Dog Obedience Training Using Positive Reinforcement

Obedience Training

For some pet owners, dog obedience training is simple, while for others, it can be a struggle, especially if you’re dealing with Rottweiler training and just can’t find the right training technique that your dog will respond to. But for most, using positive reinforcement can work wonders when it comes to training success.

The Basics

As many dog trainers will tell you, the sooner you start obedience training, the better. Most recommend beginning training at four months of age, while others recommend a minimum of six months.

Before you begin training, it’s important that you have the right tools. This can include a collar and leash, or a harness, your dog’s favorite treats, and a clicker. Clicker training isn’t for everyone and not every dog is likely to respond to this type of training technique, but many trainers swear by it.

Begin training your dog to do basic commands. Start off with “down”, each and every time your dog tries to jump up on you. When your dog responds correctly, give them a treat.

The next command is “come”. Press the clicker and/or say “come”. When your dog responds appropriately, give them a treat.

“Sit” is the next command you should work on. It’s also a command that can be tricky, especially if you’re working with a hyper puppy. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a matter of weeks before your dog gets the hang of the command. And remember, each time your pup responds appropriately, give them a treat.

“Stay” is another tough command and one that can seem almost impossible when you’re training a puppy who wants nothing more than to jump into your arms and never leave your side. Give your dog the sit command. Take three steps back and say “stay”. You can also use the clicker at this time as well.

If your dog doesn’t stay, walk over and repeat the process.

Each time your dog successfully stays, take a few more steps back.

Keep repeating this technique until your dog has mastered this command.

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Leash Walking

Leash Walking

Training a dog to walk on a leash is something most dog owners dread, especially pet owners who have a large breed such as a pit bull or German shepherd.

The key here will be finding what works for your dog, so it can be a matter of experimenting with the type of harness or collar you use. There are a wide variety of collar styles these days, from head leads and choke chains, to standard collars. Harnesses are also pretty versatile. Most dog trainers recommend purchasing a harness that has the D-ring located on the front of the harness, which can help to prevent your dog from pulling you.

Start off by putting the leash on your pet and allowing him or her to walk around the yard. The goal here is to get your pet used to the leash. Next, you can begin walking your dog around the yard. If your dog jumps up on you during this time, make sure you correct the behavior.

Your first walk should be a short one. Remember to bring treats with you and the clicker if you’ve decided to use one. Stop walking immediately if your dog starts pulling you. Walk approximately ten feet and hand your dog a treat. During leash training you want your dog to focus most of his or her attention on you as opposed to another dog or person. You can spread out the frequency of treats once you’ve been able to walk about one block without an incident.