by Le Chameau
We have teamed up with our Le Chameau friend and well established dog trainer, Fran Ardley, to share some simple tips on training your dog. What better time to focus on your dog skills from the comfort of your own home and garden? First up: sit / stay…
The sit / stay command is a basic behaviour that dogs of all breeds need to understand and should be taught. It is the foundation of any higher level of training and in truth it is just plain good manners. The “sit” command can be taught from quite an early age, however you cannot move on to the “stay” until the dog has mastered the first exercise.
You can begin the sit command at early age. When you are feeding the dog, hold its bowl at waist level and put out one hand to help prevent the dog from jumping. Use the command “sit” as soon as the dogs bottom hits the floor, give him the food. Even young puppies get the idea very quickly.
As the dog gets older you can then move on to using a tennis ball, repeat as in the first exercise but then as the dogs sits you can throw the ball out for them to fetch. This is especially good for getting the dogs really focused on a ball which can be an especially useful distraction when out in public.
Once you have a reliable sit command you can move on to the “stay”. Get the dog sitting whilst it is on a lead, hold up one hand with the palm facing the dog and give the command “stay”. If the dog appears relaxed you can take a step or two back, but do not pull on the lead as this may make the dog come towards you.
Once your dog is confident sitting and staying with you moving around at the length of the lead you can then move on to the next stage. Get the dog sitting and gently drop the lead in front of the dog. You can then slowly move away. Only do one step to start with and go back to the dog. Over a period of time build the distance up and try walking in a circle around the dog. When you feel he has got the idea you can take the lead off and try him “free-style”.
Fran Ardley of Tarncrag Gundogs has developed a reputation as a person who, with a calm and gentle approach, can gain a dog's complete trust every time, making life for all much more enjoyable. With over 10 years’ experience her positive attitude has seen her succeed not only in competition but also in training many different breeds of gundogs. She offers a variety of training courses, including basics, 1:1, group or residential.
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