Dog training for obedience can be both fun and challenging. It's fun to train your dog because you will build a strong bond with the animal. It's challenging because dogs don't always learn as fast or as well as we might want them to.
The first training lesson in obedience is to get your dog to pay attention to your commands. Begin by calling his name and then using a keyword like "watch" or "look" immediately afterwards. This way, he will associate the words to a command. Once you've got his attention, the lessons can begin.
To keep your pets attention, do some attention retention exercises. One exercise is to hold a toy or dog treat near your mouth and then give your dog the keyword command. Each time he takes the time to watch, praise and reward him. The more you do this exercise, the more time he should be able to pay attention to you.
Another thing that helps is to choose a location free of distractions. Try to avoid places where there are other animals, children or loud noises.
Dog training sessions should have a duration of 30 minutes or less. Usually, if you go over this time limit, the dog will get restless and easily distracted. Continued attempts at obedience may only frustrate both you and your dog.
Never cause pain to your dog. Your goal during the dog training sessions should be to create a relationship in which the animal respects your commands and not one in which he cowers to your aggressiveness.
Speaking firmly does not require yelling. It is the tone of your voice that should alert your pet to your seriousness and not the volume.
Be consistent. Inconsistency breeds confusion. The more consistent you are with the training sessions, the types of commands used and the rewards given, the quicker your dog will learn.
The first command to teach your dog is "sit". You need to use the word "sit" while teaching him so that he can relate the word with the action. Start by gently pushing his backside down and saying the word "sit." Eventually he will catch on to the concept.
The second command is "down." Dogs can become pretty hyper when they get excited. Jumping up on their owner's lap is usually how they express their excitement. If you have a big dog or have other people over, you might not want them pouncing on your guests. When they jump up, tell them "down." Do not pet them or act excited to see them while they are on you. Continue to tell them "down," and even place their legs down if you have to.
Next is the command of "stay." This command is a good one to know especially if you have a rambunctious dog. You can teach him stay, for example, by putting a treat or something desirable on the ground. As he moves toward it, tell him "Stay." Another good idea would be to put your hand up while saying the word "stay."
When he begins to become obedient in this area, you can move further away from him. This will cause him to become more daring and he will probably take a step forward to see how much he can get away with. When he does this, continue to put your hand out and tell him "stay." He has to know that even though you are moving away, you can still see what he's doing and expect him to continue to obey.
After your dog has mastered the "stay" command, move on to the "come" command. Once your dog has learned to sit and stay, he will need a command to know when it's ok to get up and approach you. They may be a bit confused at first, but with a change in the tone of your voice, he will soon understand. Put a little excitement in your voice when saying the word "come". He will pick up on it. You might also want to pat your leg when you say come.
"Stand" is the last command to achieve. This is where your dog is allowed to get a little excited but not in a pouncing kind of way. When teaching your dog to stand, pat your hands on your chest and, once again, put a little excitement in your voice, so that he knows he's allowed, under certain circumstances. He will begin to know the difference.
Basic dog training for obedience should begin at an early age, if possible. It isn't impossible to teach older dogs, just more difficult.
One of the best resources available for both basic dog training and the correction of behavior problems in older dogs is Sit Stay Fetch: Dog Training Secrets to STOP Your Dog's Behavior Problems!
Remember, be consistent with the commands and don't give up. Before you know it, you'll be enjoying a healthy and happy relationship with your dog.