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Basic Obedience

The Alpha Role

Basic Obedience commands are fundamental to forging a strong relationship based on mutual love and respect between owner and dog. These commands are also critical for the owner to assume the Alpha role in the family, or in the pack. A dog needs a defined alpha leader in its pack and if you are not that leader, the dog will accept that role. This can lead your dog to exhibit a wide range of inappropriate or negative behaviours such as repetitive barking, pacing, and refusing to sit or lie down.

Once you establish yourself as the Alpha leader, all such behaviours will stop. Your dog will be much less anxious and considerably more calm and happy overall, thereby acting in a well-behaved manner on a consistent basis.

Owner Responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of an owner when they begin training their dog are learning how to correctly work the leash and how to lead the dog rather than follow – how to become the Alpha leader. The owner must also establish a regular, daily routine and schedule upon which the dog can depend and rely. Daily exercise, mental stimulation and rest (in a crate; on a mat) are key elements to asserting yourself in the Alpha role.

Dog Obedience Training

Basic Obedience: Commands

The following commands are taught in all of our Basic Obedience programs:

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Heel

Your dog will walk at your left side with his head even with your leg. He will walk on a loose leash, neither forging ahead nor lagging behind.

basic-obedience

Automatic Sit

This is a part of the Heel command. When your dog is walking nicely at your left side, the automatic sit will be introduced. The dog will be taught to automatically sit when you stop walking and to hold the sit position until given another command.

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Sit

Your dog will sit and hold this position until given another command.

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Down

Your dog will lie down at your left side and hold this position until given another command.

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Stay

This is used to either reinforce another command or as an add-on to an existing command such as Sit or Down. The Stay command is given for those instances when the dog must hold a position for a minimum of three minutes.

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Sit and Down (front commands)

Your dog will learn to respond to the Sit and Down commands when not positioned at your side. Initially, the commands are given from directly in front of the dog, and ultimately progress to points all around the dog.

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Sit and Down (motion commands)

The Sit and Down commands can also be given when both you and your dog are in motion. Upon command, the dog will stop its forward motion and sit or lie down while you continue to move ahead.

basic-obedience

Come

Your dog will come to you and sit directly in front of you.

basic-obedience

Go Back

Your dog will go to a pre-determined area or location (perhaps a mat or blanket) and remain there until given another command.

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Drop It

With this command, your dog will drop an item (such as a ball, a stick or a non-owner-approved item) from its mouth.

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OK

The release command of OK is given in an enthusiastic voice and allows the dog to release or no longer hold a previously-given obedience command.

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Manners

Obedience training without household manners can become just a series of parlor tricks. Manners include: sitting and waiting at doorways and exits, walking nicely and not pulling or biting on the leash, refusing food scraps or other temptations.

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Praise

Your dog needs to be rewarded for positive response and performance. The rewards for good obedience work are verbal praise and petting.

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Motivation

This is used to help your dog create and maintain enthusiasm.

basic-obedience

Correction

While Praise recognizes your dog for good performance, Correction lets your dog know that you do not approve of certain behaviour and immediately redirects its attention toward positive and desired behaviour.

Training Programs

Our Basic Obedience training programs teach the fundamentals of basic obedience structure and commands to dogs over the age of 4 months.

These programs are: Board and Train, Drop-Off, and Private Lessons.

Board And Train

On-site obedience training provided by a professional instructor.

Phase 1 – A 10-Day Training Program On-Site At Alpha Paws That Includes:
  • Basic obedience commands delivered verbally and through hand signals
  • Respecting (obeying) the commands and displaying household manners
  • On-leash training, with an introduction to basic indoor off-leash training
Phase 2 – Dog Owner Instruction And Application, Including:
  • A series of 5 follow-up lessons for the owner-dog team
  • All training equipment
  • Techniques for applying the commands taught in Phase 1

10-Day Drop-Off

For those who prefer to have obedience training provided by a professional but who do not want the dog to be away overnight. Alpha Paws conducts this training program on the grounds of Goldenvale Veterinary Hospital (Newmarket, Ontario) and the dog is dropped off at 9:00 a.m. and picked up 5:00 p.m. daily from Monday to Friday for two consecutive weeks (special arrangements can be made for early drop-off and/or late pick-up times).

Phase 1 – Dog Is Dropped Off And Picked Up Daily For 10 Days – Training Includes:
  • Basic obedience commands – Verbal and hand signals
  • Respecting (obeying) the commands and displaying household manners
  • On-leash training, with an introduction to basic indoor off-leash training
Phase 2 – Preparing The Dog Owner For Follow-Up Reinforcement Training At Home:
  • Usually three follow-up lessons with an instructor for the owner-dog team
  • Provision of all appropriate training equipment
  • Coaching on the proper application/reinforcement of the obedience commands
The 10-Day Drop-Off Program Also Offers The Following Services:
  • Crate training
  • Brushing
  • A daily training walk in the park
  • Playtime in an enclosed yard

The success of any training program is often maximized by the amount of follow-up practice and repetition of the skills taught, in this case the obedience commands, during the actual program itself. It will therefore be very important for the dog owner to establish/maintain a regular (daily) at-home training routine after the dog completes its on-site training sessions.

Private Lessons

Learning obedience training methods and tips through private coaching.

Alpha Paws offers such sessions one-on-one, either at our training centre or in the privacy of your own home, during which you and your dog will work in chorus with our instructor. After these private lessons, you will need to practice/work with your dog at home on a daily basis in order to support and continue the obedience training process.

To enroll your dog in one of our Basic Obedience training programs, call Alpha Paws today at 905-830-9500 or toll free at 1-877-868-PAWS.

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