- Look at me.This trick takes a few months of preparation . But it is the best dog training introduction your dog can have. Saying a word or calling your dog by its name will be followed by a command or trick.It’s very important that our dog listens to us on the first call. Dogs are pack animals and need to feel safe and they need to know you have control.“Look at me” or ”Name recognition” will strengthen your communication and make your bond stronger.Practice inside the house first. Get your dog’s attention by calling his name one time. If he doesn’t respond, make sounds that will get his attention. When he looks at you say “good boy or girl” and reward him. Slowly add distractions and work in different environments. You might want to try this outside once your dog masters distractions inside the house. Also, when you are outside use treats or toys you know your dog can’t resist. That will make the process much easier.When your pup is responding to his name on the first call, start adding commands after he looks at you, like “sit” or “down”. I also recommend this trick to parents dealing with reactive dogs to redirect their attention to their handler. It works amazingly.2. Submissive positions like roll or lay downDogs communicate with the world through body postures. Being low to the ground can be very beneficial for your dog because it is going to promote relaxation and submission, which are both great for dogs to interact with.Meaning “I mean no harm,” submissive positions can prevent dog fights, make your dog feel safe and in control.Work on rewarding your dog every time he is laying on his bed, being lazy or rolling to play. This will make your dog want to do it more often. Dogs repeat actions that have had a positive consequence in the past.Try “Down Stays “ with your dog in public, especially when another dog is approaching, and fade from the treats slowly with time and successful experiences. If you are dealing with an anxious dog that never gets tired, work on down stays in busy environments, walking back and forth , rewarding improvements, adding distance and time slowly . He will be exhausted and ready to go after a few minutes.Remember, we are in charge of our dog’s experiences and we can create amazing puppies that can enjoy relaxing . We just need to take the time to train the actions we want our dogs to repeat.
3. Independent behaviors
Does your dog go in his crate alone to play or does he just like his own space? That’s great! And that’s exactly what we want. It’s ok for dogs to bond to their owners but they are much more stable if they are encouraged to play and enjoy their private space.Do you have a dog that doesn’t like to be alone? Teach him that the crate is a good thing by feeding and giving him toys in the crate and give him interactive toys to play with. Also, you can practice living him in a different room where he is isolated, rewarding him when he is silent, adding timing between your treats and ignoring him when he barks, whines or scratches. This will be good for him in the long run because he will know you will always come back and that he doesn’t have to get your attention to be recognized.
4. Bold behaviors
Is there anything your pup is scared of? People with hats? Umbrellas? The vacuum cleaner? It’s ok for your pup to be scared of loud noises or to not be sure about some things. What we want to teach our dogs is that the world is a good place and it is ok to investigate even if it is scary.Next time your dog barks or is afraid or unsure about something, encourage him to smell it or get closer, if he does it, give him a treat for his bravery. If he doesn’t want to do anything force him to stay, don’t back up, or he will learn it is ok to run away. Try to get close to the uncomfortable situation or thing on a regular basis and do some obedience next to it, rewarding when you get a little closer to the end result. Once he finally investigates praise him and give him high value prizes.
5. Proper socializationDogs need to be socialized to different people, animals and situations, ALL THEIR LIVES. That means people from different sizes, ethnicity, shapes, ages, different dogs, cats, stores, beaches, woods, you know what I mean right? That will make your life much easier and your dog will interact with the world with rooted feet.That being said, we want to reward our dogs when they are confident, wagging their tails, excited to meet our people. We want to reward your dog when he sits to greet people or doesn’t jump on them.Reward your dog when he bows when he meets another dog, when he looks away if another dog is bullying him or being too rough, or when he lays on his back when he meets a new animal. These are proper ways to socialize that will prevent you and your doggie from getting in a fight in the future.At this point , you might be asking yourself, Should I have treats with me all the time then? And the answer is yes! Especially on your dogs first year living with you, you must have treats everywhere you go with your dog. We are gonna make our dogs whatever we want them to be and treats are the best way to shape a dogs behavior. Your dog is relying on you to be the best dog he can be. You will see a big difference and it will be amazing to coexist with a creature that respects everyone around him and has confidence in you and in others.