A Guide to Basic Dog Obedience Training

obedience training dogs

All dogs should be taught the basic four lessons in obedience. My SDWC exercise system (Sit, Down, Wait, Come) is an exercise where the dog can learn all four tricks and perform them one after another. These tricks will enable you to teach more advanced tricks which include these as a starting point.

  • In this video I will take you through a step-by-step process of teaching your dog these four important skills. Just click on the play button below to watch this video

    You will need food that your dog likes, an open area, and no other distractions. It is also important to make training times fun for your dog, so he will enjoy them, making him more interested in what you are teaching him.

    Rewards can vary from food, pats or a through of the toy, but I would recommend food. Something that your dog doesn’t get everyday is the best to use, like cheese, but maybe mix it in with some dry food.

    Sit

    1. Start by getting your dogs attention by giving him a few treats so he knows you have them. Hold them firm in your hand and lift it above his head out of his reach. This should tilt him backwards in to a sitting position.
    2. Command ‘Sit’ and reward. If he doesn’t sit, gently push on his back until he does, then command ‘Sit’ and reward.
    3. Repeat until he can do this without the hand movement and when he is not sitting in front of you. For example, use this command when visitors are nearby and practice this trick where there is distractions.

    Down/Drop

    For this trick, you can either use the command ‘Drop’ or ‘Down’. If you plan to teach your dog to ‘Bow’ then it is best to use the command ‘Drop’ otherwise he may get confused.

    1. With your dog sitting, or standing in front of you, hold the treats firm in your hand and lower it to the ground and towards you, so he has to move down and forward. This should force him to go into a ’Down’ position to get the treats from your hands.
    2. From a sitting position, he should go into a down, but in a standing position he might go into a ‘Bow’ position. Don’t reward him until he is in a proper down position.
    3. You may have to push gently on his back to encourage him to do so. If you reward him for only going half way, he will often ’Cheat’ to get a reward. Command ‘Drop’ or ‘Down’ and reward when he is in a proper ‘Down’ position.

    Practice this and he will soon get it. Teach him to go into a ‘Down’ position both sitting and standing, and practice this trick in a place that may have distractions.

    Wait

    ‘Wait’ is a very important part of obedience. Getting your dog to wait allows you to have a bit of peace when wanting to sit alone, or when hanging the washing out. He will sit or lay down somewhere, and won’t move until you release him.

    1. Sit or lay your dog down in front of you and fold the food in view but not so he can get to it. Command ‘Wait’ and make your dog be still for only a few seconds, and then reward.
    2. You can also use a hand signal. Hold you hand up in a way that you would signify ‘Stop’.
    3. Repeat several times so that he understands what you want him to do. Once this is successful, walk a few steps backwards once you have commanded ‘Wait’. This may take longer to teach than other tricks, but it is very important to teach.

    Progress this trick so your dog will wait anywhere, any distance and you dog will be one of the most obedient dogs on the block.

    Come

    ‘Come’ is a very easy trick to teach your dog.

    1. Show your dog you have food and throw a piece a few metres in front of you so your dog has to go get it. Once he has found it, call his name and he should come back to you, wanting more food. Reward and repeat.
    2. This time, command your dog to ‘Wait’ and then take a few steps backwards and call his name. If he doesn’t come, try again or click your fingers. Reward and Repeat.
    3. The next time you do this, add in the command ‘Come’ after calling his name. Practice as much as you can, even out in the yard. Command ‘Come’ randomly when playing, but always reward once he has come to you. Always make it rewarding for your dog to come to you so that he will always come when he’s called, knowing that it is fun or rewarding.

    Use this command when out on walks aswell, because it will teach him that he has to come to you where ever you are and whenever he is called.

    SDWC

    Once your dog knows the basic obedience tricks, you can try the SDWC exercise. First command your dog to ‘Sit’, then to lay ‘Down’ or ‘Drop’. Command ‘Wait and take a few steps backwards, and then ‘Come’ after a few seconds. After he has come to you, reward him and repeat.

    Dogs love to make their masters happy, so they are always looking for things to do to please them. That is why SDWC is a good exercise to do with your dog, because if he does it right and you praise him, he will enjoy training more.

    You may have to reward after every command at first, but aim to do five rounds of SDWC before rewarding him.

    All the best with your training,

    Rachel and the Dogs

Tips For Handling Barking Problems

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Bark! Bark! Bark! It goes on for hours. How do dogs do that? It doesn’t sound like they ever take a breath, but they keep on going. Barking is natural for dogs. They don’t have to learn to bark, they come into this world knowing how to bark all night long.You and your barking dogs are at odds. He wants to bark, and you want him to stop. So, how do you go about convincing a dog that doing what comes naturally for him isn’t acceptable behavior for you?

Reasons Why Your Dog May Bark:

    • Warning You of Danger or Strangers – Most dogs will naturally bark if a stranger comes to the door or walks past your house. Anything that they sense to be a threat to them or you they will bark at because they are trying to warn you. Usually if your dog barks for this reason the tome of his bark will be alot stronger and serious.
    • Attention Seeking – Sometimes your dog will bark to get your attention, they are really trying to say ‘Hey! Look at me!’. They may also whine and make similar, nagging sounds.
    • Boredom – If your dog hasn’t received attention of any kind during the day he may bark as a way to entertain himself. This bark can be quite annoying but also sound kind of sad.
    • Playful – When you are playing with your dog, or if he is playing with other dogs he may bark because he gets carried away. When dogs are having fun some can be quite vocal as a way of expressing their excitement.
    • Fear or Anxiety – If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety if you where to leave him alone for long periods of time, or fear in a thunderstorm, he is likely to bark. This bark is usually high-pitched and whiny. He is once again expressing how he is feeling.
    • Answering To Other Dogs – If your dog hears another dog bark he is likely to respond to him by barking back. This may also start other dogs barking in the street. It’s kind of like a group of dogs having a conversation.

    If you listen carefully to the tone of your dogs bark you can learn to identify the reasons he barks. Then you can start working to solve this problem.

    Tips For Solving Barking Problems

    • Warning Bark – If you hear this kind of bark, it pays to go and see what your dog is barking at. Although if he barks at everybody who walks down the street, not only at strangers you can stop this behaviour by saying a strong ‘No,’ or ‘No Barking!’ when he barks at anyone you don’t want him to. You may need to distract him from barking by calling him, or giving him a command.
    • Attention Seeking Bark – Whenever your dog makes this kind of bark you must ignore him until he stops. If you pat or play with him he will soon learn that all he has to do is make some noise and you will give him what he wants. Instead, when he is not making any noise, give him your attention, pat him, take him for a walk, tell him what a ‘Good Boy,’ he is. If he is happy, then he will have no reason to call for your attention.
    • Boredom – This kind of bark can be stopped by saying a firm ‘No,’ or ‘No Barking!’ and them play or pat him when he is being quiet. He doesn’t understand how busy you may be; he just thinks that you don’t want to spend time with him. So it is very important to find time at least once everyday to give your dog your attention, even for just a moment.
    • Playful Bark – Sometimes your dog can’t help letting out a bark or two when playing. It is natural for him to make noise, so as long as he isn’t constantly barking, this bark is acceptable (you can’t expect him to be silent all day!) But if he is barking too much whilst playing, just use the simple ‘No,’ or ‘No Barking!’ and if he continues to bark, stand really still with your arms folded and don’t look at him until he is quiet, then continue playing with him.
    • Anxiety Bark – If he is scared in a thunderstorm or similar the worst thing you can do is pat him and tell it it’s ‘OK’. This is telling him that it is ok to behave like this, so he will always whine or bark when there is a storm because he thinks that is what you want him to do. Instead, make him feel secure either on his bed or in his kennel and then walk away. It may sound harsh, but it is actual better to do this than sit and comfort him. If you are going to be away from home for a whole day or longer you should give him plenty of toys to play with, a bone or Kong toy with food inside to entertain himself.
    • Answering Other Dogs – If you find he is answering other dogs calls, you can use the firm ‘No Barking!’ and distracting him everytime he does this.

    I hope these tips help you with any barking problems you may have, but just keep in mind the fact that it is okay for your dog to bark once in a while. It is only really a problem if he is barking uncontrollably, or in the middle of the night.

    The biggest tip I can give you to handle barking problems is to stimulate his brain by teaching him tricks. Dog training is benefitial in many of ways; not just as a way of controlling him.

The Benefits of Dog Training Early

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Dog training is more than just teaching him basic commands so he will behave when other people are around. The benefits of dog training go far beyond basic obedience; by training him you can stop him from chewing without even addressing the issue.

So here are a few reasons why dog training can improve you dogs overall obedience and well-being.
1. It gives him quality 1-on-1 time with you, which is what he looks forward to most.
2. It gives him and you an alternate form of attention.
3. It is rewarding for both of you; you will be impressed and he will be happy to please you.
4. It stimulates his brain, which gives him more to think about for longer periods of time, even if he is only sitting. He may not be thinking consciously, but his brain will be working over time to sort the new information he is given. If he is busy thinking he will no longer: •Dig Holes as a way of entertaining himself.
• Chew your shoes and clothes as a way of trying to stimulate his brain himself.
• Bark uncontrollably because he is bored.
• Pull washing off the line as a way of playing with himself.
• Rip up the furniture and drag it around the house.
• Chase people, cars or animals on the other side of the fence.

5. Your dog will like and respect you more.
6. He will listen to you more if you keep up the training and will eagerly wait for you to give him a command.
7. He will be happier, calmer, more contented and less likely to run wild.
8. He will be more relaxed when visitors arrive.
9. He will be less dependant on you all day, because he will have more to think about and relax for longer periods of time.
10. It will create a closer bond between the two of you, and training is alot of fun!

Tips For Choosing a German Shepherd Dog Breeder

german shepard training

Choosing a German Shepherd Dog Breeder can prove to be a bit of a lottery if you don’t know what to look out for. There are a lot of backyard breeders around with the sole motivation of making a quick buck.

These guys do tremendous harm to all breeds, with German shepherds being one of their Favourites due to their growing popularity, because in many cases breed dogs that have congenital defects and behavioural problems, creating dogs that should never have been born and damaging the breed.

We bought Chloe from a friend who has been a German shepherd dog breeder for many years. I was still getting over the loss of my last dog, Tara. She was only a shepherd cross, but her devotion and temperament made her a wonderful companion and we had spent many happy hours together.

Her loss really shook me, and I wasn’t really ready to have another dog in my life, until I met Chloe.

She was the last of the litter, and when we saw her we just fell in love. You can probably see why…she is proving to be every bit as wonderful as Tara was…a true companion.

When you start your search for your new German shepherd, remember that most good dog breeders rarely if ever advertise in Newspapers, because they will generally have a waiting list of buyers for their puppies and they tend to sell mainly by word of mouth to previous buyers or their friends.

A good German shepherd dog breeder know that their puppies will be highly sort after and that they will never have any trouble finding willing buyers for them. They can also charge a premium price because their puppies are in such demand.

If you do see an ad in a Newspaper for shepherd puppies, always be very careful about terms like ‘Champion Pedigree’ or “With Papers’, as these don’t necessarily mean that the dog advertised will be a Champion in it’s own right.

It may only have had a ‘Champion’ ancestor ten generations ago and having ‘papers’ really only means that both her parents were registered somewhere in a kennel registry…it doesn’t mean that she is a pure bred German shepherd champion who will bring home trophies wherever she goes.

A Good Breeder Will Offer A Money Back Guarantee

A good breeder will always give you a money back guarantee on any puppy you buy, no matter what the circumstances for you no longer being able to keep your dog.

If for some reason you cannot take care of her any longer, any breeder worth their salt will take the dog back and find a new home for her – the dogs’ interests are always paramount in their minds, never merely the potential for making a profit.

A good breeder will also check you out thoroughly by asking you questions like where you live, the size of your property, have you had a German shepherd before, are you aware of the responsibilities of owning a dog the size of a shepherd and the amount of exercise and training she will need.

If you can’t answer these questions in a manner that shows the breeder that you can take care of your new dog, they may be reluctant to let you take one of their puppies home with you.

It is very rare to find a breeder of quality German shepherds who will sell their puppies to a per store…why would they? They should have a continuing demand from people looking for a quality dog, so why pay a middle man when you don’t have to?

As mentioned earlier, you might have to wait a while to take your puppy home, because most good breeders will have a waiting list, and you probably won’t be able to jump the cue to get your puppy first – everybody else will be trying to do the same thing. Be prepared to wait if you want a good quality dog…

A good German shepherd dog breeder will have their dogs tested for common problems such as hip dysplasia and eye problems. They will usually offer a guarantee that if these problems occur in the dog you buy, they will refund your money or replace the puppy with another one.

Sometimes there is a time limit on this but everything is negotiable.

Do They Specialize In German Shepherds?

A good shepherd breeder will usually only breed one or at the most two types of dog.

They are typically fanatical about their German shepherds and often show them, work with them in events such as Schutzhund, or enter them into agility or obedience events.

If they breed more than two different types of dogs, then they are probably just in the Business of producing puppies – their main focus is not maintaining and bettering the breed. These are usually not the type of breeders you want to buy your puppy from.

A good breeder will be happy for you to see the puppies parents and will never let them leave home before at least 8 weeks of age, preferably 9 or 10 weeks.

These people love their�dogs and take care of them like pets rather than as just a Business investment – you will be able to tell when you visit the kennels what type of atmosphere the dogs live in, and this will give you a good idea of what sort of breeders they are.

Always Talk To Previous Clients

Ask the breeder if you can talk with previous buyers of their puppies so that you can get unbiased feedback from people who have already purchased from them. If the breeder is unwilling to give you the names of some satisfied customers, maybe he doesn’t have any…be careful.

Of course, there are privacy issues here, so maybe you could ask the breeder to call some previous buyers for you rather than give you their phone number, but either way, try to talk to a couple of people who have had experience with this breeder’s German shepherds. It may just save you problems in the future.

The breeders kennels should be clean and tidy, and there should be ample room for the parents and puppies to play and live comfortably.

A Couple Of Final Questions…

Do you like the overall attitude of the breeder? Is he friendly, co-operative and helpful, or does he avoid your questions and try to pressure you into buying when you aren’t ready?

Do they raise their puppies indoors and do they tend to them at all hours of the day and night? They should.

Are all the dogs on his property well trained and friendly? Aggressive dogs are a warning signal that puppies may turn out to be the same. Check it out.

Also, a good breeder will not sell more than one dog at a time to anyone who is not familiar with German shepherds and their care. A backyard operator will sell you ten if he can to get rid of them so that he can start breeding the next litter. Buying in bulk for a discount does not apply when buying a dog.

German Shepherds Aren’t For Everybody…

In closing, remember that buying any pet, especially a dog is going to require a commitment of time and money from you and your family. A dog is a living, breathing creature that is totally dependent on you for it’s every need. She is going to take up a lot of your time, so you will have to be prepared for that and make allowances in your daily routine for play, training and exercise.

She will give you years of pleasure and enjoyment if you treat her as part of your family. If you aren’t prepared to put in the time and love your new German shepherd like the other members of your family, then buy yourself a pet rock instead!

Wait until you are really ready to own a dog before you take the plunge – you will both be much happier.

I hope this introduction to choosing a German shepherd dog breeder has helped by giving you some tips on what to watch out for and questions to ask before you buy a German shepherd.

We hope you have a wonderful time buying, training and loving your puppy and new family member.

Helpful Tips For Adopting a Dog

bulldog adoption training
There are millions of dogs that need loving homes and nowhere near as many homes that need or want a loving dog. There’s not exactly a waiting list. Anybody and everybody can adopt a dog, whether they’re able or willing to care for the dog or not.

Perfectly good, intelligent, wonderful dogs are dumped every day. If that weren’t true, there’d be no need for dog catchers or county dog pounds. Those of us who love dogs want to see every dog in the world living in homes with people that love them and that they love. It’s an impossible dream, of course, but dog lovers are nothing if not optimistic.

It needs to be emphasized and emphasized again that adopting a dog is a commitment — a long-term commitment. Big dogs live 10 or 12 years. Little dogs can live 15 or 20 years or even longer. And over that period of time, dogs must be fed every single day. They must have access to fresh, clean drinking water all the time. They must be vaccinated.

Dogs do get sick. They get injured, they require medical care by a veterinarian whose services aren’t free and dogs aren’t covered under company health plans.Dogs must be walked or be provided a living space that allows them to get plenty of exercise, too.

In exchange for this care, a dog will provide you with unconditional love — the real deal. He’ll be a faithful companion all of his life. But I must emphasize again — when you adopt a dog, you are making a long-term commitment. It’s a commitment worth making, but you need to make certain that you’re really ready to make it!

Proper Training Can Keep Your Dog Healthy And Happy

Adopting a dog is a lot of fun, but it can also add a lot of responsibilities to your life. When you become a dog owner, you take on the responsibility to make sure your pet has everything he needs, a safe environment to live in, proper care, and everything he needs for a happy and healthy life! It’s a big step to care for a dog, but you’ll be rewarded with a loving companion.

The first step in providing a good life for your pet and making sure your dog remains safe is to get him trained properly. Believe it or not, many people do not see to this important task and then wonder why their dog jumps up on visitors or won’t listen to their commands. Many a dog has been considered a “bad” pet when all he really needed was the owner to take the time out to train him properly.

If you train your dog properly, not only will he have some cool tricks to show off, but it will also add to his safety. Should your dog be heading off into a dangerous situation, your obedience training will come in handy and you can call him back to your side and safety. A well trained dog Will be well behaved around strangers and the family – an obedient companion. Plus the training process can help define you as the master and act as a bonding experience for you and your pet. You can train a dog on your own, or you can join an obedience training class and get instruction from professionals.

You want to make sure your pet is as healthy as can be and part of dog ownership is to provide your dog with excellent veterinary care. A yearly physical exam should be performed and any vaccinations updated. Also make sure you put him on the right heartworm and flea and tick medications. If you notice a difference in your dogs behavior schedule a vet appointment right away. Even a small change in habits, mood, eating or elimination pattern should be checked by your vet – it could be nothing, but it’s better to be safe than sorry! Have your dog neutered or spayed – they WILL be much happier.

Providing a safe environment for your dog is up to you as the pet owner. Make sure there are places your dog can get stuck in or fall from and there is no sharp objects like nails or pins laying around. Everyone in the family should know not to leave the door open so that your dog can run out in the street. Refrain from feeding your dog “people” food as some of it can be harmful to them. Chocolate, for example, can even be deadly!

Grooming your dog can be a good time to bond with your pet and can also help him stay healthy. Brushing his coat, trimming his nails, cleaning his ears and around the eyes are all part of good dog health. Proper dental care is the most important grooming task you can do for your dog. Bacteria that builds up on the teeth can break away and cause health issues in other organs of the body. Brushing every other day is recommended to keep your dog’s mouth clean and will have the added bonus of giving him fresh breath!

Hopefully you’ll never need to enact it, but you should have a plan for the dog in case of emergency. What if there is a fire or some other disaster? Make sure someone is responsible to get your pet out of the house in case of emergency. It’s not a bad idea to have a designated person that can mind your dog on short notice if you get called out of town on an emergency.

Bringing a dog into your family, you are committing to provide that dog with all the things he needs for a happy and healthy life. Some dogs Can live into their teens if taken care of properly. That’s a long commitment on your part, but the rewards are so great that the commitment pales by comparison.

Dog Obedience Training With Positive Reward Training

You’ve got your canine companion and you love it.  You take special care to feed your dog properly, get the recommended treatments and vaccinations, and try to provide a good home for your dog.  Truly responsible dog owners, however, should take the extra step and ensure that their dog receives obedience training!  A well-trained dog or puppy is a great companion, reducing stress for dog, owner and neighbors.  Not many people care to be around a dog that jumps up on them, barks incessantly, digs flowers, chews shoes and other items, or other negative dog behavior.  The unfortunate fact about dog adoptions is that the biggest percentage of dogs who are returned to breeders, shelters, and animal rescue are due to problems with the dog’s behavior.  This is a true shame when, with a little time and patience, these undesirable behaviors could be resolved.  Indeed, obedience training can save the dogs life!

The buzzword in dog obedience training methods today is “positive reward” or “positive motivation” training.  Positive dog obedience training is much more than a ‘buzzword”, however; it’s a philosophy and method of dog obedience training that ensures effective obedience training along with humane treatment of the dog.  Positive reward obedience training is just what the term suggests – a method of dog or puppy obedience training that employs the use of positive reinforcers to gain the dog’s trust and compliance.  Positive reward/motivational obedience training does not involve “yelling” at the dog, striking the dog (whipping, beating), rubbing the dog’s nose in “mistakes” (accidents) or other harsh methods of treatment.  The dog is rewarded with something positive when he obeys his trainer/master.

Why Positive Reward Methods?

The advantages of positive reward methods of dog obedience training include:

  • decreased fearfulness of the dog
  • increased trust
  • humane treatment of the puppy or dog.

Can I Train My Dog This Way?

Positive reward/motivation obedience training can be done by professional dog trainers.  However, you can do the training yourself.  There are several sources of information available on obedience training. One important bit of advice is to have fun training your dog!  Make it fun for you and the dog! You’ll reap the rewards for a long time to come.

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All Dogs Just Want to Have Fun

The main thing our canine companions think about is fun. They wait for us to come and play, or give them dinner or just a quick pat before we head off in the car. Fun is the one word that revolves around in dogs brains all day, in many different forms. Even when they are ready to go to bed, they are looking forward to a new day of excitement.

I have made a video showing all the things dogs enjoy doing, Enjoy!