Reasons Why Having A Trained Dog Is Awesome

 

Training your dog may seem like plain common sense to some dog owners but there are far more untrained dogs than there are trained dogs. Whatever the case may be, whether it is a time commitment issue or just not knowing where to start, there is always a compromise that can be made in your schedule where you can start the training process. Being a responsible owner means teaching your dog at least the basic obedience commands. It is necessary to have a well behaved dog when going out into public areas for many reasons. A trained dog will not chase after cats or run into the street, he will not bark at strange dogs or human, he will be calm and not pull on his leash. Imagine being out in public with a wild child that doesn't listen and causes commotion. The same way you would raise your children to mind their manners, should you raise your dog to mind his.

 

Puppyhood is of course the best time to start training but if you have an older dog don't think that all hope is lost. The saying “You can't teach an old dog new tricks” is not true. I believe that saying stemmed from a person who lacked patience and commitment. If you understand how to train a dog and use the skills you have gained correctly, you should have no problem implemented a plan and seeing results. Even if your dog learns more slowly than you would wish, he is still learning.

why having a trained dog is awesome

Now Do you really need any more reasons? Start training that dog ASAP and trust me, you will never regret it!

 

 

If you need help with the basics check out these articles for some tips:

My Basic Training Techniques

7 Tips for Training Your Pit Bull Puppy

 

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7 Tips For Training Your New Pit Bull Puppy

My brother just rescued two of the cutest little Pit mix puppy siblings, more specifically Pitweiler puppies (half Pit Bull half Rottweiler). They've been spending a lot of time with Bentley and I had forgotten how much really goes in to training a puppy since Bentley is now 2 ½ years old. The constant peeing and pooping all over the place, whining and barking, ankle biting, teething... the list goes on. This brought back some memories of when Bentley was a puppy. Let me tell you though, she is a very well behaved dog now and knows a lot of tricks and commands but she was a rambunctious little thing as a puppy. I remember her chewing up everything she could get her tiny teeth on. One day I came home to a half eaten mattress and I mean this thing was literally half way chewed up. My jaw dropped and stayed like that until I spotted Bentley coming from around the back of the bed wagging her tail with a piece of mattress in her mouth. I started laughing because I couldn't believe that this small 9 week old puppy had done this. Those days of disaster are gone now though, thank heavens.

                                                       Here are the 2 little Pitweilers -Sophie and Romeo 

                                                       Here are the 2 little Pitweilers -Sophie and Romeo 

 

I thought that I would go ahead and compile a list of the tips that got me through puppy-hood with Bentley that may help you with your new addition to the family.

 

  1. Do not lose your cool.

    This is the most important tip. I can understand that it may be frustrating to come home to a house full of pee and poo or things chewed up and to get angry but do not scream and hit your puppy. He doesn't know any better, he's just doing what comes naturally. Don't worry, with time things will improve.

  2. Start training from day one.

    Teach your puppy that you are the leader. A good way is with feeding time. Before you feed your puppy hold his filled food bowl in your hand and tell him to “sit” (Puppies usually go crazy during feeding time). Once he calms down and sits, put the bowl down and say “good”. This will teach him that you are in control and the more you do this the sooner he will learn the word “sit” and a plus will be that he will be calm during feeding time in the future.

  3. Introduce your puppy to everyone and everything.

    Seriously! Take your puppy with you everywhere possibly you can. Introduce him to people, children dogs, cats, squirrels, whatever, just get him to be social. The more you do this, the better your dog will be in different situations. A well socialized dog is a better behaved dog in many circumstances. They do not get overly excited, nervous, anxious, or aggressive like dogs that are not socialized.

  4. Take your puppy on walks.

    A dog doesn't automatically know how to walk on a leash. Many older dogs still don't know. By taking your puppy on walks from day one not only are you exercising him and getting out some of that energy that might instead be spent tearing something apart, you are also teaching him how to follow your lead and get comfortable on a leash. If your puppy doesn't like the leash at first then just walk him with a collar and hold the leash in your hand. He will follow you on your walk. Keep practicing until he is comfortable going on walks with a leash on. Teach your puppy not to pull by stopping every time he does and only starting up again when he follows your lead. You may use the word “heal” when you do this.

  5. Play with your puppy.

    Just like walking your dog gets rid of build up energy, so does playing fetch for 10 minutes. Your puppy is full of energy and curiosity. You will be doing wonders playing with him and he will look forward t o play time and see it as a reward and once again you will tire him out and help stop bad behavior that stems from boredom and lack of stimulation, like destroying the couch cushions.

  6. Get some toys.

    Chew toys, ropes, squeaky stuffed animals, balls...These will hopefully keep the little one entertained for long enough so that he doesn't chew up the legs of your table while you're away at the grocery store.

  7. Enjoy the small things.

    Literally, enjoy your puppy being small because one day in the coming months he will be huge and you might not be able to carry him anymore and he might think he's a lap dog and jump on you while you're watching tv and it might hurt... a lot.

 

Good luck with your new puppy and please don't get mad about those shoes, they are replaceable. If you feel that a puppy might be too much work, there are many wonderful dogs that are waiting be rescued that are already trained. Don't be fooled thinking a puppy is the only way to go. Do your research and share your knowledge!

 

 

Cheers,

 

 

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My Basic Training Techniques


I get asked all the time for advice and training tips when people see how well behaved Bentley is and how many tricks she knows. The truth is that Pit Bulls are great dogs to train due to their strong desire to please humans. This is why everyone that owns a Pit, or any breed for that matter, should train them and if you do not know how hopefully these simple basic training tips I've put together will help. These are the methods I use in early training.


I got Bentley when she was a puppy so of course I started training her right away but let me tell you she went through the whole puppy chewing phase, that is inevitable, and yes, I left things unattended and returned to find them destroyed. The quicker you learn that a puppy is just like a child and wants to get into everything it's not supposed to, the better off you will be. With that being said, rule number one, of course, don't leave anything valuable lying around and rule number two invest in a number of chew toys so when your pup is bored with one, there will be another one to get his attention instead of your brand new pair of shoes that cost an arm and a leg.


As soon as you bring your dog home, no matter how old he is, you must start the training process. The first things you should teach your dog are his name and “no”. These are the easiest things to teach any dog, even kids can teach their dogs these two things. Treats work best when training your dog so I advise that you use a treat when starting off. When your dog starts getting into things he's not supposed to, say “no” sternly but don't yell. You want to get his attention and respect but not to have him scared of you. Soon enough your dog will know the meaning of “no”.


Teaching your dog to sit is simple and should be the first trick your dog learns. To teach your dog, simply call him to you and tell him to “sit”, your dog won't understand but will eventually get tired of standing and will sit. As soon as this happens, praise your dog and give him the treat. Practice this until your dog can sit on command.


“Lie down” is the next easiest command and is basically taught the same way as the sit command. If your dog is not wanting to lie down you can always use treats as motivation. Try placing the treat close to the ground and your dog's head should follow. Repeat the “lie down” command as you push the treat closer to his chest. This will cause him to lie down to get into a more comfortable position to eat the treat. After he is laying down, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat this until you no longer have to coax him down. You may use a hand signal when you are teaching your dog so he will reference the word and hand signal with the action you want him to make. I point my finger to the ground and snap but you may use whatever signal you are more comfortable with.


The next command I recommend that you teach your dog is “stay”. This one takes more patience but is a very valuable command for your dog to know, especially in public. You can teach your dog stay when he is in a sit or lie position as it will be easier. Slowly start walking away and saying the word “stay”, using a hand gesture if you want. The signal I use for stay is my arm out in front of me with my hand pointed straight up, just like a traffic signal officer would do. If your dog follows you say no and have him either sit or lie down again. Once you are able to walk a short distance with your dog in the stay command, stop and praise him. Keep repeating this with your dog until you are able to go further and further away. With Bentley, I am able to go into different rooms and even outside while she stays. I do this with treats right in front of her too and she won't touch them until I give her the release command. When I have made her stay as long as I want I give her a release command of “okay”. You may use any release command you please. The release command will come in handy for future tricks.


After these three easy commands have been taught you can start basing new tricks and commands off of them such as rolling over, shaking hands, going in a circle, sitting pretty, jumping through hoops and much more. Once you have the basic three you can expand and there's no limit to what you can teach your dog with lots of patience and understanding.


I suggest that you buy a clicker when you want to move on to more advanced training techniques. I have trained both with and without the clicker and have gotten positive results both ways but I feel that the clicker works very well. As soon as your dog hears the click, he knows he has done the trick correctly. When you start clicker training, you can start with old tricks and click when the command has been acted out and then give him a treat. This way he will associate the click with a treat and will know when the trick has been properly completed. Always click and give a treat. When your dog knows the commands well you won't need the clicker anymore.


As with anything, practice makes perfect. Don't give up or get frustrated because your dog may not be learning at the speed you would like. Instead have patience and keep at it. Remember, even as humans, we have been trained and conditioned from birth with patience from our parents so have some empathy for your learning pooch.


Cheers,

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6 Leash Pulling Tips

Leash pulling is a common problem and can make a walk with your dog very unpleasant. Have you ever decided you would rather not walk your dog just because he pulls too much and you don't feel like being dragged? Don't give up just yet. Walks are an excellent way to exercise your dog and yourself. If you work on these following tips, you will be able to enjoy your dog walks.


1. Most dog gets very excited when they hear the word “walk” or see their leash. When this happens some dogs might even start shaking. Let your dog calm down a bit before even putting on his leash.

2. Once you notice your dog has calmed down and is in a sitting position, put the leash on. If your dog cannot sit still then you need to go back to basic training commands and teach him to sit and stay.

3. If you are having a really hard time calming your dog down you can try wearing him out a little before the walk. Throw a ball around to tire him out a bit.

4. Once out the door, if your dog starts pulling just stop walking. When your dog stops pulling and sits, you may start walking again. Every time your dog pulls, just stop and wait, then resume after he has stopped. This step is time consuming and requires patience but it will condition your dog. Even if your walk consists of you stopping every ten seconds, keep doing it. Your dog will learn that he doesn't command the walks, you do, and you will only go when you want to.

5. If you have problems getting your dog to stop you can use treats to get his attention. His focus must be on you, you are in charge.

6. Last but not least, praise your dog to reassure good behavior.

Now get out there and enjoy some fresh air with your pooch.

Happy walking!

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