Teach Your Dog “STAY” And “WAIT”

28 02 2009
This girl is working on a STAY

This good girl is working on a STAY

Before we begin, I would like to note something about the STAY and WAIT commands.  Remember, these are two DIFFERENT commands.  How do you know which one to use?  It depends on the distance.  For example, if Mom says, “Spike, SITSTAY,” I learned that Mom will keep pretty close to me (usually within six feet) when she releases me.  However, if Mom says, “Spike, SITWAIT,” she may not even be in the same room when she releases me.  Simple, right?  Not really.  It is very important that you not teach these commands at the same time, and I suggest that you teach the STAY command first. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Teach Your Dog To Come When Called

13 01 2009

come-hand-signalMom was right.  I should have discussed this right after potty training.  This is one of the most important things to teach your dog, as it can save their life should they be in impending danger.  It is also something that can greatly reduce your stress as a parent.  This article has been spurred by a request from a reader whose German Shepherd will not come when called in the backyard, while his siblings seem to understand it well.

It was stated that the dog will come inside with a leash on, but that does not necessarily mean that he has a true understanding of the COME command.  Read the rest of this entry »

How Do I Teach My Dog To Sit?

6 01 2009


dog-sittingMom says that the “SIT” command is the #1 control command.  If a dog is acting out, all you have to say is SIT and the dog is back under control.  Mom said that she has noticed that the SIT command is also used in grocery stores for children.  Parents say SIT and the children SIT down in the cart!

In this post, we will only be covering teaching your dog how to SIT.  You are on your own with the kids. Read the rest of this entry »

Does Your Dog Understand What You Are Saying?

18 10 2008

Simply, yes.  But it is not the language you might think.  As far as the spoken word, dogs understand it all, from English to Spanish, Chinese to Pig Latin, it really does not matter what language you speak to them.  To them, body language is the most important language there is.

Dogs never learn a word of any spoken language, instead they learn the repetition of specific sounds.  When  that sound is heard, they know there is a certain action expected from them.  This is especially true when you train your dog with hand signals as well as the verbal cue.

If you use a hand signal for your dog to “SIT”, when you say the word in English while giving the hand signal, then he or she knows to put his butt on the ground.  Now, if you say “¡siéntate!” (the same command in Spanish) while giving the same hand signal, your dog knows to sit.  Wow! That dog speaks TWO languages!

With dogs, the key to success lies in repetition.  In addition, the tone that you use is also very important.  If you are giving a command to SIT, then it needs to sound like a command.  If your tone is one that is more of a questioning nature, then you may or may not get a SIT.  It is important to note here that yelling at or to a dog is not a good practice.  The act and tone of yelling indicates a possible threat to your four-legged friend.

With a threat possible, your dog must resort to interpreting the language he thinks he understands, body language. People function on a very high level when it comes to interpreting non-verbal cues, and they do not always get it right.  Your dog is looking for other signs of possible aggression from the person that has started yelling. In the dog’s mind, he thinks, “I need to watch this person to see if his arms raise, perhaps he might strike me.  Maybe his heart rate has increased or his breathing pattern has changed.”  All of these are body language signals watched closely by dogs as they are committed by humans.

What if you are just yelling to your dog about how much you love him?  For your dog to interpret you correctly, you better make sure that the rest of your body language says the same thing.