It is important to start training your dog as soon as you bring them home. However, many new dog owners don’t know where to start.
In our opinion, the essential first commands to teach your dog should are “yes”, “no”, “sit”, and his or her name. These provide a solid foundation for other training commands that are to come later on.
When teaching commands, signals are everything. Signals can be anything from a sound or word, a hand gesture, a body posture or even a facial expression. For example, you can introduce the signal of your hand in a fist with your index finger raised and the word “sit” at the same time. This way you can either say the word or show the signal to mean the same thing.
It is important to be consistent with your commands and signals, so you do not confuse your dog. It is also equally important to only associate one signal with one specific behavior. Signals could get confusing if they are not consistent with everyone your dog comes in contact with; be sure everyone in your family are all on the same page about what signal goes with each command you are giving your dog. For consistency purposes, take the time to create a vocabulary list that everyone in your household will use when giving your dog directions. This is effective, and will help to avoid confusion.
With these tips, patience and practice, your dog will be trained in no time!