First efforts in training a dog should aim at making him obedient. A dog will quickly learn any trick if he is first of all well behaved, well-mannered, and obedient.
Teach him to come to you when called by name. Every time you feed him, call him to you. At other times bend down and extend your hand to him in the invitation.
If he fails to come to you then call him enthusiastically but firmly and reward him with praise or petting.
If the dog still refuses to run to you when called, fasten a light rope about 25 feet long to his collar. While he is wandering around call “Come here Prince” (or whatever his name is) and give a quick tug on the rope.
Usually, the jerk will startle him unpleasantly, so pet and praise him when he comes up to you.
After many attempts on the rope, remove it and see if your command alone will bring him to you. If he does not obey at once replace the rope and try again.
Repeat The Command
If he forges ahead jerk the leash, repeat the command, pull him back to your side.
If he falls behind jerk until he comes abreast of you. Hold him in position for a while, then slacken the leash, repeating the command “Heel.”
Each time your dog obeys give him a titbit or pet him. Some dogs require a considerable time to train to heel.
But the secret is to jerk a little hard and force him into position each time he ignores the command.
After he has learned to obey promptly on a loose leash, and heels willingly, unsnap the leash and order him to heel. If you lose control of him, replace the leash at once and try again.
Gradually he will learn your wishes. But do not attempt this with a puppy under 4 months. He is too young to understand.
Start early to teach your puppy the use of a collar and leash.
First, a few days with the collar alone, then attach a small leash or light cord and let the pup drag it around.
Gradually begin to guide the puppy’s movements with the leash. If the dog drops down and refuses to move, step away a little and call him to you. Don’t drag him. He should respond freely, not fight the leash.
If he continues to lie down or free himself, give him a few more days to drag the leash around. If he is difficult tie him to a post and leave him.
When you return and untie him he will be so pleased that he will not object to the leash.
Training the dog to stay on command and remain in that position helps you to control him at any time, in any circumstances and at any reasonable distance.
Just Before Feeding
Repeat the lesson for 5 minutes, three or four times a day, until he has mastered it. Practice a few minutes before feeding time, then place the meal before him when he has done well.
Half your training problems will be solved when your dog learns to come to you when called at any time, anywhere.
The second lesson in training a dog means teaching two distinct commands. You must teach him to “Sit” and stay seated until you release him.
Put a collar and leash on the dog and some reward food in your pocket. The dog should be facing you.
Hold the leash in one hand, preferably the right, about a couple of inches above his collar.
With your other hand push down his hindquarters and say “Sit.” Press until the dog is sitting down.
Keep repeating this command. As he drops to the ground keep his head up with the leash.
The dog will have to be held in this position for several seconds, for as soon as you remove your hand he may rise.
Push him down to a sitting position each time he tries to get up, always commanding “Sit.”
When he has been impressed with the meaning of “Sit” you can start using the command “Stay.”
With every new step in his training, a dog must be taught to remain in the position you want.
This early command in his training brings the best opportunity to teach him. Slowly back away a foot or two and if he tries to get up be firm in repeating “Stay.”
Push him back into the sitting position (“Sit”) and again, as you back away from him, order him to “Stay.”
Each time you command this extend your arm with the palm facing the dog.
He will soon understand the meaning of your distinct commands and actions, and you will be able to go to the end of the leash while he still remains sitting down.
When he has kept in this position for a few moments and obeyed both commands, pull him to you with the aid of the leash, saying: “Come here, Prince.”
Reward him with food and a pat of approval. He should go through this lesson for a few minutes many times a day until he becomes perfect.
After leash training teach the dog to walk quietly by your side, with or without the leash. A dog will never heel without a leash until he learns to heel on a loose leash.
How do I teach my dog basic manners?
It is necessary that you teach him the basic rules of good house manners before he is accepted as a house pet.
The first major problems you will come across are floor wetting and a dislike of being left alone at night. In both these cases, prevention is better than cure.
If a puppy is too severely chastised for any little mistakes, fear may drive him to uncontrollable wetting, which in adulthood could turn into nervousness or aggressiveness.
It is advisable to put the pup outside every two or three hours, especially after a meal or a wild game.
Corrective methods are most effective if the pup is caught in the act, as he can then be carried outside, while the word “outside” is repeated.
You will find that in a few days he will start to make frequent trips out of doors, and the floor wetting will be reduced to a minimum.
Continue the same corrective methods and when the act is performed outside, it is wise to praise the pup on his return to the house.
During this stage, it is advisable not to leave water within the pup’s easy reach, but to give it to him about a quarter of an hour before a set mealtime. The bowel movements should then be comparatively regular and should occur shortly after the meal.
To Bed Alone
However, once the dog is house trained, do not forget to give him easy access to a bowl of water at all times.
When the pup finds himself in a new home he frequently objects to being put to bed alone. Never make the mistake of taking him to bed with you for the first few nights, as once formed, the habit is hard to break.
From the start give him his own bed and for the first few nights put him to bed before you, so that you can reprove him sternly if he objects too loudly.
After a few nights of careful control, he will become accustomed to sleeping on his own.
It is advisable to give the pup his last feed two or three hours before bedtime so that he can work it off and have a run outside before he settles down.
When house training and sleeping have been accomplished, one of the next problems is to teach your new pet to wear a collar and lead and to obey commands.
Introduce the pup to the collar for only short periods and do not leave him alone in the early stages. Young dogs have been known to tear muscles and fracture limbs in an effort to get out of the collar.
After the first few times, the pup will get used to the collar and forget about it. Then is the time to attach the lead.
This will also prove strange in the beginning and your pet will struggle and then sit stubbornly and pull against the lead.
Encourage the pup to come forward, at the same time pulling the lead firmly. But only make the lessons short.
When he has learned to follow at heel in this manner, he should be taken for his first walk.
His wild dashes towards new things should be checked as gently as possible with help of the lead and the command ‘”heel” or “to heel” spoken each time.