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dog training in your home

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Congratulations, you’ve just adopted a new puppy or dog. The first few days are an exhilarating time for your new family member as she explores and tests her boundaries.
 
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Before you sign up for any obedience or agility courses with your new pooch, you’ve got to get the basics down, and above all, your dog must know her name.

Teaching your dog to respond to her name is easy and fun for the both of you. It is the first step in the bonding process and helps your new addition adjust to her new life. Knowing and responding to her name will make other training easier, like recall and basic commands.

To get started, grab a treat pouch and soft, easy to chew treats and find a quiet space to work with your dog. Securing your dog’s leash to a post or another immovable object will prevent her from running off.
 
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If you want to teach her off the leash, be sure to take her to an enclosed area first.

Stay quiet for a little while and wait until your dog is not looking at you. In a cheerful, enthusiastic voice, say her name just once. Breaking the silence should get her attention, and she will turn to look at you.
 

 

Give her a positive response, such as “good girl” and a treat. A dog’s short-term memory is very short. She will not be able to make the connection between her name and the treat if you wait too long. Typically, a dog will lose the association after three seconds, so training should be quick.

What you want to avoid is forming negative associations, so never use her name to punish her or when using harsh tones. Negative associations will also make recalling your dog difficult since people use their dog’s name with commands, like “come” or need to use her name for dangerous moments, like car chasing. You also want to avoid using her name over and over again. Repeating your dog’s name may lead her to tune it out.
 
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When your dog likes hearing her name, it can be used to grab her attention when she’s barking too much or misbehaving. Always use bright tones, even if she’s doing something she should not be doing. Saying her name in happy tones when she’s scared or anxious will also help her get through her fears. Learning her name is the first step to creating a lasting, loving relationship with your new dog.
 


 

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