Senses The Sit The Stand Stay


One of the best things you can do for your dog is to give them obedience training. Training doesn't solve all behavior problems, however it is the foundation to solving just about any problem. Training should be fun and rewarding for both you and your dog. A well-trained dog is more confident and can safely be allowed a greater amount of freedom than an untrained animal. Before we can begin training, it is important to first understand dogs sense's.

Without good eyesight, dogs would not survive for long in the wild. The anatomy and position of their eyes gives them a more limited binocular vision, poor color reception and an inferior awareness of detail. These deficiencies are compensated by an extraordinary ability to notice the slightest movement over a wide area. So when training your dog with hand signals and food stimulus, it is more effective to hold your hands at a waste level. Movement is also important to keep their interest. "Come on Rex, I'm shaking this here piece of bacon, just sit for me and I'll give it to ya!"

So does your dog seem to go nuts with just the slightest sound and you can't figure out what she's barking at? That's because dogs hear noises ranging from 20 cycles per second to an astounding level of 35,000 c.p.s. Humans range from 20-20,000 c.p.s. (just to give you an idea). Dogs' sense of hearing increases with age and is very accurate as to where the sound is coming from. This helps them find food and you, if you're calling. A high-pitched voice works very well for training, as opposed to a low commanding voice. Also, when you call your dog, move in the opposite direction while calling out for her. This will help her find you better because she can associate the movement with the sound.

"Oh no Deeogee, what did you find?" The incredible capacity of a dog's sense of smell has been proved by numerous scientific and practical tests. Dogs can dig out people buried under snow; smell drugs on you at the airport and can even detect gas leaks underground. So if your dog seems uninterested in the cookie you're holding, let her smell it first.

We pet our dogs basically for three reasons. Firstly, they're so soft and cute, who couldn't pet them? Secondly, to comfort them, and thirdly to influence their behavior. Although naturally dogs do not associate affection with anything habitual (wolves don't slap each other high-five and give hugs for consoling), there is no doubt that they enjoy it. However, petting is not always as effective when it is used only as a dog's reward.

What is as effective, you ask? Food. Dogs will do anything for food. Mine will moonwalk backwards, my neighbor's will give me her paw and my cousin's will stare at me for a while until I finally give in. Remember that taste is strongly influenced by smell and sight; therefore all of the senses must be considered while attempting to communicate with your dog.

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The Sit

Wasssup This trick should be the first to learn. It's pretty simple. First, call your dog, and as he comes close to you, place your right hand containing the food in front of his nose. You might have to wait for a minute or so, but he'll eventually figure it out. As he starts to sit, say "sit," and immediately as his bottom hits the ground reward him with the treat. This should be repeated at least 5 times before throwing in the towel.

Try to keep your back upright and your hands close to your body. The food is yours until the dog deserves it. Practice daily for at least 8 minutes. Stop before you think that your dog is getting bored or restless. You decide when you train and when you stop. If your dog does become disinterested, it is no longer left as a positive experience.

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The Stand

When your dog is in a sitting position. Put the food in front of her nose and move it away slowly. This should get your dog off her feet. Say "stand" as she does, and reward her with the food. See if you can get her to sit again, and stand again, and sit again, and stand again. Always reward good behavior.

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First eliminate any distractions, especially moving objects. Place your dog in the sitting position and say, "stay." Then take one step back. Before the dog attempts to move, step back to your original position and reward immediately. Start off with one step, and eventually move on to many. Once that's taken care of, try jumping, leaving the room for a second, and even throwing balls. If the dog is still staying, GO DOG!

Remember, practice makes perfect. Try all of these exercises in different places. It doesn't really count if the dog can do cool tricks only in your living room. She needs to be obedient everywhere.

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