Basic dog training involves getting your new dog to understand how to live peacefully and well with you and your family. This includes things like, knowing where to go to the bathroom, who eats where, when it’s OK to bark, how to play appropriately and what is not allowed and should be avoided.
In order to maintain control of your new dog or puppy, you need to purchase a crate for them before you even bring them home. It should probably be a wire crate, so that they can see out and see what is going on in the house. Put it somewhere where they can see other family members and not feel isolated. Put a soft pillow or blanket inside so they will be comfortable.
Purchase a collar and leash to get started with. You may want to get different ones as time goes on, but at least you need to have something to begin with. Get a water bowl and a food bowl. This will be what they eat and drink out of everyday. Decide on what food you will start them out on and have some on hand. You may want to have treats, a chew toy and a chew bone available.
When your new dog or puppy comes home, everyone will want to cuddle and play with him/her right away. After the initial greetings give your new dog some water and if it is feeding time, feed him/her. Take them outside right afterwards. Now it is time to begin some basic dog training.
When all the initial excitement is over, put your new dog in their crate and close the door. This will let them get used to the idea that this is where they will be a lot of the time. You can put a chew bone or chew toy in their crate so they can occupy themselves. Give them water in the crate as well. Basic dog training is not possible without a crate or some way to confine your pet while you are not able to supervise them.
Your new dog should be in their crate with the door closed when you are not at home. Make it a comfortable place for them to lay, with a dog bed or pillow and a blanket. If they whine or cry at first, ignore it. Within a few minutes this should stop. If it does not, simply say ‘no’ and walk away. It will not take long before they calm down.
The idea behind crate training is to make your dog look at his crate as his den. You don’t want him to think of it as a place he goes to be punished; it is a place for him to go to sleep, chew his bone and be safe.
If you have a young puppy or a grown dog that does not know how to behave when home alone, the crate will help them learn limits. They are not allowed to run wild through the house and get into things that are not for them. Over a period of time, your dog will go to his crate without even being asked to.
Over time, as they become more disciplined with their behavior, you can let them stay out of their crate or leave the crate door open more often. Many people eventually get rid of the crate once their dog is well enough behaved to be free in the house. Some breeds need to be crated for a very long time though, so don’t be too hasty.
If your new dog or puppy is not housebroken, this will be the first part of your basic dog training. Make sure that they are in their crate with the door closed when inside. If you have a puppy, you may want to purchase a larger crate so they can use it as they grow, but you will need to have dividers so that you can leave them in a small space.
Don’t give them the full run of the crate. They will go to the bathroom in one corner and lay down in the other corner. Give them just enough room to get up and turn around in their crate. This will keep them from going to the bathroom in the crate. They don’t want to get it on them.
With this in mind, if you have a young puppy, you will need to take them outside every 2 to 3 hours, even at nighttime. If they whine, take them outside right away. Tell them to go ‘potty.’ When they do, praise them, ‘good boy’ or ‘good girl.’ Bring them back inside and put them in their crate.
Feed your new dog at the same time or times each day. Give them water in their crate so they stay hydrated. As they get older, they will not need to go outside as often, because they will be able to hold it longer. A puppy should be able to hold his/her urine for at least 6 hours by about the time they are 6 to 9 months old.
If you are not able to be home during the daytime, you should hire a dog walker to come in at set times until your dog can hold it all day long. Within a short period of time your dog will know that they can only go to the bathroom outside and you can give them more freedom at home.
After you have taken care of the basic needs of your new dog, you need to start teaching them the basic dog training commands to keep them safe and happy. The commands you will want to teach them are sit, come, down and off.
Sit is important to get your dog’s attention and get them under your control. To teach this, get them on the leash and bring them close to you. Say ‘sit’ and gently push their backside down until they are sitting. Reward this with a ‘good dog’ and give them a treat. This is one of those things that you just have to repeat and repeat until they get it. You should practice this a few times, then take a break and do it again later in the day. It will not be long before your dog does this on command.
Come is a critical basic dog training command because it is the only way you can let your dog run and play outside. Even if you are taking them to a dog park, you need for them to understand the command so you can control them while there. You can use the term ‘come’ or ‘here.’ Whichever one you use, stick with it. Put your dog on a long leash and say ‘come.’ Pull them to you. Praise them and give them a treat. Repeat this several times and proceed just as you would with the ‘sit’ command.
Down is a command that is used to teach your dog to completely lie down when asked to do so. It is necessary because it gives you an even greater control over your dog. If they are with other dogs and they begin to get aggressive with them, the down command can get the situation under control. Teach it by asking for a ‘sit’ and then pointing to the ground and saying ‘down.’ If you dog needs to be shown what down is, simply push him/her all the way down. Give them praise and a treat. With repetition they will begin to do it on command.
Off is a command that will help you if you dog is a jumper. Many people do not like to be jumped on by dogs. To teach your dog not to jump, when he/she jumps on you, gently lift your knee and prevent them from jumping while saying ‘off.’ Praise them and give them a treat. It is important to teach your dog this command when they are young. Puppies are cute, but when a grown dog is jumping on people, you could have problems. Teach them while they are young so you don’t have to break a bad habit when they are 100 pounds later.
To get a complete step-by-step guide on how to properly train your dog, download my 35 page e-book, Basic Dog Training. (see right column). It covers everything you will need to know about training your new dog. It covers:
Training a new dog can be a good way for you to bond with your new dog. The e-book will just be your road map. Follow the steps and you will end up with a very well behaved dog that will be a terrific part of your family for a long time to come.