Following is a short rundown of the commands. If you attend puppy classes or obedience training classes, you will have professional assistance in teaching these commands. However, you and your dog can learn these very basic exercises on your own.
This is the exercise with which you should begin. Place your dog on your left side as you are standing and say “sit” firmly. As you say this, run your hand down your dog’s back and gently guide him into a sitting position. Praise him, hold him in this position for a few minutes, release your hand, praise him again and give him a treat. Repeat this several times a day, perhaps as many as ten times, and soon your puppy will understand what you want.
Teach your dog to stay in a seated position until you call him. Have your dog sit and, as you say “stay,” place your hand in front of his nose and take a step or two, no more at the beginning, away. After 10 seconds or so, call your dog. If he gets up before the end of the command, have him sit again and repeat the stay command. When he stays until called (remembering to start with a very short period of time), praise him and give him a treat. As he learns this command, increase the space that you move away from your dog as well as the length of time that he stays.
Have your dog on your left side, with his leash on, and teach him to walk with you. If your puppy lunges forward, give the leash a quick snap and say a firm “no.” Then continue to walk your dog, praising him as he walks nicely by your side. Again, if he lunges, snap his leash quickly and say a smart “no.” Your puppy will quickly learn that it is easier and more pleasant to walk by your side. Never allow him to lunge at someone passing by you.
This will probably be the most complicated of the five basic commands to teach. Place your dog in the sit position, kneel down next to him and place your right hand under his front legs and your left hand on his shoulders. As you say “down,” gently push his front legs out into the down position. Once you have him down, talk gently to him, stroke his back so that he will be comfortable and then praise him.
Also known as the recall, this command is a vital lesson for all dogs and their owners. A positive approach to the come exercise is all that is necessary. You have to convince the young puppy that coming to his owner can only lead to happy, fun, positive experiences. Never, never, never call your dog to you to correct him. If you do, he will never obey because he is a smart Doberman knows when to run the other way! Use the dogs name every time you call him to you. Put on a happy face and use a happy voice so that he thinks coming to you is the best possible thing in the world. Give him a tasty treat every time he comes to you, and greet him with loving hugs and kisses. Who wouldn’t want to run towards the kissy-face guy with a yummy snack? As long as you keep “come” a fun command, your Doberman will respond in a positive way.
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