I AM NOT A LICENSED DOG TRAINER. ALL KNOWLEDGE IS FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
Whether you want to teach your dog basic commands like sit, down, stay, or walking on a leash or more complex tricks like shake, hi-five, or play dead (we’re still working on this one), these are my steps to training your dog.
Step 1: Give It Time
You will not teach your dog anything is a week or two weeks or three. You have to make a commitment to teaching your dog. House training is the hardest part of training a pup. It took months and lots of early mornings. It took not giving up when times were trying. If it helps, set aside time each day to work on their training, and as they learn, you’ll see you need less time.
Step 2: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Some commands will take less repetition than others. But other times, it will seem as much as you repeat a command and work with your dog, they will never understand. It gets boring and monotonous, but if you stop, they truly will never understand. Stick with it. Keep going.
Step 3: Grant Positive Reinforcement
We used a clicker with Stella, which they learn to associate the sound with positive reinforcement. You are not to use a clicker to gain your pup’s attention or as the positive reinforcement itself. Use in conjunction with treats and praise. Stella preferred Blue Buffalo’s Blue Bits training treats.Treat and praise them heavily when they do something correctly. Slowly ween them of treats when they are consistently doing what you want them to. Always praise.
Step 4: Stay Consistent
You can not teach your pup to sit and then think that he or she will retain it forever if you stop asking them to sit. Keep working with them after they have already been taught.
Stella is a very good dog. But she has her moments. She likes to play around and not listen, she still likes to jump up on people in public when she gets excited. Boxer’s are known to be stubborn. But she has learned to sit, stay, to leave it, and drop it, among her many other “tricks”. She’s house trained. We did take her to puppy training classes where they gave us tools to work with her. But it’s our hard work and dedication to her training that’s gotten her to where she is today. Don’t give up on your dog or think he/she is untrainable. They’re worth it.