We all want our dogs to be obedient. Unfortunately they aren't born already trained. That’s why it’s important for us to spend the time teaching our dogs how we want them to behave by obeying our commands.

Over many of years guidelines have been developed on the best and most effective ways to train our dogs. It is no longer theory but time tested results from years of research and experimentation with dogs. These guidelines and techniques allow us to be able to teach simple to very complex commands. While the techniques and styles may vary, these two basic principles do not;

patience, consistency and total commitment

When we talk about consistency, it doesn't just refer to you when training your dog but just as importantly it refers to everyone in the household being on the same page. The same message from everybody will keep your dog from being confused and they will “get it” much faster. Everything you teach your dog must be taught and reinforced, the same way by everyone in the house. If you’re teaching your dog not to enter a doorway ahead of you, do it all the time and have everybody do it all the time.

When people visit, you must let them know what the rules are so everyone is giving the same message. For instance, say you are teaching your dog not to jump up on you. Well if a visitor is calling your dog to jump up on them, you have to intervene and explain what you are trying to teach to your dog so that the message is consistent.

Always keep the message clear. This will teach your dog the behaviors you dislike as well as the ones that you like, want and expect.

Patience is the second principle that needs to be observed when teaching your dog to obey. Unlike humans, dogs won’t understand immediately what is right or wrong. This requires us to be more patient with them, giving them time to understand as well as gaining their trust.

Keep training sessions short. The younger the dog the shorter the training session should be. When your dog begins losing interest end the training but always do it on a happy note. Make it a positive experience so your dog will want to do it again. By the way, whether your doing a training session or not, training never ends. Reinforce everything you teach in every situation.

Never lose your temper. When your dog doesn’t understand immediately, and for most things they won’t, take a little break and try again. Some people get frustrated and angry too quickly and this will hinder the training and will also undermine your dog’s trust for you. If he doesn’t trust you 100% or senses your changing demeanor it will make training that much harder.

Remember they are not human, they don’t think like a human, they don’t comprehend like a human, they can’t reason like a human and they don't speak human. You are trying to teach them things that don’t come naturally to them; things they've never done before.

Body language is also very important. Consider if you were trying to teach a child how to do something and they didn't speak your language, they may not understand the words but they would still be able to tell by your tone of voice and tense body that you are upset. And a dog is much more capable of reading you than a human.

Dogs learn by repetition and they are much more willing to participate and they learn a lot faster when there is something pleasant in it for them, such as a treat or jubilant praise. Use whatever motivates your dog the most. If it's a treat use something small that doesn't require chewing. If it's praise keep it short.

If you're getting frustrated or angry, stop the session and start again later. Neither anger or frustration has any place when teaching your dog to obey a command or how to behave. Keep in mind that old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”,… and again and again.

commitment

Owning a dog requires an unbreakable commitment on your part. They are living breathing creatures and should be considered a member of your family. Once you bring one into your home they require a total commitment for you to provide all that they need.  Love, food, water, mental stimulation, socialization, safety, a warm house to live in, exercise, training, vaccinations and any medical needs they may have. If you can't do that, please don't get a dog. They are not throw away experiments.

So be consistent and patient, keep it fun and repeat, repeat and repeat some more and you will reap the rewards of a well behaved, eager to please companion.

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