Use your pup’s name before every command to attract her attention. She then knows that the commands are meant for her.
If she doesn’t obey, consider why not:
- Have you got her attention? Do not shout. Try clapping, making a different noise or changing the tone of your voice. You must be more exciting than the distraction.
- Has the training session been too long? Pups have short attention spans. It is better to stop and start again later than to persist with a tired pup.
- Does she understand the command and what you expect of her?
Training should be a positive experience. Use rewards all the time to start with.[singlepic id=531 w=320 h=240 float=right] Once you know that she understands the command vary the frequency and the size of the rewards. Work on the poker machine principle “if she never knows how much the reward will be, or when it will come she will keep trying to win a reward.”
Train your puppy in lots of different places and at different times. You don’t want a dog who only comes and sits at 6pm – before dinner!
Make training part of every day’s routine.
Sitting is a dog’s way of saying “please”. Your dog should sit before a meal or before crossing the road.
Start by holding a small piece of food near his nose so he can sniff or lick but not grab it. Slowly move it above his nose so that his nose is pointing in the air. Move the treat back over his head until his bottom is on the ground. As his bottom touches the ground say “sit” and give the treat. You are pairing the word “sit” with the action of sitting.
If he jumps for the food you are holding it too high. If he walks backwards to follow the treat, do the exercise against a wall.
Use lots of praise and encouragement.
Once your pup knows the “sit” command teach him to “drop”. Ask him to sit, show him a treat and then slowly lower it between his front paws. As soon as his tummy hits the ground, say “drop” and give him the treat and lots of praise.
If you lower the treat too quickly the pup won’t follow the treat down and will lose interest. If you place the treat too far in front of his paws he will lean forward to get it and stand up.
Extend the period he stays in the drop position by giving small treats while still in the position. Gradually increase the interval between treats. You can use praise and pats in between food rewards. He will soon realise that the longer he lies the more you will reward him.