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TRAINING YOUR DOG :The 7 Most Important Dog Training Skills

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House Training

Potty training is all about consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. Start with the basics:Supervise your dog. When you’re just starting to house train her, limit her access to other parts of the house, whether that means closing off doors to bedrooms or crate-training so she has her own space.Set a routine. Dogs are creatures of habit. By feeding your dog at the same time each day and offering regularly spaced walks and outside potty breaks, you can condition her to “go” at set times each day.Never punish your dog for eliminating indoors. Accidents happen, and dogs don’t understand cause and effect the same way people do.

Clean up the mess, remind yourself that it will get better the more consistent you are and move on.Reward your dog for getting it right. Give her a treat as soon as she goes potty in the designated spot.For more detailed tips on housetraining a puppy or dog, check out this trainer’s complete guide.Successful dog training is all about consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement.

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Come

Coming when called is one of the most important skills for your dog to have on lock, because it can keep her safe in potentially dangerous situations. “Make it a party” every time your dog comes when called. No matter what they’re leaving behind, coming to you should be the best thing that happens to them all day!To train your dog to come when called, start on leash in a quiet area. Back away from your dog while enthusiastically telling her to “come!” Only give the command once, but be enthusiastic, and keep your body language relaxed and open. You can show your dog a treat to encourage her to head your way. Once she starts towards you, say “yes!” (or click) and reward her with a treat.Over time, you can gradually increase the distance between you and your dog, and start practicing in a variety of situations. View our trainer’s guide for more tips to teaching your dog to come when called.

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Stay

Teaching your dog to “stay” isn’t only about getting them to sit still. Like “come,” it’s a command that can keep her safe from harm.Start up close to your dog, placing her in a sit or down position. Hold a hand out toward and say “stay.” After a moment, reward her. Repeat this until your dog gets the idea that she’ll get a treat if she holds her sit or down position.Over several training sessions, increase your distance from your dog and the duration before you release her, and introduce distractions to test her resolve. Visit this puppy training guide for more detailed instructions.

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