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Basic Training
Well, if you have recently gotten a new puppy, by now your probably wondering "Just how am I gonna train this baby to be a member of our family?" Previously we shared with you the " Crate Debate", which is a good place to get started. You have the information on how to house break your puppy and how to make him feel at home; now we have a few other training hurdles you may want to address.

Equipment needed:

Leads or Leashes: The ideal training lead will be one that is six feet long, made of soft but strong leather, not very thick and one that is sewn or braided (not riveted which causes a weak point). When maintained with quality leather preservatives such as saddle soap and oils, it will give you years of useful life. If leather is not desired, my next choice would be cotton. The six foot length provides you with the most practical length for most training exercises. Chain leashes are useless for training; it is too difficult to hold a chain leash and be able to move with it during training exercises. Nylon leashes can slip through your hands at the wrong moment and can also give you an awful burn if the dog pulls too hard and you lose your grip.

Chain Collars: Notice we do not call them "choke" collars because you should not choke dogs with one. A proper leash correction; a snap or check, causes the moving chain to make a sound. This is often referred to as the "correction". Proper technique is key here and a good instructor/trainer can show you the right way to do it. There are good chain collars and there are cheap ones and it pays to invest a few extra dollars in the best. The best I have found are the ones imported from Germany. The words "HS Germany" for Herm Springer, will always be engraved on one of the rings. These collars are made from the finest steel and will last a lifetime in most cases. The important part of these collars are the links. They are finely polished and move easily.

Do not place any tags on your chain collar as they may impede the chain's movement when training. Tags should go on a flat nylon or leather collar below the chain on your dog's neck. Chain collars work best when used high on the neck, behind the ears. The collar should fit snugly over your dog's neck with a few inches available when tightened. As you face your dog, the collar should form the letter "P" as it goes over the neck if the dog is to be walked on your left side. This will assure proper release when checked.


I started teaching my dogs to heel the day I put a leash and collar on their neck. I simply never allowed the puppy or dog to walk ahead of me. I keep their shoulder blade even with my leg while walking at all times; this allows me to have more control over them especially when walking in a public area. Communication is a keyword here; always talk to your dog or puppy like you expect him to behave, NOT like you are grateful when he does! The tone of your voice is the most valuable asset to your training - don't ask your dog to do as you want; TELL them to do it. This does not mean that you have to yell, it just means to speak with authority since you are top dog and your dog expects you to act like it.

Pulling on leash:
This is a training problem, not a behavior problem so to speak. When a dog feels a leash, or worse, a harness restraining him, he will naturally pull harder. This is the same behavior draft animals exhibit. You will need to teach your dog to "Heel", that is, to walk at your heel, keeping pace with you and to sit when you stop and wait. A few lessons will have your dog walking with you (not walking you) in no time!

I make my dogs sit at my side everytime I stop, either to cross a road, to talk to someone, or whatever. This is very easy to teach especially to a puppy. Simply pull up on leash while gently pushing his bottom to a sitting position, telling him to sit, then praising him. I give the command to puppy everytime he sits, even when its his own idea. Most importantly - be consistent!! This is very, very important!

Ok, this is enough to get you started, I will add more later things regarding submissive urination, separation anxiety and mouthing, so check back often for these updates as well as some other updates in the pet section.

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