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Basic commands ebook


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Basic commands ebook

  1. 1. Copyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 1
  2. 2. Puppy Training: The Basic Commands Bob LelandCopyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 2
  3. 3. Note: This book does not come with any resell rights whatsoever. You may notalter this book in any way shape, or form, and it must stay in this original PDFform with no changes to any links contained within it. If there are any questionssend email to: webmaster@lovingtouchpuppytraining.comCopyright Notice: 2010 Bob Leland. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use,sharing, reproduction or distribution or these materials by any means, electronic,mechanical, or otherwise is strictly prohibited. No portion of these materials maybe reproduced in any manner whatsoever, without the express written consent ofthe publisher. Published under the Copyright Laws of the Library of Congress ofthe United States of America by Bob LelandCopyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 3
  4. 4. Limit of Liability This ebook is designed to provide helpful and useful advice regarding thesubject matters covered. However, it is understood that the author does notengage in the practice of providing professional advice and the laws andregulations governing the subjects covered in this ebook may vary from state tostate, country to country, and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is also understoodthat the author and any distributors of this ebook specifically disclaim any liabilitythat is incurred from the use, application, or recommendations of this ebook. Theauthor and distributors of this ebook make no representations, warranties, orclaims whatsoever regarding the accuracy, effectiveness, legality, orcompleteness of the information included in this ebook, including any and alllinks, references, content, and recommendations therein. The author anddistributor of this ebook shall in no way be held liable for any loss or otherdamages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential,accidental, or other damages. As always, legal, professional, and any other formsof advice should be sought from a professional and is in no way implied in thisebook. Any and all links and recommendations are for instructional andinformational purposes only and are not warranted or guaranteed for accuracy,content, reliability, or reputation, or any other expressed or implied purpose.About the AuthorBob Leland is a dog lover and has spent many years trying to find the best trainingmethods for new puppies. He has read every book and article he could find ondog training and has accumulated a considerable amount of knowledge on thesubject. His philosophy is: a well-trained dog is a joy to a home. He believes thatCopyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 4
  5. 5. it is easier in the long run to train a dog properly than to train one poorly andhave to deal with years of frustration for the dog and its owner.Copyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 5
  6. 6. Table of ContentsIntroductionTraining Tips The training schedule The training area Short but sweet commands Positive reinforcement Rewards that puppies like The importance of proper timing Consistency and patienceBasic Commands Your puppy Should Learn COME SIT STAY DOWN HEELAdvice on collar and leash trainingFinal WordsCopyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 6
  7. 7. IntroductionOwning a puppy is a big responsibility. Apart from caring for his orher physical needs – food, shelter and overall well-being, yourpuppy will also need the proper training. A pup that is well trainedwill quickly become a valued member of the family.Many new puppy owners or even those who have had puppies intheir care for many years think that training a puppy is a job forprofessional puppy trainers. They find it daunting to teach theirpuppies even the most basic commands. On the other hand, somewho do train their dogs apply the wrong training technique. Thiscauses their canines to develop behavioral problems which couldhave been avoided with the proper training method.You are not expected to teach your puppy every single command ortrick in the book. But you should teach it basic obedience. Here youwill find how to be successful in training a pup to the basiccommands it needs to learn. Once you manage to train your loyalfurry pal the five basic commands outlined here, you may even beinspired to teach it a neat trick or two.Copyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 7
  8. 8. Training TipsBefore you even begin the training, there are a number of guidelinesthat will guarantee success in teaching your canine student. It isimportant to follow these tips so you know what to expect once theactual training starts.The training scheduleEstablish specific times of the day when you plan to conduct yourpuppy‟s training. Dogs are creatures of habit. Having a dailyroutine will let them know what to expect and they will be moreaccepting. Choose a time when it is conducive for it to learn. Aftera long sleep is not the ideal time nor is after meals. Schedule oneformal training session during the morning and one in the afternoon.The length of the training session will depend on the age of yourpuppy. It has a very short attention span, so start with 5-10 minutesessions. With older puppies, 15-30 minutes will be sufficient.However, you must play it by ear at the beginning. Do not force thetraining if you see that your puppy is clearly distracted and not in themood to train. You need to be flexible and learn to adapt to possiblechanges in your puppy‟s training schedule. But don‟t worry, as youestablish the training routine, your puppy will soon be 100% onboard with you.On the other hand, don‟t miss informal training opportunities aswell. During the course of the day, you can find ways to incorporatesome of the basic commands. For example, you can make yourpuppy sit or come to you during feeding time. Or if you are on thecouch, you can always call your pup for some back rubs and qualitytime, reinforcing the “Come” command. Informal trainingopportunities can be as important as the formal training sessions.The training areaIt is quite impressive to watch well trained puppies that do notflinch, even when their environment is busy and noisy. But youmust remember that these are highly trained canines that have put inlong hours of work to get to where they are. Don‟t expect yourpuppy to be perfect the first time around. What you should expect isthat your furry angel will hear every sound, see every movement andsmell every scent around her.Puppies are very curious creatures and natural explorers. If youCopyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 8
  9. 9. want its full attention during training time, select an area with theleast possible distractions. An enclosed room or garage is a goodchoice. Once you are comfortable with its progress, you can moveto your garden or backyard. Slowly increasing the amount ofdistractions it is exposed to is part of advancing its training in thebasic commands.Short but sweet commandsPuppies only need to know the gist of the command. Keeping thecommands short ensures that they completely understand what isexpected of them. One word commands work best, two at the mostso that nothing is lost in translation. Use the following commands: Sit! Instead of „sit down‟ Stay! Instead of „don‟t move‟ Down! Is shorter than „lie down‟ Off ! Is better than „get off of the bed‟ or „go down fromthere‟ Stand! Instead of „get up‟ or „stand up‟ Come! If you want to say „come here‟ Heel! Instead of „walk beside me‟ Leave it! Is shorter than „don‟t touch that‟Whatever command words you use, make sure to be consistent.Don‟t use two command words or phrases for just one action. Thismay confuse your puppy. It is also advisable to post a list of thecommand words you plan to use where all the members of thehousehold can see it. This way, everyone will know which words touse.Positive reinforcementPuppies, like people, are strongly motivated by positivereinforcement. They like to be rewarded with praise, a pat on thehead, a scratch behind the ear, and a rub on the neck, a chance toplay with their favorite toy and the most popular, an edible treat.Positive reinforcement is a way of training your puppy where youreward it for doing what you asked it to do. Your puppy will gladlyCopyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 9
  10. 10. repeat a command or action when it knows that there is a wonderfulprize at the end.Rewards that puppies likeA reward is not just an edible treat. It can be anything that keepsyour pal motivated. You may need to experiment with differenttypes of rewards to see which one gets your puppy to do what youwant it to do. An edible reward should be very small and easy for yourpuppy to swallow. You don‟t want it to be chewing on somethingbig, especially if you want its attention on you right away. Don‟tstay with one brand or type of edible treat. Try to mix it up for somevariety. Keep the edible treats in your pocket or in a small pouchattached to your waist. Non-edible treats that some puppies like are getting theirfavorite toy, short play, pats on the head or other forms of petting.Be careful when giving your puppy her favorite toy. She may justrun with it and not participate in the training session anymore. Makesure she gives it back to you so you can continue with the training. Whether you give edible treats or non-edible ones, alwayscombine this with verbal praise. Say “good puppy” or “great job” ina positive tone. But don‟t be overly enthusiastic. Keep the verbalpraise short and lively but heartfelt.The importance of proper timingPart of giving your puppy positive reinforcement is timing thereinforcement properly. The reward must be given immediatelyafter your puppy performs the command you ask. Otherwise, ifthere is a lull in between, your puppy loses the association betweenits performance of the command and the reward it gets. Forinstance, if you ask your puppy to stay, and it does but then movestowards you after a few seconds, then you give it a reward, it willassociate its moving towards you as the good behavior, not when itwas at the stay position. In this example, the reward should be givenright after it stays for the duration acceptable to you.This is why before you even begin any training session, all yourtools must be at hands‟ length. If you use edible treats, place themin your pocket or in a small bag that you can put around your waist.Copyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 10
  11. 11. If the reward you use is a toy, make sure you have it on your personor right next to you.Initially, rewards are given each time the puppy performs acommand. Even an attempt at doing the command should berewarded. You want to continuously reinforce its attempts in thehopes that it will soon be able to do the command properly. Once ithas mastered the command, you can start lessening the amount ofrewards. You now go through a period of intermittentreinforcement. The verbal praise should continue, only theoccurrence of getting a treat is decreased. You are aiming to shapeyour puppy to perform a command only for verbal praise and maybean occasional treat.Consistency and patienceIt is always advisable to have only one family member do the actualformal training of the puppy. This way, the commands and handsignals will be consistent. However, it is important to let the othermembers of the household know what commands and signals youuse so they don‟t confuse the puppy when they ask it to dosomething. Post a list of this information where everyone can see it.Be consistent as well in rewarding your puppy. Make sure that thereward is given only for good behavior, never for an unwantedaction. For instance, when you come home and your pet jumps uptowards you, ignore it until it has calmed down. Giving it immediateattention, where it is to say hello or to reprimand it is already a formof reward. Why? The puppy is jumping towards you to get yourattention, and by acknowledging its unwanted behavior you arereinforcing that behavior.Consistency should be coupled with patience. You will need everyounce of patience you can muster if you want to train your puppy.Don‟t compare your puppy with other puppies. Some learn fasterthan others. And never use physical or verbal punishment whenyour puppy is not able to do something right. Instead of respect, youwill be instilling fear into your furry friend. A fearful puppy maynot learn the proper behavior you are trying to teach it. But a puppythat trusts and respects you will be more than happy to perform thecommands in order to please you.Copyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 11
  12. 12. Basic Commands Your puppy Should LearnCOMEOne of the very first commands that you should teach your puppy isto answer to your call for it to go to you. By teaching your puppythe “Come” command, you can actually save its life or keep it andothers from harm‟s way. As dramatic as this statement sounds,consider this: What happens when your puppy suddenly runs off inthe direction of a busy street? If your puppy knows exactly what todo when you say “Come!” followed by its name, then it will bebeside you in no time. However, if your puppy has never masteredthis command, it is putting itself, as well as possibly putting thedrivers on the road, their companions and the pedestrians in thevicinity, in danger.1. While in the training area, move away from your puppy sothat you are not too close to each other. Make sure its attention isnot on you.2. Say your puppy‟s name followed by the command “Come.”Use an enthusiastic tone of voice. You may want to bend or crouchdown to further entice you puppy to come to you. If you wish, wavea treat in front of you.3. Once your puppy reaches you, praise it verbally and give itthe treat.4. Next, let your puppy wander in the training area for a fewseconds then try the command again.Don‟t expect your puppy to get this command the first time. Bepatient. In order to achieve success in teaching your pet thiscommand, it must associate the “Come” command with somethingpositive. Never ask it to go to you when you want to give it a bath,clip its nails or punish it. You can use this command when it is timeto feed your puppy. As you begin to put down the food bowl, call itto “Come” to you and praise it when it does.If your puppy is too distracted or busy with something, don‟t teach itthe command “Come” during this time. Unless it has mastered thecommand already, it will probably not budge. This may even teachit that it has the option when it wants to follow your command.Copyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 12
  13. 13. Finally, never let your doggy outside without a leash until it hasmastered the “Come” command and you are confident with itsability to follow you. You can however, use a long leash whenteaching your puppy the “Come” command outside of your home.This way, it cannot run off and you are still in complete control ofthe whole situation.SITThe “Sit” command is an easy command to teach puppies of all ages.Your puppy can surely master this in just a few sessions. It is a greatconfidence booster for your puppy and the foundation for othercommands. This gives you more control over it when necessary.One way of teaching your puppy the “Sit” command is by using anedible treat as a lure.1. Place a yummy treat in your hand. Close your fist.2. Stand in front of your puppy. You should be facing eachother.3. Position your closed hand with a treat in front of its nose.Slowly move your hand up towards its head, passing between itsears. Make sure the hand is always close to your puppy‟s head.This discourages it from leaping towards your hand.4. As your puppy follows your hand with its nose, its behindwill slowly move down into a sit. When it does, praise it and give ita treat. If your puppy backs away instead of sitting down, it may bebecause your hand is too far from its head. To remedy this, makesure to keep your hand close to its head or position it against the wallor a corner so it has no choice but to sit down.5. Move away so your puppy stands up then repeat the stepsearlier several times without saying the word “Sit.”6. Once your puppy has been repeating the “Sit” commandsuccessfully without you saying the actual command word, then youcan move on to the next phase. Perform the same luring action, butjust before your puppy starts to drop its behind down for a sit, saythe word “Sit.” Continue practicing and building the associationbetween the command word “Sit” and the action. Remember topraise and reward your puppy.Copyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 13
  14. 14. By practicing and reinforcing this command, pretty soon you won‟tneed to use edible treats; only praise and an occasional pat on thehead will do.A different training technique that you can apply in teaching yourpuppy to sit is by using a leash.1. Stand side by side with your puppy on a leash. Hold the leashstraight above its collar.2. Push down on your puppies back close to its hips and say theword “Sit.”3. Reward and praise your puppy as soon as it sits down.Practice and reinforce.STAYThe “Stay” command is another very important obediencecommand. By asking your puppy to stay in position, you can be surethat it doesn‟t move at all so as to cause damage to property or injuryto itself or to others around it. It is a way of controlling the puppyby keeping it from jumping, running or bouncing from its position.Some trainers believe that the “Stay” command is unnecessary if thepuppy is well trained. But while this is true, the “Stay” command isan extra insurance to make sure that your puppy stays put.It is very natural for your puppy to follow you around. After all, it isthe nature of pack animals to stay close to their group. This makesthe “Stay” command rather difficult to teach at first. This is whywhen teaching this command, it is important to keep things simple inthe beginning. Do not set high expectations but instead increase thelevel of difficulty as you become more confident in your pal‟s abilityto hold its position.1. Place your puppy in the “Sit” position. Make sure you arestanding right in front of it and looking at it the whole time. If it isable to stay seated for more than two seconds, give it a verbal praisetogether with a treat.2. Allow the puppy to move freely after the reward has beengiven. In effect, it is released from the “Stay‟ command. Sometrainers use the command word “Release” or “Ok” to let the puppyCopyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 14
  15. 15. know that it is free to move. It is entirely up to you if you want toadd this extra command word.3. Repeat step 1 again but this time, wait for more than 3seconds before you give the reward. Don‟t give the puppy a treat ifit moves from position before the 3 second mark. Instead, start over.4. Once the puppy is able to stay in position for more than 3seconds at a time, introduce the command word and a hand signal.Right after it sits, hold your hand in front of your puppy, palmtowards it (you are actually using the international hand signal for“Stop”) and together with this say “Stay” in a controlled voice.5. After the puppy has held its position for more than a second,praise it and give her a treat.6. Repeat steps 4 -5, gradually increasing the number of secondsbefore your praise and reward your canine pal. You should practicemoving away from your puppy as you issue the command “Stay.”Just make sure you move back towards it when you give it the treatand verbal praise.To make the training more challenging for your puppy, you canmove the training to a place with some distractions. Make sure notto move the training area to a high traffic area (whether it is humantraffic or vehicular traffic) immediately. The introduction ofdistractions should be gradual. Another way to advance yourpuppy‟s training is to increase the number of steps as you move backaway from it. Only reward it when it stays in position. The puppyshould never get a reward if it moves towards you, even if it hasstayed in position for some time.DOWNThe “Down” command is another fundamental command yourpuppy should learn. It is a good way to establish your position as theAlpha dog. The prone pose is considered a submissive positionwhich your puppy should learn as part of its obedience training. Inthis position, the puppy is not disturbing anybody nor is it chasingcats or acting as a rabble rouser.Training your puppy to go down and stay in that vulnerable positionis not exactly easy, but it is well worth all the hard work you will putCopyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 15
  16. 16. in. Make sure it knows the “Sit” command by heart before you starton “Down.”1. Place a yummy treat in your hand. Close your fist.2. Stand in front of your puppy. You should be facing eachother.3. Ask your puppy to sit while you squat in front of it.4. Position your closed hand with a treat in front of its nose.Slowly move your hand downwards. Make sure the hand goesstraight down. This prevents the puppy from moving forwardtowards you. You want to lure it to go down. It may be necessaryfor you to hold your closed fist on the floor for a few seconds until itis down on all fours.5. As soon as your puppy is on its belly, praise it and give it theprize in your hand.6. Move away so your puppy stands up, then repeat andreinforce the training without saying the word “Down.”7. Once your puppy has been repeating the “Down” commandsuccessfully without you saying the actual command word, then youcan move on to the next phase. Perform the same luring techniquebut just before your puppy starts to drop down on all fours, say theword “Down.” Practice and apply positive reinforcement each timeit goes down successfully.It may happen that luring your puppy with a treat will not be enoughto make it go down. In this case, you can put your other hand, theone without the treat, on its back between its shoulders and coax it togently go down on all fours. This gentle push needs to be donesimultaneously with luring it with a treat.Once your puppy is comfortable performing the “Down” command,make it stay in the “Down” position for a few seconds at a timebefore praising it and giving it a treat. An advanced trainingtechnique is to attempt to distract the puppy while she is staying inthe “Down” position. Scatter some edible treats around it, bounce aball or place its favorite toy in front of it. A well trained puppy willonly move when you ask it to do so.A variation to this command is having your puppy go down from theCopyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 16
  17. 17. standing position. This comes with practice. As with the “Sit”command, you should also aim for having it go “Down” withoutusing an edible treat as a lure. Verbal praise should be enough tomake it want to please you by lying down on its belly on command.HEELTraining a puppy to heel whether on a leash or not is the dream ofevery canine owner. Heel means to walk beside the owner. Thepuppy should neither walk ahead nor behind her owner. A puppythat heels is a wonderful walk companion. It benefits the puppyimmensely because you are more likely to take it out for long walks.Teaching your puppy to heel is quite a challenge. After all, puppiesare very curious creatures that are easily distracted by differentsounds, objects and scents. Your patience is required more than everwhen you tackle the command “Heel.”You can teach a puppy to heel while on a leash or off it. With aleash, there is sometimes a tendency to drag the puppy around. Thisis something that you don‟t want to happen, because your puppy willprobably not respond positively to all the yanking and dragging. Ifyou are using a leash, make sure to hold it loosely.1. Stand beside your puppy with both of you facing in onedirection. Whether it is to your left or your right is a matter ofpreference. However, as soon as you decide on its position, makesure it stays on that side every time you train it. For now, assumethat you want your puppy on your left side.2. Place a treat in your left hand then close your fist. Hold thishand near your waist just above your puppy.3. Call the attention of your furry pal by saying its name. Makesure you look at it and it looks at you. Make it aware of the treat inyour closed hand.4. Walk two steps forward before stopping.5. Praise her verbally and give her a treat if she walks forwardwith you while maintaining the “Heel” position.6. Repeat the same steps as soon as it is done with its yummytreat. Remember only to give it a treat if it “Heels.” You canCopyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 17
  18. 18. encourage your puppy verbally.7. Increase the number of steps you move forward once yourpuppy is heeling properly each time. Make sure to apply positivereinforcement each time it “Heels” correctly.8. Introduce the verbal command “Heel” when your canine palhas been confidently heeling for longer distances. Say “Heel” beforeyou step forward. Repeat this command each time in order to buildan association between the act of walking beside you and the verbal“Heel” command.To advance its training, walk with your puppy outside. Start slowlyusing a loose leash in an area with moderate distraction. A level upwould be using a loose leash in an area with lots of human andvehicular traffic. You can train your canine pupil to heel while offits leash in an area with little distraction, moderate distraction andlastly with lots of distraction. A word of caution when doing off theleash training: make sure you know the local laws in your area. Findout if your puppy is allowed off its leash when in public places.Copyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 18
  19. 19. Advice on collar and leash trainingIf your puppy has never worn a collar or a leash before, you need totake the time to train it to become comfortable with these twotraining tools. Start with getting a collar made of lightweightmaterial like nylon or leather. Place it on your puppy when it isabout to be fed. This way, it is more distracted with the food ratherthan the collar. If the puppy tries to take it off, resist the urge to givein to it. Instead, take it off when the puppy is calm and no longerdistracted by the collar.Next, introduce it to the leash. Again your goal is to allow yourpuppy to be comfortable with this new device. Attach the leash toits collar and let it drag it around. Make sure the leash is lightweight as well. Avoid buying a fancy or expensive leash (and collarfor that matter). Wait till it is comfortable with these two itemsbefore spending good money on fancy ones.Once your puppy is comfortable with the leash, you can pick it uploosely. Allow it to follow you around. You can verbally praise itfor doing so. Make the training sessions with the leash short andfun. Never yank your puppy using the leash when it sits down orstarts to strain. Otherwise, the puppy will begin to associate theleash and collar with something that brings it pain. Instead, call it tocome to you and when it does, praise and reward it.You should also stop using the leash when your puppy uses it towalk you instead. Allowing this to continue will reinforce anegative behavior. Simply stop the leash training and restart it at alater time.Copyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 19
  20. 20. Final WordsPuppies and later on when they become adult dogs can be acomplete joy. They are loving, devoted companions. If you beginwith training them properly they will know what is expected of themand maybe even more importantly, you will know what to expect ofthem.There are so many untrained or poorly trained dogs – through nofault of their own. Their masters never took the time to train themproperly. Unfortunately this can lead to their mistreatment. Just thinkhow much easier life would have been for that unfortunate dog andhis master.This ebook has provided you with puppy training techniques whichyou can build upon and train your puppy to grow up to be a well-trained, well-behaved dog, a canine that anyone would be proud tohave as a devoted pal.For more information on dog training and dealing with dog trainingissues, be sure to visit: .Copyright Bob Leland, 2010 Page 20