This page was first created on the 22nd of May, 2015 and last updated on the 6th of March, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.
My dad is an absolute dog lover, and when I was about eight years old, we had three dogs. One belonged to my sister, one belonged to my dad, and one belonged to me. It was our own responsibility to train each one of our dogs.
We were most concerned with teaching our dogs to obey the “sit” command and also the “kennel” command. We did it in a loving way without enforcing harsh punishment on the dog. To teach the dog to respond to the “sit” command, we would gently press its hind down while saying in a firm voice “sit”. The dog learned after a time how to “sit” after being told to.
To enforce this training, we would bring food for the dog and hold it in the air. As the dog jumps in excitement for the food, I would say “sit” in a firm voice. I wouldn’t put the food down for the dog until the dog sat down. This way, the dog sees a connection between obedience and reward.
The next command we taught our dogs was the “kennel” command. Each of our dogs had their own kennels, as I can remember, and sometimes, it was important that each dog go into its kennel in an orderly fashion. We wanted our dogs to run into their kennel whenever we said “kennel” in a firm voice. We accomplished this by applying a combination of tactics. One is to take the dog close to the kennel and say “kennel” in a firm voice; then give the dog a gentle push into the kennel if it doesn’t go in by itself. After a few times, the dog learned how to obey this command. When we opened the kennel door to release the dog, we tried to brace the dog in for a few minutes. Then say “out” in a firm voice and open the way for the dog to come out.
After a few instances, the dog learned how to obey the “kennel” and the “out” command.
In fact, our dogs obeyed these commands to the “t”. There was a time when the dog really wanted to go to the bathroom (lol), and to do this, it needed to come out of the kennel, so it started to scratch on the kennel door to indicate the urgency. When I opened the door, the dog dared not come out, even though it was in such discomfort, until I gave the “out” command.
Related: How to train your dog.