Maltese training does have its drawbacks, but it needs to be done if you want your dog to grow up a credit to his breed, and be well liked by your visitors. Remember, not training or socializing your dog leads to a jealous and overprotective Maltese that is not friendly towards others. Furthermore, you will have a real struggle trying to get the dog to listen to you. While there are many commands and lessons in obedience that will need to be a part of your dog’s Maltese training, the following is one of the basic commands you can teach your dog – “Down”.
The “Down” Command
- Take your Maltese dog to a quiet room in your home where there will be no distractions. Make sure you have plenty of treats on you for the lesson.
- To begin with, take a piece of a treat and hold it just in front of your Maltese’s nose. Slowly draw it down between your dog’s front legs towards the ground. As he follows the food, your dog will lie down. At this point don’t give your dog a command. *Note, if your dog is having a hard time lying down, hold the treat under a small table, so he’ll need to lie down in order to get it.
- As soon as your dog is lying down, praise him immediately and give him his treat. Continue to repeat this step until your dog is lying down as soon as he sees the food move. Then take a short break. Have a playtime, or let your dog go as he pleases.
- Once you’ve had a sufficient break, begin your Maltese training again by returning back to the same quiet room with treats. This time when you show the dog the food say the command “Down”, and then lure him into the position with the food as you did before. You will find that it will also help if you point to the ground in the same motion you use when luring your dog with food. Praise your dog immediately once he lies down and give him his treat. Continue this training until your dog is beginning to lie down as soon as you say the word “Down”. Take another break.
- This time around, the goal is to have your dog obey your command without the constant use of a treat. Return back to the room, and begin teaching by saying “Down”. Once he lies down, praise him and pet him. The next time, repeat the “Down” command, but this time, give him a treat for lying down, along with praise. Continue to train your dog in this fashion by altering when you give him treats each time he performs the trick successfully. Take a break when you think you’ve made good progress.
- As soon as you feel confident with your dog’s understanding of the “Down” command, start to give him the command in different locations of your home. You may need to use food to get him to cooperate for the first time in new locations, but the more you practice, the more he will learn to do the command without receiving a treat all the time.
The more persistent you are with your Maltese training, and the more fun you make it for your dog; the more successful you will be at achieving your goals.