Teaching a dog to come is perhaps one of the easiest things! As a pup he comes naturally to the master out of his sheer pack instinct. The day he realizes his prowess to bolt he begins to take off, especially when the master asks him to come. And the training of coming when called saves the master from bouts of panting, chasing his dog.
Go away is one of the difficult commands to teach, compared to come. Reason is simple. The dog always tries to go close to the leader/master instinctively. Thus teaching him to go away is like swimming against the tide. The command as you will notice is placed at the end of the basic training schedule. Because it is expected that as you start training your dog systematically the commands in the order of come, sit, down, stand and stay, a kind of rapport develops between you and your dog. This rapport is vital for both of you.
Once a dog has learned all the commands, except go away he tends to please the master by remaining more attentive. Well this is a positive trait and it should be encouraged. Some dogs, however, develop a negative trait as well. They tend to hover around the master and some times become irritating, especially if a guest is around. Not only the master, they start bothering even guests as well. Most dog owners at such a stage either keep shouting Go Away or feel frustrated when their dog ignores. They just catch hold of the dog and lock him up in a room. The confinement shatters the confidance of the poor dog, because he does not understand why he has been punished? Ultimately a good, partially trained dog is ruined, just because the owner could not understand his dog’s psyche.
Teaching a dog to go away comes most handy in such situations. In addition, dogs patrolling an area or tracking a criminal are often required to go in a particular direction ahead of the handler. For those dogs this training is a must. Once the dog learns this command he can be made to go from one point to another, while the master remains stationary. Hand signal in this command is very important. There will be times when the dog would be far away and he would follow only your hand signals. It takes slightly more time for the dog to understand this command. He is used to coming to you only. The very thought of going away frightens the dog. But once he learns it becomes a fun to send him places.
Word of Command: GO
· Carry a piece of chalk as you take the dog to the room.
· Draw two circles at a distance of about ten feet on the floor.
· Place a small piece of treat of his choice in each circle.
· Stand at about eight feet from the circles with dog on leash and choke collar sitting on your left side.
· Keep the end of the leash under your feet.
· Raise your right hand straight and parallel to the ground in the direction of one circle, with a finger pointing towards it.
· Simultaneously give the command GO. Please always remember that each command must be preceded by the name of the dog.
· The dog will rush towards the circle to get the biscuit.
· As soon as he reaches and takes the biscuit, call him back with sharp COME.
· Since he has been practicing the command to COME he is bound to come rushing to you.
· Again make him sit on your left side and repeat the command on the other circle.
· Next time keep biscuit only in one circle. While doing so make the dog SIT-STAY at the spot where you were standing.
· Go back to him and keep the end of leash under your feet and repeat the command GO.
· Once he performs well, do praise him.
· In the next repetition let him GO to the circle without biscuit.
· As soon as he reaches there call him back and reward him.
· Change the venue to your lawn or courtyard after couple of days.
· Draw circles or mark areas for the dog to go at greater distances. Let the leash remain attached and other end loose.
· Place pieces of biscuits in the circles/spots. Send him with a GO to one circle/spot. Once he reaches there, stop him there with STAY. Make him STAND at the spot.
· Using hand signal and verbal command both, make him GO to other circle.
· Once he reaches and has his reward, make him STAY there.
· Go over to him and praise him a lot.
· Repeat the process.
Now you have a dog that has learnt to COME, SIT, DOWN, STAY (With you in sight and out of sight as well), STAND and GO. In other words a communication system has been initiated. As said earlier, always use a gentle tone for issuing commands. You can even whisper commands to him. Also use hand signals. You can even use facial expressions with commands. Like making him sit with a wink. All the commands must be repeated at least once a day. If the lessons are repeated regularly for a year, dogs seem to remember them all through their life. One has just to refresh their memories.
Once the dog completes the basic training successfully you must give him the Advance Training too. The commands of Heel, Speak, Fetch and Scent work are useful to the dog throughout his life. If a dog is trained to Heel, he walks smartly besides you during morning outings, rather dragging you all the way. Similarly when you do not feel like running with him, you can make him run and fetch a ball or a dumb bell. It keeps the dog well exercised. Fetching a ball or a dumb bell makes a dog possessive about the object. This trait helps to train him to guard and also to locate objects/person with the help of their scents.
Training sessions should be a pleasant experience to you and the dog both. Therefore feel happy and keep teaching your dog various commands and develop a better communication.
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