This is another important command to teach your dog. You start by telling your dog to lie down in a certain spot. While you’re speaking, help to position the dog in the laying position, gently with your hands. Praise him for obeying. Be patient and continue to work with him until he understands what you mean. Offer rewards in the beginning, and gradually decrease the rewards until he will obey the lie down command without requiring your intervention.
Dr. Laura Sharkey, KPA CTP, has owned and led WOOFS! since 2002. An accomplished, certified professional dog trainer, Laura regularly presents to her peers at professional training conferences across the country. Her strong science background—including a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Georgetown—informs her choice of the modern, humane, rewards-based training methods used at WOOFS!
When you adopt a puppy or dog from a shelter, he comes with a history — not the least of which is being relinquished to the shelter. Keep in mind that the stress of this, along with whatever the dog has experienced in his past, can make him less than confident in new surroundings. Plan on giving him some time to adjust to his new home and family. Dogs can take anywhere from a few hours to several months to get used to living in a new place. During this adjustment time, do what you can to make your new dog feel safe and comfortable. Be patient while he adjusts, but also try to keep things consistent and predictable in his new environment.
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After the “call your dog” exercise, the dog should be sitting directly in front of the handler. At this point, the handler will say the dog’s name and “heel.” The handlers will take a step back with their left leg, pull the dog in a circle (like stirring a large witch’s pot) and stop so that the dog can sit directly at their side while stepping back into place with the left leg. The right leg should never move.