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Basic canine commands

Training your dog can be fun and rewarding. Dogs are quick learners and they rely heavily on you to train. Training also helps to nurture your relationship and bond strength. Together, the basic commands - "Come ", "Sit ", "Stay ", "No ", "Lie down ", "Leave " and "You mustn't " - will shape a good canine citizen. Successfully trained dogs have an easier and less stressful life than untrained dogs and are less likely to get lost or constantly grumbled by a frustrated owner.

Young puppies are die-hard learners, so as soon as the new puppies arrive at home, it's time to start training. It is a myth that puppies must be at least six months old to be trained. From the moment they are weaned, the younger they are, the easier it is to teach them and the faster they learn! Puppies are like a sponge, waiting to soak up all the lessons you give them.

Here you will find some advice on the basics of training your dog, for more detailed and advanced contact your professional trainer www.behavioryscicoape.pl, invest in training DVDs and read some recommended books on the subject.

Training with a clicker

The clicker is a small plastic box (available at pet stores) that fits in the palm of your hand. By pressing on one end with your thumb, and you bring out a distinct double 'click'.

  • To get your dog or puppy used to the clicker, stock up on a lot of treats or allocate part of their morning meal to it.
  • Give them to your dog one by one, with a short break after each.
  • Exactly as he receives the treat, click.
  • The dog will soon realize that clicking is a treat and start working hard to earn its click. It becomes an indicator that says 'yes' - a way of telling your dog that they've done a good job at the time of the action.
  • A clicker is used by many training groups. However, the exercises below can be performed with or without the clicker.

Training rules

  • Keep your training sessions short and enjoyable. It's better to have six five-minute sessions a day instead of one half-hour session - young puppies are often easily distracted.
  • Only exercise when you're in a good mood or your stress and frustration will transfer to your dog.
  • Always end your training session with a positive touch - an exercise that you know your dog will do easily; end always feeling successful and receiving a reward.
  • Practice without distraction at first. Record what you want to teach your dog in a calm environment and only then add distractions (radio on, do an exercise in a park where dogs run) so that the dog learns to respond to various environmental conditions.
  • Training must always be based on rewards; treats, toys (squeaking or not), playing and cuddling. Negative techniques, coercion and punishments are cruel - incomprehensible to the dog and do not work. Never use a clamp collar or a spike collar as you can damage your dog's neck very easily. If you need more physical control or a calmer dog, or one that communicates better, fit a bridle collar such as. Gentle Leader.

Sit down

    The first exercise you should try.

  • Take a treat and show it to the animal.
  • When the dog becomes interested in it, it will move its head in its wake, trying to reach for it.
  • Hold the treat above the animal's head to make it look up and move it by its nose so it has to retract its head.
  • The only way a dog can reach the treat is to lay its rump on the floor.
  • The moment he does, click and give him a treat and praise him.
  • After a few tries, your dog will know how to earn his click and treat and his sitting reaction will become faster.
  • When he fully understands what you require of him, say 'Sit down ' when he sits down to associate the word with the activity.
  • You have added a signal, as the training progresses you will be able to ask him to sit down instead of tempting him to assume this position with a treat.

To lie

This command instructs the dog to lie down from standing or sitting. Don't confuse him by saying "Lie down " to get him off the couch; instead use the command "Do not / Get down " and reward him when he is back on the floor.

  • Hold the treat in your hand so that part of it is visible to the dog.
  • Show it to the dog and put your hand on the floor. Your dog will try to match the treat in all possible ways.
  • Show it to the dog and put your hand on the floor. Your dog will try to match the treat in all possible ways.
  • She will finally lie down. When he does, click and reward him.
  • Work on it, and when he understands that your hand on the floor means 'lie down ' add the command 'Lie down ' when doing this.
  • Along with training, he will lie down on command, no reward.

To me!

Teaching your dog to come on call (known as 'recall') is probably the most important thing your dog will ever learn. Ordering your dog to return when he is running towards a busy road can save his life, and teaching him to stop when asked to play with other dogs will save you time and nerves. The key is to start early (six to eight weeks) as young puppies love to follow their owner everywhere. By six months, your dog will be more independent and it will be much harder to learn to dismiss him.

  • Ask a friend or family member to help you with this exercise.
  • Have the assistant kneel on the floor and hold the puppy in the 'sit' position.
  • Sit in front of your puppy and call him to you by enthusiastically saying his name followed by 'To me! '. To get to you, all you have to do is reach forward.
  • Look at the puppy and spread your arms wide as if you are going to embrace him. You must sound and look very excited. A hand-held treat or his favorite toy can help.
  • Now repeat with the dog a few steps away from you. If you look inviting, your puppy will rush to you. As soon as he comes running, click, give him a reward and praise him very much!
  • Exercise briefly but often and gradually increasing the distance your puppy has to travel to get to you. Remember to always shower him with praise when he comes to see you.
  • Once your puppy repeats the return command, start calling him when he can't see you. Play hide and seek at home so that the dog has to track you down.
  • Go to the garden (or a fenced-in space in a park) and introduce controlled situations, such as a friend passing by. Never start this stage in an open space that is out of your control.
  • Only when your puppy is doing a good job in an enclosed garden and with distractions that you can take him to the park for training. Take him on a retractable automatic leash or a long training rope, possibly in combination with his bridle collar. It will give him a sense of freedom, but it will give you a sense of control.
  • Practice some appeals. Remember that you must be extremely tempting to your dog in the park; there are many fascinating things to distract a developing puppy.
  • If your puppy rushes in a different direction and ignores your cry, don't run after him: he'll think it's fun! Instead, run in the opposite direction (still holding the training rope). The puppy will be confused and will eventually run after you. If you run away, it will teach him to keep in sight when away from home, so that you do not accidentally lose you!
  • It is a mistake to yell at your puppy for not coming and to say 'not allowed' when he comes to you as it will confuse him. After all, you want him to associate coming to you with being rewarded. Be patient and exercise often.


'Stay' is probably the most difficult command to learn. Puppies just hate being still! But with short, frequent exercises, this exercise can be mastered and is useful in a number of situations, such as when your dog is about to jump out of the car before you put the leash on.

  • Start with 'Lie down - Stay '. Make the dog 'lie down'.
  • Say 'Stay' in a steady voice and hold your hand out in front of you, palm facing forward.
  • Wait a few seconds, then click and reward the dog for staying in place. Practice it a couple of times.
  • Then, tell him to 'Lie down ', take a step back and say 'Stay '.
  • After about three seconds, click, take a step forward and reward him. Praise him for being really smart.
  • Gradually increase the length and distance in this exercise. But don't try to achieve too much too quickly.
  • If your dog doesn't stay where it is, don't yell at him. No click or reward is enough for him to learn. Anger is unproductive.
  • Once your dog has mastered the command 'Lie down - Stay ', teach him to 'Stay ' in the 'Sit ' position and finally in the standing position using exactly the same technique.


Most training produces results by rewarding good behavior and ignoring your pet's unwanted reactions. Your dog wants and expects your approval. However, it is sometimes necessary to tell him that his behavior is unacceptable. Rather than yelling or repeating "No" over and over again, rapid progress can also be made by teaching your dog a 'no' signal to tell him to stop doing whatever he is doing whenever he hears it. For best, as long as your dog does not have a nervous disposition or is not easily scared by a sudden noise, dog training discs. They are five metal disks resembling metal discs, held together by a key ring. You can hold them silently and then, at the exact moment you want to signal 'No! 'you can drop them to make a unique sound that is unlike anything your dog might come across.

  • To teach the dog the command 'No! ', make some treats first. The way you would teach your dog to associate a click with a treat, you now need to teach him that the sound of the discs means that you lose access to the treat.
  • Place a treat on the floor. As the dog goes to eat it, shake the discs in your hand. Take away the treat by shaking the discs, but don't say anything

    let the sound do it.

  • After a few repetitions, your dog should stop being afraid of the sound and will begin to associate the sound with no reward. After all, he won't even try to take the treat waiting for the discs to sound, and will give up looking disappointed.
  • Now have him perform another activity, such as 'Sit ', for which he will be given a treat to alleviate his previous disappointment and frustration.
  • Soon your dog will associate activities with discs with those that fail and stop trying without you having to use discs.


  • You can also use disks to learn the 'Leave ' command.
  • Put something tasty on the table within your dog's reach. Tell him to 'leave it ', count to three and then give him a treat (but not the one you told him to leave).
  • If the dog goes to pick up a treat, shake the discs.
  • Over the course of several training sessions, increase the amount of time he has to wait for him to receive the treat.

Come down!

  • If you find your dog on the couch, say 'get down' and then encourage him to come to you.
  • When he 'goes down ', reward him with calm praise and click and use basic skills to have him execute 'sit ' or 'lie down ' instead. Then you can also reward him.
  • Consistency is very important. If one family member turns a blind eye to the prevailing rules and will sit with the dog on the couch while another tells him to leave

    . that's the end!

  • If your dog growls at you when trying to remove him from his seat, don't try any further and ask for help from a qualified behaviorist as soon as possible. Never try to deal with an aggression problem yourself, as this can make the problem worse and put yourself at risk.

The information in this article is not intended to be a substitute for individual veterinary or behavioral advice and is provided for information purposes only. If you have any concerns about your pet's health, you should consult your veterinarian. They will be able to complete a medical history and clinical examination of the animal in order to then provide appropriate advice or treatment options. For detailed behavioral advice individually tailored to your pet's needs, we recommend that you contact a qualified animal behaviorist. For more details on canine and feline behaviorists practicing in your area and how they can help animals with problems, contact the Association of Animal Behaviorists and Coape Trainers. Remember that while trainers can accept you directly as a client, behaviorists may need to work with your veterinarian.

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