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Behavior Evaluation

In-home Dog Training

‘Out for a Walk’ Training

Dog Day School

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Doggie Day Care*


*This Doggie Day Care program is run by the staff at River Ridge Animal Hospital, not by Susan.  The staff at River Ridge excels at providing a safe and stimulating environment for your dog.  They offer free playtime, structured playtime, and leadership games throughout the day.

Welcome To Sauk Valley Dog Training!

Dog Vocabulary

Dog Vocabulary
The March 08 issue of National Geographic discusses the fascinating and controversial subject of animal intelligence. Part of this article discusses dogs’ ability to learn and identify objects by name, and one border collie has a vocabulary of over 300 words!

Any dog is capable of learning over 50 commands with proper guidance, although some stubborn breeds need more time and effort to reach this number. How many words does your dog understand? Below are 25 useful commands to teach your dog:

“Dog’s name”
“Good boy/girl”
“No, phooey, tsh” – any stop command
“Down” – means lay down, not get down
“Heel” – walk by your side
“Come, here” – this takes about a year to train
“Kennel, crate, bed”
“Quiet, hush, enough”
“Off” – get off the counter or furniture
“Leave it”
“Place” – select a place for them to relax and stay
“Potty, hurry up, do it”
“Hup, up, load” – invites them into or onto a place
“Let’s go” – a causal walk with no pulling
“Stand” – your groomer and Vet will love this
“Wait” – temporary stay
“Give paw” – good for wiping wet paws
“No bite, Stop”
“Free dog, okay, relax” – to release your dog from working
“Gentle, easy, take it” – dog can take food or toy
“Fetch, get it”
“Out, Give, drop, release”
“Find your truck/go for a ride” – may save your dog’s live when loose
Training Tips: Positive reinforcement increases a dog’s desire to repeat the action. Use a variety of rewards like praise and toys, not just food. Repeating a command does NOT make your dog learn faster. 1 command = 1 action. Be fair. Be patient. Be consistent. End your training session with an easy exercise and a special reward.

2 Common Mistakes: Poor timing and reinforcing the wrong action. Example: You issue a “sit” command, your dog sits, but then slides into a “down” position. You say “good boy.” You taught your dog to lay down with a sit command. The proper way is to say “sit” when his butt touches the floor. If or when he moves, you have less than 1 second to let him know he made a mistake with a verbal correction (No, Eh, Phooey). In order for Praise or Punishment to be effective, it must be done within seconds of the action!

Training Success: An action must be paired with a command for an association to be established. The average dog will learn a new command after repeating the pairing process 30-50 times, but it may take a stubborn dog 100 times to make the association.

General Advice: Do not get a border collie unless you are willing to devote an extreme amount time and energy to training. If not properly stimulated, a smart dog will become frustrated and destructive. The easiest dog to train is NOT the smartest dog…it is the WILLING one.

2008 Written by Susan Jakobs: CPDT-KA. Owner of Dog Builders, Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and Therapy Dog, Inc.