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Obedience training:


Obedience training is started as a puppy. Obedience is a fun way of training even the most basic things. You can teach your dog anything you can think of. First you need to build the basics and have a good connection between you and your dog. If either of these the connection or trust is not there, it will be much harder for you to continue in the future. So do spend time on this! It just requires some work and a lot of fun training session in different places and training grounds. Usually Newfoundlands will do anything for a piece of cheese or ham. Clicker training is also good way of teaching new things.

Obedience tests are not hard even for Newfoundlands, you just have to have found the right motivator. Obedience tests test the same things you would have taught for your dog in any case; heeling, sit, stay, come. When you think your dog is able to do everything round about right, itís the right time to go to a test. More Newfoundlands arenít seen in obedience tests, because their owners aim for perfection; but Newfoundlands can never be as precise as bordercollies!

Never take obedience training too seriously with a Newf!

Obedience training hints for Newfoundlands:

- Stay

It is important to teach your human to stand perfectly still. This is easy to teach by sitting down and not moving at all. At first, the human will pull, beg, threaten and coax with treats etc.. Donít mind this, it is a normal reaction from an untrained human. Gradually with consistent training, you can usually get the human to perform an adequate stay. In the beginning, remember to sit perfectly still and look the human in the eye. When the human has learnt to stay still, you can pull slightly on the leash and it will make the human stop and stay.

- Following on the leash

A well-trained human will follow you through anywhere. Depending on the humanís age and health, you should adjust your speed so that the humans donít strain themselves too much. As a rule of thumb, when the leash is tight and the human is following you steadily huffing and puffing, the speed is correct. If you hear vague moaning, wheezing or rattling, slow down for a bit. A well moving and fast human is any dogís pride.

- Down-stay

This can be taught at the same time as following on the leash. When the speed is correct, turn around quickly so that the human will trip on the leash and lose itís balance. The lieing down will be fast.

- Stop-Stay

This should be trained using a leash. When the speed is correct, stop suddenly to for example smell something. When the leash is tight, the human will stop as well. In this exercise, you should take into account the humanís age and health and adjust the speed of the stop accordingly. If the speed is too fast, the human will fall down and this will be more of a down-stay.

- Come

This is essential to teach to all humans. Often, being as lazy as they are, they have a bad habit of standing still and shouting at the dog. This will not do. The best way to teach the human to come is to make yourself so irresistible that the human can do nothing but come to you. You can, as good examples run straight onto the street or to the childrenís play area for a good poo. There are many things you can do. One trustworthy way is to roll in something smelling or eat spoiled food or horse poo. When the human has come to you, never forget the reward. A big wet drool-filled kiss is something that the human will never forget.

- Following without a leash

This is easy to teach after you have taught the human to come. When the human has come to you, just move back a few steps. When the human comes to you again, repeat. This way the human will learn to follow you without extra effort. You donít need to mind if the human shouts or if their face turns red, these are normal reactions as the human wants to show itís enthusiasm and encouragement to the dog.

When you repeat these at least daily, you can be sure that you will do well. Remember that you are training a human, your friend and the main idea is that the training has to be a fun hobby for both of youÖ even if sometimes it feels like you are making the human a nervous wreck.

Have FUN :-) !


(c) Salmelin