Very clever and cute dogs

Dog training

Julia and Bridie training - introRecall is a really important behaviour to teach your dog because it helps to keep them safe and means they can enjoy and benefit from exercise off lead. To teach your dog to come back to you, you’ll need to be more exciting than the rest of the world!

Here’s how to teach your dog to come to you in six easy steps:

  1. Show your dog the toy or food – you need an incentive to encourage your dog to come back – a really tasty treat or a fun game with a toy. 
  2. Run away a couple of paces then call your dog’s name and say ‘come’ in a friendly, exciting tone – getting down low can also encourage them to come back.
  3. Gently hold your dog’s collar as they come to you, and either feed them the treat or let them play with the toy.
  4. Gradually increase the distance that you are from your dog until eventually, you can call your dog in and out of the garden or from room to room.
  5. Ask a friend or partner to help take it in turns to gently hold your dog’s collar whilst the other one walks a distance away and then calls the dog over. Don’t forget to praise the dog each time this is a success.
  6. Practise in safe outside spaces – once your dog is consistently coming to you when called around the house and garden you can start to practise in safe outside spaces. Long training leads can be helpful for practising recall when outside, as they allow your dog some freedom without giving them complete free range at this stage.

Extra tips:

  • Only call when you’re going to praise your dog – don’t call your dog and then tell them off, as it means they will be less likely to come back next time you call.
  • Don’t only call your dog to put them back on the lead – they’ll soon make the association and be reluctant to come back.
  • Always take your dog’s favourite treats and toys with you when practising this command on walks, so you can continue to reward him when he comes back.

How to train a dog to sit

Teaching your dog to sit is a great place to start with your training. It can be a really valuable behaviour for them to learn.

For example, teaching your dog to sit at kerbs can make crossing roads safer and asking your dog to sit when greeting people means they¿re less likely to jump up.  

Teach your dog to sit in six steps:

  1. With your dog in a standing position, hold a tasty treat near their nose.
  2. Keeping the treat near your dog’s nose, move your hand in an arc over his head. As the dog raises his head to follow the treat, his bottom will go on the floor. The instant he sits, praise him and give him the treat.  
  3. Practice this a number of times in short but regular sessions.  
  4. As the dog always gets a treat for sitting you’ll soon find he sits for longer. You can now add the cue word ¿sit¿ as he goes to sit. Be careful not to say it before your dog moves into position or they may associate it with the wrong movement.  
  5. Practice this a number of times in short but regular sessions.  
  6. Give an ‘okay’ cue to let your dog know when their training has ended.

How to train a dog to stay

Teaching your dog to ‘wait’ or ‘stay’ is a simple behaviour to teach and can be really handy for keeping your dog safe, for example asking your dog to stay in the back of the car while you clip a lead onto their collar. You will need your dog to be well practised at lying down on command before moving on to ‘stay’. This is our six-step guide on how to teach a dog to stay using a positive reward system.  

Teaching your dog to stay in six easy steps:

  1. Julia and Bridie training - stayAsk your dog to lay down.  
  2. Give your dog a hand signal – for example a ‘stop’ sign with the palm of your hand facing your dog.  
  3. Instead of giving your dog the treat straight away, wait a few seconds. Say ‘stay’ and then reward. It’s important to reward your dog while they are still lying down and not if they have got back up.  
  4. Practice this many times in short but regular sessions, gradually increasing the length of time your dog stays in the down position.  
  5. Next, you can start to increase the distance between you and your dog. Start by only taking one step back before giving them the reward and then slowly and gradually increase the distance.  
  6. Practice in lots of different places – around the house, in the garden, at a friends and the local park.

Extra tips:

  • It’s important to gradually extend the time you want your dog to stay. Practice regularly and increase the time by a few seconds each time.  
  • Look out for signs that your dog is going to break the ‘stay’ and reward him before he does so – set him up to win rather than fail.  
  • You can also teach your dog to stay in a ‘sit’ position. Follow the steps above but start by asking your dog to get into a sit position.

For more please follow the link to RSPCA

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