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Find out more about your dogs
Training your puppy to respond to basic commands is an essential part of managing their behaviour. The secret to success is that old nutshell, positive reinforcement - letting your puppy know when they have behaved just the way you wanted them to.
Your puppy is not just your best friend. He or she is the best friend you could ever wish for, because all they really want from your relationship...is to make you happy. So the least you can do is let them know when it's working. This will make them more likely to repeat good behaviour in the future. Now you can't ask for a better deal than that.
Keep them short – no more than 10-15 minutes. Start by working on one command at a time. And try to work in an environment with few distractions.
And one final piece of training wisdom - keep it simple: be patient, persistent and consistent!
You may need a long lead with this one:
“Sit” is a little more difficult because you first have to teach your puppy what “Sit” means:
With persistence, you won't need to put pressure on pup's posterior and eventually they'll respond to just the verbal command.
There are many times you should ask your puppy to sit to help avoid potential behaviour problems:
Once your puppy has mastered the art of “Sit”, then you can teach them to stay:
At meal times, you can ask your puppy to sit and stay, then put their food on the floor and have them wait until you release them from the stay command. This reinforces your leadership in the relationship.
To download a fact sheet about the three basic commands, click here.
The Merck Veterinary Manual
Veterinary Partner: The Canine Behaviour Series
By: Kathy Diamond Davis, Trainer