Training your puppy can be a task and a half. Some puppies train faster than others. Dogs are like us, they all learn at different paces. Luckily, I’ve found a free guide online on training your puppy. There are a lot of classes out there as well as online help resources that will offer up ways you can train your pups.
Many classes actually can cost a lot of money, especially if you take your dog to a local pet store that offers up classes. In the past with my dogs, I actually have paid for classes where they help train your dog on the basic commands. So, you just brought a pup home and you’re new to the doggie world. Why do we train them? How do you start training them? What are some of the first steps to training?
Why Train A Puppy?
I’ve met some previous dog owners that have actually asked this question to me in the past. Why train a puppy? Some dog owners allow their dogs to run free (usually in the home), especially small dogs. They never worry about whether their small pup knows the basic commands of sit, stay, come. So why train a pup in the first place? Let’s imagine you’re out at a park and you have your dog on a leash. Next thing, they pull hard and get free and they don’t understand the command “Come”. Maybe you attempt the command “No”, and they don’t understand that either.
If there’re other dogs in the general vicinity, you need to keep your dog from jumping on them and getting attacked. Your dog knowing the basics is actually really important in this scenario. If your dog attacks another dog that’s on a leash and you’re the one that doesn’t have control, you’re at fault and now responsible for those vet bills. Nothing is worse than being hit with a hefty bill because your dog bit another dog or person and now you’re the responsible party.
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Basic Commands Help Your Dog Understand You.
Training your pup on the basic commands actually helps your dog understand what you’re trying to get them to do. Dogs actually get confused when we’re getting upset over something they’re doing wrong. But when they don’t understand what they’re doing wrong in the first place, how do you discipline? If your dog jumps up on you while you’re eating, and you’ve never taught the command “Off”, you can’t get mad at them for jumping on you. They’re not understanding that’s something you don’t want them to do.
Let’s say you’re wanting your pup to come to you when they’re wandering the house and they go somewhere you can’t get to them and they’re whining. You yell the command, “Come”, but they were never taught that command, so now they’re confused on what you’re saying. Now you have to go to where the dog is and help them come out of wherever they are. That’s not to say that they won’t get stuck sometimes, that does happen time to time and that’s just their curiosity.
Basic Commands Every Dog Should Know.
When it comes to training a dog, every puppy should know the basic commands when it comes to training them. They are:
- No – self-explanatory
- Sit – self-explanatory
- Stay – don’t wander or move
- Come – coming to you
- Down – laying down
- Off – don’t jump on people or things
- Speak – bark
- Heel – leash training, don’t pull me
I throw “Speak” in there by the way in case your pup or dog is a barker. If they understand what “Speak” is, and they start barking very loudly after quiet time, then by saying “No Speak”, they understand what you’re trying to tell them. Maybe professional dog owners won’t always agree with my list, but I use these commands with my dogs on a consistent basis.
By having your dog understand these simple commands, you’re able to communicate with your dog on almost any level. Your dog will actually appreciate understanding what you’re trying to say to them.
Ways To Train Your Pup.
As mentioned above, there are books, classes, online help guides and all sorts of resources available out there for training your pup. The reason there is professional help though is because a lot of dog owners have a really hard time training their pups on even the most basic command of “Sit”. It actually takes different dogs different time frames to learn commands because some dogs are smarter than others. The key to training any dog though, is patience. There’s more to it than that of course. But, be patient, keep the commands simple, have treats handy and teach only one command at a time.
My kids and husband sometimes have a hard time with speaking commands to the smartest dog I’ve ever had. They confuse her because they’ll actually call out several commands at once and wonder why she’s not doing what they ask.
An example of what they’ll do is, “Atlas, come, sit, stay, no, sit, stay.” She doesn’t understand all those commands at once. First off, I’d be confused. Then, they wonder why she just sits there looking at them waiting for her treat. For a dog, she’s already in front of them, so “Come” was pointless to ask her to do that. Then, in one very fast sentence, they threw out all those other commands very quickly. It’s no wonder she just sits there, that was the 2nd command after she understood the first.
Speaking anything other than one command at a time for a dog can confuse them and you don’t want that. Training should be concise and one worded, “Atlas, Come.” Then, if she obeys, she gets a treat. Now if she’s in front of me, I’m not going to say, “Come”, she’s already there. If she’s already sitting, clearly I wouldn’t say “Sit” either. I would ask something else of her for a treat like, “Down”.
There Is A Free Guide For Training Your Puppy.
As you can read, not everyone is good at training dogs. I’ve seen a lot of dog owners do what my kids do. They spill out a series of commands with no treats or breaths in between the commands so the dogs get confused and don’t understand what you’re asking of them. For me, I’ve done professional classes, read books and read online guides. I’ve been training all of my puppies myself for years, so I train differently. An example if Atlas is no where near me, “Atlas, Come.” When she comes to me, I give her a treat. “Atlas, Sit.” When she sits, next treat. “Atlas, Down.” When she lays down, another treat.
I always make sure to be one worded with what I’m asking her to do and I speak her name first so she’s not confused on what dog I’m asking to obey the commands. If you have one dog only, it may be easier to simply speak a command and your dog will understand you. But it’s easiest to speak their name so there’s no confusion.
I found a website online that has free training guides for puppies, and I wanted to share it with anyone that is looking for help. Not many training guides are free and not all are very good. However, in looking through this site, I actually found them helpful so figured I’d share the site. If you’re interested, it’s at a place called Train Pet Dog. Click on the link and look for the Free Course On Dog on the left. Even if you have an older dog, they can still learn new commands, because dogs are always looking to please their owners.
What have you done to train your dogs that has helped you? Leave your comments below!