A well-behaved dog is the product of teaching. You are responsible for teaching your dog what behavior you will or will not tolerate. Training is necessary and beneficial for both you and your dog, and should begin when your dog is about eight months old.
The objective of obedience training is to teach dogs and their owners how to communicate with each other. You can teach your dog to be obedient by either training it yourself or by enrolling it in obedience classes. If you plan to self-train your dog, start by symply talking to it. Training your dog to recognize and respond to verbal commands not only teaches it what you expect but it will also help you better recognize and understand your dog’s situational behavior tendencies.
Select command words that are short and easy for your dog to understand (e.g., come, sit, lie down, and stay). Say the word in a clear voice tone. Don't repeat a command and don't change the commands since that will confuse your dog.
Making predictable body movements will make it easier for your dog to understand where you are going so it will know when to join you or to stay positioned. Praising your dog when its behavior is good is one of the most effective ways of teaching. Basic obedience training will enhance the relationship between you and your dog. Again, start training your dog when it's about eight-months old, and you will likely avoid behavior problems that owners of untrained dogs often encounter.
When you're gone and if there is no one home to care for your dog, you must provide your dog with opportunities to relieve himself. Dogs need to be walked at least three times each day, and should not be left alone for more than eight hours.
The use of the confinement technique is an absolute must for housebreaking, because most dogs will not mess where they must stay unless they are forced to. Do not close a dog in a room with the door shut; use a tension bar gate or a crate to block exit. Every time you return to your dog, greet it in a positive tone. Practice leaving your dog for a few minutes at a time; gradually work up to five, fifteen and thirty minutes, until the dog is sure you are returning to it.
Continue training your dog for one to three weeks, gradually giving it access to larger parts of the house. It is critical that the dog be confined whenever it cannot be supervised. If you find a mistake, clean it up first. Then go and get the dog, take it to the spot, and have it lie down. Doing this is not a punishment, but a subtle way of letting the dog know that it is going to be spending time there; when it knows this, it will be convinced that it is an unsatisfactory place to relieve itself.
Information Resources About Dog Training:
American Kennel Club (AKC)
51 Madison Ave., NY, NY 10010
(212)696-8200 (headquarters and library)
(800)AKC-TELL (hotline to report dog-related legislation)
American Dog Trainers Network