The doorbell and guests

Buddy now knows to sit and stay when you open the door. It's doubtful, however, that he'll obey these commands when the doorbell rings or someone knocks on the door. If your dog is anything like ours, the doorbell causes an immediate charge amidst paroxysms of barking. Even though most people want their dog to display his protective side, they then also want him to stop, sit, and stay, so they can answer the door.

To accomplish this goal, you need to enlist the aid of a friend or neighbor to ring the doorbell.

Agree on a time and then put Buddy on leash.

When the bell rings and your dog goes through his antics, tell him to "Sit and Stay."

To help make your helper's arrival as traditional as possible, have him or her ring the doorbell only once. Ask him or her to wait for you to open the door.

Start to open the door and when he gets up, which he surely will, reinforce the Sit-Stay with a check.

If Buddy is an excitable soul, you may have to put him on the live ring of his training collar before he takes you seriously. Less excitable dogs catch on after two or three attempts.

When Buddy stays, open the door and admit your accomplice.

At this point, Buddy will more than likely want to say hello. Again, reinforce the Stay, and have your helper approach him holding out the palm of his or her hand.

Let Buddy sniff the palm, and then have your helper ignore him.

You may have to be right next to Buddy to reinforce the Sit-Stay.

You need to repeat this procedure several times until Buddy is reliable and holds the Sit-Stay while you open the door.

Remember to release him. Successful training depends on who is more determined and persistent — you or your dog.

The procedure to teach Buddy not to jump on people is the same. Follow the same progressions as you did for the doorbell, and when Buddy wants to jump on your helper, reinforce the "Stay" command with a check. After several repetitions, Buddy should be steady enough to try him off leash. The key to your ability to control Buddy is a reliable Sit-Stay.

Having said that, you also need to remind your guests not to get Buddy all riled up with vigorous petting or active solicitations to play. The less excitement, the better. The proper way to greet a dog on a Sit-Stay is to let him sniff the palm of the hand and perhaps a little scratch under the chin. A dog doesn't like to have the top of his head patted anymore than kids do.

Paying attention to inflection

Give commands in a normal tone of voice. For example, when giving the "Sit" command, remember that it's "Sit!" — the command — and not "Sit?" — the question.

When releasing, say the release word in a more excited tone of voice, as in "That's it, you're all done!"

Unless impaired, a dog's sense of hearing is extremely acute, and when giving a command, there's absolutely no need to shout. In fact, the opposite is true — the more quietly you give your commands, the quicker your dog learns to pay attention to you.

When teaching a new command, you may have to repeat it several times during the initial introduction before your dog catches on. After the first session, teach him to respond to the first command. Give the command, and if nothing happens, show your dog exactly what you want by physically helping him. Consistency is the key to success.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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