DOG PULLS - WHISTLE - STOP
young dog can be trained to understand commands and to do
simple tricks. When correctly trained, it is conditioned to
respond to your commands, noises, or gestures.
Once an owner decides to train his puppy, however, he must
be willing to stick with the job until the puppy learns the
task. First, the owner should select a simple "call" name
for the animal. The call name should be used frequently so
the puppy can learn to recognize the sound of it.
A training session is best begun when the puppy is hungry
because it is more alert at that time. Also, the owner can
reinforce the dog's correct responses to commands with a dog
biscuit or meat tidbit. The hungry dog is more apt to
associate the correct performance of a task with a food
To get the puppy into a collar at first, entice it to you by
extending your open hands, pet it and say "good dog" (and
include its name) when it comes, and finally slip the collar
around its neck. Then attach a leash to the collar. If the
puppy has confidence in you, it will walk along with you
even though it is wearing the leash. A metal chain leash is
usually best because the puppy will not be able to chew and
play with it.
Wait until a puppy is at least six months old before trying
to teach it tricks, but do teach it the meaning of "no" at
an earlier age. The young dog must be corrected vocally each
time it does something that you disapprove of. If you are
consistent, it soon learns by your tone of voice what
pleases you and what displeases you. Formal training
sessions should entail no more than ten minutes of work at a
time, and they should never tire the dog.
To teach the command "sit," keep the dog on your left side
and pull up on its leash with your right hand while gently
but firmly pushing its hindquarters to the floor. While
doing this, say the command "sit" with authority. Reinforce
its correct actions with a tidbit.
To teach the command "stay," work with the puppy after it
has learned to sit. While it is sitting, raise your palm to
the dog and order it to "stay." It will probably try to get
up, so tell it "no." Whenever it remains in the sitting
position after you have given the "stay" command, reward the
dog with a tidbit.
More effort might be needed to teach the command "come."
When the dog has learned to stay, command it to "come" and
call it by name. When it comes to you, lavish the dog with
praise and give it a snack. A very stubborn dog might have
to be pulled with a cord tied around its collar while the
command is given. If this is necessary, be firm but
accompany the command with a friendly hand gesture. Many
tugs may be necessary until the reluctant dog learns the
meaning of "come." Do not be impatient with a puppy when
teaching it simple tricks, and never get angry. If the
training sessions are not going well, break them off and
resume them later in the day or even on another day. In
addition, give praise and tidbits to the dog only when they