This is how we train the dogs to perform a variety of different commands. You can also use these methods at home with your own dog. All you need is some open space, a leash, and some treats. A clicker may also be used to signal that the dog has performed a command correctly. These commands are in the order that we teach the dogs. Having two people train is best. One person holds the leash in their hand with a foot on the leash while the other is performing the training.
Watch Me: 1. Take a dog treat and put it into your closed fist. 2. Put the treat right by the dog’s nose making sure he can smell it. 3. Take the treat away from the dog’s nose and place next to your ear. 4. If the dog looks you straight in the eye (count to 3), reward him with the treat. Make the time for eye contact gradually longer until the dog can look you in the eye for about 15 seconds. Tell him, "Good Watch Me" with much praise. Remember, they want to please you.
This teaches the dog to respect you. It also teaches the dog to pay attention to you and what you are doing instead of getting distracted by things around him. Think of your kids or students. Same logic.
Sit: 1. Put the treat by the dog’s nose and let him get a good sniff. Get the dog to "watch me" first. 2. Bring the treat up and over the dog’s head towards his back. This should force the dog to sit when he looks at the treat.
Sitting helps keep the dog stationary and aids in teaching a variety of other commands such as stay, down, and come.
Stay: 1. Take a dog treat and put it into your closed fist. 2. Make sure the dog’s leash is well secured to a sturdy object or held by another person. 3. Do the "Watch Me" command first and then "Sit." Give him a treat then say “Stay” with your palm facing his face and back slowly away from the dog. 4. Back up a couple feet. If the dog stays, approach him then reward the him with the treat. If he starts to come towards do, perform the command from the beginning again.
Stay is helpful in situations in which you need the dog to stay put, but don’t have restraints. Stay is also helpful in teaching other commands and/or tricks.
Two people work best with this command for sure. After the above three commands are done (don't forget to treat him). One person stands by the dog, holding the leash, while the other person stands at least three feet away from the dog with the treat in their hand. That person calls, “come.” The person holding the leash runs with the dog towards the person with the treat. When the dog “comes” give him the treat immediately. Remember, "Good Come" and praise, praise, praise.
The idea is to get the dog to lie down on his belly so both of his hind legs are toward one side of his body. 1. Get the dog to "sit." Then, take a treat and bring it towards the ground directly in front of him. He will follow the treat and lie down (make sure that his hind legs are towards one side). 2. Give the precious pooch the treat and lots of praise. This is the most difficult to train. Takes lots of practice and patience. If you are having trouble, sit on the ground with you knews bent towards the sky. If the dog is on your right side, take the treat in your left hand and hold in under your knees for him to crawl through. He will be forced to lay on his belly. Give the treat and praise with lots of silliness!