Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the dog training behaviors you want to teach your new dog? There are so many, how do you choose? Here are three of our favorite dog training behaviors that are great to start with to teach a dog manners.
Watch Me or Look: Your dog looks happily at your eyes.
Eye contact should be a friendly behavior. You are teaching your dog that looking at you is a safe place to ‘mentally’ be. It’s great to use to get your dog’s attention.
Start off in a quiet space without distractions and get some treats. Take a treat and move it to your dog’s nose and slowly move that treat from their nose to between your eyes – this is called luring. The moment they make eye contact, mark that behavior with a ‘YES!’ or your clicker then give them the treat. When you first start, reward the instant they make eye contact.
As they start to get it, you can add more time before you mark. One second, two seconds, etc. Once your dog can watch you for one second, it’s time to add your verbal cue. Say, “watch” or “look”, whichever word you prefer, then move the treat to your eyes, count to five, mark, and treat. Over the course of your training, you will be increasing time, distractions, and dropping your hand lure.
Sit: Your dog puts his butt on the ground.
As with all new behaviors you teach your dog, start off in a quiet place.
Place a treat at your dog’s nose and slowly move the treat up and slightly over their head so they look up at the ceiling. Keep the treat very close to their nose so they don’t jump up; if they get distracted just put the treat back to their nose and start again. The goal is to get their head up so that they naturally put their butt on the ground. As soon as their butt hits the ground, mark that behavior with a ‘YES!’ or your clicker then give them the treat.
Repeat this training process a couple of times and at various times of the day. Over time, you will decrease the lure, add in your verbal cue and add distractions. You will want to practice this behavior in different locations of your home and in different positions – either sitting with your dog or standing.
Down: Your dog lies down.
With your dog in a sitting position, they can be on a platform like Duke here or on the floor, take a treat from your dog’s nose and slowly start to lower the treat down to the ground. Your dog should be following the treat with his nose, which will start to duck his head down.
Stay close to your dog’s chest to prevent him from popping out his butt. When the treat is on the ground by his toes, just hold it there to see if your dog continues his projection to the ground. When he does the down, mark the behavior with a YES! or your clicker, and then give him the treat.
If your dog pops up or away from the treat then put it back by their nose and try again going down while keeping them interested in the treat.
If your dog struggles, shape the behavior. In other words, mark and reward the head duck. Do a few sessions and end. The next day, do it again. Over time, he will get closer and closer to the ground. Like with the watch-me cue, over time you will be lessening your lure, adding your verbal cue, and adding in distractions.
If you’re having a hard time with any of these behaviors, you can reach out to our trainer team and we will be more than happy to help you train your dog on these behaviors and more!
Whether you have a brand-new puppy or an older dog, we can help you with your dog!
Text our trainers today at either of our locations:
4423 sw 74th ave
Miami, Fl 33155
Call – 954.514.7059
5149 NE 12th ave
Oakland Park, Fl 33334
We have a variety of services that can help you achieve your goals. From in-home private lessons to our results driven board and train! We’ll help you pick the right training program to fit your specific needs.