Beginning basic ob (obedience) with your dog is fairly simple. First, I suggest you find what drives your dog, i.e. what reward means the most to your dog. My personal dog at home loves!!! marshmallows.
This is Mica. She loves her marshmallows haha. But using them I trained her to do a lot of different tricks and basic ob.
So once you find that reward your dog absolutely loves.. Begin with the basics if your dog doesn’t know anything yet. The sit is the easiest and usually the first ob task thought. The way I always thought my dogs to sit was, hold the reward in your hand, move it straight over their head, this forces them to look up and not very comfortable for the dog (no pain involved), they will either sit or back up. Don’t worry if the back up!!!! If they do that, use your other hand and apply a little pressure on their butt while giving the command “sit”. It’s very important to pair the action of sitting with the word sit. Over time and with the continual reward schedule I decided in a previous post, your dog will understand when you say sit and its butt touches the ground, it gets a reward. Along with the reward, you as the owner/handler need to praise the dog, this lets them know you are happy with them and the behavior is highly likely to continue.
For down position, you use the same steps for the sit but more than likely you’ll have to guide the dog into the down. I like to kneel in front of the dog and I’ll give the command “down” move my hand with the reward down in front of the dog, to the ground and once the dog lays down, I do what we call “pay in place” and give them the reward. Paying in place re-enforces the position and with praise they know they do what you wanted. Over time, start to move your position higher until you’re standing and the dog completes the task. Don’t if your dog doesn’t go to the down position, just means you need to reset and try again. Remember, patience and persistence here will pay off greatly.
This basic/beginning training method is used all the time, I use it for my personal dogs and my MWDs at work. A dog, like humans, can forget or regress if you don’t do a task often so don’t get upset if they forget. Take it back to basic and they will remember after one or two trails.
For any other methods or any questions on this, leave me a comment or email me through the link on the main page.