Basic Dog Obedience Training

Around 12 weeks of age, your dog is ready for some command training. Pre-training tips: You should hold training sessions with your dog at least twice a day and each session should be approximately 10-15 minutes long (shorter if either you or your dog get impatient or distracted easily). When you first begin training, keep within a quiet, confined location without any distractions, then slowly work your way out to public areas. The first step in training is to figure out what your dog likes so that you can reward him with a desired prize. If your dog is of the food-motivated type, prepare some small treats that don't crumble.

The scent of a dirt-size crumb can drive your dog insane and distract him from the task at hand. You want to keep the treats small because you want to be able to give him a lot of them, yet you don't want the training session to be ended by uncontrollable barfing. If your dog loses interest in the treats, switch the type of treat. You may also want to try scheduling training sessions around mealtimes.

If your dog is more driven by petting or a chance to play games with you (as many small-sized dogs are), haul out the squeaky ball. Don't get caught up in the petting and playing during a training session, though. Just reward your pooch with less than half a minute of playtime and then get back to work.

For the following commands, you'll need your dog to be collared and leashed. Collars come in a variety of designs and materials, but a simple nylon one is fine, as long as it isn't slipping off or causing your dog's face to turn blue. If you use a choke chain, make sure it isn't made of chain link, as they can catch accidentally and choke your do.

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