About Mastiffs > Training

The training of your American Mastiff, you should begin as soon as you acquire the dog. You can do the training yourself, or you can hire a professional trainer to do the work. Local dog training classes are usually available; they will be listed in the newspaper, or your veterinarian can recommend a trainer.

There are two types of training behavioral and obedience. Behavioral training corrects bad habits that your American Mastiff may have developed such as begging, chasing cars, jumping on people, and so on. It is important to be consistent during the training process.

Obedience training sessions should be short, but frequent; ten to fifteen minute sessions, two or three times a day will be sufficient. If your training sessions are too long, your American Mastiff will become bored. The best training time is before meals. If you work with your dog before it eats, it will begin to associate it meal as a reward for the training sessions.

Before giving a word command to your dog, speak its name to get its attention; then speak a one-word command such as sit, stay, or heel. Do not get impatient, you will probably have to repeat the command many times. Never use negative reinforcement; do not call your dog to come to you for punishment because this will teach your dog not to come on command.

Some of the specific commands are "sit," "stay," "heel," and "come." When speaking the commands, say them loudly and clearly, repeating them often. The dog may have to hear the commands over and over, but will soon begin to associate the word with its meaning. When your dog responds correctly, remember to praise it; this will provoke your dog to perform correctly the next time.

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