Short clear commands along with obvious hand signals are the best means of giving your dog commands. Never repeat your command over and over again, it may only confuse him. Start by getting his attention, this is best accomplished by saying his name. How you say the command is also important as is your expression, smile when you are pleased and do not smile when you are unhappy.
Your dog is smart enough to pick up on these things and they should be used in his training. Your posture should be straight with shoulders back, the treat should be held in your closed hand so he is aware it is there. When calling your dog to you, show welcoming body language, arms open wide to welcome him and a happy, friendly voice all combine to let him know it is good for him to come to you.
Verbal commands should be given in a firm voice not shouted, say no sharply and deeply in a lowered voice. The no command should be given as he begins to misbehave. This makes him aware that what he is doing is the activity for which he is being told no. For instance, if he begins to put his paws on you, lower your voice and firmly tell him no. In this, your body language is important, look angry and stand in a commanding stance, leaning slightly over the dog is a threatening stance and you should stand straight.
Hand signals should be clear and concise, they allow you to control your dog even if he is at a distance by calling his name and using dramatic hand signals. A dog will pick up on it if you are becoming bored with a training session, do both of you a favor and be alert. If you need to end the training session, get his attention, give him a command that he can and will follow and release him from the training session with lots of praise and rewards.
Obinna Heche: Los Angeles, CA
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