It’s important when you get a new puppy to start your dog obedience training as soon as she is old enough to interact with other people and the family; usually this means about eight weeks of age. While some dog owners have a tendency to get a bit overwhelmed with this entire process, you don’t need to if you start with the basics and remember to keep you dog obedience training simple and easy for the dog to learn.
Most trainers and professionals will tell you that dog obedience training should start with a very easy command, usually “sit.” The reason this is a simple command is because you need to demonstrate to your dog every command you give it; remember that dogs don’t speak English and don’t know what the word “sit” actually means. But you can easily push the dog’s behind down as you say the word again and again, and then give her a small treat or reward. If you do this a few times you can then say the word on its own and the dog should perform the action. However, break up your dog obedience training in manageable steps by not introducing a myriad of commands all at once.
Practice the “sit” command with her for at least two weeks before you move on to another command, perhaps “come.” If your dog is in the other room and you use the “come” command, give her some petting and attention when she comes to you. Do this a few times as well while still practicing the “sit” command; if you do this your dog obedience training is off to a good start.
A mistake that many new dog owners make when it comes to dog obedience training is to rush into all the commands you want her to learn all at once. An experienced owner can tell you that you need to take it slow and let her learn at a moderate pace. It’s very confusing for a dog to hear many different commands all spoken with a sense of expectation and yet she has no idea what you mean or what you want from her. This is why it’s also important during dog obedience training to demonstrate or otherwise show her what the command means. Say the command over and over while she’s performing the command and then gradually work toward just saying the command and waiting for her response.
And be sure to reward her generously as you go through dog obedience training. This doesn’t necessarily mean a fattening treat that is bad for her health; just some petting and a few minutes with a favorite toy can be reward enough for her to understand that her actions are a good thing.
If your dog obedience training is really a problem for you and the dog, don’t hesitate to talk to a pro or back up a little bit and go back to a basic command or two.