dog training, dog behavior, dog health

Use Advanced Dog Training for Your Own Dog

When we think of advanced dog training, we are apt to consider guard dogs or therapy dogs or any other canine specialty training.  Any time you teach your own family dog more than the basic sit, stay, come, heel – you are using advanced methods.

Your dog doesn't have to do everything perfectly, but the time you spend with in teaching him tricks and special behaviors is something he will continue to enjoy and that will just add to the close bond between you.  If you make it fun, training time is a favorite activity for your pet.  He loves the one-on-one attention and the praise when he does something right.

Teach your dog to shake hands.  Have the dog in a sit position facing you and gently tap on the top of one of his front feet.  After a few times, he will raise the foot because the taps are strange for him.  As soon as that happens, you gently take the paw in your hand, shake up and down a couple times saying "shake" and then praise your dog as if he's the best animal in the universe.

It will take a few days for him to get the connection.  Once he understands what you mean when you say "shake", remember to reinforce the training by asking him to shake here and there during the day.  As he becomes more used to doing it, start extending your hand just before you say "shake".  Before long, you won't have to say anything – just extend your hand.

If you want to take it farther, once he masters shaking with one paw do the same training with the other paw using the command "other hand".  It's a bit more challenging but not hard to do. 

It is not true that old dogs don't learn new tricks.  Keep your training sessions short and fun and any dog who has mastered basic obedience will respond well to advanced dog training methods.