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Do you have a pet dog and you want them to be as well-behaved as possible? Working with your dog and training them can make a positive difference in how they interact with others while giving your pet the chance to practice good behavior skills.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some suggestions that can help you and your dog get started today.

1. Help Your Dog Learn When To Sit

Sitting is a great skill to teach your dog, and one of the best ones that can be used just about anywhere. You can have your dog sit outside when others are nearby, and you don’t want your pet to get excited or anxious. Reminding your dog to sit shows them who is in charge and it can make it easier for your pet if you have them go into a sit position first before giving them other commands.

When teaching sit, it is helpful to use treats and lots of positive reinforcement. This advice actually applies to any trick, but it is very easy to use with sit. You can hold a small treat above their head and ask your dog to sit, only giving them the treat when they actually do so. You should practice this several times a day to help your dog learn their behavior.

2. Show Your Dog How To Lay Down and Stay

Teaching your dog how to lay down is another good trick to practice after sit. Some trainers teach lay down with the “stay” command being implied. This can be helpful since you aren’t needing to teach your dog several different commands. Encouraging a dog to lay down allows them to stay out of the way when humans are moving past and can ensure that they are firmly in one place.

To teach lay down, you should get your dog to sit first, praise them, and then encourage them to go into the down position, using a treat, and rewarding your dog once they have done so.

3. Give Your Dog a Fun Trick To Do

While working on the above commands can make it easier to be out and about with your dog, you should give them something fun that they would enjoy doing. For example, you can teach them to roll over, fetch, or walk around an extension ladder. Think about what your dog enjoys doing and what would make sense for you to teach.

You can even take teaching tricks a step further and have your dog learn agility training, especially if it is a high-energy breed, such as a collie or another type of working dog that would benefit from these activities.

4. Let Your Dog Know When To Speak

While some people find it annoying when their dog barks, teaching your dog to speak can let your pet know when it is okay. Your dog can “speak” when someone is coming or alert you to another type of situation. In order for this to work, you should use treats and tell your dog to speak, rewarding them once they perform correctly.

There are many different ways that you can train your dog, depending on your pet’s activity level, what you would like them to get out of training, and what you will use the commands for. Sit and lay down are always helpful to have, no matter the size of your dog. Fun tricks or even agility training can give your pet the chance to show off and burn energy. Speak is another popular pet trick for dogs, especially if you want them to alert you to something.

photo credit: Photo by Blue Bird:

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