A well-behaved dog makes for a harmonious household, and his understanding of basic commands keeps him safer.
Leash up your dog, get down on the floor, and say “come” while gently tugging on the lead. When he’s made his way to you, reward him. Once he knows what to do, remove the leash and rehearse in a safe, enclosed space.
Don’t try to teach this maneuver until your furry companion knows how to sit on command without fail. Start with your dog in the sitting position, place your hand palm-up and say “stay.” Back up a short distance and reward him when he stays, even if only for a few moments. Start out with a few steps at a time. Gradually increase the distance and the waiting time. This might take a while because dogs have a desire to move and socialize.
Start this maneuver indoors with the dog beside a wall, so he has to stay near you. Place a piece of food in your hand. Show it to him, and hold your hand against the side of your body. Move forward while using the object as a lure. Walk a few steps, stop, show praise, and then let him have the food. Gradually increase the steps while moving farther away from the wall. Vary the sessions by incorporating turns, and don’t try this outside until he’s mastered this behavior indoors.
Meeting Other Dogs
Before taking your companion to a dog park, he should know the basic commands for sit, come, stay and heel. Start by visiting a regular park where dogs aren’t present in overwhelming numbers. Let him observe from a distance, walk for a bit, stop and reward calm behavior. If he’s aggressive, insecure or too excited, move further away. Repeat these steps until he’s comfortable and can get closer to other dogs.
Use food only in the beginning of training sessions, and wean him off the edible rewards as he masters the steps. However, make sure you always lavish him with affection when he engages in desirable behavior. Remember that praise, petting, games and walks all count as affection in a dog’s world.
When training a dog, repeat all sequences consistently until he has mastered them. It’s also important to listen to him. Even with the best training, any canine might feel irritated by a certain person or animal. If your dog clearly is uncomfortable in a given situation, remove him from the scenario instead of forcing the issue and try again later.