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Whether you’ve just acquired a puppy or have taken over ownership of an older  dog, you’ll want to begin training him right away. If you’ve never owned a dog  before you’ll find that it can work. It can also be a source of joy and deep  friendship. 

You may not know what to do to train your dog. You have the option of hiring a  trainer but you may prefer to train him yourself. Here is a step-by-step guide to  dog training at home. 

First and foremost you want to make sure your dog understands that you are the  master. This also includes other members of the family. Children especially should  be respected by the dog. 

Housebreaking is next on the list. No one wants ruined carpets or a smelly home.  Your dog should be shown right away where it is acceptable for him to go. 

Your dog also needs to understand that he has territorial limits. Put up some  markers or spray the perimeter of your yard with a very dilute mixture of water and  ammonia. Put a leash on him and walk him around the perimeter of your property. If  he begins to cross the line you’ve marked out for him, say no in a stern voice and  give him a mild jerk with the leash. Continue this until he no longer tries to venture  off. 

Mealtime is a great opportunity for training your dog at home. You probably won’t  want him begging at the table. After the family has eaten, set his food in front of  him in another room. Teach him to sit and wait for the food to be presented to him.  If he comes to the table he needs to be taken back to another room to wait for his  turn to eat.  

Once you’ve established your authority with your dog you can begin teaching to  sit, stay, fetch, and so forth. When you give a verbal command it’s also a good  idea to use hand signals. A deliberate voice rather than one rising in pitch will lead  to better results. Always lavish your dog with praise when he does what you  command. 

If you find that you’re having difficulty with training your dog at home you may  want to seek the help of a professional trainer. There are also some great sources  of information within dog training books and on the internet. Here are two  especially good sources:

The Dog Whisperer is a nationally syndicated show about dog training. The  website for this show is called “Cesar’s Way”. The web address is http:// www.cesarsway.com. 

IAMS has some helpful pointers for problem behaviors at http://www.iams.com/ iams/pet-health/dog-obedience.jsp 

Once you’ve accomplished what you want with your dogs basic training you can  begin to have some real fun. By this time he’ll be ever so eager to please you and  you can teach him some new tricks. Observe your dogs natural quirky behaviors  too. If they’re cute or funny you may want to pick up on these and come up with  some very unique tricks.  

Good luck and have fun with training your dog at home!

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If you’ve recently acquired a dog or puppy you may be concerned about how to  train him. An obedient dog is truly a joy to have around. A dog that obeys his  masters commands is easier to be friends with. Your time together will be playful  and fun. On the other hand, a dog that is allowed to misbehave will leave you  frustrated and exhausted. 

A dog that has not received obedience training will become a problem dog. Your  household will be in chaos as he rules the roost. He may tear up your furniture,  make messes on the floor, or snap food out of your hand instead of taking it gently.  You might begin to receive complaints from neighbors about your dogs  misadventures. At the worst he may become aggressive and bite the hand that  feeds him. 

Whether you own a dog to have as a pet or as protection it’s imperative that he  receive obedience training from the beginning. There are classes and books  available to help you learn to train your dog. Obedience training classes are often  held at the larger pet stores. You can also ask your veterinarian to make some  recommendations about classes or coaches in your area. 

Obedience training need not be difficult. Some important points to remember are: You want your dog to always be obedient to every member of the family.  Consistency is the key to getting your pet to obey at all times. 

Rewards are an excellent way to reinforce good behavior. 

A dog that is struck for disobedience may become aggressive toward you.  Conversely he may become frightened of you. 

A strong bond of trust and love is what you want to have as your goal. 

Obedience training need not be formal either. Even play time can be an opportunity  for training. 

Consistency along with praise for good behavior is important in training your dog. 

Especially if you have small children you want to ensure that they are safe in the  dogs company. Swift and proper obedience training will help to ease your mind  about their safety. A baby will likely pull on your pets ears or tail and you certainly  want to make sure that the dog won’t growl at, or bite the baby for doing so. A 

well-trained dog will either see this as an opportunity to play, or just get up and  move. A good dog will submit to even a small child. 

Try to approach each session of obedience training with an attitude of joy and  excitement. Your dog will pick up on your emotions and be more receptive to your  commands. Make it fun for both you and him. Keep plenty of treats in your pocket  to use as rewards. It’s ok to be stern when necessary, but don’t forget to lavish  him with praise when he does well.  

The golden rule applies with dogs much as it does with people. By treating him  with love and respect he’ll return it in kind. It won’t be long before your dog is  eager to do whatever you ask in order to please you.

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