Barns all over the world have resident dogs. They make a great duo. If you’ve got a barn and you’re trying to bring in a resident dog the benefits are obvious. You’ll have a great canine companion who can keep the barn free of vermin and predators, precisely what you need if you have livestock on site. Your barn dog isn’t such a great listener though. This could be just about overlooked if it wasn’t for the fact you also want to enter him into sports such as barn hunts and herding competitions. To do well in either of these he needs to be well disciplined and follow your instructions.
The ‘sit’ is one of the first and most important commands to teach him. Not only will it be the foundation for a number of other obedience commands you’ll teach him, but it’s also a fantastic way to grab his attention.
Sit is one of the first commands to teach him because it’s also one of the most basic and easy to drill into him. The best way to achieve swift results is to find an effective incentive. As you can probably imagine, some delicious food is usually the quickest way to seize and maintain your dog's attention. Having said that, a favorite toy will also do a pretty good job.
If he’s a puppy he should be a fast learner and eager to please. This means you could see results in just a couple of days. If he’s older, stubborn and doesn’t follow instructions well then you may need up to 10 days before you see consistent results. Get this training right though, and you’ll be well on the way to teach him a range of useful barn dog commands, from ‘leave it’ to ‘come’.
Before you can get to work you’ll need several things. The most important component will be food. You can either use treats or break his favorite food into small chunks. For one of the methods, you’ll also need an irresistible toy. A clicker will also be required for one of the techniques below.
You’ll need to find 10 minutes a day for practicing and you’ll need to be able to practice in a range of distracting environments, such as a barn.
Once you’ve got all that, just bring a pro-active attitude and training can begin!