Teaching Your Pup to Answer Commands: Tips on Training Your Dog
Since you absolutely adore your bundle of fluff, you would want to keep her safe by ensuring she learns basic obedience to commands.Dogs easily fall prey to distractions. One moment Betsy is chewing on her favorite toy in the park, the next, she’s running fast ahead, chasing a butterfly.
Teaching your Betsy basic commands will prove useful to keep her away from potential danger and of course, skunk attack! Another upside is the fact that you can take the leash off of her and have a successful outing.
To help you make that dream come true, here are basic tips on how to teach your pup to answer commands:
- Get All Your Materials Ready
To start on the right note (or nose!), you need to get the necessary tools that are required for successful training. You will need a leash, a proper collar, and, of course, a large supply of treats for positive reinforcement.
Having something to eat motivates every dog.
- Speak In Clear Tones
When uttering commands to your little pup, you need to speak in a normal, rational tone—that inspires trust and confidence.
Yelling passes the message that you’re upset and it could stress her out, making her more anxious. It could even risk damaging the precious bond with your puppy.
Use an excited voice when you want to praise your dog for following commands. When you want to deliver a correction, employ a growly tone. But when you want to issue commands that speak with more authority and less correction, use a flat, low-pitched tone.
- Use Concise Commands
Choose commands that are not just clear, but easy to remember for consistency. This will prevent your dog from being confused. Some common commands include:
- Heel (to keep her walking at your side)
- Down (to lie down)
- Have Brief Training Sessions
Dogs have a short attention span, therefore, it’s advisable to have brief training sessions that span around 10-15 minutes. Introduce the commands bit by bit.
Recall that these commands are habits that your dog needs to pick up. And like all habits, repetition strengthens them. Do 5-20 repetitions of one command before moving to the next one.
- Practice Outdoors
Practicing indoors with your little buddy helps her build behaviors without distractions. However, you need to certify that your dog can listen to commands in an unfamiliar environment.
Hence, outdoor pieces of training are necessary. Here, your dog will understand that commands you issue inside or in your backyard, means the same in all situations.
- Reinforce Good Behavior
Positive reinforcements are meant to reward your dog and help her understand when she performs well. Reward her with treats, but ensure to keep it small; since you’ll be using them many times.
Also, avoid treats she would need to actively break apart—it would only lead to distractions.
In addition, mix verbal rewards with food rewards; eventually cutting down on the frequency of treats.