5 essential commands you can teach your dog

By Juliana Weiss-Roessler

Having a trained dog isn’t the same as having a balanced dog, but if your dog knows a few basic commands, it can be helpful when tackling problem behaviors — existing ones or those that may develop in the future.

So where do you start with dog obedience training? You could take a class, but it’s not necessary; you can do it yourself. In fact, with the right attitude, it can be fun for both you and your dog!


This is one of the easiest dog obedience commands to teach, so it’s a good one to start with.

Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose.

Move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower.

Once he’s in sitting position, say “Sit,” give him the treat, and share affection.

Repeat this sequence a few times every day until your dog has it mastered. Then ask your dog to sit before mealtime, when leaving for walks, and during other situations where you’d like him calm and seated.


This command can help keep a dog out of trouble, bringing him back to you if you lose grip on the leash or accidentally leave the front door open.

Put a leash and collar on your dog.

Go down to his level and say, “Come,” while gently pulling on the leash.

When he gets to you, reward him with affection and a treat.

Once he’s mastered it with the leash, remove it — and practice the command in a safe, enclosed area.


This can be one of the more difficult commands in dog obedience training. Why? Because the position is a submissive posture. You can help by keeping training positive and relaxed, particularly with fearful or anxious dogs.

Find a particularly good smelling treat, and hold it in your closed fist.

Hold your hand up to your dog’s snout. When he sniffs it, move your hand to the floor, so he follows.

Then slide your hand along the ground in front of him to encourage his body to follow his head.

Once he’s in the down position, say “Down,” give him the treat, and share affection.

Repeat it every day. If your dog tries to sit up or lunges toward your hand, say “No” and take your hand away. Don’t push him into a down position, and encourage every step your dog takes toward the right position. After all, he’s working hard to figure it out!


Before attempting this one, make sure your dog is an expert at the “Sit” command.

First, ask your dog to “Sit.”

Then open the palm of your hand in front of you, and say “Stay.”

Take a few steps back. Reward him with a treat and affection if he stays.

Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving the treat.

Always reward your pup for staying put — even if it’s just for a few seconds.

This is an exercise in self-control for your dog, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to master, particularly for puppies and high-energy dogs. After all, they want to be on the move and not just sitting there waiting.

Leave it

This can help keep your dog safe when his curiosity gets the better of him, like if he smells something intriguing but possibly dangerous on the ground! The goal is to teach your pup that he gets something even better for ignoring the other item.

Place a treat in both hands.

Show him one enclosed fist with the treat inside, and say, “Leave it.”

Let him lick, sniff, mouth, paw, and bark to try to get it — and ignore the behaviors.

Once he stops trying, give him the treat from the other hand.

Repeat until your dog moves away from that first fist when you say, “Leave it.”

Next, only give your dog the treat when he moves away from that first fist and also looks up at you.

Once your dog consistently moves away from the first treat and gives you eye contact when you say the command, you’re ready to take it up a notch. For this, use two different treats — one that’s just all right and one that’s a particularly good smelling and tasty favorite for your pup.

Say “Leave it,” place the less attractive treat on the floor, and cover it with your hand.

Wait until your dog ignores that treat and looks at you. Then remove that treat from the floor, give him the better treat and share affection immediately.

Once he’s got it, place the less tasty treat on the floor… but don’t completely cover it with your hand. Instead hold it a little bit above the treat. Over time, gradually move your hand farther and farther away until your hand is about 6 inches above.

Now he’s ready to practice with you standing up! Follow the same steps, but if he tries to snatch the less tasty treat, cover it with your foot.

Don’t rush the process. Remember, you’re asking a lot of your dog. If you take it up a notch and he’s really struggling, go back to the previous stage.

Just these five simple commands can help keep your dog safer and improve your communication with him. It’s well worth the investment of your time and effort. Remember, the process takes time, so only start a dog obedience training session if you’re in the right mindset to practice calm-assertive energy and patience.

Do you train your own dogs? Why?


Top Ten Dog Training Tips

Traci Theis and Kellyann Conway

Top Ten Dog Training TipsThinkstock

Listen to Your Dog

Learn to listen to your dog. If your dog appears to be uncomfortable meeting another dog, animal or person, don’t insist that he say hello. He’s telling you that he isn’t comfortable for a reason, and you should respect that. Forcing the issue can often result in bigger problems down the line.

Be Generous with Your Affection

Most people don’t have a problem being very clear about when they are unhappy with their dogs, but, they often ignore the good stuff. Big mistake! Make sure you give your dog lots of attention when he’s doing the right thing. Let him know when he’s been a good boy. That’s the time to be extra generous with your attention and praise. It’s even okay to be a little over the top.

Does He Really Like It?

Just because the bag says “a treat all dogs love” doesn’t mean your dog will automatically love it. Some dogs are very selective about what they like to eat. Soft and chewy treats are usually more exciting for your dog than hard and crunchy treats. Keep your eyes open for what he enjoys.

Tell Him What You Want Him to Do

There is nothing inherently wrong with telling your dog “no,” except that it doesn’t give him enough information. Instead of telling your dog “no,” tell him what you want him to do. Dogs don’t generalize well, so if your dog jumps up on someone to say hello and you say no, he may jump higher or he may jump to the left side instead of the right. A better alternative would be to ask him to “sit.” Tell him what you want him to do in order to avoid confusion.

Be Consistent

Whenever you’re training your dog, it’s important to get as many family members involved as possible so everyone’s on the same page. If you are telling your dog “off” when he jumps on the couch and someone else is saying “down,” while someone else is letting him hang out up there, how on earth is he ever going to learn what you want? Consistency will be the key to your success.

Have Realistic Expectations

Changing behavior takes time. You need to have realistic expectations about changing your dog’s behavior as well as how long it will take to change behaviors that you don’t like. Often behaviors which are “normal” doggie behaviors will take the most time such as barking, digging and jumping. You also need to consider how long your dog has rehearsed the behavior. For example, if you didn’t mind that your dog jumped up on people to say hi for the last seven years and now you decide that you don’t want him to do that anymore, that behavior will take a much longer time to undo than if you had addressed it when he was a pup. Remember it’s never too late to change the behavior some will just take longer than others.

Don’t Underestimate the Benefits of Feeding a High Quality Food

Feed your dog a high-quality diet with appropriate amounts of protein. If your dog spends most of his days lounging in your condo, don’t feed him food with a protein level that is ideal for dogs who herd sheep all day. The money that you will spend on feeding an appropriate quality food will often be money that you save in vet bills later on. I recommend you always check with your veterinarian for the right diet for your dog.

You Get What You Reinforce – Not Necessarily What You Want

If your dog exhibits a behavior you don’t like, there is a strong likelihood that it’s something that has been reinforced before. A great example is when your dog brings you a toy and barks to entice you to throw it. You throw the toy. Your dog has just learned that barking gets you to do what he wants. You say “no,” and he barks even more. Heaven forbid you give in and throw the toy now! Why? Because you will have taught him persistence pays off. Before you know it you’ll have a dog that barks and barks every time he wants something. The solution? Ignore his barking or ask him to do something for you (like “sit”) before you throw his toy.

Bribery vs. Reward

The idea of using treats to train is often equated with bribery. Truthfully, dogs do what works. If using treats gets them to do what you want, then why not? You can also use the world around you as a reinforcement. Every interaction you have with your dog is a learning opportunity, so when you think about it, you probably don’t use food very often except during active training sessions. So why does your dog continue to hang out? Because you reinforce him with praise, touch, games and walks. Just remember, the behavior should produce the treat; the treat should not produce the behavior.


Let your new dog gradually earn freedom throughout your home. A common error that many pet parents make is giving their new dog too much freedom too soon. This can easily lead to accidents relating to housetraining and destructive chewing. So, close off doors to unoccupied rooms and use baby gates to section off parts of the house, if necessary. One of the best ways to minimize incidents is to keep your dog tethered to you in the house and by using a crate or doggie safe area when you can’t actively supervise him.


Therapy Dogs Help Veterans Soldier On

After finishing three tours of duty in Iraq, Jim Stanek was grateful to head home with all his limbs intact. But a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder made it difficult to live a normal life.

“I didn’t want to socialize, I had a terrible memory and my anxiety through the roof,” he recalled.

The only thing that seemed to help the 36-year-old New Mexico native calm his nerves was being around a friend’s therapy dog. So in May of 2010, he and his wife Lindsey decided to train his 5-year-old rescue mutt, Sarge, for therapy work.

The Staneks quickly learned that it can take up to two years and $60,000 to train a therapy dog properly — big obstacles they felt, for any veteran who might benefit from having a canine partner to help cope with the psychological and physical wounds of war. They decided to start Paws and Stripes, a non-profit that matches up therapy dogs with veterans.

Lindsey Stanek and Jim Stanek, founders of Paws and Stripes and stars of A&E’s “Dogs of War” walk during the 2K-9 Race, Oct. 26, 2014 in Washington.

Stanek’s wife Lindsey said she felt they were blessed because they quickly found trainers willing to help. The next step was to search for the dogs.

Normally therapy dogs are purebreds that start training with a handler as puppies and turned over to their owners at around the age of two. But the Staneks decided to scour local shelters to look for adult mixed breed dogs that were smart, friendly and confident.

“We wanted to give veterans a dog and the dogs a second chance,” Stanek’s wife said.

They cut training time down to about nine months by matching each dog with veteran-in-need at the beginning of the process so they could learn the ropes together. They also managed to pare down the cost to just over $6,300 which they fund largely through public donations.

The dogs help their partners deal with a variety of common problems that plague returning veterans. Some dogs help deal with psychological problems like PTSD while some alert their owners to oncoming migraines or low blood sugar. Others are trained to assist their owners with physical disabilities resulting from their battle injuries.

Sarge for example, is trained to spot Stanek’s panic attacks and keep him calm.

“I can tell the rest of the world I’m doing fine but she calls me a liar by wrinkling her forehead to alert me when my anxiety is getting higher,” he explained.

Sarge has also been taught to peak around the corners when out in public, wagging her tail to give the all clear. Stanek said this helps him deal with the “dead space” he learned to fear in combat.

The American Kennel Club is supportive of the Stanek’s efforts and other programs like it.

“Dogs give unconditional love and support and have an uncanny ability to detect when we are having a hard time,” said Mary Burch, an animal behaviorist and the AKC’s canine good citizen director.

A&E’s “Dogs Of War” 2K-9 Race honoring veterans and celebrating their canine companions, Oct. 26, 2014 in Washington.

The Staneks said they’ve graduated more than 50 veteran-and-dog teams throughout the country from their program. They have 600 veterans on the waiting list and hope to match each one with a dog.

Stanek for one is grateful for his relationship with Sarge.

“She makes me feel like the luckiest guy in the world,” he said. “I’d take a bullet for that dog.”

The Stanek’s efforts are chronicled on Dogs of War, a new show on A&E premiering tonight in honor of Veteran’s Day.


6 tips for mastering the dog walk

Here are six dog training tips on how to walk your dog and master the dog walk. When I’m out with my dog pack, I often walk about ten dogs at a time, sometimes even off-leash if I’m in a safe area. People are amazed by this, but it’s simple: the dogs see me as their pack leader. This is why dogs follow me wherever I go.

1. Walk in front of your dog.

Walking in front of your dog allows you to be seen as the pack leader. Conversely, if your dog controls you on the walk, he’s the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one in. Your dog should be beside or behind you during the walk.

2. Use a short dog leash.

This allows you to have more control. Attaching the leash to the very top of the neck can help you more easily communicate, guide, and correct your dog. If you need additional help, consider the Pack Leader Collar. Always keep your dog’s safety in mind when giving corrections.

3. Give yourself enough time for the dog walk.

Dogs, like humans, are diurnal, so taking walks in the morning is ideal. I recommend setting aside thirty minutes to a full hour. The specific needs of each dog differ. Consult your vet and keep an eye on your dog’s behavior to see if his needs are being met.

4. How to reward your dog during the walk.

After your dog has maintained the proper state of mind, reward him by allowing him to relieve himself and sniff around. Then you need to decide when reward time is over. It should always be less than the time spent focused on the walk.

5. Keep leading, even after the walk.

When you get home, don’t stop leading. Have your dog wait patiently while you put away his leash or take off your shoes.

6. Reward your dog after the walk.

By providing a meal after the walk, you have allowed your dog to “work” for food and water.

And don’t forget to set a good example by always picking up after your dog!

How about you? Are you having trouble mastering the walk? Share your experience with us in the comments!


Dealing With Loose Aggressive Dogs On Walks

Dealing With Loose Aggressive Dogs On Walks

 by: Paul Smith

This can be quite a problem for some dog owners, what do you do if a loose dog comes over to you and your dog, the situation can be quite intimidating especially if you have a small dog and the one coming toward you is much larger or aggressive.

The reason I have written this article is because I was on a dog forum recently and read a hart wrenching post from a lady who held her dying dog in her arms after it was attacked in front of her by a loose dog that snapped it’s neck.

I do not always keep my dog on a lead but I have a rule I always use when I am out with her, if she is off the lead and I see another dog with it’s owner if that dog is off the lead I keep Brandy off hers, I make the assumption that the other dogs owner knows their dog is all right interacting with other dogs, however if the owner has their dog on a lead I then put Brandy on hers. This is because I feel if the owner of the other dog is unsure how their dog will react to mine I should do everything I can to help their dog be combatable, this is just a rule I use when out with Brandy.

There are times when you need to deal with dogs who’s owner is either not responsible or is not around in there situations I believe there are a number of options you might consider taking.

Dog with owner

If you come across an aggressive dog off its lead but with the owner then it might be worth having a quick word with the owner and suggesting he keep his dog on a lead when other dogs are around.

Aggressive dogs

If you are lightly to come across aggressive dogs on your walk then there are three things I would recommend you could carry with you to deter an attack.

Pepper spray

You can get dog safe pepper spray, this will cause the dog discomfort and stop the initial attack, it also acts as a deterrent from future attacks, if a dog recognises you as someone who has caused him pain he should avoid you in the future. I think this is an extreme measure and I would only use it if there were lightly to be in danger of harm to Brandy or myself.

Ultra sonic alarm

You can buy ultra sonic alarms that can be heard by dogs but not people, this will cause the dog to get distracted and the sound will not be pleasant to him but should cause no permanent harm.

Carry a stick

This is an option you could consider a walking stick waved at a dog as it starts to become aggressive can often deter an attack, and might stop the situation developing further.

Call the dog warden

Whatever tactic you decide to take you should call the dog warden or animal welfare as soon as you are able to, the dog might be lost and hungry or it might attack someone who is not as prepared so reporting it might help it and save someone the hart ache of loosing a loved pet.

About The Author

Paul Smith has been a dog specialist for 20 years, training dogs for both the police and shows download his free ebook here Http://www.tall-indoor-dog-gates.com Now.

This article was posted on January 28, 2006

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Top 10 Healthiest Dog Breeds


No other animal has aided humanity’s rise to preeminence on this planet more than the canine.

Domesticated thousands of years ago, dogs (initially from wolf stock) insured survival of the human organism.  Recent scholarship points up that Cro-Magnons’ eventual supremacy over the Neanderthals (with whom they shared the wilds of Europe around 40,000 years ago) was not because of greater brain capacity or technology (the two groups were roughly equal in that sense with Neanderthal having a slight edge).

No, it was because of the domestication of canines that Cro-Magnon supplanted his stockier and (perhaps) more evolutionarily favored neighbors, the Neanderthals (who had no furry friends by the fireside).

Dogs led to an increase of 56% in successful hunting (as retrievers and “weapons”).  This “extra” food meant Cro-Magnon had an advantage over Neanderthals (who tended to view the gnarly canine as a food source and not an ally).  They also provided protection from “outsiders” (whether man or beast) and much-needed warmth on colder Ice Age nights when fire alone wasn’t enough.

Dogs are resourceful, and of all the animals on the planet, they are perhaps the most interlaced with humanity’s development from cave-dwelling creatures into the settled tribes seen today.

Their history is one of continual genetic refinement.  Humans have cross-bred and inbred animals over the millennia to achieve perceived perfection of form or to enhance desirable traits, such as longer hair or better herding capabilities.  Unfortunately, if left unchecked, this inbreeding results in poorer animals because inbreeding increases the likelihood of mutations and other recessive defects becoming dominant in any given breed.

The quest for the “healthiest” is a fallacious one in the sense that there is almost no single breed that is the “healthiest” of all.  Inbreeding for show purposes has seen to that.  In the past, what were typified as “working” dogs (herders, such as collies; or “sporting” dogs, such as retrievers) were healthier than other breeds.  Although this is no longer generally true, there are still some whose overall health is better than most, despite inbreeding. 

Those noted here have some of the fewest overall health issues, and all have better than average life spans (ranging on average from ten to sixteen years).   An interesting correlative as a health indicator: the larger the animal, the more physical problems it is susceptible to.  Size is the one trait that has a rather linear correlation with lifespan.  Bigger canines have shorter life spans and suffer more often from crippling arthritis and hip dysplasia.  At the other end of the scale, extremely small dogs (inbred to continually reduce their size) may suffer more disorders than their standard-sized counterparts (kidney and other organ failures).

Obesity, as with humans, is a growing problem with dogs as well.  Obesity is the owner’s fault, not the dog’s.  Overfeeding and improper exercise combine to shorten any pet’s life.  Proper diet is important.  However, obesity in some breeds is a clear sign of Cushing’s disease (a glandular problem).

All the dogs mentioned here are wonderful animals; all have their fans and proud owners.  Each has its special traits that make it desirable for whatever reason.

This is not a “favorite” list.  This is a practical recitation of popular breeds comparatively–these breeds overall exhibit fewer health issues than many others, and they are ranked accordingly.  Thus, the number ten dog is subject to more potential physical problems than the number two dog.

Every one on this list, however, is far and away healthier and less costly in vet visits than many other popular breeds.

Top 10 Healthiest Dog Breeds

#10–Border Collie

This dog, despite being number ten on this top ten healthiest dogs list, is regarded as the most intelligent almost universally.  The Border Collie is an older breed of work dog, and is the most widespread of the Collie breeds.  It was developed along the Anglo-Scottish frontier for livestock herding, especially sheep.

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of watching one of these dogs in action herding a flock of sheep is amazed at the energy and genuine intuition the dog brings to the task.  These dogs are almost prescient, and one Border Collie in early 2011 was discovered to have a vocabulary understanding of over 1,000 words of human speech. 

Hip dysplasia and epilepsy are common along with a breed-specific eye condition called “Collie Eye Anomaly” (affects the retina and sclera of the dog’s eyes, leading to impaired vision).  Also, many succumb to cancer.   

#9–Alaskan Malamute

This beautiful animal, known by many as the typical “Eskimo” sled dog, is a real workhorse of a canine.  They are often confused with Siberian Huskies.

These dogs live and labor in some of the coldest climates on earth–consequently, an obvious problem for them and other trans-Siberian animals is extreme heat.  Though they live many years, hip dysplasia can occur, and they also have a predisposition to hereditary cataracts. 

#8–Shetland Sheepdog

Another herding dog, these little cuties (also known as “Shelties”) are great favorites among small children (in a group of toddlers, Shelties have been observed attempting to “herd” them, an entertaining sight). 

Like all herding breeds they are energetic, but later in life are prone to arthritis and hereditary cataracts.  

#7–German Shepherd

Sometimes called the Alsatian, the German Shepherd ranks third in intelligence (behind the poodle).  It is one of the newest breeds of herding dogs, originating in 1899. 

A major dog health problem relating to spinal curvature has been noted more often in recent years, especially in the Americanized version of the breed (European German Shepherds, not subject to such draconian inbreeding, do not suffer this anomaly as often).

As in larger dogs, they are subject to hip dysplasia.  Also, German Shepherds can exhibit a neurological disorder called myelopathy.  Overall, though, these dogs are durable, and they have served as watch dogs and rescue animals for decades.

Because of these mobility issues they are no longer always the preferred dog for working areas such as in police, military, and search and rescue operations.

#6–Pembroke Welsh Corgi

This stumpy canine with the radar antennae ears is one of the smallest breeds of herding dogs, and yes, it originated in Wales. 

This dog has been a favorite of the British Royal family for over 70 years, and Queen Elizabeth II owns several of them.  It is number eleven in intelligence. 

Most of the health problems these animals develop are related to aging: Von Willebrand’s disease (which affects blood platelets), hip dysplasia, and myelopathy are common.

#5–Labrador Retriever

These are very popular dogs for families with children; the dogs are gentle and patient.

The Labrador Retriever is also very active and playful.  And, as its name clearly states, it loves to play fetch.  They were bred as retrievers of waterfowl; the undercoat is wiry and water-resistant.

Labradors have webbed paws for swimming–its original function was retrieving fishing nets!  By official registration numbers the Labrador is the most popular dog in Canada, the UK, and in the US (since 1991).  They have relatively few health problems; two common ones are hereditary (myelopathy and retinal atrophy). 

#4–Siberian Husky

This stunning dog was bred in the north of Siberia, and it is a member of the Spitz family of dogs.  Its best-known feature is its ice-blue eyes, but these dogs can also have amber or brown eyes, or even eyes of two different colors.  They have the thick musculature of the Alaskan Malamute, and are similarly strong work dogs. They were bred to pull heavy loads long distances through difficult conditions. 

During Alaska’s Nome Gold Rush (1899-1909) they were imported from Asia as sled dogs; they later spread into Canada and the US.  These dogs have few issues of poor health–the two most common are hereditary (eye defects and seizures).  This dog is one of the few to be nearly free of incidence of hip dysplasia (less than 2% incidence rate).


Despite its fragile appearance this racing dog is surprisingly hale.  Its lightweight structure, considering it is in the larger breeds of dogs, assures it of no hip dysplasia problems.  Whippets also live an average of 13 years.   They are not subject to any of the common problems of dogs. 

Undescended testicles in the breed are common, however.  Another problem in some animals is called “athletic heart syndrome”.  These dogs were bred to race–their hearts are very large and at rest beat very slowly.  Sometimes, the heartbeat may be arrhythmic or intermittent. 


This lovable lug was developed as a herding dog in Germany.  They were called “Rottweil butcher’s dogs” because they herded livestock and pulled carts loaded with butchered meats for market.

Rottweilers are now used in search and rescue, as guide dogs for the blind, and as guard or police dogs.  These dogs have almost no health problems, but because of their larger size they can (rarely) develop hip dysplasia.  Overall, they are extremely low maintenance. 

#1–Heinz 57

It may seem as if a cheat has been perpetrated, but the mutt or mongrel is the overall healthiest dog breed on the planet.  This canine, which is just plain “dawg” through and through, has a richly diverse genetic background in his or her makeup and that diversity is what keeps the mutt healthy. 

Mutts rarely develop the consistent genetic disorders some breeds are known for simply because those undesirable traits don’t always get a chance to pass from generation to generation.  They are also highly resistant to parasitism and communicable diseases.  A mutt can be as great a companion as any registered breed, and most have high inherent intelligence. 

As with all dogs they are not resistant to accident, mistreatment, or obesity–owners need to take as good care of their mongrel as they would the most pampered poodle (the dog breed with one of the highest rates of health problems, by the way).


by the author–doesn’t have anything to do with dogs!


Dogs :: Dog Training Hand Signals

Dog Training Hand Signals should be a chapter in every dog training manual. Training your dog to respond to hand signals can be fun to teach and very easy for your dog to learn, understand and obey.

Hardly any equipment or materials apart from a hungry dog and a few pieces of choice treats are the requirements to get you started and well on your way to training him or her to obey the ‘sit’, ‘down’ or ‘come’ commands issued in the form of hand signals instead of verbal commands.

The first thing to do is to choose a specific and clearly identifiable hand movement or gesture to associate with each command. Getting your dog to respond to that gesture is merely the act of repetition till you succeed.

You start with issuing the verbal command performing the chosen gesture at the same time. You reward the dog with a treat each time the command is obeyed.

When there is clear and spontaneous response to the verbal command and hand signal combination, you then drop the verbal command and start over again only with the hand signal, rewarding the dog with a treat each time the hand signal is obeyed.

Repeat continuously till there is a spontaneous response to the hand signal. Drop the food reward and continue only with the hand signal till there is a clear and spontaneous response.

Now you have mastered dog training hand signals, and will be having your dog, coming to you, sitting down, or lying down near you all on the movements of your hand.

* Sit.

Begin the training session by standing your dog in front of you, with your hands hanging normally and loosely by your sides and with a treat in the hand that you have chosen to use in the signal.

Begin the dog training hand signal by bringing the hand slowly and deliberately up, folding it at the same time as if you are about to throw something over. Let your movement be gradual and reward the dog with the treat as soon as it ‘sits’. Repeat till there is no hesitation by the dog in responding to the command.

Repeat hand signal without verbal command till the dog responds without any hesitation, rewarding each time with a treat. Then repeat the hand signal with intermittent rewards, then one reward every three to four commands and finally no rewards at all.

Test hand signal for spontaneous response without any reward.

* Down.

Begin this session by sitting your dog in front of you, with your hands hanging normally and loosely by your sides with a treat in the hand that you have chosen to use in the signal.

The hand movement for this signal would be the raising your hand above your head. Follow the same procedure as you did in the ‘Sit’ command and test finally for spontaneous response without any reward.

* Come.

Begin this session with the dog in front of you, and your hands hanging normally and loosely by your sides with a treat in the hand that you have chosen to use in the signal.

The hand movement for this signal would be raising your hand to touch the opposite shoulder. If you are using your right hand touch your left shoulder.

Follow the same procedure as you did in the ‘Sit’ and ‘Down’ commands and test finally for spontaneous response without any reward.

You are now a master of Dog Training Hand Signals.


Dog Training | Buzzle.com

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Tip to choose the right dog ramp

There are two very popular types of ramps that dog owners love to indulge in. Here are some tips on choosing the right dog ramp, indoors as well as outdoors.

Does Clicker Training For Dogs Really Work?

Clicker training for dogs

Clicker training is an intelligent way to teach a desired act or habit to your pet. This method works effectively on any animal of any age. Here, we have explained how you can train your dog with this method.

14 Effective Ways to Keep Your Dog Off the Couch

Tip for keeping dog off the couch

Has your pooch started hanging out on the couch way too much? Do you often come home to find your dog lounging on your couch or armchair? If yes, and you aren’t happy about it, you have to get the message across pronto, but without…

Unbelievable Things Dogs Can Smell

Things dogs can smell

The fact that dogs have a very good sense of smell is common knowledge. However, few realize how sharp this ability really is. Here, we discuss some really unbelievable things that dogs can detect by using their noses, thereby…

Top 10 Books for Training Your Dog

Top books for training your dog

Looking for the best books on training your dog? This Buzzle article gives you reviews of the 10 best books available for training your darling pooch.

How to Stop a Puppy from Biting

Has your puppy turned into a snapping machine all of a sudden? He is probably teething, or maybe he is just seeking your attention. In this Buzzle article, we will tell you how you can stop this problematic behavior.

Dog Litter Box Training

Have you given litter box training to your dog? If your answer is no, this article will give you some informative guidelines on the advantages of litter training your dog, and also the method of going about it…

How to Train Your Dog for Search and Rescue Work

Training a search and rescue dog comprises three basics – positivity, passion and tons of patience. So if you think you’re ready to enter into a very special friendship with your four-legged companion, you’ve come to the right place.

How to Train a Guard Dog

How to train a guard dog? Now, this is something that should be left to a professional dog trainer! However, training a guard dog on your own requires some important steps to be followed…

How to Train Your Dog to Protect You

It is very important that your dog knows when you are in distress and can act immediately in order to help you. Given here are tips for training your dog to protect you…

Training a Shelter Dog

If you get a dog from a shelter, you need to start right away by teaching them your rules.

How to Start a Dog Training Business From Home

If you are looking forward to start a new home business and you love the canine species, a dog training business can be extremely rewarding for you. This article deals with things to be considered before starting off this business…

How to Potty Train a Basset Hound

Basset hounds are considered to be stubborn and difficult to train. Here is an article for pet owners on how to provide potty training to these adorable dogs.

How to Train Hunting Dogs

Training hunting dogs is not an easy task. However, with the right approach, owners can train their dogs to become excellent hunters. This article provides a few tips for owners so that they can train their dogs easily.

Dog Etiquette

Dog owners that live in cities have much greater challenges in raising their dogs than those dwelling in the suburban and rural areas. One of the main reason is space crunch.

How to House Train a Puppy When You Work All Day

Teaching a pup to house break is a difficult and a time-consuming task, especially when the owner is away from home all day. In this case, the owner needs to keep calm and must find sufficient time to train his pup, so that he can…

How to House Train a Puppy in an Apartment

One of the FAQs when it comes to puppies is how to house train a puppy in an apartment. This article, fortunately has the answer. So, read on and you’ll know how to teach your little puppy where he can do his business.

Training a Dog to Use a Dog Door

Training a dog to use a dog door can be both easy and difficult at the same time. Easy cause all you need to do is nudge your dog to start using the dog door and difficult cause some dogs may get scared to use the new way out. You…

How to Train Your Dog for a Dog Show

Planning to register your dog for a conformation show? Keep reading this article to get some useful tips for training your canine pet for the upcoming conformation show.

How to Potty Train a Beagle

Puppy training takes time and patience. Planned and proficient training can get your pups behavior under control. However, beagles being a stubborn breed, even toilet training could get tiring. For those who are wondering, here is…

How to Train a Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino is a very popular choice of dog breed to adopt for pet lovers who prefer strong and muscular dogs. They are known for their ferocious watchdog qualities and strong personality. In this following article, we will take…

How to Potty Train a Pit bull

Bringing home a Pit bull puppy will prove to be a delight as they are bright and intelligent canines. But, before you bring one home, make sure you know how to potty train a Pit bull puppy. Learn all the details that will help you…

How to Train a Shar Pei

Among the ancient dog breeds of China, the Shar Pei is well-known for its wrinkles and tongue color. Its uniquely built body ranks this breed outstanding. So, if you are bringing this Chinese breed home, or are planning to, then…

Dog Walking Tips

Keeping a dog as your pet is not an easy task. When dogs are proficiently brought up, they prove to be great companions. Teaching them manners, training their skills, and regular grooming, are some of the essential responsibilities…

How to Train a Weimaraner

The Weimaraners, a breed of dog, requires a specialized training format to ensure that they turn out to be exactly how you want them to be. How does one go about it? In the following article we will look into this issue and help by…

German Shepherd Potty Training

German Shepherd potty training need not be a task if you know the right way to housebreak your puppy. Let us have a look at some useful potty training tips for a German Shepherd pup in the following article that you will definitely…

Diabetic Alert Dog Training

Diabetic alert dogs are proving to be of great assistance to diabetics and their families. Here is some information on training such dogs.

How to Work Out Your Dog’s Reactive Tendencies

A dog that reacts to other dogs or people with excessive barking can be a problem. But something referred to as ‘counter conditioning’ can work to help your dog become more comfortable in all settings. Have a look…

How to Potty Train a Dog

Proper potty training is an important aspect, as far as raising a pet dog is concerned. Here are some tips for the same.

Training a German Shepherd Puppy

All you need to do for training a German Shepherd puppy is to follow consistent training tips and techniques. This article covers some German shepherd training tips that will help you get started with your new pet.

List of Dog Tricks

You have a dog at home and you are eager to teach him some tricks. This article provides a list of dog tricks. You can read all about it and teach your dog something new to do. This process is a lot of fun and is very rewardig to…

Housebreaking Tips

When you get a new puppy, it’s a tedious job, trying to teach them how to housebreak. Here are some housebreaking tips which will help you to train your dog. Read on…

Aggressive Dog Training Tips

If your pet dog is getting really aggressive and controlling him is getting out of hand, then you need some aggressive dog training tips. The following article will give you just that.

Housebreaking a Shih Tzu

Housebreaking a Shih Tzu can be a troublesome process due to the short attention span of this cute dog. However, it is not an impossible task as such. This article will help you out.

Tips on Housebreaking Your Chihuahua

Housebreaking a Chihuahua is one of the most challenging jobs for any owner as this breed can be a bit difficult to train. If you too are facing a similar situation, then read this article for some simple tips on housebreaking…

Leash Training Puppies

Are you finding a hard time training your new puppy, and getting it to like its leash? Then you have come to the right place; read on…

Housebreaking an Adult Dog

It is not impossible to housebreak an older dog. It might be a little difficult, but it’s definitely not impossible. You just need to follow the right approach.

Agility Training for Dogs

Before starting an agility training session for your dog, you need to understand how it will help. Among other things, agility training raises their fitness level and boosts their confidence.

Puppy Potty Training Regression

Nothing can be more frustrating than seeing your well-trained puppy defecating again in the places where it is taught not to. This article provides some simple solutions for potty training regression that will help you as well as…

Dog Training Shock Collar

The activity of dog training shock collars becomes easier with the products mentioned below. Shock collars for dogs which come with tracking devices also help in pet containment.

Puppy Potty Training Tips

People love their puppies dearly, but cleaning their mess is definitely not something anyone looks forward to. This article provides some potty training tips to relieve you and your puppy of this difficult situation.

How to Housebreak a Puppy

Many people struggle with housebreaking a puppy, not wanting to use any harsh methods. We have some simple suggestions that you can try. Have a look…

Puppy Potty Training Problems

The various puppy potty training problems and their solutions are discussed in the following article. Other facts about this crucial training aspect, such as how long does it take to train puppies and the issues associated with it…

Keeping Your Dog Polite at the Dog Park

Dog owners love to take their pets to the park to romp and interact with their canine buddies. But, just like with people parks, dog parks are happier places for all whenever visitors follow basic rules of etiquette.

Dog Obedience Commands

Dogs are great pets and all of us want to have a well behaved dog who will follow all our instructions perfectly. Here are some dog obedience commands and techniques to teach your pet.

Choosing the Right Dog Training Treats

While choosing training treats for your dog, pick the ones that are small and are easy to finish. Get those that taste strong and are brightly-colored, as these are the ones that pet dogs prefer. Here’s more…

Crate Training Puppies

Puppies need love and care, but you also need some rest. Crate training could be a good solution for getting some relaxation and peace of mind at night. It will also not lead to you running behind your puppy all night.

Dog Training Advice

Training is an interesting task you need to undertake to instill some discipline and obedience in your pet dog and the tips that we have compiled here, are meant to help you with the same.

How to Train a Dog to Fetch

Training a dog to fetch can be a fun activity for both the owner and the dog. So if you find it cute that your dog fetches the morning paper or a Frisbee when thrown, here are steps that will help you train your dog to fetch.

How to Keep Dogs Off Furniture

Dogs love furniture, especially cozy beds and comfortable sofas. Hence, keeping them off it is a real task. This article provides some techniques that you can use for the same.

Leash Training a Dog

Leash training a dog is a must and a blessing for all owners, as it allows them to take their dogs out for walks without the fear that they may get distracted by things around. Here’s more…

How to Train a Dog to Sit

Training a dog to sit and stay is one of your first responsibilities as a dog owner. If you have tried doing it a number of times without any success whatsoever, then maybe it’s the time to see where you are going wrong.

Training Puppies Not to Bite

Dogs are man’s best friends, and most people find it irresistible to own a puppy. This article provides some information about training puppies not to nip and bite.

Training Dogs Not to Bark

Before starting any training, it is necessary to understand the cause behind inappropriate barking behavior in your pet. Often changing the way you take care of your dog works to prevents excessive barking.

How to Become a Dog Trainer

Becoming a dog trainer is a popular choice of occupation, especially amongst animal lovers. With the increasing number of dog adoptions, the demand for certified trainers is also on the rise.

Dog Training Tools

The task of training your pet dog can be a tedious one, that’s unless you are armed with certain dog training tools; in which case, you will be able to pull it off with considerable ease.

Dog Obedience Training: Boot Camp for Dogs

Many owners seek obedience training at a boot camp for their dogs as a solution to behavior problems. As one glove does not fit all, these training programs may show results in only some dogs.

Australian Shepherd Training

Australian shepherds are intelligent and energetic dogs that love to keep busy. This characteristic makes them easy to train, as they perceive even learning a new trick as an activity.

Puppy Training Vs. Dog Training

Many people are of the opinion that puppies cannot be trained. However, in practice, it is the best stage to train a dog. Giving a dog lessons on how to behave, is not very different from giving lessons to a puppy.

Puppy Training Tips

Puppy training needs to be started as early as possible. Here are some tips that you can use as a guideline. Have a look…


Dog Training: What Is Dog Training?

Dog Training: What Is Dog Training?

 by: David McFarlane

The term “dog training” can mean many different things – this is an important fact to remember when deciding what exactly you need to do with your dog.

First, there is “behavior training”.

This is the kind of dog training in which a dog is taught to be good. Usually this would include house training, good behavior around other people and dogs, and other small things that make a dog a much more pleasant companion. A well-behaved dog attracts no special notice from members of the public (apart from occasional comments about their good manners).

Next, there is “obedience training,” which is teaching the dog how to perform specific activities.

This can include traditional obedience exercises such as heeling. The emphasis here is on prompt and precise performance. While there can be many overall benefits to this kind of dog training, the training is not necessarily used in order to improve the dog’s behavior.

Dogs that have been obedience trained will perform tasks when their owners ask them to do so. (Although, some obedience trained dogs may well behave poorly!)

“Activity training” refers to dog training for specific activities – this could include hunting, herding, search and rescue or any of a number of activities designed to show off the abilities of the dog and his handler. These days, such activity also includes sports such as frisbee, flyball and agility.

At times, these dog training methods can cross over somewhat.

A certain amount of obedience training will help with behaviors, for example. A dog that is heeling will not pull on the leash.

You will still want to keep this in mind when selecting a training class, however, so that it best matches your needs. For many pet owners, the behavior-oriented classes are the best way to learn how to understand and control your dog. For those of you who want to enjoy a sport or compete in an activity with your dog, you will need to move along to more complex dog training.

You need to be fully aware of whether or not your dog needs behavior modification (where you will have to find out the underlying reason why your dog digs holes) or obedience training (to understand commands).

The two may be related: a dog that digs because it is bored may become less bored with obedience training and stop digging. It is important, however, to understand that the dog stopped digging because it was no longer bored not that it now knows how to heel. You will need to modify your approach, or select a trainer to help you, with behavior vs. training in mind.

Please also remember not to punish the dog whilst training.

Punishment is not a training aid. It does little to foster willingness to learn and achieve. Limit yourself to a firm “no” and to using your hands to block the dog’s negative actions. Refrain from hitting or physically abusing the dog.

Display extreme levels of patience and persistence, and never give up; if you do, you are relinquishing your status as the dominant one. The dog is bound by nature and genetics to test how far he can push you or get away with disobeying you. You must display a stern and stoic attitude and do not pat, praise, or reward the dog if he does not pay attention or refuses to do as you have asked. Only yield once your commands are followed. If you “heel” instead of your dog then he will soon know who is the boss.

Use rewards and praise as often as required. Praise should immediately be forthcoming when a dog responds to any command. The pet will associate responding to commands with praise/rewards (treats) and will try and respond quicker to reap his rewards. Once a command/trick has been mastered then the treats can be withdrawn. You will find that obeying a command becomes second nature to your dog.

Keep the lessons simple. To begin with, the lessons should be fairly easy and such that the dog can complete it within two-three actions. As his level of learning increases the lessons could be more complex. Just as our children go, at first to play school, then to kindergarten, and then to the first grade so also in the case of our pets.

Whether you are a first time dog owner or a seasoned veteran, your learning never stops as far as it comes to training your dog. Each and every dog presents different training challenges, and the more equipped you are to handle these training issues the more likely you are to prevent any permanent and long term future behavioral problems.

This article was posted on August 21, 2006

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How to Train Your Dog to Stop Digging

Have you ever arrived home and found your newly planted flowers spread over your back yard? Have you broken your lawnmower when one wheel fell down a dog hole? Have you ever stepped out into your yard at night and fallen into a new hole?

If your dog is digging up your back yard you are not alone. Digging is one of the most common complaints when people talk about their dogs; it is not a simple problem or one that is easily taken care of.

There are as many methods to stop digging as there are reasons to dig.

1. Dogs get bored: This is number one on the list for a good reason. Since most dogs do not have jobs they need to find something to do. Sometimes dogs just want to be like us, such as when they dig in the garden. Digging is a good way to keep busy when you are a bored dog.

2. Dogs can be too hot or cool: Digging in the winter is not much of a problem since the ground is frozen but in the summer dogs love to make holes to cool off. Long-haired breeds are especially uncomfortable and not meant to live in hot environments.

3. Dogs are trying to bury something: New toys, old bones, and favorites of all sorts need to be buried, for some reason.

4. Dogs are searching for prey: This is an instinctual reason to dig. A dog may be unsuccessful many times but if he finds something to eat, even once, he will have a new reason to dig.

5. Dogs are trying to find something: Buried objects have to be found, obviously. Sometimes dogs suffer from the “lost keys syndrome” and can´t remember where they buried a favorite toy or bone. They have to dig everywhere to find it.

6. Dogs are looking to escape: This is a common problem with some dogs, especially males who have not been neutered. Some dogs need to escape if they are not taken out often enough. It usually happens along the fence line but the holes can be deep.

1. Increase exercise: If you can´t give your dog a job at least provide her with plenty of exercise. My dog usually falls asleep after our morning walks and digging is the last thing she wants to do!

2. Provide diversions: Kong toys can be filled with kibble or even frozen when filled with peanut butter. A dog occupied with chewing and licking a toy will not think about digging.

3. Make the backyard a fun place: If your dog is banished to the back yard every time something is going on in the house, she will be much more likely to dig. If she thinks of the back yard as a place where she plays games she will dig less.

4. Provide a way for your dog to cool off: If your dog is trying to cool off you need to look for some alternate solutions. One of them might be to provide her with a child´s wading pool. Another is to build your dog a sand pit. Your dog will be muddy or sandy at the end of the day but will probably not dig.

5. Have your male neutered: This is important for dogs that are digging to escape. It is a good idea to neuter any pet.

6. Provide a digging area: I personally think this is the best solution for all dogs but it is always required with some hunting dogs (like Fox Terriers and Dachshunds) that like to “go to ground”. Either delineate an area to be used or build a special sandbox and bury some of her favorite toys in this spot. You might paw around a bit and as soon as she starts digging there give her lots of praise. I live in the tropics and since I left a hole for my dog to cool off she never tries to dig outside of the digging area.

7. Leave stool buried in the holes your dog has already dug: This is a final option, after you have tried the other suggestions above, but it may work. If your dog has a good place to dig but still chooses to use an area that you need her to avoid (when my dog was a puppy she always dug holes right in front of the door), you can bury her stool in the hole and then throw a shovel of sand on top.

The next time she digs there the first thing she finds is her own stool. If you combine this with some of the other alternatives, like providing your dog with a sandbox, it will definitely work. This will not stop digging but will make your dog dig somewhere else.