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The Basics of Dog Obedience Training for your New Pet
Kevin Simmons

Dog obedience training starts even before you get your puppy in
your home. Instead, it starts originally with the person that you
purchased the dog from. Ask the breeder or salesperson what type
of training, if anything at all, was provided before your dog
came into your care.

Puppies until the age of 21 days are like infants; they are only
able to find Mom, eat, sleep and go to the bathroom. Anything
else is pretty much beyond their abilities at this time. That
fourth week, however, is crucial to any dog obedience training
because this is when your animal becomes more aware of his
surroundings. Any positive or negative experiences that occur
during this time will affect your puppy for life, so make sure
that any stimuli is in the right direction.

At the four week mark, puppies can be introduced to crate
training while still at the breeder’s. A wire cage, well padded
and large enough for the entire litter, is placed in the whelping
box at this stage. Newspaper is placed all around the floor
space, so that the dogs can get used to sleeping in the crate and
eliminating on the paper.

Dog obedience training at this stage of the game is gentle and
supportive, and there is no punishment. Breeders and owners
should take this time to play with their puppies, and get them in
a group to slowly learn the “Come” command, by quietly saying the
word, and praising heavily when they do respond appropriately.

Remember that timing and consistency are key when beginning dog
obedience training with your young pups. The trainer should be
planning, on a daily basis, when and how to work on these
essential skills, and then perform them at basically the same
time every day. Also, positive reinforcement is necessary
immediately during or after the pups have followed the given
commands, or else there is a danger of the animals associating
the praise with something else other than the intended action.

Give your dogs time to think about their actions before you react
to them; especially at this young age, where there are a lot of
distractions (like other puppies for instance, or a grumbly
tummy), they may need a bit of time to respond to a command they
are learning. Be patient. However, keep in mind that young dogs
such as these are not able to take more than about 10 minutes of
training at a time, before they lose attention. This is not only
appropriate for their young age, it’s essential to their
continued learning. Dog obedience training shouldn’t be boring
for your animal – it should be fun!

Once you’ve worked through the more basic commands, make sure
when introducing more complex concepts (such as Stay or Sit) that
you break down the skill into small, bite-sized chunks. Start
with teaching the dog how to sit properly, before you ask him to
respond to the command, for instance. Many web sites have
detailed progression training techniques for all of the dog
obedience training commands, so feel free to search around for
some ideas along this vein.

(c) 2005
Kevin Simmons is the webmaster of  . Please visit the site for more free dog training articles.

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