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Guide to Training Your Dog

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Is your dog unruly and obnoxious? Doesn't listen to a word you say? Or, have you just adopted an adult dog that seems to have either forgotten previous training or missed out on training all together? Don't worry, you can change your disobedient dog into a well-mannered member of the family. Puppies are not the only ones who thrive on direction and guidance. Here are some articles to help you train your dog.

12 Rules for Training Dogs. Training should be an enjoyable experience for you and your dog. This article will teach you the fundamentals of dog training, including when to schedule training sessions (before meals, not after); and how long they should last (5 to 10 minutes).

Obedience training philosophies. All dogs should be taught basic obedience, for their safety and the safety of others. Obedience training includes simple commands such as come, sit, and stay. These are just a few of the commands that a good obedience training class can teach you and your dog. By learning how to communicate with one another, you also help nurture the human-animal relationship.

Training your puppy. Even the youngest new puppy can learn to "sit," "lie down," "stay," and "come" when asked. But looking at your innocent new puppy, it's hard to imagine that training would be necessary at all. Of course, it always is.

Clicker training. The new wave of pet animal training focuses on positive or reward based training only; the idea is to train the dog to perform certain desired behavior rather than to punish unwanted behavior. Clicks made by small plastic clickers ("frogs") are probably the best and most consistent way of marking the successful accomplishment of a behavior.

How to house-train your adult dog. It should be pretty obvious why you need to house-train your dog, and if it isn't, well, we can't make that dinner party next week after all. Some dogs learn more quickly than others, but you can shorten the learning curve by keeping track of your dog's toilet habits. Does he go in the house only when you're not around? Perhaps he might suffer from separation anxiety or even a medical problem.

How to house-train your puppy. By using a puppy crate or confined area, and plenty of rewards for outdoor urination and defecation, you can successfully train your puppy to "go" outdoors.

Love the leash. All dogs – whether they trot along Manhattan's Upper East Side or run free in the countryside – should know how to walk on a leash. Forget about fancy "heeling"; we're talking about the dog and the person walking without a major struggle.

Heel. What would you do if your dog's leash was suddenly torn off and you had to maneuver him back to your car through a busy playground? That's when your dog's knowledge of the command ``heel'' could save the day.

Sit. The "sit" exercise is probably the most practical skill you can teach your dog. Whether you're waiting at the curb of a crowded street or competing in an obedience trial, you'll thank yourself for taking the time to master this exercise.

Down. Down is not just another command; it is the command annotating your leadership of your dog. If your dog has been taught the meaning of the word "down" but just won't do it, then you have a serious discipline problem on your hands.

Come. Coming to you when called is one of the more important skills your dog can learn. Although we strive never to put our dogs in unsafe situations, the "come" command can avert a car-dog collision, deer chasing, or other hazards.

Stay. When taught correctly, the "stay" is a hallmark of a well-mannered, contented, and safe dog. But "stay" is often misunderstood and therefore misused, leading to an endless cycle of corrections and frustration for both your dog and you.

Crate training. Opinions vary considerably about the value, and even the humanity, of providing a crate for your dog. For most dogs, the crate quickly becomes a safe haven and, used properly, can be a wonderful training tool.

Once he has learned the basic commands, don't stop there. Despite the old wives tale, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

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