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Doggie Obedience Basics

The start of the school year can be hard on dogs, especially when their playmates are back in class and busy with extracurricular activities. But kids aren’t the only ones who can benefit from learning new things! Help keep your dog entertained, challenged, and happy with some basic obedience like Sit, Stay, and Lay Down. These commands will put you on the road to having a well-behaved dog in no time; they’re also the foundation to more advanced dog tricks like Shake, “Bang!,” and Rollover!

Wagging Tails dog waiting for training from ownerThe secrets to successfully training a dog are patience, positive reinforcement, and repetition. Before you begin, set your training session up for success by making sure that you and your dog are both calm and relaxed. It can be helpful to have some playtime or a walk with your dog before training to make sure they aren’t filled with pent-up energy. At the same time, make sure that neither of you are overly tired. Starting out when you and your dog are at your best will ensure training is a positive experience for both of you. When you’re ready to begin, find a quiet space with limited distractions.

Positive reinforcement can be provided in many ways: by offering treats, using favorite toys, and through your voice and facial expressions. Small treats usually capture a dog’s attention quickest, but if your dog isn’t food-motivated, grab her favorite toy instead! And don’t forget that your dog relies on you for cues too. Consistently rewarding her with cheerful smiles and verbal feedback is one of the most powerful tools you have to help her learn. Make sure to add enthusiastic praise when she catches on and withhold treats, toys, and enthusiasm when she does not.

Finally, when working with your dog to learn new tricks or basic obedience, make sure to set a consistent schedule. Training sessions should happen regularly and should be short in order to keep your dog interested. For example, if you are teaching your dog to Sit, practice five times and then stop. After praising her enthusiastically, take a break for a little bit before returning to the training session. To help your dog learn quickly, be sure to practice commands on a daily basis.

Using these basic steps as a foundation to train your dog will move Fido to the head of the class in no time! If your dog already has great training, it is still beneficial to practice the basics from time to time. Regular training with your dog is not only positive for her, it will continue building your relationship as well.

To take your training to the next level, we’re here to help with all of your training needs! Our experienced Obedience Academy trainers offer several options to choose from, so finding the perfect fit for you and your dog is easy. Contact us to learn more about weekly classes at Wagging Tails as well as in home training solutions.

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