Dog Training - Instant Obedience is Easy If You Follow This Basic Rule That Most People Ignore
By Dennis Fisher

This article is one of a great many articles written by Dennis Fisher about a very wide variety of subjects concerning different  dogs, such as obedience training, breeding, showing, health matters, training problems and other subjects.  All these articles appear on Dennis Fisher's websites.   Visit the site that has been set up specifically for German Shepherd Dog enthusiasts, or  if you interested in a breed   other than German Shepherd Dogs


Dog training is much easier than you think. There's no reason at all to have an uncontrolled, badly behaved dog. Does your dog obey you? When you call, does it come immediately? Does it stop noisy, continual, irritating barking when you tell it to stop? Does it listen to your commands?

If not, why not?

There's no reason at all to have a badly behaved, disobedient dog. You don't have to be an expert dog trainer with years of experience to get instant obedience. As long as you follow one simple, basic rule you can have a well-behaved dog that you can take everywhere.

If you answer YES to all the questions, you don't have to read any further. If you answer NO, then continue reading.

Do you know why your dog doesn't obey you? There's a very simple answer to this question. But perhaps it's an answer you don't want to hear. The reason your dog ignores your commands is because the animal doesn't respect you!

This may be hard to accept. But it's true. What is respect? Ask ten different people and you will get ten different answers. Some answers will be straight-forward. But you'll get some answers that are so complicated and involved they border on the philosophical. Very often you'll get answers that suggest the person is thinking about the question in human terms. You might even be told that in order to be respected, you have to earn respect.

But remember, we are not talking about human relationships. We are talking about dogs - friendly, lovable creatures that love to be made a fuss of and are prepared to give you their undying devotion and loyalty in return. Of course you are aware of these wonderful qualities and you appreciate them, but you still want the animal to listen to you. You want RESPECT!

As far as your relationship with your dog is concerned, there's a very simple, uncomplicated definition of respect. Respect is listening to what you say and obeying your commands implicitly - unconditionally, without reservation! Why must your dog listen to you? There is a very simple answer. Because you are the leader of the pack. How do you become the leader of the pack? How does your dog recognize you as the leader of the pack? I

It's really far easier than you think. By your actions. By your conduct. By your manner. By your behavior. By your body language. And, most important of all, by your voice. This definitely doesn't mean that you have to bark out orders like a drill sergeant. In fact you don't have to shout at all. You can even give your commands in a whisper. But when you give a command your dog must be absolutely convinced that you mean it! There must be authority in your voice.

In the training classes I used to conduct, which consisted of dogs of many different breeds, the owners of the dogs varied a great deal in age and personality. Some of them had dominant personalities; others were elderly, quiet, retiring people. I would make it absolutely clear to everyone in the class that it definitely wasn't necessary at all to shout out a command. On occasions you could even whisper the command.

I also explained that it wasn't necessary to reprimand the dog forcefully for a minor offense - otherwise what action could you take if there was a serious offense? What could you do for an encore?

When you give a command it's important to be absolutely certain that the dog understands what you meant. If you have the slightest doubt your dog doesn't understand what you mean, you have to give the dog the benefit of the doubt.

Be patient. Think of yourself as a teacher in a class of four year old children. Go through the exercise over again and over again until there's s no doubt in your own mind that your dog understands what you mean. Once the you're sure the dog understands the command, you are entitled to expect immediate obedience. Don't forget. When the dog does the exercise correctly, stop. Praise enthusiastically, but don't keep on repeating it. Stop when you are ahead!

You are the leader of the pack and the dog must accept this. Act with authority. You are entitled to respect. One final comment. The reason why some dog - many dogs - don't obey commands is because the commands are so mild they are interpreted as a request: The tone of voice suggests you are saying to the dog: in a coaxing pleading tone: "Please, if you don't mind I really would like you to lie down!"

In order to train a dog to be well-behaved and under control wherever you go, the dog must listen to you. And it must listen to you immediately. It's not really difficult to get instant obedience. The secret in dog training is to be gentle and patient - but don't forget to be firm. Don't shout, but let the dog hear the hint of steel in your voice.

Remember, a command is not a request!