Back To School: How To Teach Your Dog New Commands

dog training

In case you lost track of time, it’s officially halfway through August which means that back to school is quickly approaching. Depending on where you live your kids might have just gone back to school a week or two ago. But just because our dogs aren’t going back to school doesn’t mean they can’t learn something new! While it is often easier to teach puppies new tricks, that doesn’t mean an old dog can’t learn a new trick too. We know dog training can sometimes feel daunting and it can be difficult to know where to start, so we’ve compiled a few easy commands to teach your dogs with some easy-to-follow steps on how to teach them. 

A Few General Tips:

  1. Consistency 

You have probably heard this one before, but consistency truly makes all the difference in pet training or learning anything new. Instead of prioritizing the length of time you train your dog in one sitting, try to prioritize how many days in a row you train them. If you want to cement a command into your dog’s mind it is important to practice many days in a row so they are less likely to forget over time. 

  1. Patience 

Teaching your dog a new command is no easy feat but getting frustrated with them will not encourage them to learn faster. If you find yourself losing patience with your pet use that as an indication that it is time to take a break from training. 

  1. Positive vs. Negative rewards 

Positive reinforcement is a process that strengthens the likelihood of a particular response by adding the desired consequence after the behavior is performed. Like giving your dog a treat for sitting on command. Alternatively, negative reinforcement also strengthens the likelihood of a particular response, but by giving an undesirable consequence. This could be “crating” your dog for 20 minutes because they were playing too rough with another dog or small child. We recommend positive reinforcement and find it to be more effective and kinder to our pets. 

The Commands:

  1. “Bed”

    1. First, you show your dog their bed, then say “bed” and put a treat (or kibble) on their bed, and then allow your dog to get in their bed. If they do not get into their bed make sure to take the treat away they are not confused about what you are asking. 

  2. “Speak”

    1. This command might seem a little useless at first but it makes a great party trick and can be useful to know when you try to teach your dog other commands. To teach your dog to speak you want to watch your dog until they look like they might start barking. One tip is to schedule training time when the mailman comes or during walks when you see other dogs. If you think your dog is about to bark, say “speak” and reward them when they bark. 

  3. “Quiet”

    1. Depending on how much your dog likes to bark, this command might come in handy, especially if you find yourself struggling to do things while they are barking. In order to quickly teach them this command, you will need to first teach them how to “speak,” from #2. Once your dog knows how to “speak” you will ask them to speak, then wait a moment and tell them “quiet.” Finally, you give them a treat/reward after they stop barking. 

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