Sighthound Training Program
Comprehensive training program for Sighthounds. It covers all the essential aspects of obedience training, such as sit and stay, recall, heel, drop/leave it, and no. It also includes tips and techniques for leash training, exercise, recall training, socialization, and regular practice. Additionally, it highlights the importance of consistency and patience when training a sighthound and recommends hiring a professional trainer. Overall, this program emphasizes the importance of providing structure and purpose for sighthounds and fostering a strong bond between the owner and the dog.
Basic obedience training:
- Sit: Teach your sighthound to sit on command using positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise. Once your sighthound has mastered the sit command, teach them to remain in that position until called or released using the same positive reinforcement.
- Heel: Teaching your sighthound to walk by your side on and off-leash is essential to rudimentary obedience training. Use positive reinforcement and consistent training to teach your sighthound to heel and stay close to you on and off-leash.
- Drop/Leave it: Teaching your sighthound the “drop” or “leave it” command is vital for their safety and to prevent them from picking up and potentially ingesting dangerous objects. Start by showing your sighthound a treat and saying “drop” or “leave it” if they drop the treat or stop interacting with it, reward them with a treat. Gradually generalize the command to other objects and their food bowl during mealtime so they learn to stop eating and release the bowl when commanded.
- No: Teaching the “no” command is essential to basic obedience training. Use the “no” command to correct unwanted behaviour and let your sighthound know that the behaviour is unacceptable. The “no” command should be used consistently and in a firm but calm tone.
- Recall (Come): Teaching your sighthound to come when called is essential. Use positive reinforcement and high-value treats to encourage your sighthound to come to you when called. See detailed technique below:-
- Sighthounds have a strong hunting instinct, so a reliable recall is vital to help keep them safe if they ever get loose.
- Start by training in a low-distraction environment and gradually increase the difficulty level as your sighthound masters each step.
- Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to reward your sighthound when they come to you when called.
- Make the recall command a positive experience for your sighthound by using a happy tone of voice and a high-value treat as a reward.
- Incorporate distractions during recall training, such as other dogs, people, and animals, to help your sighthound learn to come to you even when other things distract them.
- Use a remote collar as a training aid to help your sighthound learn to come to you even when they are out of sight. A remote collar allows the sighthound to slow down at its own pace for a stress-free and injury-free recall, rather than using a long line which can cause a sighthound to abruptly jolt back while running or get tangled and cause harm.
- Regularly practice the recall in different environments and with various distractions to help your sighthound understand that the command applies in all situations.
- Be patient and consistent with your training. Remember that training for a reliable recall takes time and patience; don’t get discouraged if progress is slow.
- It’s important to note that you perform recall training in a safe environment, and it is crucial to understand the dog’s behaviour and hunting instincts to avoid dangerous situations.
- Begin by training in a low-distraction environment and gradually increase the difficulty level as your sighthound masters each step.
- Use a martingale collar and positive reinforcement to teach your sighthound to heel and stay close to you. It’s important to note that harnesses were designed for breeds like huskies to pull and may not be as effective for leash control as collars.
- Change direction randomly by walking into your sighthound rather than allowing them to pull ahead of you; this forces your sighthound to be aware of where you are and to stay close to you.
- Incorporate distractions during training, such as other dogs, people, and animals, to help your sighthound learn to focus on you and not get distracted by their surroundings.
- Make sure to use a consistent word or phrase to indicate to your sighthound when it is time to walk calmly and when it is time to play or run, and this will help them understand what is acceptable behaviour during a walk.
- Reward your dog for calm behaviour and discourage pulling by walking into them when they pull.
- Sighthounds have a lot of energy, so regular exercise is important. They enjoy running and chasing, so ensure they get plenty of stimulation, running and playing in a secure area.
- Expose your sighthound to various people, animals, and environments to help them become well-adjusted and confident. Sighthounds can be aloof with strangers, so socialisation is essential to prevent shyness.
- Socialisation should start early and continue throughout the dog’s life.
- Exposure to different types of people, animals, and environments will help your sighthound become more confident and well-adjusted.
- Regularly practising the commands and behaviour you want to see from your dog is important to maintain and improve their training.
- Set aside time each day to review and practice the commands you have taught your sighthound.
- Remember that training a dog takes time and patience. Consistency is key, and don’t get discouraged if progress is slow.
- Sighthounds are known for being independent and may be more challenging to train than other breeds. Hiring a professional trainer with experience with this breed is a good idea if you find it challenging to train your sighthound independently.
Also see training courses available in the Annual Appraisal Form