Hurry Up and Train the Dog – Sometimes Slow and Steady Wins the Race

You may want to train your dog to obey all of those nice little commands such as sit, stay and so on. Owners who are willing to put in the time have actually trained their dogs to wait, go to bed, stand and respect boundaries. They even have dogs that won’t go out into the street without a certain leash on. Amazing? Yes and no. It’s like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it.

How to do you train your dog to obey every command you give them? It takes plenty of time and patience. The biggest mistake people make is trying to teach their dog all of the commands at once. Not only will this not work, it will frustrate your dog and he will lose interest and desire because you get impatient. Dogs are very much like kids, so you have to show patience and understanding.

  • Choose one command you want your dog to learn and stick with that one command until your dog performs. Use training exercises and do those exercises over and over again, each and every day. You don’t have to work your dog hours every day, just fit in three or four 5-10 minute training sessions a day.
  • Always remember to start a training session when you are relaxed, not stressed, not in a hurry and not around a lot of distractions at first. The more fun you make it for the dog, the more he will enjoy it and the faster he will learn. Use calm energy, no shouting, no yanking on the leash. Dogs respond best to a happy voice and a simple “no wrong” when they mess up. There is absolutely no need to be hard on your dog – it will backfire on you.
  • Always, always end your training session on a positive note. If the training on a new command is not going well, when you’re ready to end the session, have the dog do a command he knows so he gets praised or rewarded with a food treat.
  • Some folks are lucky and they’re retired or don’t have to work and sure, they will get results with their dog faster. But it still takes a lot of work and repetition. If done correctly, you can train your dog to obey any command and it is even easier if you start when they are puppies. If done right, training your dog to listen and obey will make them respect you even more, because they know they will get rewarded with your attention, praise and maybe a food treat when they behave well.

Taking the time each day to train with your dog is the key. This is the consistency part of the equation. Each day, work with your dog on the command you want him to learn for a couple of sessions, five minutes each until you achieve success. This is the repetition part.

Keep at it and soon your dog will have learned a new command. Certain commands build on each other. You can get your dog to roll over it your dogs knows how to do a down. You can get your dog to shake hands, if your dog knows how to sit. You will be amazed how many fun things you and your dog can do when you know how to teach the basics. So go on, take the time to train your dog – I promise you’ll enjoy it – and so will the dog.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children, and remember, “Opportunity Barks!”