Your dog is gonna live with you in the human world so it is important to teach them your human words.
By itself the human words ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘no’ do not mean anything to your dog. We have to condition our dog to perform certain actions after we say a certain word.
So here is a three step process we can follow to condition our dog to follow commands:
- Clarify Rewards: First we need to figure out what motivates our dog and use that as a reward when they perform the particular action.Some examples for rewards are toys, treats or verbal affection.
2. Teach Behaviour:It is important to clarify what action is required from them based on a certain command
3.Create Command: Last but not least, here is where I teach the dog to associate the command with the action they must perform.
So to summarize we have the command which we tell our dog, followed by the action and then they get a reward for carrying out the action.
So now let us get started with the tasks.
Lesson 1: No Command
When you say no to your dog, we want them to stop doing what they were doing. This is called a verbal correction. Here is what you need to do
Make it less rewarding: Make the unwanted behavior less rewarding as compared to an appropriate behavior. For example if they are chewing your shoe, it is important to give them less attention but when they pick up their toy, they get more attention for it.
Verbal correction: This can be the word ‘no’ said in a firm proper way or a harsh sound said in an unpleasant way such as ‘aah aah’ so that they stop doing what they are doing and look at you for their next command.
Yes for no:
This strategy is called ‘two yeses for one no’. Let's use an example to demonstrate. Suppose your puppy is chewing on your shoe. The first time we say ‘no’ to make them stop chewing and once they stop, we say ‘ yes! Good job’. The second time we say ‘yes ‘ is when we give them another thing to chew or give them a reward. The second yes is given when we give them another chew toy to continue the chewing or the reward
Lesson 2: Come Command
The recall command is commonly used to call your dog to come where you are. The ideal way for this to happen is for you to call your puppy’s name or say the word ‘come’, your puppy comes to you and then you give your puppy a reward for obeying the action.
But this may not happen at first, so to teach your puppy this command, Here are the 4 lures:
Step 1: Show the treat from a distance and your puppy comes running towards you to take the treat.
Step2: Walk backwards from your puppy with a treat held near their nose so that they walk towards the treat and towards you.
Step 3: Squat down and call out your puppy so that they come to you.
Step 4: Make a funny noise so that your puppy comes to you.
After your puppy has responded to any of the 4 lures mentioned above, we move on to the next step.
Use the word ‘come’ or their name as they are moving towards you using any of the four lures mentioned above.
When they come towards you, make sure to reward them with treats and praises.
After they successfully come towards you, we can move on to the final stage where we fade out the treats and just use the command ‘come’ or their name.
In conclusion, we used 3 stages to teach the command. In the first step we used the four lure methods to get them to come, in the second stage we insert the command along with the lures and in the final stage we remove the treats.