We all want to have a well-behaved dog, right? But how do you go about educating your slightly out-of-control puppy?
Puppies are similar to children – well, in most cases, they are our children. In most cases, like young kids, they learn by example, repetition and tons of treat bribes.
Training your dog the right way could be a bit tricky, however there are some techniques to help you along the way, making it easier, faster and more effective.
We all know that our dogs are the smartest one in the dog run, right? But putting parental pride aside, dogs are quick learners, and they like the fun of doing something different besides trying to catch his own tail.
A super easy way to start training your dog is by teaching him how to sit.
Start with this technique:
- Get on the floor with your puppy (on sit on a chair – the idea is for you to be as close to your puppy’s level as possible).
- Hold a treat close to his nose (but keep a firm grip, or he will snatch it right out of your hand and you will be the one taught a new trick).
Keep the treat close to him (think around 1 inch). If you are keeping the treat farther than that, the puppy will probably jump to try to reach it, which means you are not doing this correctly.
- Move your hand up slightly over his head and let him follow it.
- This movement of him following your hand up should make him want to sit down.
- As you get your hand (and in your dog’s eyes, the runaway treat) around 2 inches over your dog’s head, say “sit”.
- When his tushie hits the floor, give his the treat (it totally helps if you add a little “good boy”, “good girl”, or whatever puppy words you use with your dog. Praise + Treat = new trick learned).
Advanced tip for power users: do not pet your dog. If you do have any physical contact while teaching him to sit, he may connect the dots and only sit if the gets a treat AND gets a little scratch behind the ears.
Voice only, ok?
For this to be effective you must repeat the exercise many times over a period of many days (remember: repetition is key when teaching your dog anything new).
Try the 5 x 5 Method (patent pending): Five times a day during 5 consecutive days.
If it is not enough, continue for a few more days. Soon enough he will “get” it and starting sitting on command.
You can also use verbal cues to teach your dog to sit.
Try this technique:
There is another way to teach a dog to sit on command, but this one relies a lot on you getting your dog at the right time, and I believe that being in control of when to teach your puppy new tricks is super important.
But if you want to try this one just for giggles, give it a go.
Say “sit” when you see that your dog is going to sit. This will make your dog correlate the word and action. So next time when he hears the word, he will make the action (fingers crossed). Praise him and give him a treat when he does it correctly.
Because of the nature of this second technique – not a lot of control when the training happens, mostly depending on you being at the right place at the right time, this method can take quite a bit longer than the first technique.
Now that your puppy sits down like the good boy that he is, what about shaking hands? Would you like that?
Getting your dog to shake hands with you is one of those cute little tricks that does not do much for the dog (sitting at command is useful, while shaking hands, well…not that much) but could work wonders socially for you – is there anything more adorable than a hand-shaking pooch?
This is how this one goes:
- Call your buddy by his name.
- When he looks at you, gently take his paw in you hand and say “shake”.
- Praise + Treat.
- Rinse and repeat (try the 5 x 5 Model – 5 times a day during 5 consecutive days).
You get the gist of it, right? To teach any trick to your dog, keep in mind: repetition, verbal cues, praise and treat.
Teaching tricks to a dog (new or old) is super fun for you and for your dog. You will be the proud parent of the smartest dog in the park (truly this time) and your dog will be the focus of attention and envy among all the other less gifted dogs.
We will post other tricks in the future, but if you have taught your dog any trick, send us a picture or a video and we will post on our website and share how smart your dog is on social media – who knows? Your dog may even become famous.