Advanced dog training methods

Your dog should obey any command that you give him within two or three seconds, if he does not obey you then he is either ignoring you, which means that your position as alpha leader is under threat, or he doesn't understand the command and requires further training.

If he responds to your command in some situations and not others then it's likely that he's just ignoring you. To prevent this from happening use the “No-Command” method. This method has three steps.

  • Use something to alarm your dog, such as a squirt from a water pistol or shaking a pebble filled can. Make sure you do this while he is in the act of misbehaving or ignoring you.

  • At the same time say a loud “No!” or “Bad”. Use a stern voice so your dog recognizes the difference in tone from your normal voice. It's important the voice correction is sincere and delivery is consistent so your dog associates the harsh word with stopping their immediate behavior.

  • Redirect your dog with the command.

Remember that when you give a command it's helpful for you to be in a position to make sure your dog physically does what is asked and are able to to take the corrective action immediately.

Sit and stay command

The Sit and Stay command is an important command to learn.

The Sit and Stay command increases your dogs self discipline and prevents distractions from sidetracking him, such as other cats and dogs.

Once you have him sitting steadily, gradually increase the time you require him to stay sitting. Stand next to your dog all the while, but don't make him wait too long or he'll become fidgety. When he'll comfortably sit at your side and not attempt to move, go on to the next stage.

  • Place your dog on the leash and place him in the Sit position with you standing at his right shoulder. You'll both be facing the same direction.

  • Give the command “Stay” and step one step away to the right while still holding the leash. If your dog attempts to get up or follow you, gently push him back into the Sit position. It may be useful to use a flat open hand (with your left hand) as a signal to enforce the command.

  • Hold this position for 4-5 seconds before moving back to your dog’s side. At this stage, don't let him get up or move from the Sit position for another few seconds. Then release him with the “Okay” command and praise him.

Stage 2

This final step ensures that he'll learn to maintain his position and prevent him from attempting to greet you when you move towards him.

Once he's used to and correctly completes Stage I, then progress further by stepping forwards rather than to the side.

  • Make sure that you are holding the leash.

  • Give a clear instruction of “Stay” before you move forward.

  • Normal heeling involves you starting off with your left leg. This is your dog's key to follow. For the Sit Stay command, you need to leash off with the right leg. This can be a difficult progression for your dog to learn as he may assume that you want him to heel so it's important for you to use the correct leg movement consistently.

When he has mastered this stage you can try using these variations.

Stage 3

In this stage you'll increase the distance you move away from your dog until eventually you move far enough that you can leave the leash on the ground.

You can also gradually increase the length of time that you get him to stay with the end target being four or five minutes.

If at any time he does not respond properly to your Stay command then move back a stage in the progression until he re-masters it fully. If he's not responding well to extended Stays then you might wish to try placing a stake in the ground and putting the free end of the leash over it. Command your dog to sit by the stake with you by his side. Give the command to Stay and then walk away. If your dog breaks and tries to come towards you then chastise him immediately and restart the exercise. Eventually you should be able to remove the stake.

Shake paws

Most dogs can learn this command easily.

  • Place your dog in the Sit position.

  • Use the command “Shake” at the same time as grasping your dogs paw.

  • Repeat the command while shaking your dog’s paw.

  • Release him with “Okay” and then praise him.

It shouldn't take long for your dog to volunteer his paw to you when you say "shake."

Jump through your arms

Chances are that your dog will love doing this command. Jumping is when you get your dog to jump through your arms when you have formed them into a circular shape. For a dachshund you'll obviously want to keep your arms low to the round.

  • Put a low barrier across a doorway or gateway so that your dog has to jump over it to reach the other side. I've found an adjustable shower rod in a doorway works great.

  • Make him Sit and Wait for you on one side of the barrier. Call him to you from the opposite side of the barrier. As your dog is about to take off over the barrier say the command “Jump”.

  • Praise him when he successfully jumps the barrier.

When he has successfully completed this maneuver ten to fifteen times, move on to the next stage.

Stage 2

For this part, you'll need someone else to help out.

  • Kneel beside the barrier with your arms formed into a large arc, but without your hands touching.

  • Your willing assistant calls the dog to come and jump over the barrier and your lower arm at the same time. Remember: say “Jump” when the dog takes off.

  • With each jump, slowly close in your arms together so that they eventually form a completed circle.

  • Remove the barrier and complete a few more jumps.

You may need to use food as an incentive for this exercise, if you do use treats, as soon as your dog starts responding to your Jump command, decrease the treats and increase verbal praises and hugs. Complete the entire procedure twice per day for five or six days.