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Dog Discipline for the Grown Dog

Dog Discipline for the Grown Dog

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Here at Vet Organics we believe that every dog is capable of learning discipline to keep you and your guests worry-free. You don’t need to hire a trainer to teach your dog how to behave; it’s actually better that they learn from you since you’ll be the one saying commands day-to-day. All you need is a few dog treats.

Start by Training Your Dog to Sit

This simple, effective command will save you from worrying about your dog knocking someone over.
  1. Show your dog a treat in your hand to pique his interest.
  2. Hold the treat at his nose level and raise it above his head while you say “sit.” Your dog will follow the treat with his eyes until he sits down.
  3. Give him the treat when he sits.
Keep practicing this motion, but start to limit the treats to every four or five successful movements. You want him to see unpredictability so he works harder at achieving this command that may be rewarded. Encourage him with pets and praise so he always feels rewarded for a job well done. To build repetition, ask your dog to sit before you place his food down or when you hear the doorbell ring.

Teach Your Dog to Stay

Speaking of doorbells, how often do you have to race your dog to get to the doorbell first? Well, if you can teach your dog to sit, you can teach him to stay.
  1. Tell your dog to sit.
  2. Show him the treat, take a step away from him, and say “stay.”
  3. If he follows you, keep repeating the process.
  4. See if you can get your dog to stay while you keep walking away and wind up in a separate room.
Praise your dog every time he stays while you move further away. Remember not to wear him out with long practices or he’ll get tired and resist future training.

Teach Your Dog to Heel

When your dog is running around your crowded party, get him to stay close to you and out of the way of your guests.
  1. Stand a few feet away from your dog and call him to your side by saying his name or “here.”
  2. Reward your dog (treats, pets, praise) each time he successfully sits by you.
  3. Tell your dog to stay and move a few feet away again; call him towards you and repeat.
To reinforce this, call your dog before you give him food or take him for a walk. Always be happy to see him so he associates your call with love and praise. Training an adult dog is easy as long as you remain positive and keep from scolding your buddy. You can build on these techniques to eventually train your dog to stay “off” the furniture, get “down” when they jump on your neighbor, or “drop” whatever they’ve picked up. Your guests will definitely appreciate all the hard work you two accomplished together.  
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