Dog Training Tip: Avoid Teaching Delayed Obedience

Training your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your pet. It’s time to bond and set some boundaries between you so your dog understands that you are the boss in this relationship. That can help prevent behavioral problems that stem from poor training.

One of the biggest problems, though, is when you think you’re training your dog properly and you’re not. Often, incorrect training creates problems that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. Whether it’s attempting dog leash training without being consistent, or using the wrong techniques, poor methods can make it necessary to start training all over again.

A Common Training Problem

If you’ve ever watched someone tell her dog to sit several times before the dog actually obeyed, you’ve seen this problem in action. You might even have this experience with your own dog. A command that has to be given repeatedly is a command that has been incorrectly taught.

A dog that doesn’t sit until the word “sit” is repeated several times has learned to delay obedience. The dog understands what he’s supposed to do the first time the word is spoken, but delays because he can. This type of behavior can be dangerous when you’re doing something like dog leash training or teaching your dog to go off-leash. Imagine a dog not obeying the command “come” until the owner has said it several times.

Fortunately, there’s a training technique that can help solve this problem.

Dog Leash Training Technique

You can use this technique no matter which command you’re teaching your dog, but it can be especially effective when dog leash training. If the dog doesn’t respond to a command after the second time, simply stop.

If you’ve put the dog harness on and headed outside for a walk, this can mean stopping each time your dog starts to pull and tug at the leash. Stopping for a few minutes each time will show your pet that the direct response to his pulling is a complete stop. Eventually, he should avoid that behavior because he wants to keep walking.

When teaching a command like “sit,” be sure to treat and praise your dog while learning in order to make sitting a fun thing for him to do. If your dog knows how to sit but doesn’t until you’ve repeated the command several times, then he’s being headstrong and avoiding something he doesn’t want to do. Start as if you’re teaching him the command for the first time, by treating and praising him as soon as he does it. Don’t repeat it more than twice. Often, simply looking him in the eye for a moment after giving the command will work.

Once he sits on command for a treat and praise, remember to always seem upbeat when giving the command to associate it with something pleasant. This can help avoid a delay between your command and his obedience.