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New Year, New Dog

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New Year, New Dog

Terie Hansen

A dog can learn new things at any age. If you’ve been living with a dog that has less than desirable behaviors, there’s no time like the present to make a change. It’s a new year, new dog!

Obedience training can change your dog’s behavior dramatically. Start with simple commands like sit or down. Teach your dog one new command every couple of weeks. Start with a simple sit command, then add walking nicely on leash (no pulling) etc. Make sure to have a leash on your dog so that you have control when needed and can guide your dog into position.

Teach the commands with an implied stay. The sit command for example, doesn’t just mean to sit down for a moment it means to sit and keep sitting until you release the dog. No need to even say stay.

At first just do drills, having your dog sit for a moment then release him by saying “let’s go”. Repeat in a fast drill like fashion. Think of it like times tables, the quick repetitions help your dog learn the command quickly.

Overtime you need to start adding duration which means the length of time you have the dog hold command. You’ll also need to slowly add in distractions which teaches your dog that even when there are distractions your dog has to remain in command. If your dog moves out of command, simply repeat the command, and use the leash to guide them back into position.

Once your dog is familiar with a command start incorporating it into your daily routine with your dog. Make your dog sit before going out any doors, before getting their food, before you give them treats, toys or affection.

Be consistent and never give your dog a command that you are not able to reinforce. Over time, with lots of patterning your dog will become proficient in each new command. It’s a new year and you can have a new dog. It’s good for you and your dog!

To learn how to teach your dog the sit command and many others click FREE DOG TRAINING VIDEOS.


Terie Hansen, Owner of Good Dog! Coaching & Pet Care 

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