Most people need to know that training dogs is a fundamental concept when having dog. Simply put, the main purpose is to instil dog obedience and to establish yourself as the pack leader. This is also a good time to bond with the dog as training will be fun.
When can dogs be trained? Puppies have short attention spans and hence most training centres have a minimum of 3 to 6 months for formal training. Note while dogs can still learn new tricks when they can older it gets more challenging to send them for obedience training when they are a few years old and set in their ways.
You can send your dogs for training at dog training centres or you could train them yourself. Those who have prior training experience with dogs will be able to train dogs on their own.
Key training dog success factors
- Consistency => Use the same command and hand signal all the time. Even if the dog does not listen to the command, use the same command again instead of trying with another command
- Simplicity => Use simple words or signals. Only one command should be issued at one time. Don’t mix commands. I was guilty of not following this when I first got involved in dog training. I used to say ‘Sit down’ to my dog as I was thinking in English. Unfortunately, my dog does not know English and got confused if I wanted him to ‘Sit’ or to go ‘Down’.
- Reward => Dogs love been rewarded. Rewards should be immediate after each exercise. You can either praise or treat the dog. Note you are encouraged to say ‘Good Boy’ rather than food treats as the dog would grow to expect food treat each time it performs a command
- Confident => Be confident when issuing commands. Your dog would pick up your insecurities and simply would not obey.
- Fun => Both you and the dog should have fun. Never punish the dog if it does not do the commands properly. Instead use rewards to encourage the dogs to obey the command.
- Command feasibility => It has been my experience that my German Shepherd Dog don’t like been down in the hot ground or wet ground. Issue commands when you think the dog would also have no issue or has the ability to execute the order.
List of Canine good citizen commands
Dogs do not need to know many commands and the list below is generally sufficient. Note have a training leash handy.