Teaching a dog tricks is easy and can be a lot of fun for you and the dog. It only requires a little patience and some repetition with the animal. Set aside some time for you and the dog to practice the trick each day. It is best in the beginning if it is just you and the pet and there are no distractions.
Preparation Before Training
- Decide on a clear stay command. The word stay is fine, but be sure to say it the same way each time.
- Decide on a clear hand movement to accompany the verbal command. Pointing or palm up towards the dog is fine. Again, be consistent. Use the same move each time you give the command.
- Decide on a release command. This is a way for the dog to know its okay to move again.
- Decide on a reward for the dog. Small treats you know it likes are a good choice. Make sure you have these with you when you begin training.
- Get started with the training as soon as you are ready and have some time alone with the dog.
- Find a good training area, like a backyard or somewhere there are only a few distractions for the dog. This is very important in the beginning.
- Gently push your dog into a sitting or prone position. Whatever you have decided the stay position should be for it.
- Give your dog the stay command and the stay hand signal. Do this while close to the dog and looking at it.
- Slowly back away from the dog while facing it. If the dog moves at any point, you must go over and gently push it back into the stay position. Repeat the command and the hand gesture.
- Continue like this until the dog realizes you want it to stay. Once your dog stays for the first time, go over and reward it. Pet your dog and make sure it knows you are happy with it.
- Then give the dog the release command. Walk it around the yard or play with it or anything at all. Make sure there is a separation for the animal between playtime and training.
- As your dog gets more used to the stay command, walk further away, turn your back on it, do things that are a little different to see if the dog follows its command.
- Once you feel your dog has mastered the stay command, then it is time to put it to the test.
- While your dog is in stay position, throw its favorite treat just out of its reach. Call it over to you without giving the release command. Do whatever you can think of to see if the dog will break his stay command.
- If the dog breaks its stay command, gently push it back to the stay position and repeat the lessons until it learns to always keep the stay until released.
Once a dog has learned the stay command, it will be an obedient pet. Other tricks will be learned easier and faster most likely, since you and your dog have also learned to communicate better.
Begin teaching a dog as young as possible before it has learned bad habits. There is a lot of truth in what is said about old dogs.
Always try to make lesson time fun for your dog and you.