There are many ways to train your dog. There are huge amounts of books and articles available in the library and online, and it can be confusing to try to figure out how to train your dog when you first get him. However, a properly trained dog is essential, both for your enjoyment of your dog and for the safety and convenience of family and neighbors.
One of the most popular ways to train a dog is treat training. This method involves providing your dog with treats as a bribe to get her to do what you want and a reward when she performs the trick or skill you are working on. This is a popular method because dogs like treats and they are likely to do the trick in order to get the treat. A properly trained dog is essential to enjoying time with your dog.
Another option is clicker training. This involves getting a small device that makes a small clicking sound when you push a button. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. One disadvantage is that you have to train your dog that the click is her reward. However, once you’ve done that, you can reward her more quickly for compliance because clicking is faster than giving her a treat.
When you first start training, do a hand motion that will indicate what you want her to do. For example, when you are teaching a dog to sit, the traditional hand motion is to put your hand over her nose and slightly in front of her. She will look up and sit down. This is especially true if you have a treat in your hand.
After she has mastered the hand motion, you can move to a verbal command. In this case, you would say, “sit.” It is important that you not do the hand motion at the same time as the verbal command, because it will be easier for the dog to respond to the hand motion and not the verbal command. Instead, during the same training session when she is sitting for the hand motion, do the verbal command but not the hand motion. She should realize that she still wants you to sit and will do it.
Once she can do the trick on the verbal command, you can start increasing the difficulty. This includes decreasing the frequency of treats if you are using treats, doing the exercise in different rooms, having other family members do the commands, and practicing the treat when things are distracting the dog.
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You will know that the trick or skill is mastered when you can rely on her to do the trick at any time without the need of treats. This can be a long process, depending on how well your dog takes instruction and how old or young she is. The biggest factor in how long it will take for your dog to learn the trick is how consistent you are with the training.