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Basic Dog Training – Step #2

January 18, 2016

Cyrano the Papillon

Cyrano the Papillon demonstrates a “Down.” Photo by Elizabeth Tuz.

As a certified professional dog trainer and  behavior consultant, I take a pawsitive approach to dog training as an easy, simple, and fun way to enhance the everyday relationship between dogs and their guardians. Dog training should be enjoyable and strengthen the bond between a human and dog. 

Like Dog Training Step #1, Dog Training Step #2 is a super-simple activity. It’s a two-part step with Sit and Down as the learned behaviors.

Sit

Maybe the most common command, “sit” is an invaluable behavior. Oftentimes, it can be a lifesaver, like when something real playful across a busy street catches your dog’s eye.

  • Ask your dog to “sit” in a cheerful tone of voice. Then pause for a second or two (one-one thousand, two-one thousand) to see what he or she does. If your dog sits, then reward with a “Good dog!” followed by petting, additional praise, and yummy treats.
  • If you dog doesn’t sit after asking, then use a piece of food or a toy to “lure” your dog into the sit position.
  • Place the treat or two up to the tip of your dog’s nose as if it were a magnet, and slowly move it backwards, up and over his or her head in an arch towards his or her rear end. The moment your dog’s bottom hits the ground REWARD him or her.
  • Keep the movement of the lure at a slow and steady pace. Moving too quickly might result in your dog grabbing at your hand, or giving up and losing interest.

Pretty easy, isn’t it? Plus it’s a real confidence builder for your pooch. After all the praising and rewarding you heap on for “Sit,” your inquisitive canine will be ready for “Down.”

Down

Your dog will love knowing “down.” It’s perfect when he or she wants to join all the human guests in the living room or while waiting his or her turn for play at the park. The teaching methodology is similar to “sit.”

  • Ask your dog to “down” in a cheerful tone of voice. Then pause a second or two (one-one thousand, two-one thousand) to see what she or he does. If you dog lies down, then reward with a “Good dog!” followed by petting, additional praise, and yummy treats.
  • If your dog doesn’t lie down, then usie a piece of food or a toy to “lure” your dog into a down position by putting the treat up to the tip of his or her nose as if it were a magnet, and slowly guide him or her into the down position. The movement your dog is in the “down” position, REWARD him or her!
  • Keep the moment of the lure at a a slow and steady pace. Moving too quickly might result in your dog grabbing at your hand, or giving up and losing intereest.

Poncho playing the Out of the Box Dog Training Game.

Both Dog Training Step #1  and #2 are taken from the Out of the Box Dog Training Game I created. The Out of the Box Dog Training Game enables benefiting from the time you and your dog already spend together by motivating your dog to develop good manners, while limiting and preventing inappropriate habits. You also will discover fun activities that can strengthen your bond and new ways to multi-task in your daily routine so that you can spend more quality time with your dog. The game is perfect for one-on-one with your dog or with your family and friends. Perfect for any number of human and canine players, these training activities are fun for everyone involved. Anyone can play; no prerequisite required. Each activity can be customized for specific needs and adapted to different learner levels to continue advancing your dog’s skills.

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Wanna share pics and videos of your inquisitive canine? We invite you to post on our Facebook page.


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