I decided to start teaching Zora some basic commands but had no idea as to how fast she would learn them. I boiled some liver to use as a reward while teaching her, wow did she love that!!!! "SIT" was the first goal. In the morning I told her to sit, and pushed her bottom down to the sitting position and gave her a little treat. I did this a few times and then we went about our day. Later in the evening we tried again. I showed her 1 time and then asked her to do it herself, and would you believe she did it! I was so proud I couldn't believe my eyes, so I had my 4 yr. old daughter give it a try, she did it again, and again and again! I'm so very proud of my baby. Can anyone who is more experienced at this tell me what I should teach next and how to go about it?
Down-start working on this now... it can be a hard one to teach... we did the lure method... we are STILL working on this... I think for some dogs it's just harder to do that on command
Stay-VERY IMPORTANT... start with just short (10 sec) stays... and make sure you stay right beside your pup. Then work up to a minute... etc.... then start walking away from your pup... maybe about the length of the leash.
Incorporate hand signals... stay is easiest because it's like a "stop right there" kind of signal in front of their face that dogs seem to pick up easily. Hand signals can be whatever you want so have fun.
COME is very important... allways make it a positive thing to come to you EVEN if your pup was just naughty.. it should allways be a positive experience coming to you in any situation.
Oh... and if you haven't allready, start letting your pup drag around the leash around the house to get used to it. If she starts biting it, redirect her to a toy or you can spray bitter apple on it (most pups don't like the taste).
Anyways... have fun... and remember, if you find yourself getting frustrated STOP and either go back to basics or end the training session. It shouldn't be a "chore" for you or the pup.
Good Zora!! Its amazing what little sponges they are, eh?!
We also are learning heal in our obedience class, and I think it is something that we could have started earlier if I had known how... We are doing it in steps.. we are clicker training, but you could easily treat/praise train.
Step 1) Tap the outside of your leg (by your knee) with a treat (tiny, the size of 1/4-1/2 of her eye) in your hand... when she comes to your side give her the treat (keeping it right against your leg) and say YES Zora (or whatever word you choose to reinforce). Continue until she comes to the side of your leg reliably every time you tap and in different environments (outside, inside, with distractions). THEN, remove the treat from your hand... just tap, she comes, say YES Zora then take the treat out of your pocket and give it to her directly at the side of your leg. Continue until she comes reliably and in different environments (outside, inside, with distractions).
Step 2) As you tap your leg take a single step forward. When she follows, say YES Zora and then take the treat from your pocket and give it to her at the side of your leg. Repeat until reliable in different environments. Then try two steps forward, repeat as before... Then 3 steps, repeat as before... etc until you work up to 10 steps in different environments and with distractions.
Step 3) Start tapping intermittently... Tap, tap, no tap, tap tap, no tap. Follow the directions as in step 2 above...
Step 4) Add the word HEEL when you direct her to your leg. Continue as in step 3.
Step 5) Eventually, reduce the amount of tapping and just use the word HEEL... we haven't gotten this far yet though! But its never to early to start the first few steps!