How do we teach basic commands? – Colleen O’Dea – Manners ’n’ More Companion Dog Training.
When I began to think about writing this piece ‘how to teach a puppy basic commands’ , I found myself thinking of all the various methods that exist to train a puppy. But one word kept flashing in my mind like a neon sign, that word is ‘co-operatively’.
Co-operatively, to me, means mutual, working together towards a common goal, you could say it’s a principle more so than a ‘method’.
So, how do we do this?
If you, like many well meaning pet owners, are thinking about pushing your puppies backside to the ground to get it to sit, this is only going to lead to a disinterested puppy that will avoid your training endeavours.
In saying that I want to congratulate you, because together we just identified that you have a knowledge gap in what is current in the world of dog training.
Now I get to teach you how to do it co-operatively and in less time than it would take if you used physical manipulation.
We are going to use a technique called ‘lure reward training’.
Wait! is that the collective cry of many new puppy owners fearing they will not be able to get their puppy to do anything without a piece of food in their hand?
What if I said to you, if you could teach your puppy to sit on cue and reduce your food lure in 1 short training session, would you jump at the chance?
Placing the food treat on your puppy’s nose, raise your hand in an arc.
Simple enough, but here is the mistake almost every puppy owner makes, you go too fast, which means there is a gap between your puppy’s nose and the food treat, this is why your puppy jumped up.
Keeping the food treat on your puppy’s nose is code for go slow, keep that treat on your puppy’s nose.
To follow the treat, your puppy will start to move its head back and up to continue to follow the treat, your puppy’s bum will touch the ground, now treat!
For the guys reading this, here is a helpful tip from my partner, it’s like lifting the toilet seat.
Now you’ve learnt the basic concept of lure/reward training the next step is to find a qualified positive reinforcement dog trainer who can teach you to reduce your food lure.