do’s and dont’s of basic training

The most important time for you and your dog is when its young and enthusiastic to do anything and everything! Unfortunately this is the time where a lot of mistakes are made by both the dog and the owner (usually because of the cuteness of the puppy/young dog). while its young you need to build a bond, a trust in each other, a respect for each other and everything else will come allot easier. Start basic training lessons early in there life as a dog who is naughty or disobedient when its bigger, is so usually because he does not know how to be anything else. shouting at the dog will only make things worse as he doesn’t know what he’s done wrong.

Here are a few do’s and dont’s to help you get started.

DO’S

Let you dog be a puppy and enjoy itself.

Teach it small simple basic commands like SIT, STAY, NO, COME.

Consistantly use the same command words.

Make sure the dog knows who is in charge.

Train in short spells first so dog doesn’t get bored.

Always praise dog for doing well or trying to do well.

End training with a play.

Keep your dog active physically and mentally.

DONT’S

Shout or physically punish your dog unless he has a clear understanding what hes done wrong.

Allow him to dominate you.

Allow them to get away with things because there cute.

Let them dictate when they want something like food or walking you are in charge.

Over train or expect too much of them early on it takes time.

Let them on your chairs, sofas, beds. this make them equal which may cause problems when there are fully grown.

Let them jump up.

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SIT & STAY

When training gun dogs or any breed of dog for that matter it is essential you master basic commands like the ‘sit and stay’ command. This will result in nothing but a better and happier life for both owner and dog. The sit is always useful in situations where you want the dog to be calm, steady, relaxed and to await your next command. The stay is very important and comes in whether the dog is a working dog or a pet dog, for instance for a working dog the stay will be used frequently in the field when the handler wants the dog to wait until he says its time to retrieve the bird or if the handler wants to retrieve the bird himself. For the pet dog stay will be useful when out for walks, picnics or even if you need to pop in a shop.

Here is an example how I teach my dogs to sit and stay. Start with the dog on a short slip lead and walking by your side at a nice relaxed controlled pace. When you are ready come to a stop, with the dog on the lead it too will stop. Making eye contact with the dog and in a firm (not angry) voice say the command ‘sit’ whilst at the same time raising your arm slightly and showing him the palm of your hand. once he sits praise your dog then start to walk on after a few more metres repeat the process. As your dog progresses you will be able to loosen the lead more and more until a lead is no longer needed.

For the stay command, walk as if your training to sit and have him on a lead. Walk a few meters get the dog to sit, let go of the lead and again in a firm voice say the command ‘stay’ also using you hand signal. Walk a few metres, stop and then walk back to him when you get there praise like mad! Each time you do this increase your distance and even walk in a large circle around him. Unless you have a wonder dog he will fidget or try to follow you when he does it is very important to take him back to the exact place you told him to stay and then repeat the command.

Just remember that when training little steps at a time and big praise when they do well even if its not perfect!

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Beginning training

Gundog training can seem an overwhelming task, but the secret is to break it down into small lessons, and only train when you are relaxed.

If you are training a gundog with the intention of working it in the field or to keep it happy (and gundogs do need some kind of work to stay happy) there are a number of things you can do to make your experience easier and more enjoyable.

When you begin to train your dog, I believe it is important to start without distractions. The logic behind this is simple – it is easier for the dog to learn when you have it’s undivided attention than when it is surrounded by interesting scents, other dogs, traffic and so on. Try teaching a child how to do a sum when the TV is on and showing an interesting program; you will be wasting your time.