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    How to make dog training easier. Training dogs to understand and obey some basic commands really doesn’t have to be a strain. More >

    Agility

    Dog agility training: the next big challenge. You’ve got your dog trained to sit, roll over and behave beautifully when visitors come to stay. Now for the real challenge. More >

    Training Tips

    Five essential dog obedience tips. Do you obey your dog’s every bark? More >

  • Behaviour

    How can you stop your dog from barking incessantly? Dogs love attention. And they quickly discover that barking is a great way to get it. More >

Obedience: who’s training who?

Five essential dog obedience tips.

Do you obey your dog’s every bark? Get back to basics with some simple tips based around the natural, happy way dogs think. And get your friendship back on track.

1. You’re the boss.

If your dog is given free reign in your house, he’ll assume that he’s the pack leader and can do what he likes. Come down hard until he knows his place. No sofa, no bed, no titbits. And talk to him in a firm voice of authority.

2. Be consistent.

If you let him on the bed, but your partner pushes him off, you’re going to have one very confused dog. So you, and everyone involved in his life, need to agree on what is and isn’t allowed and stick to the programme relentlessly.

3. Only correct your dog in the act.

Say you arrive home one day to find the corner of your Persian rug in tatters. Shouting at and punishing your dog might make him fear you, but he’ll never associate his past actions with your present displeasure. Punishment is not advisable, and only ever works if you catch your dog 'in the act'.

4. Keep it simple.

You’ll have a lot more success with a simple command like 'No' than with a mixture of 'Don't do that', 'Stop it' and 'Oi!' Get everyone to stick to the same commands. ‘Down’ won’t work if he’s learnt to 'Sit'. 'Catch' won’t work if he’s learnt to 'Fetch'. That’s because it is not the words he recognises but the sounds. Make sure when you speak to him you do so in an expressive voice so that ‘good boy’ and ‘no’ sound as different as possible.

5. Repeat, Reward and Reinforce.

Remember the three R’s of training. Your furry friend needs a learning routine just as much as you ever did at school. Repeat the same technique again and again, with heaps of praise and his favourite treats, and don’t move on to a new ‘trick’ until he’s mastered the previous one.

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