How to Teach Your Dog The Five Techniques of Training Your MostLoved Pet

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How to Teach Your Dog The Five Techniques of Training Your MostLoved Pet

by Mara Bateman

Who would go against the saying that, "A dog is man's best friend?" The image of a young boy throwing a stick in the beach with his dog joyously running to fetch it is both vivid and heartwarming. However, there's no psychologist on earth who would understand if a human being would do the same thing.

Unlike cats - who are ungrateful primadonnas - dogs want to please their masters and follow their every wish. In fact, this quality distinguishes them from all the other creatures in the animal world. And it's as simple as this: dogs are happy when their masters are happy. This is one of the laws of the universe. One of the things that make a dog owner happy is the absolute obedience of their pets. While there have been a lot of scientific findings that established that the mere presence of a dog gives a calming effect, nothing really tops a dog with enough intelligence to understand - and follow - his master's summons.

How do you teach dogs? First, you have to shatter all the myths about dog-training in particular, and dog-ownership in general. It's important to know that not all dogs are created equal. Some dogs are smarter than their owners.

The objective of a dog trainer is to condition the dog to react to voice commands or hand signals. To teach a dog, you need a leash and he needs a collar. Don't bribe a dog; it's enough that you let him know that you are pleased.

Here are the five techniques developed by Edward Fouser, founder of Specialized Dog Inc., based in Ossining, New York. A dog should show signs of improvement in days, and dolphin-like intelligence in weeks.

- Heel. When you say, "Heel," your dog should walk on your left side. He should walk in rhythm with you - neither pulling at his leash nor lagging behind. If he speeds up or slows down, just yank the leash while saying, "Heel!" then relax your grip. Doing this everyday will condition him, and will become part of his nature.

- Sit. When you say, "Sit," your dog should down immediately. To inculcate this, gently pull his leash upward while your other hand is pressing his hindquarters downward. Say "Sit!" every time you do this. Eventually, he will be overjoyed to sit every time you say so. You have to keep in mind that the uppermost agenda in a dog's mind is to please his master.

- Down. When you say, "Down," he should lie down on the ground. To make him do this, gently pull his leash downward while saying "Down" in low tones. If your dog is too frisky or stubborn, use your other hand to pull his two front legs forward so he will get the message.

- Stay. When you say, "Stay," your dog should remain in his position. He should not move even if you go. To teach him to stay, put him in the "Sit" position. Get in front of him, and if he goes forward, push him back while saying, "Stay." You should draw out the word: "St-a-a-a-y." Increase your distance while repeating the procedure. Eventually, he will learn to stop when you say so, regardless of his position.

- Come. This is a bit academic. When you say, "Come," your dog should come to you. Put him first in the "Stay" position, then walk away and call out, "Come!" while pulling the leash. Eventually, you won't need the leash. If you say it, he will come.

Before starting to train your dog, remember the cardinal rule: Never hurt your dog. To do so would bring bad karma for seven years. After all, unlike their master, all dogs go to heaven.

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