Sit Baxter, Sit! Good Dog! Top Ten Training Tricks to Turn Your Lil' Devil into an Angel

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Obedient dogs are the best kind, so we have taken the time to pull together the Top Ten Training Tricks!  Say that ten times fast!

Training a dog can be extremely easy or extremely hard.  All breeds are different and of course every dog has his own personality.  But, all of us want a dog that sits when we say Sit.  So how do you accomplish this:

1. Massage Your Puppy

You may think this sounds strange, but it is a great way for your puppy to become associated with human touch.  This is especially crucial for people that plan to have their dog around small children!  Pet your pup on the back, as well as around the face and legs. Many dogs become scared or nervous when someone is touching their legs, so familiarizing them with human touch will help establish trust.

2. Dont Confuse the Pooch

Make sure that the toys you give your dog are appropriate.  Giving your dog an old pair of shoes as a toy and then expecting him not to chew on your new ones can confuse your dog.  Using human food as dog treats or allowing him to eat scraps from the table or floor may cause your dog to want more of what you have, and dig through the trash or get onto the table.

Dogs are creatures of habit and if you teach them the right habits then, more often than not they will stick to it!

3. Think Dog

Take time to think about how your dog perceives the world, and use this knowledge to make training easier.  Consider your lifestyle and household.

Think about who your dog views as the leader of the pack, most dogs will find one leader and be the most obedient to that person.  Many dogs will listen to other commands, but when the leader of the pack walks into the room, no one else matters.

4. Exercise Your Dog

All dogs need exercise and play time!  Exercising with your pet will calm his nerves and allow for your dog to be more focused on the lesson you are attempting to teach.

5. Be a Confident Leader

To feel secure, all dogs need a calm, confident leader. Effective leadership isn't about dominating your dog and making him submissive toward you. Its about being a teacher and building his confidence. You can achieve that by encouraging and rewarding good behavior.

6. Improve Your Dog's Diet

You are what you eat!  The same is true for your dog. Many behavior and medical problems can be attributed to poor diet, so make sure your dog is eating the very best. Refraining from feeding your dog scraps from the table or off the floor will help maintain proper a proper weight.  This prevents your dog from begging, getting the urge to dig into garbage, or jumping up on the table!

7. Be Consistent

You or your dog wont benefit if you allow yourself to let one mistake slide here and there.  Repetition is key with training dogs.  If you dont want your dog on the couch, then dont let it slide just one time because, He just looks so cute!.  Fight the urge to reward bad behavior under any circumstance.

8. Dog Care

First and foremost, get your dog micro-chipped. This is a great way to guarantee if your dog ever runs away, you can find him!  Just like humans, dogs need regular care, so his yearly checkup with the veterinarian is crucial. Not only will this help you to give your dog a long and happy life, but dogs that are healthy are much more obedient!

9. Help Me, Help You!

Playing is a great stress reliever for both dog and humans!  One of the best ways to bond with your dog is to play games that you both enjoy.  Go play frisbee or simply run through the park to scare the birds away!  It doesnt matter what you do, just get out and play!

10. Keep Training

Owners often think that once a dog is trained, there is no need to carry on. But your dog never stops learning, and training should be reinforced throughout your pets life.

Overall, you must ENJOY YOUR DOG!

Come on, admit it.  They need you as much as you need them.  Your dog feeds off of your attitude, personality and emotions.  Don't be afraid to show your emotions. If your pup does something wrong, discipline is key. Show him you're the leader of the pack (in a non-violent form, of course). On the opposite side, show them excitement and love when they've done something right!

Again, never stop training. Dogs need constant reminders of right and wrong or they will push the limits, even in their older age!

For more information on dog training visit: animal.discovery.com

Photo courtesy of: USDAgov

Submitted by Daniel.

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