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Positive dog training
"Training is an important part of any dog's life as it provides mental and physical exercise"

Positive ways to train dogs

Training is an important part of any dog's life, as it provides mental and physical exercise while enhancing the bond you have with your dog. When training your dog it’s important to use reward training, often called “positive reinforcement”, this involves rewarding your dog for the good behaviour they have demonstrated.

Reward training has long been recognised as both a highly effective and a positive experience for the dog. You can reward your dog in the form of a tasty food treat or verbal praise such as “good dog!” Reward-based training also involves ignoring any unwanted behaviour like begging for food at the dinner table. This indicates to the dog that unwanted behaviour does not get your attention.

If you react to 'unwanted' behaviour by yelling, getting angry or picking them up, this will inadvertently encourage the behaviour as these are forms of attention, and attention reinforces the undesired behaviour. For some dogs, any form of attention or type of reaction from their owner is better than no reaction at all.

So to help you and your dog become the envy of the dog park, follow our tips to teaching your dog new tricks and good behaviour. And remember to keep your training sessions short and end them on a positive note!

Teach your dog to “SIT”

  1. Choose a quiet place with minimal distractions.
  2. Hold a tasty treat in your hand just above your dog’s nose.
  3. Say nothing and then slowly move your hand with the treat between your dog’s ears and you will see their bottom move towards the ground.
  4. As soon as their bottom reaches the floor say “SIT” and give them the tasty treat.
  5. Once you have given the treat, tell them they are a good dog.
  6. Repeat this several times and then finish the training session with your dog’s favourite game.

Teach your dog to lie “DOWN”

  1. Choose a quiet place with minimal distractions.
  2. Ask your dog to sit, using the tip above.
  3. Hold a tasty treat in your hand just near their nose, then slowly move your hand down to the floor between their front paws. This hand motion will become the signal for your dog to lie “DOWN” or “DROP”.
  4. Lure your dog to the ground by moving the treat along the floor from between their legs to out in front of them.
  5. As soon as your dog is laying on the floor say “DOWN” or “DROP” and give them a tasty treat.
  6. Once you have given the treat, tell them they are a good dog.
  7. Some dogs will not like to lie down so be patient, this will happen over time.
  8. Repeat this several times and end the training session with your dogs favourite game.

Teach your dog to “LEAVE” it

  1. Choose a quiet place with minimal distractions.
  2. Hold a tasty treat in your hand.
  3. Show the treat to your dog but don’t allow them to have it.
  4. Wait for them to stop pawing or nuzzling your hand for the treat.
  5. As soon as they stop to look at you and not the treat say the words “LEAVE IT”.
  6. When you have their attention and they’re no longer focused on the treat, say the words “TAKE IT” or “OK” and give them the tasty treat.
  7. Once you have given the treat, tell them they are a good dog.
  8. Repeat this several times and end the training session with your dogs favourite game.

 

About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre

PetCare Advice Centre The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.

Last updated: 24 April 2015 at 05:34 PM
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