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Training Training


HINT: Treats as rewards work best for training if your dog has not been fed. If your dog has just been fed, he/she may not respond to the treat.
Remember when giving commands to be consistent as this will help the dog to remember what is expected of him/her.
Patience will also help the dog to be calm while learning.
Try to keep lessons short or your dog may get bored and not respond.

The two more important commands to learn are “SIT” and “COME” commands.

The ‘SIT’ command teaches the dog not to jump up on people and helps teach some manners and maintain control. E.g. when sitting, it is like asking for food not just jumping up and taking it.

The “COME” command is useful for control when in public and when off the leash will help make a very enjoyable walk.

With these two basic commands learnt you can start to enjoy your pet.


To teach the “SIT” command, show a piece of Liver Snaps Treat Reward to your dog and then hold the treat just above the dog’s head so the dog lifts his head and leans his head backwards. At the same time use the “SIT” command. If a treat is not handy, you may hold the dog’s head under the chin and gently hold it up and slightly backwards. Once the dog is in the right position, reward him/her with the Treat Reward, a pat and by voice (e.g. GOOD DOG).

Once the dog responds to the “SIT” command use the Treat Rewards intermittently. As a Treat Reward may not always be at hand, it is wise to teach your dog to respond without a treat as well.

Before giving your pets their dinner, it is handy to make them sit first so as they won’t rush up and jump up on you while you put their food down.

It is also a good idea to train your dog to sit first before you open a door for him/her.
This is like your pet saying please and using manners.

(to lie down)

First get your dog in the sit position.
Now your dog is sitting, show a piece of Liver Snaps Treat Reward in front of your dog’s nose and lower your hand to the ground next to your dog’s front paws. At the same time use the “DROP” (lie down) command.
(using “DROP” is more common in obedience classes)

Once the dog is in the right position, reward him/her with the Liver Snaps Treat Reward, a pat and by voice (e.g. GOOD DOG).

After a while your voice command or the downward sweep of your hand will be enough for your dog to go into the “DROP” (lie down) position.


Offer a Liver Snaps Treat Reward a short distance in front of your dog and at the same time wave your hand toward your chest and use the “COME” command. When your dog comes to you, reward him/her with the Treat Reward, a pat and by voice (e.g. GOOD DOG).
As the dog responds, you make the distance a bit longer. Repeat 2 or 3 times daily until the dog has learnt the “COME” command responsively.


Let the dog go the full extent of the lead. Show your dog a piece of Liver Snaps Treat Reward then use the “COME” command repeatedly and at the same time pull the lead gently until the dog is right in front of you and reward the dog with the Treat Reward, a pat and by voice (e.g. GOOD DOG).

A second person may take the dog to the extent of the lead while the first person holding the lead calls the dog using the “COME” command while shortening the length of the lead. When the dog is right in front of you reward the dog with the Treat Reward, a pat and by voice (e.g. GOOD DOG).

Once your dog is responding to the “COME” command, try it without the lead.

Repeat this 2 or 3 times daily until the dog has learnt the “COME” command responsively.

As the dog starts to respond to the ‘COME” command, use the Liver Snaps Treat Reward intermittently so the dog learns to respond without a treat as a Treat Reward may not always be on hand.


The “STAY” command is a more difficult command to learn and is best taught when your dog is calm, not in a playful mood and free from distractions.

First get your dog in the “SIT” position. Make eye contact and with the open palm of your hand open in front of your dogs face, fingers up as if to say stop, use a firm deep voice and say “STAY”. Wait a second and while still in the sitting position reward your dog with a piece of Liver Snaps Treat Reward, a pat and by voice (e.g. GOOD DOG).

Repeat this a few times and when your dog is responding to the “STAY” command, take a step away from the dog. While still in the sitting position, return to your dog and reward him/her with the Treat Reward, a pat and by voice (e.g. GOOD DOG). Slowly increase the distance.

(to walk next to you)

Teaching your dog the “HEEL” command will make your walks very enjoyable.

Have your dog next to you on your left side on a 180cm lead close to you, preferably not tight or too loose. If not responding on a collar, try using a head halter or a correction chain (for long haired dogs you may use a fursaver or nylon correction collar). Hold the handle and excess slack of leash in your right hand. The thong should pass across your body to the dog which should be on your left. You control the leash with your left hand, shortening or lengthening it when required. Step out with your left foot and give the “HEEL” command. Look ahead, trot forward (a slow jogging pace) and assume he will stay beside you. If he/she doesn’t, jerk the leash with your left hand and let the leash slacken immediately while using the “HEEL” command. Always jerk the leash in the opposite direction to the way the dog is moving. So if the dog is moving backwards, jerk forward and if he is moving forward, jerk backward. Do not let the dog drag or pull forward. The quick jerk is what does it. When you jerk the lead the correct way, if using a chain correction collar you should hear the collars click, go a short distance and halt. When turning use the “HEEL” command. For a right turn, turn on your right foot keeping a taut lead.

You may reward your dog when it obeys the “HEEL” command verbally or with a Treat Reward or tickle under the chin. When you come to a halt, command your dog to “SIT” at your left heel side.

As your dog is responding, increase the distance.


Some dogs will fetch without training. For others, try using a Club Pet Toy Dumbell. (A rawhide or nylon bone or similar object may be used.) To help your dog accept the dumbell, press gently on both sides of his upper lip. Place the dumbell between the jaws and at the same time place your other hand under his chin and stroke his chin in reward. After a few seconds say “GIVE” and take it from him and replace the dumbell with a piece of Liver Snaps Treat Reward and praise your dog (e.g. GOOD DOG).

Repeat several times, each time holding the dumbell a little longer.

To fetch, try to start from the “SIT” position. Place the dumbell in front of the dog’s nose and move the dumbell about 30cm (one foot) in front of him/her. Say “FETCH” and give a slight tug on the lead or a gentle push toward the dumbell. If necessary, help the dog pick it up and then replace the dumbell with a Treat Reward, a pat and praise (e.g. GOOD DOG).

Repeat a few times, each time placing or tossing the dumbell a little further away.

As your dog confidently fetches and returns the dumbell, try to finish with your dog in the “SIT” position while you reward him/her.


Tricks should not be done too many times at once or too often as your dog may get bored.

(Not recommended for old or unwell dogs)

Get your dog into the “LIE DOWN” position. Hold a piece of Liver Snaps Treat Reward in your hand on the ground in front of the dog. Slowly bring your hand towards you on the ground and when the dog follows, reward it with the Treat Reward, a pat and by voice (e.g. GOOD DOG).


You may have to first lift up your dog’s paw and at the same time shake it gently and use the “SHAKE” command. Your dog may lift its paw up by itself and place it in your hand. Then reward your dog with a piece of Liver Snaps Treat Reward, a pat and by voice (e.g. GOOD DOG).
Repeat 2 or 3 times.

After a while you may be able to put your hand in front of your dog with your palm up and at the same time use the “SHAKE” command and your dog may lift its paw up by itself and place it in your hand.


  • Walking your dog regularly every day is not only good exercise but also helps reduce boredom.
  • If your dog is left by itself for a period of time, a dog play toy, a rawhide or chew treat (such as Pork Chews) may also help reduce boredom. Chewing is also good for your dog’s gums.
  • If you are training a puppy, try not to make a game of chasing your puppy. No matter how cute your puppy looks or fun it may be, keep in mind that it will only be a few months before your puppy has grown and may not respond as quickly or as effectively to obedience training.
  • It can be helpful to every now and again check your puppy or dog’s ears, teeth, feet and tail so if it has a problem in these areas, it is used to being touched there and will help make curing it or a visit to the vet or the groomer much easier.
  • If your puppy jumps up on you in excitement (such as when you first get home after being out) do not pat the puppy while he/she is jumping. Instead teach it to sit or stay first, then reward and pat while in the sitting or stay position or turn your back on him/her until calm, then reward and pat while all four feet are on the ground.
  • If your puppy or dog is doing something wrong you need to discipline it immediately while it is misbehaving or it won’t understand what it did wrong. Using your voice, a firm loud deep sharp ahhh! may be enough to deter or discipline your dog to understand when it is misbehaving.
  • If your dog is doing something wrong, such as barking for no reason or at noises and you don’t want your dog to continue this, do not pat your dog straight away. (If you do your dog may think you want him/her to bark for no reason because you are rewarding while misbehaving.) Discipline by voice or distract the dog and try to get your dog to “COME” and “SIT” or “FETCH”. While he/she is quiet and obeying, reward and pat him/her for doing something positive instead.
  • When approaching a strange dog, remember not all dogs like being patted on the head by strangers. In most cases the dog will want to sniff your feet and around your legs to get to know you. In some cases it is better to ignore the dog and let the dog approach you in its own time, when it feels comfortable with you. If the dog is still not receptive, it may be wise to leave it alone.
  • When socialising or walking your dog and you are approaching another dog which growls or doesn’t appear to be friendly or receptive or your own dog shows these signs, it is wise to have your dog on a lead close to you and veer a distance around or if you have to, walk past swiftly without stopping. Try to keep your dog’s head looking forward, saying “COME” to ignore the other dog. This should avoid any conflict with other dogs and their owners and keep your time out together enjoyable. To help your dog socialise, you might take your dog for a brisk walk with a friend and their dog, as walking will also help distract the dogs from antisocial behaviour. You could also join an obedience club or a dog club.
  • While out walking, it is handy before crossing a road to get your dog to sit or stay at the curb. This will give you time to check if the road is clear and then tell him/her to “CROSS” when it is safe.
  • Also when walking, it is important you carry a Poopa Scoopa ® or plastic bag to pick up any calling cards left by your dog. This helps to ensure you or other people don’t step in it.
  • It is wise not to leave young children under the age of 10 alone with a dog. Some children think it’s a game or fun to prod, poke and pull the dog’s tails and ears etc without realising the dog is being hurt or annoyed and the dog may feel it has to defend itself. Therefore it is important that children learn not to poke, prod or pull at a dog and instead learn basic obedience training as this will help to teach them how to appreciate and have fun with their dog in a sensible manner.
  • Some dogs do not like being disturbed while they are eating and most dogs, no matter how well you know them, do not like being disturbed when they are sleeping. If woken abruptly, such as with a tap or pull of the tail, they may wake with a fright and nip you. Hence the expression “Let sleeping dogs lie”. The best way to wake your dog is to call the dog’s name a few times before approaching it so when you reach the dog, it will be partly awake and will recognise you.
  • Make sure your dog is not left in a hot car and has plenty of air and water.

    Losing a family pet can be like losing a member of your family and may be very distressing.
    It is always a sad time especially if it is a one pet family. Remember the good times, as you will always have your memories of your pet.
    If you still have a lot of love to give, to help lessen the grieving, you may consider a new puppy. If you do, please consider a puppy or dog from a welfare shelter as these pets really do need love and care and you may save a puppy or dog’s life.

    Please note the above tips are only a guide. Your dog may require further training.

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