Training Your Golden Retriever
Start With Basic Good Manners
A critical first step of training is to help your Golden Retriever recognize you as its leader. You must be firm and decisive in setting these boundaries. We start with basic good manners. Whatever your strategy is, always stick to them; before long, your dog will know what is and what is not acceptable.
It will be a whole lot easier for you once he has learned the five basic commands of sit, down, come, stay and heel.
This basic training will allow your dog more freedom than dogs without any training at all. A dog with these basic manners will come when called, for example, and will enjoy more off-leash playtime, right? And it’s never too early to start their training but keep these sessions short and not at specific times. Mix some exercises into your daily routine so that your Golden can practice what he has learned.
Some dogs learn commands in hours, others may take weeks – you have the advantage of a Golden Retriever who loves to please. His daily routine will build good learning habits but begin with a quiet area at first with no distractions or interruptions – then graduate to somewhere more challenging.
With your dog facing you, point to your eyes and say “watch me”. Maintain eye contact for about 10 seconds. Release your dog and say “good dog”! Repeat this frequently at various locations.
Give consistent commands and always in the same tone of voice, and in the same order; never hit or shout at him. Harsh correction can result in fear and aggression, both of which will hinder learning. Any reprimand should be given immediately or it will not be known why he is being reprimanded.
Never let good behavior go unnoticed. Your dog knows that behaving well makes good things happen – and that makes him happy. Rewarding your dog with snacks, pats, and plenty of praise, you will find that good behavior will increase when it is followed by a reward.
Trained correctly, you will soon have your puppy walking politely on a leash. To accomplish this let your puppy drag the leash around the house for short periods to get use to the feel, taste, and weight of it. Then start by putting on your dogs training collar – only then attach the leash to it. Do not tug your dog. Gradually coax it to move with you. If his concentration wanders, give a quick pull on the leash. Your dog will soon understand that whenever you pull the leash, you want him to pay attention to you.
During your training of your Golden Retriever puppy understand that they will always be puppies until they are about a year and a half. They will not fully mature until they are about 2 or 3 years old.
Esther Smith, author
You could never ask for a dog so willing to please its owner than a Golden Retriever puppy. Your training should be a cinch.
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