BREAKING BAD MANNERS
“Off” When your dog takes his first jump to the snuggly cushions of your furniture, call out “Off!” Take a folded newspaper and spank the furniture heartily. The frightening clatter repeated as necessary makes him stay off.
If he develops the habit of sleeping on furniture when you are not at home, then set a trap for him – literally. Set a mousetrap on the cushion and cover with newspaper. It is unnecessary to say more – you can imagine his surprise!
Jumping up on you can be very bad manners, especially on muddy days. To break the habit, take his forepaws in your hands and gently step on his rear paws. Command “No!” When he drops, give him the fond pat that he’s asking for.
If your dog develops a plain bark – barking to hear his own voice – he should be stopped before it becomes a habit. Take a rolled newspaper, smack your own hands smartly, at the same time commanding “Quiet!”
TEACHING GOOD MANNERS
“Come!” This command gives you control of your dog – at home or away. Always call his name first, then give the command – and he may come instinctively. If not, kneel down, pat your knee, and call “Come!” cheerfully. Few dogs can resist the promised attention!
In the case of a really errant fellow, resort to your long training lead. Let him walk about on it, then kneel down and command “Come” in a friendly tone – accompanied by an insistent tug. Repeat the command until he comes readily.
“Heel!” With the lead in your left hand, walk your dog briskly, the dog’s front legs even with your knees. With every left step, command “Heel!” – and if he scoots ahead, jerk the leash and repeat “Heel!” severely. The same if he lags. Most dogs soon “heel” happily!
“Sit!” As your dog is “heeling” along your side, stop abruptly. Pull his head up with the leash. Push his hindquarters down . . . command “Sit!” Relax the lead and pet him. Keep him sitting until you say “Okay.” Throughout your lessons, use the word “okay” as a signal to relax.
“Down” With the dog in sitting position, pull downward on the leash, press his shoulders and gently push him to the ground with the command “Down”. Use “Okay” to release him.
Without the leash! Once your dog readily obeys the commands “Heel”, “Sit”, and “Down”, he may have more freedom. Let the leash drop. Run through your commands. If he strays, pick up the leash for enforcement.
“Stay!” When your dog has mastered “Down”, leave him in the position as you command “Stay!” and slowly move away. If he moves, repeat “Down” then “Stay”. Make his first stay periods short, then gradually lengthen them before the release word “Okay”.
Now comes the real test – making your dog stay even when you move out of his sight. This will test his patience, and yours as well! Put him down in stay position and, as you repeat the stay command, walk around the corner of a building. Remain out of sight for only a few seconds at first, and remain near enough so that if he moves you can put him back in stay position immediately. Repeat this lesson a few times, and gradually begin to lengthen the time that you are out of sight.
“Fetch” Just take a ball, small enough to fit nicely in his mouth, and wave it before him. As he watches, toss the ball a short distance and in a playful voice command “Fetch!” He will run for the ball and pick it up in his mouth. Now call him to you with the command “Come!” When he reaches you, hold him lightly by the collar and ease the ball from his mouth with the command “Drop!” Praise and pat him for giving up the ball.
If the dog disobeys your command “Come!”, and starts to frisk away with the ball, then start the lesson afresh with your long training leash attached to his collar. Enforce the “Come” as you did when originally teaching him the word. Soon he’ll learn to bring you the ball proudly.
Repetition is the secret! In all the above lessons, it is of course necessary to run throughthem a half dozen times a day for several days. Review all lessons once a week.
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Flint River Mills, Inc.
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