Basic Training 101
When you start training your dog it’s important to start with general concepts and later move to more specifics. This is the best way to build a solid foundation of understanding and control. At the root of any taught behavior is your dogs ability to control his or her urges and “stay” in a command.
Lets split this up into 3 Categories of staying.
- Staying on or in a designated area. This can be a kennel, a bed, a car, a raised area, a grassy area, and anything you can come up with. Sky’s the limit. These can be large area’s like your yard, or as small as a coin. Here’s a video example of a frisbee used as a place.
- Staying next to you. This is where our “come” or “heel” commands come from. It’s one of the easiest for many breeds, because they are already focused on you and because you are also the one talking to them. For some of the more independent breeds like many Husky’s or Beagles, that are used to figuring things out for themselves, we may want a different approach.
- Staying in a position. Teaching your dog a position is similar to what a professional golfer does when he practices his golf swing. You are training the muscles to remember. Singers train their voices, dancers train their body’s to move a certain way, and when we train a dog in a position, we do the same thing. We are training the dogs to have muscle memory. This way they don’t have to consciously think about their position, it will be trained in and they can recall it instantly.
The last element that has to be added to this mix is the ability to work your dog a midst distractions. There are a certain amount of distractions that you will encounter on a regular basis such as small animals, other dogs and loud noises including thunder and noisy trucks. Working out in public places is a must, and while you can’t train for everything, you can cover your bases and your dog will generalize the rest.