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Dog Training: Teaching Your Dog Self-Control

Is your dog one of those that pulls at his leash constantly whenever there is a distraction? A child walks by, or he sees another dog? If a cat or small animal scoots by, or if a car wooshes in front of him, does he tug to get closer? Is he hard to manage while visiting the vet, or when you have visitors?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then your dog training needs to include self-control measures. A child is taught similar things when they are growing up (don't put your hand on the stove, or you can't have a cookie unless you ask, first), a dog requires the same kind of love and attention, too. Just as you would teach a dog how to sit, speak, come when called or stop, you also need to provide dog training related to self-control.

A few simple guidelines are all that are required for owners to follow. Join me here as I briefly discuss them.

Teach Commands, Not Actions

When your dog lunges at something, instead of pulling tight on their leash to get them to stop, you should instead be telling them what to do in a firm voice. Tugging, even lightly on their leash only tells a dog who the master is, but not what behavior he should be exhibiting. Use this time constructively to practice commands that are appropriate in the situation, instead.

Treat Your Dog like a Friend

Realize that sometimes, your dog just won't be able to do what you ask him to do, just like a good friend can't sometimes as well. Dog training shouldn't be about who is in charge, but instead about compromise and taking variables into account as required. So don't ask your dog to sit still if he is truly excited about something ? ask him instead to sit quietly.

Show Doggy How

Unless you show, or tell, your dog how to react, he won't know how. Instead, he'll do what he always does, which is pull and tug at his leash. Give him positive ways in which to respond to every tempting situation, and with some guidance he'll be able to do what's right.

Speak On His Terms

When you raise your voice or talk sharply, a dog hears this tone as being excited, similar to barking. It reinforces his already excited behavior, and gives him the idea that you are excited too, so it should be okay! Instead, use your dog training to speak softly and in quiet tones to get your dog to calm down, and he'll realize soon enough it's not appropriate behavior for the situation.

(c) 2005 dog-training-info.com. This article may be republished as long as these bylines are included. Kevin Simmons is the webmaster of http://www.dog-training-info.com. Please visit the site for more free dog training articles.

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