

Training your dog strengthens the link between you both as you are learning to share a common language of words and signals. As your dog learns good dog training tricks and the basic obedience commands he also learns the language that will enable you to communicate with him on a day to day basis. As with all communication it is essential to remember that it is a two-way interaction. When you and your dog begin to understand each other more, you will be astounded at how smart your dog really is. Learning to communicate effectively with your dog means that not only will you be able to accomplish more in your training. But you will also be able to stop behavioral problems when they start and even avoid them altogether. The dog that is trained to respond to basic commands is more fun and since you can direct his behavior you will have a more enjoyable life together. The bonds of friendship and trust, which develop as you train your dog, will have a positive effect on all areas of your life. Just think of the benefits having an obedient dog will bring. If you like to hike through the wild and want to take your dog with you, wouldn't it be wonderful if that when it was time to go home you simply gave a command and your dog came right to you. Remember training your dog is a process, which lasts his lifetime. The more time you put into becoming a good trainer the better you will be and the quicker your dog will learn. When you find the method that works for you and your dog don't change it as that will only frustrate you and confuse your dog

Getting Started with Training Your Dog

Before you begin training, choose the best method for you and your dog. Training techniques vary, but most trainers agree that dogs respond best to positive reinforcement, such as praise or treats. Some people prefer to leave the training to the experts. A professional dog trainer can come to your house and train your dog for a fee. You may decide that sending your dog away to a training school for a period of time is worth the expense. Many dog owners prefer to join a local training class so they will be under the supervision of a dog training instructor without leaving their dogs with someone else. Remember, your dog will be more likely to view you as master when you are directly involved in the training process. Plus, this is another way to enforce the canine-human bond.

Clicker Training

Clicker training, a common form of positive reinforcement, is a simple and effective training method. The clicker is a metal strip inside a small plastic box that makes a distinct clicking sound when pressed. The click is much faster and more distinct than saying “good dog” and much more effective than using treats alone. To teach a dog the meaning of the click, a treat is given immediately after clicking. Once the dog learns the positive effects of the clicking sound, the clicker itself acts as a conditioned reinforcer. The sound of the click instantly tells the dog that what he has done will earn him a reward. To emphasize this, clicks should frequently be followed by treats. Otherwise, the clicker will lose its effectiveness. Here’s how to you can easily train your dog to respond to the clicker before moving on to basic and advanced training. The following steps are often referred to as “loading” the clicker.
  • Begin with your dog in a quiet area.
  • Have a handful of your dog’s favorite treats ready. Ideally, this should be done when your dog is hungry.
  • Press the clicker and immediately give your dog a treat. Repeat 5-10 times.
  • You can test your success by clicking when your dog is not paying attention to you. If your dog responds to the click by suddenly looking at you, then looking for a treat, you are ready to move on. Next, begin teaching your dog basic commands. At the exact moment your dog performs the desired action, press the clicker. Follow with a treat and praise.

    Dog Training Sessions

    Success is usually attained in small steps. Training sessions with your dog should last 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times per day. This is especially true for puppies because of their very short attention spans. Longer sessions can cause even an adult dog to become bored. Start by teaching basic commands. Often, the sit command will be one of the easiest for your dog to learn. Next, you can train your dog to lie down. At the same time, work on teaching your dog to stay. In addition, your dog should be trained to come when called as soon as possible. This is one of the most important fundamental commands. Once your dog has mastered these basics, you can move on to fun tricks and advanced commands.

    How To Train Your Dog to Sit
    "Sit" is the easiest, and often the very first command a puppy learns. Also a "base" command, you'll be using "sit" to reinforce a lot of the behaviors you want to teach your dog. "Sit" will get your dog through a stressful situation, or have him waiting somewhat patiently while you get through one. "Sit" can be taught to dogs of any age, from very small puppies to dogs in their senior years.Have a pocketful of fairly smelly treats at the ready, and position your leashed dog in front of you.
    1.While he is watching you, hold a treat above his nose, just out of reach.
    2.Move the treat over his head in such a way that he needs to either back up, or sit down in order to keep his eyes on the prize.
    3.Issue your command in a firm voice.
    4.You may need to help him out a little; with your other hand, gently push down on his hindquarters as you give the command.
    5.Once his buttocks reach the floor, immediately give him the treat he's so anxiously awaiting, and praise him lavishly.
    6.Repeat steps 1 through 5 about five times, or for 5 minutes, before letting your dog go and play.
    7.Repeat the entire process 4 or 5 times daily until his response is instantaneous.



    You can help provide a better life for dogs in need. Find out how to support canine rights and welfare. The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but our stray and feral animal overpopulation problem, in many areas of this country rivals that of some of the poorest countries of the world. 

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