At Pack Leader we are here to help you and your dog learn anything from basic obedience to specialized tricks. Our services are available for teaching virtually anything. However, there are some basic “tricks” that you may want to try at home. Professional training is necessary to ensure your dog fully understands the move and that they can “sit” even in the most stressful situations. Though it is a good idea to start showing your dog some stuff early! We love all the dogs we work with, no matter their skill level, but it can make the learning process easier if your dog has a grasp of basic commands.
“Sit” is a great place to begin for you and your dog. It is a useful basic command and an essential stepping-stone for other moves and tricks. Grab some treats and begin!
With you standing or kneeling and your dog facing you, hold the treat in your dominant hand and lure the dog to you. Don’t let them get the treat yet! Say “sit” in a neutral, clear, firm voice. Do not add extra letters, like “ssiiiiit,” state it clearly. Put the treat in front of your dog’s nose and slowly lift and move it back (towards your dog’s tail), so the dog is looking up. This will likely cause the dog to automatically sit down. If your dog does not sit, place your hand on its bottom and gently guide it down to a sitting position, do not force your dog down. The dog will think it’s in trouble and will get confused. Forcing the dog down will also be potentially harmful. Only guide it down as much as necessary, likely only the first few times. Make sure you stay patient. It is a learning process and your dog may not immediately understand. When your dog does sit (whether it be from your guidance or on its own) reward your dog with the treat and tell him how good of a job he did!
With your dog in the “sit” position take the treat, put it to the dog’s nose and slowly move it to the floor, between the dog’s front two feet. Point to the floor and say “down” clearly and firmly. Move the treat toward you (away from the dog) to get him to slide to the floor. Immediately praise the dog and reward him. This move can be difficult for some dogs, and the dog’s body may need manipulation for it to work. Stay patient and your dog will get it! Make sure to go over this lesson regularly so your dog can remember. As you progress with this command, gradually move your hand farther and farther from the floor until you can point down from a standing position and your dog will obey.
Your dog should start “stay” from a “sit” position. When your dog is seated, hold up your hand, palm to the dog (as if symbolizing the number 5) and clearly say “stay.” Take only one or two steps back, then say, “okay” to release them. Reward and praise them. If you notice your dog starting to break, give the release word and praise him. You want your dog to be rewarded so he may understand what he is doing right. As your dog begins to understand, you can take more steps back and gradually turn around. After your pup understands what “stay” is, try “down stay.” This command is usually more difficult for dogs. Make sure to take this command slow and practice it often (like before going inside and outside). It will take time and is a gradual learning experience.
Come is a wonderful, useful tool for a dog. Be extra patient with this one as recall is difficult for dogs to learn.
Lean or kneel with a treat, tell your dog “come” usually paired with his name. When your dog gets to you, reward him heavily and give praise! If your dog does not come to you, try using a leash. Tell your dog come and guide him toward you, and reward heavily! After your dog begins to understand the command, begin grabbing his collar and petting his face as you reward him. This ensures the dog will know he may get grabbed or touched after he is instructed to “come,” if your dog is used to grabbing the treat and taking off it will be difficult to grab the dog if he is loose or needs to be detained.
Keep your lessons short and as positive as possible. It is also important to leave each session on a positive note, so you and your dog will leave happy. With these commands patience is necessary. Your dog may understand some commands faster than others. Teaching your dog is gradual. You may also find that traditional dog treats do not motivate your dog. If treats are not working for your dog, try cheese, lunch meat, or toys. Also, be sure to be clear and firm in all your commands to help the dog’s comprehension. It is possible for your dog to learn these commands and more.
Whether your dog is having a difficult time with these commands or if your dog has the hang of it and you are ready for the next step, contact us today to set up a consultation and take your dog’s training to the next level!