How To Teach Your Dog To Help Out Around The House

We have all seen those old cartoons that feature dogs who cannot wait to get their masterís newspaper and slippers after a long hard day at the office. Others showed how much dogs just loved to annoy the postman and bring in the family mail. Iím sure those types of images left a lot of pet owners wondering why their dog did not do the same things? Well, you might be surprised to learn that dogs can learn to do a surprising number of things which can be very helpful at home or work.

Training a dog begins by making sure your commands are simple and that your pet understands them. Begin by teaching your dog to associate simple verbal commands in your language of choice with certain behaviors. Commands like COME, STOP, SIT, LAY DOWN, OUTSIDE and so on are easy. Once a dog shows a willingness to learn and follow those simple commands, you can move on from there to teach your pet more complicated behaviors using short phrases.

Your dog must must to associate a phrase with a behavior just like they do with single word commands. When I was child I used to go over a friendís house where they had two dogs as pets. One was a Yorkie and the other was a Westie. The Westie was slightly older and hated to come when he was called. The Yorkie was a bit younger and had been accidently trained to go get the Westie. This was accomplished after the Yorkie had heard my friendís mother tell him to go get the Westie and watched him do it many times. After a while, the Yorkie started responding to that command and went and got the Westie to come with him.

Dogs can learn by listening to repetitive human phrases and and observing repetitive human behaviors. For example, if you would like you pet to help gather the dirty wash for laundry day just have it with you when you perform that behavior. Say ĎLaundry Dayí and bring your pet along as you gather up wash from around your dwelling. Your pet can be either be trained to pick up loose pieces of wash or pull a laundry basket around so that you can place the wash in it. Attach a rope to the laundry basket and teach your dog to pull it around, or have your pet retrieve and carry some wash in its mouth the same way you do in your hand. Reward your petís efforts with treats and be sure you teach it using repetitive phrases and behavior.

Dogs love to open and close doors just because they can. You can easily train your dog to open the door for you a home or work if your hands are full and it is easy to open (being already un-latched). I have seen some dogs close car doors, close and open fence gates all by themselves, press garage door opener buttons and do all sorts of seemingly incredible things. Actually, it is not all that incredible when you realize that they are simply imitating human behavior that they possess the mental and physical ability to copy. Given that thought, the sky is the limit. Helpful behaviors like having your dog get the garden hose for you or bring you litter that might have ended up on your property are easy to teach because those behaviors involve your pet doing something it knows will bring instant recognition and emotional reward from you.

For me the most helpful behavior any of the dogs I had as pets through the years had learned was to let me or my wife know when a door, window or gate was opened by one of our children. Although we always had our home child proofed with special locks and latches, kids will always figure out a way to beat the system. When one of our dogs came and barked at us without going to the front door as they did when someone was coming near, I knew it was likely the result of one of our children doing something they should not be doing and most of the time I was right.

My dogs learned to look out for my children by watching my wife and I constantly secure doors and windows, while reprimanding our kids from going out without permission. They knew that when the kids tried to go out alone, they were doing something we would not like and should be warned about. Our dogs learned those kinds of behaviors by verbal and physical association, along with the fact that we repeated the same actions over and over again. Dogs are intelligent enough to pick up on human behavior and copy it. If you want another helper around the house or at work, start by spending more time with your pet and having it near as you go about your daily chores. You will be surprised at what they pick up on just from observing you on a regular basis.


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