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Dog training 101

This article briefly introduces dog training including success factors and the commands covered in typical canine good citizen courses.

Training dogs is a fundamental concept when having dog. Simply put, the main purpose is to instil dog obedience and to establish yourself as the pack leader. This is also a good time to bond with the dog as training can be fun.

When can dogs be trained? Puppies have short attention spans and hence most training centres have a minimum of 3 to 6 months for formal training. Note while dogs can still learn new tricks when they can older it gets more challenging to send them for obedience training when they are a few years old and set in their ways.

You can send your dogs for training at dog training centres or you could train them yourself. If you are experienced with dogs or was involved training another dog with a third party then you should be able to train this dog on your own.

Key training dog success factors

  • Consistency
    • Use the same command and hand signal all the time. Even if the dog does not listen to the command, use the same command again instead of trying with another command
  • Simplicity
    • Use simple words or signals. Only one command can be issued at one time. Don’t mix commands. I was guilty of not following this when I first got involved in dog training. I used to say ’Sit down’ to my dog as I was thinking in English. UnfortunatelyFree Articles, my dog does not know English and got confused if I wanted him to ‘Sit’ or to go ‘Down’.
  • Reward
    • Dogs love been rewarded. Rewards can be in the form of a praise or treat. Note you are encourage to say ‘Good Boy’ rather than food treats as the dog would grow to expect food treat each time it performs a command
  • Confident
    • Be confident when issuing commands. Your dog would pick up your insecurities and simply would not obey.
  • Fun
    • Both you and the dog should have fun. The dog should not be punished if it does not do the commands properly. Use rewards to encourage the dogs to obey the command.
  • Command feasibility
    • It has been my experience that my GSD don’t like been down in the hot ground or wet ground. Issue commands when you think the dog would also have no issue or has a chance in executing the order.


List of Canine good citizen commands

  1. Heel
  2. Sit
  3. Down
  4. Come
  5. Stand
  6. Stay



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Feldun Woelfen is passionate about dogs. He currently lives in Malaysia.

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