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Most training manuals go into wayyyyy too many commands, and too much depth, especially if you are new to dog-training. Many of the manuals I have been exposed to are confusing to beginners. IMHO, here are 5 or 6 basic commands you should teach your dog if you want a loving, happy, obedient dog as quickly as possible. You can get fancy later.
Try to find a manual for beginners, and make sure it includes using hand signals with the verbal commands. These will come in handy in many ways in the future.
Probably the best command to start with: this can keep your dog from running off, or out the door, or jumping up, chasing other animals, etc. Making him/her sit before giving any rewards will re-inforce you as the head of the pack.
Remember, rewards are NOT just food! Going out, potty breaks, playing with you, etc can all be rewards. Mix them up.
2. Leave It
This is extremely important when outside, and the dog comes up on something like a dead bird that could kill if it’s eaten. This is also good for teaching Miss Molly to leave your clothes, shoes, or food from strangers alone!
Unlike many, I combine both the “down” and “stay” commands into just “Down”. This puts Molly down on her stomach and she stays there until I give the release command. This is for the dog’s maximum safety. Think of the many situations the dog could get into if it doesn’t get down immediately – like running into traffic!
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