Dog Training Guide - Basic Level
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In this AnimalWised article, we will be offering you a guide on how to train basic level obedience exercises for your canine. Bare in mind, if you want to train yourself to become a professional in canine education, this is not the way, as you need to be qualified through a course.
In this short guide we will show you the five stages which make up the basic levels of all dog education. We will put heavy emphasis on the importance of clicker training The clicker being a tool which is vital in achieving successful training results.
Remember that the key to a good dog educator lies within: patience, perseverance and the use of positive reinforcement. Dogs require time to internalize orders and behavioral changes. Follow these basic dog training guide for more.
Basic level canine training: first stage
The first stage of the basic levels of dog training, aims to achieve the desired responses from your dog. We aim to associate the dog with visual and verbal cues in order for it to understand how to follow direction. In order to start this stage of training, take a look at our recommendations below;
The best way to train a dog is through the use of positive reinforcement. When it comes to this type of training, one object is vital, a clicker. Clicker’s aim to improve communication between owner and pet. A clicker is known as a behavior enhancer, allowing you the opportunity to communicate to your dog that it has done something correctly. This tool has proven to stimulate dogs, resulting in faster and stronger results.
Dog recognizing name
If your dog is a puppy, the first thing you should do is train it to recognize its name. To do this, say its name in different places and situations, reward or congratulate your dog every time they respond to this name call.
A dog to follow their food
In general, all dogs tend to follow their food with their eyes. If your dog does not do this, we suggest training it to. The first thing we suggest is placing a piece of food or treat in your hand and close your hand into a fist. From here, place it to your dog’s muzzle, until you have its attention. Then, move your hand to the right, click with your clicker and open your hand to let your dog eat. Do the same exercise to the left, up and down. It is very important that between each click and offering your dog the food, that you take a few seconds for the dog to register which action is being awarded.
Dog recognizing call
Even if your dog comes to you when you call it by name, we advise you to train your dog in recognizing another call, such as ‘‘come’’. Follow these steps:
The exercise is simple, take a treat, say "come" and place the treat between your feet. When your dog moves towards you, click the clicker and let your dog take the treat. Repeat the process as much as possible. We suggest practicing this exercise in different rooms for better results. For more on this, take a look at our article on; Calling your dog.
Getting your dog’s attention
Here, we aim to make sure that we can grab our dog’s attention and train our dog to walk beside us. This training needs to be practiced, specifically while taking walks. Using your clicker, every time your dog turns to look at you during a walk, click the clicker and give it a treat. With time, you can stop offering it treats and simply give it some affection. Training your dog to walk beside you is incredibly important in making sure that they do not run away when you are walking them. This training is done for both the safety of your dog and the people around it.
The ‘‘Leave’’ command
With this exercise, we want our dog to learn to control itself and to not jump on us every time its smells food in our hands.
This session requires sitting on the floor or in a chair, depending on the size of your dog. Next, take a treat, cover it with your hand, close it to the snout of your dog. Allow your dog to lick and nibble or do whatever it can to get the treat, but do not open your hand. The moment your animal finally decides to move away, click the clicker and offer the treat. Repeat the exercise until the dog associates you with being in control of the food.
At this stage, you can incorporate the command "leave". Voice this command after showing the animal the treat but before putting your hand to its nose.
Teaching your dog to ‘‘sit’’
This is considered to be one of the most basic dog training orders which is introduced in the first stage. Teaching your dog to sit is vital for both the safety of the dog and others. This command is very important in specific situations; when crossing the street or when having visitors over. For this, take a look at our article on: how to teach your dog to sit, a step by step.
Basic level canine training: second stage
In the second stage of basic level canine training, we must take what we learnt in the first stage into consideration. In this stage we begin to eliminate the use of treats and clickers. In this stage we recommend practicing the exercises and eliminating treats progressively. You can begin to replace these treats with gestures that call attention, such as petting.
In addition, all of these exercises must be done in different spaces to offer "distractions", preparing your dog for a more stimulated environment. By doing this, you can ensure that you can grab your dog’s attention in any context or situation.
Here are some additional exercises which you can introduce in this second dog training phase;
Teaching my dog to lie down
Teaching your dog to lie down is actually very simple. First, order your dog to sit down. Then, grab a treat, close it to the snout so that it smells it and immediately lower the hand to so that its front legs fold into a lying position. At that moment, click and offer the treat. If your dog does not lie down but follows the food with its eyes, try the action again from the beginning, but click before moving the food to the snout.
As the dog advances in this exercise and manages to lie down quicker, you will can introduce the ‘‘lie down’’ command.
Training my dog to look at me
This exercise is really useful in getting the attention of your dog, especially during walk training. Sit in front of your dog with a treat in your hand, as soon as the dog looks you in the eyes, click with the clicker and give him the treat. Repeat this exercise until you see that your dog moves forward. At this point, the moment your dog looks at you, voice the order "look at me", click and repeat.
Basic level canine training: third stage
The intention of this third stage of basic level canine training is to increase the duration of response. To do this, you must perform the exercises and count in your head before clicking and reinforce the behavior. Little by little, go up in seconds. If your dog is not able to wait, say "No" and start the exercise again.
In addition to getting your dog to wait for its prize, you can try these following exercises:
Stop my dog from pulling the lead
This exercise is essential to make sure your dog walks are relaxed and there are no altercations. Take a look at our article on; Tips to prevent a dog from pulling the lead.
I want my dog to greet properly
Whether our dogs are accustomed to visits or not, educating a dog not to jump on people or bark is very important. Check our article on: Tips to stop your dog from jumping on people.
Basic level canine training: fourth stage
In this fourth stage of basic level dog training, we intend to increase the duration of our dog’s responses. In addition, we hope to maintain these responses while at the same time getting the dog to perform different activities. This stage grows in difficulty, therefore, it is important that you remain patient but constant. Remember that dog education and training takes time and repetition.
At this stage, instead of counting, the aim is to walk away while getting your dog to stay. To do this, use the command "cast", move five steps away and use voice the command "come". When your dog moves towards you, if it previously ‘‘stayed’’ correctly, click the clicker and give your dog a caress.
Basic level canine training: fifth stage
The last stage of basic level dog training aims to increase response distance, even if only by a few steps. Thus, you get your dog to obey you from a distance.
Remember that such tasks require: perseverance, patience and positive reinforcement, in order to be successful!
If you want to read similar articles to Dog Training Guide - Basic Level, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.