The training exercises that we are about to describe all use positive reinforcement because we believe that is the best way to train a dog.
« No »
The « no » can be taught as a reward when your dog stop doing something wrong. For example, if your dog is about to do something forbidden, say « no » and if he stops immediately, reward him. Make sure that the reward is worth it! For example, if he’s about to eat your food, you have to adapt the reward and give him a treat.
You can also teach the « no » when you take away something pleasant. If you’re about to feed your dog and he’s not behaving, say « no » and take the food away.
« Sit »
The sitting position is spontaneously adopted by dogs when they desire something you have. Every time your dog sits, say « sit » and reward him. By repeating that, your dog will sit every time you say « sit ».
If your dog does not spontaneously sit, use a treat. Hold it above the back of his head. He will try to reach it and raise it snout. When his bottom touches the floor, say « sit » and reward him.
« Lie down »
You can proceed the same way that the « sit » command. When your dog lies down, say « lie down » and reward him.
You can also guide your dog with a treat hidden into your hand. Have your dog smell your hand and bring your hand to the floor until he lies down. Say « lie down » and reward him.
« Stay »
Have your dog sit or lie down close to you. Take one step back and say « stay ». If he doesn’t move, come back to him and reward him (it was to be quick otherwise he won’t associate the command with the reward). Do it again with two steps back, then 3...
This command is a matter of bond between you and your dog. To do successful recalls, your dog must rather come to you rather than continuing to do whatever he was doing. Complicity and trust are very important to teach this command to your dog. To teach this command, reward your dog every time they come to you. Make sure the way you call your dog is attractive: use a friendly voice inflection, clap your hands to get their attention, maybe crouch down...
photo credit : Yummypets