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Training your dog to obey commands is an important part of pet ownership. When your dog is properly trained, it is much easier for you to communicate with him and this enhances your relationship. In addition to making him mind you, it may even help save your pet from harm or danger.
Dogs want your praise, so using positive reinforcement when training your dog or puppy is the best approach. Hitting or yelling rarely works, and besides who wants to hit or yell at their dog anyway?
The "down" or "lay down" command is one of the basic commands and should be one of the first things you teach your dog once he learns to sit on command. It is not hard to train a dog to obey commands and once you have done one command, it gets even easier as the process is basically the same for each. Here's some steps you can use to teach your dog to lay down on command:
1. Get the dog to sit (you should have already trained him in this command)
2. Firmly give the "down" command while gently forcing his legs out in front (this will cause him to lay down).
3. Give your dog praise. Show him you are really happy with your voice and body language.
4. At first the dog will get right back up, but as time goes on you can lengthen the time the dog stays in the down position by waiting to give him praise.
5. Repeat three to five times at each session. Repetition is important but you don't want to do too much at one time. If you really want to drill it in, you can have several sessions spaced out throughout the day.
There's more rewards than meets the eye with training your dog. For one the dog gets used to listening to his name. He also will get used to doing things on your command. All in all, training strengthens your positions - you as leader and helps the dog feel secure. Spend a couple of minutes each day training your dog. This will help cement your friendship.
Lee Dobbins is a pet owner and writer for train the dog.com where you can learn more about training your dog and which breeds are easier to train.
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