When teaching your dog a new “skill” its important to make sure that you are available to ” be there all day”. Or at least have the attitude that you can ” be there all day”.
When teaching a sit, make absolutely sure that you take the time to make sure your hand sign is where the dog can see it, not behind their neck pointing towards their hind end.
When teaching a down, be sure to lure the food from their ” nose to their toes”. If you drag the food towards you they will follow it and break their down. If you push the food towards their body they will back up and break the down.
Also practice increasing your their time in a sit and a down. This helps build impulse control with dogs don’t come with. A lack of impulse control would have them starving to death as they would be to slow and relaxed to “catch a rabbit ect”.
When asking your dog to lie down, you are in fact asking them to be submissive. Within this they may be able to do a down in your home but not out in public so be proactive everywhere you go. This is mandatory with everything that you teach.
Teach them that all commands work the same no matter where they are.
Dogs are opportunistic creatures and in order to survive will try to make things work for them in all new environments so it is up to you to teach them the opposite. Recognize that stubborn behaviour is quite often just instinct taking over. We need to train so much that working with you becomes the new instinct!!
Every single thing that you ask them to do, must look, sound and be the same each and every time. This means use the same clear tone, the same hand signs and the same body language each and every time. After all we are teaching a whole new language to these creatures. The English language.
A dog knows how to do every single thing that you will ever ask them to do, you are simply teaching them the language to it. Be clear, concise and obvious. If you have ever tried to learn a new language you know how hard it is and you know that when you get confused you will just shut down…they do too.
Avoid using a bunch of different words for the same command…example come, here, lets go, okay…your dog will not be able to understand you and fail, then you end up being frustrated and mad at the dog while it is your own fault.
Be crazy fun with your come recall, run the other way, bend down, use a high pitched voice jump up and down. The rule with a come recall is not to be afraid to look like an idiot at the dog park when calling your dog to come. Be fun!
Do not teach your dog that the word come means its in trouble…you know who you are!! Take a deep breath and do what you have to do to get your dog to come. You may have to use a long line attached to a harness to stop your dog or to reel them in to you, like a big happy fish. Have fun no matter what.
Be sure to reward them with food, praise, toys, play, and pure joyful craziness. It is your official job to be more exciting than poop and squirrels!!
Find a fenced in baseball field to train your pup to come on call and just have fun training.
You know you are doing a great job when your dog likes sitting, coming, lying down and leaving things alone just as much as they like to run and play. Turn training into play…don’t force things, let them use their own minds to figure out what you are asking them to do and just relax…
You got a pup to have fun, now relax and have fun with your training….if you cant do this alone, find a professional and don’t stop going until you have a safe, happy well trained dog!!