Sit, stay and heel

An adorable little puppy just entered your home. Ahhh.... how sweet and cuddly. Some ask if it is possible to train a puppy or to teach an old dog new tricks. The answer is yes! Whatever the age of your dog, the right time to begin training is right now!

Training your dog is one of the best things you can do for your dog and yourself. Training is the foundation for problem solving and opens up a line of communication between you and your dog. It should be fun and rewarding and can make living together more enjoyable.

Effective communication is necessary to instruct your dog about what you want your dog to do. You can teach your dog anything from stay to sit. It's just a matter of repeating commands, offering treats, and having a firm tone of voice and hand. Repetition and consistency is key.

Basic commands

Sit - gets immediate control of any situation

Stay - always followed by a release command

Down - can calm a dog

more commands

Depending on your dog, you may want extra help in training your dog. Places that specialize in pets, such as pet stores or dog kennels, often offer private or group training classes.  No matter what you decide, patience is a virtue. Each dog, like a person, is an individual. There is no right or wrong way that a dog may act. As a dog owner, you have to be flexible and open-minded.

Just remember to "sit and stay" your puppy. He will want to fidget and exit. However, stay is an anchor command.  Once he learns these commands, he will become the best greeter of your family and friends, without jumping all over them!

Complete guide to dog care : everything you need to know to have a happy, healthy, well-trained dog
Diane Morgan.
Neptune City, NJ : T.F.H. Publications, 2011.
The Animal Planet: Complete Guide to Dog Care is an all-in-one comprehensive guide that will teach you everything you need to know to keep your dog happy and healthy. Written by an expert on pet care, this essential guide provides a wealth of information for everyone from veteran dog owners to those who are still looking for that perfect canine companion.
More fun with clicker training : how communication and signing can improve learning with your dog
Monika Gutmann ; translated by Andrea Höfling.
Great Britain : Cadmos, 2010.
A guide to the best and clearest uses of clicker training to communicate with a pet and correct behavioral problems   Anyone can learn the popular and modern clicker training method, which is particularly good for developing a dog's initiative and this book puts great emphasis on how to communicate clearly with dogs. With every click, the human highlights the desired dog behavior quickly and precisely. The click announces the subsequent reward, and the dog's behavior is positively reinforced. Based on behavioral and neurological research, effective and animal-friendly clicker training has evolved to the point of genuinely facilitating communication between human and dog. In addition to basic knowledge regarding clicker training, easy-to-follow exercises and practical tips for correcting undesired behavior enable the reader to make best use of the clicker marker signal. It also demonstrates how cooperation, communication, and emotional change can each play an important part in modifying a dog's behavior. By working in a self-reliant way, the dog learns to interact consciously with his environment.
50 tricks to teach your dog : amaze your friends! impress your family! challenge your dog!
Sophie Collins.
Neptune City, NJ : T.F.H. Publications, c2010.
50 Tricks to Teach Your Dog offers a wide range of intelligent games and tricks to teach dogs of any size, shape, or temperament. These tricks provide necessary mental and physical stimulation for both puppies and adults and a positive way to release excess energy. This enjoyable guide contains exciting tricks like “Shut the Door,” “Count Out Loud,” “High Five,” “Peekaboo,” and “Take a Bow,” and provides training advice from the basics to the more complex elements to ensure safe and effective training technique for the entire family. The step-by-step photographs break each trick into easy-to-train parts and show you what to do if your dog makes mistakes as he is learning, while the helpful text explains how a well-taught and appropriate trick will help to reinforce the close bond and trust between you and your dog. This fun and easy-to-use book provides an assortment of tricks so pet parents can tailor playtime to their dogs’ specific strengths and abilities. There is even a chapter on “rainy day tricks” to help keep dogs occupied when stuck inside the home.
How to behave so your dog behaves
Sophia Yin ; with illustrations by Mark Deamer.
Neptune City, NJ : T.F.H. Publications, c2010.
How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves takes a scientifically sound yet practical approach to explaining dog behavior and training theory, and then shows you how to apply these concepts so you can train your dog to be well behaved. Written by one of the leading veterinary behaviorists in the country, this revised and expanded edition of the original bestseller features brand new chapters that provide the most up-to-date science of dog behavior and explains key concepts in clear, straightforward language. The user-friendly, full-color instructional drawings enhance the informative text, while the all-positive training advice helps you change undesirable behaviors without resorting to aversive corrections such as yelling, hitting, pushing, or other outdated forms of punishment. Good behavior and problem solving exercises are broken down into easy-to-read “5 Minute” sections, while “Spot” quizzes throughout the text help reinforce your grasp of the material. Science-based methods for observing, understanding, and modifying behavior are applied to everyday situations, offering numerous examples of how training exercises can be turned into fun games for both dogs and owners.
101 ways to do more with your dog! : make your dog a superdog with sports, games, exercises, tricks, challenges, crafts, bonding
Kyra Sundance.
Beverly, Mass. : Quarry Books, c2010.
Play, jump, drive, pull, help, or just soak up the limelight-101 Ways to Do More with Your Dogbuilds confidence, jump-starts the bonding process between dog and owner. You will never have a bored rainy-day again! See happy dogs and their owners participating in a wide range of activities together, and bringing joy to others, and you too will be inspired to find new things to do with your beloved dog. You may have heard of agility, search & rescue, or though, "My dog should be on TV!" With our busy schedules and demands on our time, we can't always convert our dreams into reality. With101 Ways to Do More with Your Dog, you have 101 easy ways to get inspired. For each activity, you'll learn the best type of dog, how to get started, and where to find governing organizations. Then, you go one step further: enjoy the visual, step-by-step instruction on how to teach your dog the basics. That way, you can try the sport out on your own at home, without the commitment of signing up for a class. And if you DO decide that this is an activity that you'd like to pursue, you can go into a class with confidence! Activities for you and your dog include: -Volleyball -Jump Rope -Scent Work -Sledding -How to work with hearing-impaired dogs -Becoming a therapy dog, an animal actor, a dog blood donor, and much more!

More about dog training

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff