When to begin formal obedience training,
however, depends upon the dog’s temperament, personality and behaviour.
Upbringing, such as being tied outside all day with no supervision or
control, plays a major role in the dog’s interaction with people. If
the dog is six or eight months old and jumpy, and he's pulling on the
leash like crazy, don’t wait until he’s a year old. Get him straightened
The duration of training depends on
three main factors: the trainer’s skill and persistence, the dog’s
nature, and the attitude and actions of family members.
Trainers attach a fifteen-foot longe
to the dog’s choke collar, preferably constructed of large, rectangular
rings. Gripping the longe and ignoring the dog’s howling, pulling or
lunging, the trainer walks non-stop to all boundaries of the training
area, pausing at each.
The dog, for its own comfortt, learns
attentiveness to the trainer’s actions. After three days, temptations
such as other dogs and open gates are introduced into the area.
When the dog bolts, the trainer turns sharply and runs in the opposite
direction, dragging the dog away from the “traps”. The exercises
are discontinued only when the dog views each temptation as a cue to
watch the trainer’s actions. This lays the foundation for dependability
and control during distractions and prepares the dog for lesson one,
proper “heel” position places the dog on the trainer’s left side with
its head parallel to the trainer’s body. The leash is held loosely
in the right hand. With a single command, “heel”, the trainer walks,
correcting the dog for pulling, lagging and other infractions.
He never repeats the command. Multiple commands condition the dog to
ignore the first few and not to take them seriously. Sharp, downward
tugs with both hands on leash force the dog back to proper position.
Quick left turns, pitching the trainer into the uncooperative dog, do
wonders to catch its attention. Soon the animal learns it is advantageous
to watch its trainer’s every move, especially during temptations when
corrections are particularly forceful.
the dog heels perfectly, he is ready to “sit”. The trainer brings the
dog to heel, stops and commands “sit” only once. He pulls up on
the leash with his right hand and exerts downward pressure on the dog’s
loin with his left, forcing it into position. When on the fifth or sixth
day the dog sits without being placed, it is ready for the “automatic-sit”
lesson. This follows logically because, by now, the dog should
automatically sit, without the command, after stopping at heel.
Corrections for failure to sit without being told are justified.
to “Training Tips”