Training Your Dog to Obey

A dog that doesn’t sit till the word “sit” is repeated many times has learned to delay obedience. The dog understands what he’s supposed to do the 1st time the word is spoken, but delays because he is able to. This kind of behavior can be deadly when you are doing something like leash training or training your dog to go off-leash. Imagine a dog not obeying the command “come” till the owner has stated it many times.

Fortunately, there’s a coaching technique that may help to solve that difficulty. If the dog makes no response to a command after the second time, simply stop.

If you have put the dog harness on and headed outside for a stroll, this could mean stopping each time your dog starts to pull and tug at the leash. Stopping for a few minutes each and every time will show your pet that the direct reaction to his pulling is a total stop. Finally, he should start to avoid that behavior because he wants to keep walking.

When teaching a command like “sit,” be certain to treat and praise your dog while learning in order to make sitting an enjoyable thing for him to do. If your dog knows the simple way to sit but doesn’t until you have repeated the command many times, then he’s being headstrong and avoiding something he doesn’t wish to do. Start as if you are teaching him the command for the 1st time, by treating and praising him as soon as he does it. Don’t repeat it more than twice. Often simply looking him in the eye for a second after giving the command will work.

After he sits on command for a treat and praise, remember that it is important to always appear upbeat when giving the command to associate it with something agreeable. This may help avoid a delay between your command and his obedience.

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