Sit. Stay. Shake. Those are the main words that come to mind in association with training a dog. Bringing a dog home is an adjustment for both the family and the pooch as he becomes acquainted with his new environment. If the dog is puppy, he will also have to learn the ins and outs of house breaking and potty training. Constantly finding a new puddle on the floor or dog hair on a pillowcase, is enough to drive anyone to begin the training process. A well-mannered dog is an asset to any home, and a joy to take on outings. In this section we discuss the primary elements of dog training, to help inform pet owners on how they can get the best behavior out of their dog.
House & Potty Training
In this section, we will discuss the essential training techniques and commands to establish with a dog in his new home. These are designed to instruct the dog about boundaries and areas in which he is not allowed. Some owners prefer to keep their dogs off of rugs, furniture, or away from the upstairs. Many people like to train their dogs to stay out of certain rooms such as the bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms (particularly if it is a big breed). This is helpful if there are other pets in the house, such as cats, caged birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, or rabbits. One of the most important aspects of house breaking, is helping your dog become potty trained. Potty training a dog helps the pup understand where he is allowed to do his business, and will keep him from leaving surprises around the home. This might include anything from going on walks, to giving him time in the backyard, or establishing a “poop-patch” of indoor grass for him. We will also discuss how to provide a playing, resting and eliminating space for him indoors, for those days when you are out of town. This section gives helpful insights in how to establish boundaries with your canine, as well as how respond well to his accidents when they occur.
Obedience Training and Traveling
Once a dog is settled into his new home, and is practicing the rules and boundaries that were established, it will be time to branch out into further levels of obedience training. In this section we discuss important elements of submitting to the owner, response timing, and the different commands that can be given, etc. These will cover instructional commands such as, sit, lie down, come, roll, go to bed, shake, speak, fetch, heel, etc. We will also discuss restrictive commands such as: off, stay, drop, stand, etc., and will provide insights about the best ways to train your dog by incentivizing good behavior. This section will also address the further training tools which can be used such as whistles, collars, clickers, treats and other devices which aid a dog’s obedience. Professional trainers advise that dogs learn best when they associate their behaviors with positive or negative responses. For example, if a dog gets a treat immediately after he sits, he will connect the obedience behavior as causal to receiving the treat. Similarly, if a dog hears an unpleasant ringing whenever he runs too far in the yard, he will be less likely to repeat that habit.
In this section, we will discuss the unique variety of tasks dogs can be trained to do, as well as some of the standards required of a service dog. We will explore the unique abilities dogs can acquire through diligent training. Some of these might be detecting ingredients in foods that their owner may be allergic to, or warning their owner of a coming seizure. Dogs can help act as a hearing aid, a guide dog for the blind, a protective companion for an autistic child, or a therapeutic dog for a bereaved or aging owner. Dogs can be trained to help with motion assistance for the disabled, and can learn to alert diabetics of low-blood sugar levels. They can accomplish difficult search and rescue missions, tracking and retrieving lost people both in water and on land. Water rescue missions train dogs to identify an unconscious person and bring him to safety. Some dog breeds thrive in herding livestock, or can be taught to pull sleds through rough terrain. Canines have routinely been used as guard dogs and watch dogs over anything from animals, to people, or even specific areas. Many dog breeds can learn to compete in race courses, obstacle courses or skill competitions. They can be trained to detect foods, narcotics, to different items such as cell phones, as well identify cadavers. Wartime service dogs are trained to transport messages, attack enemies, detect bombs, and provide ample moral support. When given the proper training and time, dogs can accomplish the inconceivable.