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     Learn the Critical Dog Training Commands  

By: Charlie Cory

Whatever the reason you have for having a dog, be it as a pet, or maybe as a guard dog, or a working dog for example, the dog will need to be trained. In the first instance it will need to behave as you want it to in any given situation. In most cases with dogs as pets this means getting the dog to behave around people and around other animals. This in itself can prove to be problematic, especially if the breed of dog in question means that the animal has tendencies that pre dispose it to behaviour that is different than what you expect. Point one therefore is that you must choose a dog that will be suited to whatever task you want for it.

Proper training is especially important in the case of a family dog, doubly so where children are going to be present. Studies have shown that proper training for your dog can make a massive reduction in the likelihood that your dog will attempt to bite or be prone to other undesirable traits or behaviour.

Unless you have been trained in dog training, it is likely that you will need some help when it comes to training your dog. This could be either by way of formal lessons, or with the help of a training manual. Formal lessons are great if you can afford them, or if you can find a suitable course near you. Many people find that having a book to help them is enough, and probably a lot more fun and fulfilling for you; knowing that you have been able to train your own dog.

By way of a taster, I have outlined some of the basic commands that you will need to teach your dog, should you decide to want to train it yourself. This list is just an example and is by no means exhaustive.

* Heel - it is very important that a dog learns to walk with you on a loose lead, in a good position.

* Respond to the word 'No' - This is absolutely critical to dog training. A dog must know when it has been told 'No', to stop whatever it was that they were doing, and hopefully, not to do it again.

* Sit - Your dog must learn to respond to the sit command.

* Stay - Your dog must learn not to follow you everywhere. This command is not just to prove that your dog is able to adopt the sitting position, but that it has enough respect for you to stay in that position when you move away and tell it to stay.

Training a dog is something that will help you to control an animal of course. Control over your pet is only part of the benefit to you though. Training helps you to form a bond with your dog, which is another great reason for doing the training yourself.

The concept of an alpha dog is very important to all dogs. They are pack animals, and as such, instinctively try and place themselves within a hierarchy of a group. What we need is for your dog to recognise you as the alpha dog and submit to your commands. If you fail to do this, you could find yourself with all sorts of problems with your dog.

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