We often hear stories of remarkable dogs that can perform incredible feats, from assisting the disabled to sniffing out drugs and even predicting seizures. But what about the basics of training? Can your average furry companion really excel in fundamental obedience training? The answer is a resounding "yes"! Dogs are incredibly intelligent and adaptable creatures, capable of learning and mastering the essentials of training with the right guidance and consistency.
Understanding Your Dog's Potential
Before we delve into the basics of dog training, it's essential to understand that every dog is unique. Just like humans, they possess varying levels of intelligence, temperament, and responsiveness to training methods. While some breeds may demonstrate a natural inclination towards learning cues, it's important not to underestimate the potential of mixed breeds or so-called "less intelligent" breeds. With patience, love, and positive reinforcement, any dog can excel in training.
The Basics of Dog Training
Sit Cue: Teaching your dog to sit is one of the fundamental cues in obedience training. It is relatively easy to teach and forms the building block for many other commands. Using treats as a reward, guide your dog into a sitting position while saying the word "sit." Repeat this process consistently until your dog associates the cue with the action.
Stay Cue: Training your dog to stay in one place is crucial for their safety and your peace of mind. Begin by cueing your dog to sit, then hold your hand out with the palm facing your pet and say "stay." Take a step back and reward your dog if they remain in place. Gradually increase the distance and duration as your dog becomes more proficient.
Recall Cue: Teaching your dog to come when called can prevent dangerous situations and ensure a stronger bond between you and your pet. Start in a distraction-free environment, and enthusiastically call your dog's name followed by the cue "come" or “here” while patting your legs. When your dog responds, reward them with praise and treats.
Lead Walking: Walking politely on a lead is essential for both your dog's safety and the enjoyment of walks together. Use positive reinforcement, rewarding your dog when they walk calmly beside you without pulling. If your dog starts to pull, stop walking, and reset to a close so they relax the tension on the leash.
Down Cue: Teaching your dog to lie down on cue is another valuable obedience skill. Lure your dog into a lying position using treats, and as they lower their body, say "down." Reward and repeat until your dog understands the cue.
At Best Behaviour we can guide you through the basics of training and help you to improve and progress. We offer Puppy and Dog classes which are available here
and we offer our Dogversity which has a bank of different behaviours you can teach your dogs which are available here
. We also offer 121’s on zoom
and in person
for some more personal training.
Benefits of Basic Training
Aside from the obvious advantages of having a well-behaved dog, basic training offers numerous benefits for both you and your furry friend:
Improved Communication: Training enhances the bond between you and your dog, creating a mutual understanding and effective communication.
Mental Stimulation: Training exercises your dog's mind, preventing boredom and potential destructive behaviours.
Socialisation: Through training, your dog learns to interact with other dogs and people in a controlled and positive manner.
Safety: A well-trained dog is less likely to engage in dangerous or aggressive behaviours, making outings and interactions safer for everyone.
In conclusion, your dog is more than capable of mastering the basics of training. Whether you have a playful pup, a senior dog, or a mixed breed, training is a valuable investment in your pet's well-being and your relationship. Approach training with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, and watch as your furry companion excels in obedience and becomes an even more integral part of your life. Remember, the journey of training is as rewarding as the destination of a well-behaved and happy dog. So, grab those treats, put on a smile, and let the training begin!