We call it a trap, as its lulls new puppy owners into a false sense of security that their puppy will be trained after four weeks. During these courses you will teach your puppy how to sit,drop etc, toilet training, puppy socialisation , grooming, feeding, biting and the list goes on.
To be honest, I can’t blame the new owners for buying into this, I mean $100-$200 4-6 weeks later and their puppy is apparently finished training, it almost sounds to good to be true and which it is. Expecting it to take only a few weeks to train your puppy, is the same as expecting your child to be educated after finishing preschool, although its a great start, its still a long road ahead!
Truth be told, even the worlds greatest dog trainers, despite their best efforts couldn’t have a puppy reliably trained in that amount of time. Training your dog is more than a couple of week’s commitment, which is why we don’t offer set 3-6 week courses. Our class programs are tailored towards real world obedience and behaviour skills that are crucial to having a well adjusted pet.
Only the most experienced trainers should run puppy class
The training your puppy receives during it’s critical development periods (8-20 weeks) are essential to having a well rounded adult dog. Most issues seen in adult dogs are a result of experiences or lack of training during the first 6 months of life.
Unfortunately most puppy schools are run by volunteer instructors, Vet nurses or junior trainers. Although well intentioned, they usually have very little knowledge on dog training and behaviour and can do more harm than good. When it comes to training your puppy, you want the best possible teacher that money can buy, as you only get one shot at training your puppy. Our Melbourne puppy school , is run by our most experienced trainers who are all government accredited, so you can rest assured that your puppy is receiving the expert attention it deserves.
Puppy School shouldn’t be a free for all
Another downside of the “4 week” puppy school, is that the start of each class generally starts off with a puppy free for all, with all the puppies running around off leash which is very counter productive towards your end goal. As unfortunately, most inexperienced trainers who run these classes, believe that “socialisation” means nothing more than playing with other puppies. What your puppy experiences during their critical periods, has lasting effects. I routinely see older dogs, that are fear aggressive of other dogs due to bad free for all experiences at puppy school.
Every puppy is different and needs to be trained accordingly
The vast majority of these poorly run puppy schools unfortunately have a one size fits all approach when it comes to training your puppies, and a set curriculum your puppy needs to fall into. This often leads and to disaster and much embarrassment for new puppies owners as they do there best to follow what the instructor is saying, but they have no success in doing so. The class you attend, needs to be flexible with what they teach and the methods they use, so that way you can find what works best for you and your pup. You want to ensure that your trainer has knowledge and experience with training all breeds of dogs to assist you with your puppy and the challenges you’re facing.
Do your research
When looking into a well run and comprehensive puppy school, take the time to find out who is highly recommended and has the experience needed. As they say, quality is always remembered long after the price is forgotten, so be prepared to invest in your puppies education, as cheap training is usually just that. You can view our dog training reviews on Google, to see why our clients believe we offer the best dog training service around.
Give your puppy the training they deserve!
To give your puppy the best possible start in life and find out why we are recommend as Melbourne’s leading puppy and training school visit our Puppy Schoo l page our Contact us to get started.
I encourage pet parents to think of employing a dog trainer in the same way that they would a nutritionist. We all know how to eat healthily, correct? Sometimes, however, we have special dietary restrictions or conditions that require the trained assistance of a nutritionist. There is no shame in seeking a professional’s help. The same is true when it comes to issues you may be having with your best friend, except — and this is a huge exception — there is no regulation of the dog training industry.
It is truly a buyer-beware situation when you employ a dog trainer. You could get a certified, experienced, and truly talented professional, or you could get a hack who hung out a sign yesterday proclaiming himself to be a trainer. Therefore, the onus of discovery is on you, the pet parent.
But what if there was a way that allowed you to circumvent the often disastrous, contentious state of the dog-training field? I am happy to say that there is, and the solution is: Train your own dog.
Yes, you can train your puppy yourself! (Photo by Tica Clarke Photography)
So, how do you go about it? Start by following these three steps.
Step 1: Don’t Google!
If you are dealing with a dog whose behavior you consider to be aggressive and you Google “dog aggression,” you will be hit in the eyes with 17 million entries. How do you gauge who really has good advice and who thinks he’s an expert just because he has a dog? Instead of wasting time Googling advice from strangers, invest time in studying your dog’s behavior. To understand dogs, you have to understand canine body language. What is your dog telling you when he licks his nose or lifts a paw, for example? A great place to begin learning about canine body language is dog trainer Jill Breitner’s app, The Dog Decoder.
Step 2: Start with the basics, then hire accordingly if needed
Have you made it clear to your dog what gets him many yummy reinforcers and makes you happy? Start by teaching in very small increments and in a low-stress setting, such as a simple sit not in an emotionally charged location such as the front door. Work your way up to the door, and if the new setting proves too much, go back to the last place where your dog was able to hear your request and begin again. Please do not be afraid to use high-quality food reinforcers in training — hot dogs and squirt cheese solve MANY a problem.
If you have tried training on your own but get stuck or the dog does not progress as quickly as you want, then consider hiring a specifically trained trainer. First determine if the problem is obedience-related (he pulls on the leash) or behavior-related (he lunges and barks at other dogs), then look for a trainer or behaviorist who specializes in the problem. Also ask potential trainers for how they will help your dog when he makes the wrong decisions, and what they do to the dog when he gets it right.
Most important, ask if they can train your dog without touching the dog or using any force whatsoever. If they are unable to do, move on to a trainer who can. You can search for a qualified, force-free trainer through the Pet Professional Guild.
You can teach your dog yourself to sit nicely to greet people at the door. (Photo by Annie Phenix)
Step 3: Look for ways to reinforce the behavior you want
If your dog does a jumping-on-people problem, when you catch your dog sitting or lying down in a quiet situation, give him truly delicious meat or cheese reinforcers. After he starts doing more of that for which he has been rewarded, then work on asking for the “sit” or “down,” again using food. Why? Dogs need to be motivated, just like humans. You don’t go to work for free, so don’t ask another species to do something you are not willing to do yourself.
Know that a rewarded behavior increases. A dog cannot both sit and jump on people at the same time, so work hard to reinforce the behavior you want. Also, take a step back and ask yourself if you are inadvertently reinforcing the unwanted behavior (perhaps by kneeing the jumping dog in the chest, which your dog might see as an invitation to play). If what you are doing isn’t getting the results you desire, change your behavior. We have to stop telling our dogs no no no and instead look for ways to say yes.
Reinforce the heck out of behavior that you DO want from your dog! A good “sit” solves a lot of canine issues! (Photo by Annie Phenix)
Dogs do what works for them. It just happens that most of what works for them also works for us. Dogs are not attempting to take over control. “Dominance theory” has been utterly and completely squashed by science. You may still come across trainers who tout it, but know that they subscribe to outdated and harmful dog training methodologies.
As you set about training your dog, note what works and what doesn’t. Force is not advised as it decreases trust and connection. Dogs seek humans out and want to be with us, so using aggression to train a dog weakens that bond. Look for positive ways to encourage, motivate, and praise your dog when she is doing what you want. The only punisher I use on any breed of dog is a timeout. I either leave the situation, or I take away the thing the dog wants in that moment. And then I immediately return in person — or I return the item the dog wants — after asking again for the behavior I do want.
There are a few basic skills that make life with your dog more enjoyable and they also make the dog’s life with us more comfortable for the dog. However, dogs don’t arrive in our homes knowing the house rules. Even just teaching a reliable sit can solve a lot of problems. Obedience begins with focus so the more your dog loves being around you and the more he is reinforced for offering you the behavior you want from him, the more harmonious life will become for both species.
You can do a ton of dog training yourself. Dog training isn’t rocket science. In fact, even if you sent your dog away to a trainer, you still live with the dog. When he returns, the onus of training is on you. The great news is that you can train your dog with just a little increase of human knowledge, kindness, and motivation.
On a related note, I have a new book out that offers practical training advice for even the most troubled dog. Look for The Midnight Dog Walkers: Positive Training and Practical Advice for Living with Reactive and Aggressive Dogs (Lumina Media) in stores or on Amazon.
One of the questions that dog owners have with regard to training their dog is whether to hire a dog trainer or to train their dogs themselves.
There could be number of reasons why many people think that hiring a dog trainer for puppy training is more effective than self training. It could be that you do not have any time for puppy training or that you do not know where to start and how to go about puppy potty training. These are just some of the reasons why people hire a dog trainer for puppy training.
More Than Just Dog Training?
However, what many people do not understand is the fact that dog training or puppy training is not just about getting your dog to obey a few commands. It is rather about establishing a good relationship with your dog and about understanding your dog better so that you can tell them things in a way that they would understand and listen.
So in this context, you will not be able to establish good relationship with your dog unless and until you spend time with your dog and interact with your dog. This cannot be done by sending your dog for an expensive training.
Having said this, you should not be looking for a dog trainer rather a good dog training system that will help you with your puppy potty training, out of control barking training, etc.
Moreover, it is important to understand that dogs are very boundary-conscious pets. When you send your pet to a trainer it will get confused with regard to its own boundaries as well as the owner. They should first identify you as the owner. It is very likely to get confused when you send it to a new trainer in a new place.
Sending your dog to a trainer will also result in inconsistency. You and your dog trainer will not relate to the dog in the same way. For your dog trainer, your dog is just is job but for you it is your pet and it is almost like your family member. This will result in inconsistency.
If you cannot find time to spend with your pet then it is best not to own a pet. If you have time to spend with your pet, then you will as well be able to train your pet which is one of the best things for your pet.
You need not be an experienced dog trainer to deal with your dog effectively. All your pet requires is care and little patience and what you need is the right dog training manual that will help you with step by step training process.
You may have a puppy you’re certain will turn out to be a perfect angel, or a pup you’ve just sort of given up on because you know they’re too stubborn, dominant, or unwilling to learn proper training. The truth is, whatever age or disposition dog you have, he or she could benefit from some good training—the truth is, you would benefit, too!
Do I train her myself or hire a pro?
There are lots of great training books and online videos out there, and these can be helpful for training at home. However, a quality dog trainer with experience will be able to accomplish more with your pet in less time. Dog trainers will also help train you and teach you the best ways to keep good behavior up once the trainer is gone.
Be aware of your dog’s physical limitations.
If your dog has a hip problem, the “sit” command might make them uncomfortable. If your pet has a known physical issue, don’t push them to do tricks that might cause discomfort.
It’s never too early to start training.
Old school training wouldn’t try to teach dogs until at least six months of age, but most trainers now believe there is no such thing as too early. Modern positive reinforcement is easy to learn because it’s rewarding, regardless of how old your pet is. Puppies will have shorter attention spans that require more patience from trainers, but it’s never too early to help them start learning good behaviors.
Positive reinforcement always works, no matter what kind of dog you have.
Think about it: Would you rather be praised, or yelled at? Positive reinforcement works on all creatures. Instead of flipping a lid when Fido makes a mistake, firmly but calmly say “no” when they slip up to correct the behavior. When they do well, however, reward with a tiny treat, lots of petting, and praise. You’ll be shocked at how quickly Fido starts working for positive affection.
My dog is great. Why does she need training?
All dogs needs training to ensure they have good manners, not just for you at home, but for all the people and animals they are bound to interact with over their lives. Training not only teaches good behavior that will make life easier for both of you, it shows your pet that you are their leader, which makes them feel calm and secure. When your dog knows who is in charge, they’ll be happier, and so will you.
If you ever have specific training questions or need help finding a great trainer, give us a buzz at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals. We offer the best Frisco dog boarding, pet pharmacy, pet neutering, pet spaying, and veterinary services in Central Texas, and we’re always glad to help!
Mikkel Becker has trained hundreds of dogs. This certified professional dog trainer is a best-selling pet author and is an in-demand speaker on dog behavior at pet conferences.
Yet, when the opportunity arises, Becker doesn’t hesitate to enroll in a dog training class with Willy, her 10-year-old well-mannered pug. She believes that even professional dog trainers – and their dogs – benefit by paying to take classes taught by other experts.
“Willy and I are now in a manners class and even though he is a therapy dog, I see the value of learning from other trainers, continuing training together, and getting to see training from a student’s perspective,” says Becker, of Seattle, who co-authors books on dogs, cats, and horses with her veterinarian father, Dr. Marty Becker.
This begs the question – should you pay to have your dog trained or save money and teach him the basic obedience commands on your own?
The obvious advantages of going do-it-yourself (DIY) is saving money. It also eliminates one of your many must-dos of ensuring you and your dog show up on time for each training session. But as Becker points out, there are far more advantages of enrolling in classes than opting to go solo. Here are six advantages to consider:
1. Classes help hone your dog’s socialization skills around other dogs and people.
Your dog gets the opportunity to meet, sniff and interact with canines of various ages, breeds and temperaments as well as greet people (young, old, some wearing hats, etc.) in a supervised setting. These exposures can help him bring out his best behavior during his dog park outings as well as being handled by pet professionals, including veterinarians, groomers and pet sitters.
2. You reduce your risk of unintentionally teaching bad habits.
Lacking professional dog training and understanding the benefits of reward-based positive reinforcement training techniques, you may try to teach your dog too much too soon. That can create confusion in your canine and frustration in you – two emotions that can impede true learning.
3. You can build on your dog’s learning skills.
When I adopted Kona, my terrier mix, from a shelter earlier this year, we immediately enrolled in a basic obedience class. Upon graduation, we took two more levels of obedience training and she aced her test to earn her American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizenship title. The logical sequence of progressing from basic to more advanced skills boosted Kona’s confidence to master more challenging skills.
4. You can expand into canine sports, trick training or therapy work.
Once you and your dog have a solid foundation of basic obedience, you can branch off into specialty classes. Some dogs have a natural desire to do agility; others enjoy learning tricks while others have the temperament to excel as therapy dogs visiting children in schools and people in hospitals. A professional dog trainer can steer you in the right direction for your dog’s specific talents and interests.
5. You can motivate older dogs to learn.
While many people see the value of enrolling puppies in classes, they forget the value of teaching their adult and senior dogs new tricks and skills. Becker’s dog, Willy is a certified therapy dog, but loves taking obedience and manner classes.
6. You get the accountability your dog deserves.
“When you enroll in a class taught by a professional dog trainer, you and your dog have homework you need to do at home each week before the next class meets. It makes you accountable to train your dog and bring out the best in him,” says Becker.
By Arden Moore, a dog and cat behavior expert, master certified pet first aid instructor, author of 26 best-selling pet books, radio host, and writer for Pets Best. Since 2005, Pets Best has been offering pet health insurance plans for dogs and cats across the U.S.
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Most people love their furry companions. However, not every moment is enjoyable when your dog isn’t trained to behave in specific ways or avoid unwanted behaviors.
There are many techniques passed on from unknown sources that tell you the best ways to get your dog not to do something. But what is the best method, and how do you use these techniques?
Learn the most common methods for how to train your dog, as well as what techniques not to use.
How Should You Train Your Dog?
There are two common methods of training a dog.
The first is the aversive-based method. The second is the reward-based method. Aversive-based (discipline) training is when you use positive punishment and negative reinforcement techniques with your dog. Reward-based methods use rewards only for the behaviors that you want your dog to follow.
Aversive-based training uses techniques like loud, unpleasant noises, physical corrections, and harsh scoldings to get your dog to act the way you want. On the other hand, reward-based training uses rewards whenever your dog does something you want it to do. Treats, belly rubs, or other dog-pleasing actions are used to reinforce that a behavior was good.
Different experts prefer one method over the other. The one that you use is completely up to you.
Some people believe that a rewards-based method sets up an “event sequence” for your dog where they associate you with happy feelings when they do what they’re told. Aversive-based methods do just the opposite, where they fear you. That fear means that your dog does what they are told to avoid unpleasant feelings.
Understand How Your Dog Learns
Dogs learn a lot like little kids. They are close in intelligence to human two-year-olds. Immediate consequences are all that they care about. As they grow, they begin to understand our words. Some intelligent breeds will respond to as many as 250! Yet every dog responds to the tone of our voice more than the actual words.
There are three types of dog intelligence recognized by scientists:
- Working and obedience
Instinctive learning is when your dog learns the behaviors they were bred. Adaptive learning is how well your dog learns from their surroundings and the environment around them to solve problems. Working and obedience are how well they learn the tasks and commands that you teach them.
To get your dog to be obedient, you should focus on training that uses obedience techniques and the specific behaviors you want from them. Both aversive- and reward-based training have been proven to work. However, if you’re training your dog to be a loving pet, you should consider reward-based obedience training. This method doesn’t develop fear-based responses in your dog. It actually reinforces your loving relationship with them.
Obedience Training Rewards
Dogs are smart enough to learn the behaviors that you want them to have. They are also smart enough to learn what they can get away with.
If you’re wondering how to train a dog with a specific behavior, one of the most effective methods is to give them treats, praise, or affection. Most importantly, the best reward to give them is the one that they want the most. If they are food motivated, treats might work better than praise. If they crave attention from you, then affection might be the best reward.
The main point to focus on is to consistently give your dog rewards for the behavior that you want. Do not reward the behavior you don’t want. When your dog performs the behavior, they should get their reward. If you ask them to lie down and don’t give them a treat until they stand back up, they become confused. They won’t know which behavior the reward was for.
Control Consequences Effectively
When you are using reward-based training, your dog needs to understand that there are consequences for behaving in a way you don’t like. Here the consequences are to withhold their reward when they do something bad.
For instance, a dog that likes to jump up to greet their humans when they come in the house can be dangerous for an older adult. To train them not to jump up at you, do not greet them or give them attention if they jump up. You should turn around, walk back out the door, and continue doing this until the dog doesn’t jump up. Keep a treat in your hand while you do this.
When the dog doesn’t jump, give them the treat, and repeat the task until your dog doesn’t jump up when you come in. You should try this with all of the people that your dog gets excited to see when they come in your house. This ensures that they give your dog the treat for the correct behavior.
Training New Skills
When you’re teaching your dog something new, remember that they have the attention span and intelligence of a two-year-old. Your training sessions should be short and to the point. Limit them to 15 minutes. Focus on one task or behavior so that they do not become confused.
Make sure that you’re using the same commands for the behaviors that you want. If you use the same word but insert it into sentences differently every time you say it, your dog may not understand. For instance, if you want to train your dog to lie down, you will confuse them if you say “Lie down” one session and then say “Fido, lie down or no treat” later in the day. They might not know what to do.
Basic Obedience Dog Training
The American Kennel Club recognizes five basic commands that every dog should know. They are:
Finding Help and More Information
If you’re looking for help training your dog, you could try taking a class at your local American Kennel Club (AKC). Local pet associations can also help you with behavioral problems or with fundamentals. The AKC has over 5,000 clubs around the country.
AKC: “Clubs & Delegates,” “4 Tips for Training Your Dog With Rewards,” “”The Five Commands Every Dog Should Know.”
AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: Smarter Than You Think: Renowned Canine Researcher Puts Dogs’ Intelligence on Par with 2-Year-old Human.”
Humane Society of the United States: “Stop your dog from jumping up.”
Journal of Veterinary Behavior: “The effects of using aversive training methods in dogs—A review.”
PloS One: “Does training method matter? Evidence for the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare.”
Psychology Today: “Canine Intelligence—Breed Does Matter,” “Reward Training vs. Discipline-Based Dog Training.”
The key to a good dog is a well-trained dog. When you train together, an unspoken language builds between you through words, hand signals, whistles and other methods. Test your training skills. Visit the AKC training programs.
Founded in 1884, the not-for-profit AKC is the recognized and trusted expert in breed, health, and training information for all dogs. AKC actively advocates for responsible dog ownership and is dedicated to advancing dog sports.
All dogs are good dogs, but not all dogs are well-trained pets. There are dogs that bark when the doorbell rings. Dogs that pull while on walks. Dogs that chase the family cat. Some pet owners chalk up their pets’ behavior to mere doggy antics, but sometimes bad behavior requires professional help.
Take Ginger, a rescue puppy that would poop when someone picked her up. When strangers came near, she’d hide under the porch or tremble. This was how she expressed her fear of the world around her—a fear that made training her difficult, said Kim Kavin, Ginger’s owner and author of The Dog Merchants: Inside the Big Business of Breeders, Pet Stores, and Rescuers. At a loss, Kavin sought the help of a dog trainer (well, five different trainers) when Ginger turned 1 year old.
“It was trial and error,” said Kavin, who also noted that methodologies vary among professionals. “You need to find someone willing to work with you. We had to adapt to Ginger’s peculiarities, which not a lot of trainers will allow you to do.”
Dog trainers can be helpful for dogs of different ages with different issues, from fear to aggression to problems mastering basic commands. And hiring one shouldn’t be considered a reflection of an owner’s failure. Sassafras Lowrey, a certified trick dog instructor, said, “Working with a trainer isn’t a sign that something went wrong or that someone is failing at properly managing their dog. Rather, it’s a sign that you deeply love and value your dog and want to have a better relationship.”
Strengthening that bond between owner and dog starts with finding the pet professional who is right for you. Here’s how to connect with the right dog trainer and follow through with their help.
Start at any age
Whereas some newbie puppy owners enroll their pets in “obedience school,” some lifelong dog owners rely on their own know-how when they add a new dog to their pack. However, pet experts agree that every dog (and even experienced dog owners) can benefit from a dog trainer’s expertise.
“Starting with a trainer once a dog enters a household can help build their resilience and create a relationship more quickly,” said Erin Askeland, a Denver-based animal health and behavior consultant with the pet-care franchise Camp Bow Wow.
Another good time to seek a professional’s advice is when your dog stops following commands. A pet trainer can bring a fresh perspective, which owners need when training roadblocks appear.
Seek the right professional
Finding a professional dog trainer in your area isn’t as simple as browsing Yelp reviews. Pet professionals go by several titles, such as “behavior counselor,” “pet trainer,” “pet psychologist,” or “pet therapist.” There’s also no state or federal certification needed to be a dog trainer in the United States, though bills have been introduced in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
The experts Wirecutter interviewed recommend hiring credentialed dog professionals, such as those registered with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers or the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. The experts also praised the Karen Pryor Academy and Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers for their use of evidence-based approaches. (Both the CCPDT and IAABC say pet owners should avoid programs that use punishment or pack-theory techniques because they’re not scientifically supported and are controversial in the training community.)
Certifications will help you parse through page after page of online listings—but you shouldn’t depend on the credentials alone. Experts also suggest calling references and researching a dog trainer’s training philosophy. And if that first training session leaves you unsure about the fit, it’s okay to say “no thanks.”
“Don’t be afraid to be picky,” Lowrey said. “If a trainer does or says something that makes you or your dog uncomfortable, leave and find someone new to work with.”
Get the right gear for practicing at home
Once you’ve consulted with a trainer, consider the gear you’ll need to reinforce good behavior at home. Obedience training often starts with mastering basic commands such as “sit,” “heel,” and “leave it” before advancing to long-distance recalls, impulse control, and flashy tricks in distracting environments.
A good collar ensures that identification tags will always remain accessible if you’re separated from your dog; it also acts as a connection point for a leash and serves as a training tool. Wirecutter recommends a flat-buckle collar, such as the Orvis Personalized Dog Collar, for most dogs. But if your dog has a slimmer head, as a whippet does, or a delicate trachea, as a Yorkshire terrier does, a limited-slip collar or harness is best. (Wirecutter recommends the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Walking Harness.) A 4- to 6-foot-long dog leash, such as Wirecutter’s pick, a nylon Max and Neo leash, is ideal for beginner training situations. And a dog crate aids in housebreaking and prevents pups from destroying property indoors. (Wirecutter likes the MidWest Ultima Pro.)
Use a small, smelly (trainers emphasize that the smell is important) treat to reward a dog’s good behavior—think pea-sized servings of dog-friendly jerky, string cheese, or hot dogs. For dogs on a specialized diet, kibble works in a pinch. Extra praise or a tug on a favorite toy makes training fun for dogs who aren’t food motivated.
Don’t rush the process
A trainer won’t be with you 24/7, so you should also incorporate obedience training (basic cues like “sit” and “touch”) into your daily routine, such as practicing good leash manners for 10 minutes a day during your dog’s afternoon walk. The routine also bolsters good training habits, much like learning a properly seated dumbbell curl from a personal trainer. And just like when you’re exercising, in training you shouldn’t overexert yourself or your pet. “When you’re learning something new it can be exhausting. We don’t want to overwhelm our learners, which would be our pets in that case,” Askeland said.
Teaching a dog to “sit” can happen in less than a day, but severe behavioral concerns don’t improve at lightning speed. Dr. Wailani Sung, a veterinary behaviorist (a specialist trained in both veterinary medicine and animal behavior) at the San Francisco SPCA, said it takes anywhere from two months to a year to curb a pet’s distressing behavior.
When training isn’t enough
Kavin took Ginger to see five different trainers, but the dog was too nervous to follow commands in public, which put everyone at risk. Then Kavin consulted a veterinary behaviorist who prescribed an anti-anxiety pill after reviewing Ginger’s fearful behavior, environment, and background.
“It seemed very odd to me,” said Kavin, a lifelong pet owner who had never worked with a vet behaviorist with her other dogs. “But in Ginger’s case, it took the edge off. She got her confidence back.” The combination of a prescription and training helped Ginger shine. She is now an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen, a designation that signifies a dog is well trained.
“We’re not advocating an easy fix,” said Sung, who added that not all pets need medication. “I only want to work with owners who want to try and help their pets.” (The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists directory lists qualified experts, such as Sung.)
Ultimately, investing in a qualified expert—and taking the time to train—sets both you and your dog up for success. And no matter the type of credentialed expert you choose, you can always learn something new.
Once you bring your new dog home, it’s smart to begin training immediately. But where should you start? What’s the best way to train a puppy? And how do you train an adult dog?
There are a number of options for training your new pet. Whether you opt to train your puppy or dog yourself, take classes or hire a private trainer, you can implement the following basic training tips right away to make the process easier.
Top 10 Dog Training Tips
These top 10 tips from professional dog trainers will help get you and your new pal on the right track.
Tip 1: Choose Your Dog’s Name Wisely
Part of the fun of bringing home a new puppy or dog is finding the perfect name for them. But did you know certain names are better for training? It helps to consider a short name ending with a strong consonant that they can always hear clearly. A strong ending, like in the names “Jasper,” “Jack” and “Ginger,” perks up puppy ears — especially when you place emphasis at the end.
If your new pet is an older dog, they’re probably used to their name at this point. However, changing it isn’t out of the question. And if your new pal is coming out of an abusive situation, a new name may even represent a fresh start. Dogs are extremely adaptable. If you decide to give them a new name, use it consistently and soon enough your pup will respond to it.
Whatever their name, be sure to associate it with fun, pleasant experiences as much as possible, rather than negative ones. Ideally, your pup should think of their name in the same way they think of other fun stuff like walks or dinnertime.
Tip 2: Decide on the House Rules
Before your new furry pal comes home, decide what they can and can’t do. Are they allowed on the bed or the furniture? Are parts of the house off limits? Will they have their own chair at your dining table? If the rules are determined early, you can avoid confusion — for both of you.
Tip 3: Set Up a Private Den
Like humans, dogs need their own space. As early as possible, give your pup their own private sleeping place, such as a crate. Your dog will benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of their den; it can also be a valuable tool for housetraining. Be sure to reward your puppy or dog if they remain relaxed and quiet in their den.
Tip 4: Help Your Dog Relax
When your puppy gets home, give them a warm hot-water bottle and put a ticking clock near their sleeping area. This imitates the heat and heartbeat of litter mates and will soothe your puppy in their new environment.
This tip may be even more important for a new dog that previously lived in a busy, loud shelter, particularly if they’ve had a rough time early in life. Whatever you can do to help your new pet get comfortable in their forever home will be good for both of you.
Tip 5: Reward Good Behavior
Reward your puppy or dog’s good behavior with positive reinforcement. Use toys, love and lots of praise — and don’t forget the treats, such as DENTASTIX™ treats. Let them know when they’re getting it right. Along those same lines, never reward bad behavior, as it’ll only confuse them.
Tip 6: Teach Your Pup to Come When Called
Come, Jasper! Good boy!
The first command you teach your pet should be to come. Get down on their level and tell your pup to come using their name. When they do, get excited and use lots of positive reinforcement. Next time, try the “come” command when they’re distracted with food or a toy. As your puppy gets older, you’ll continue to see the benefits of perfecting this command.
Tip 7: Train on “Dog Time”
Puppies and dogs live in the moment — two minutes after they’ve done something, they’ve already forgotten about it. So when your pup is doing something bad, use your chosen training technique right away so they have a chance to make the association between the behavior and the correction. Consistent repetition will reinforce what they’ve learned.
Tip 8: Discourage Jumping Right Away
Puppies love to jump up in greeting, and some adult dogs have learned bad habits. When your puppy or dog jumps on a person, don’t reprimand them; just turn your back on them, ignore the behavior and wait until they settle down before giving positive reinforcement. Never encourage jumping behavior by patting or praising your dog when they’re in a “jumping up” position.
Tip 9: Say No to Biting and Nipping
Instead of scolding your new pet, a great way to discourage your mouthy canine is to pretend you’re in a lot of pain when they bite or nip you — a sharp, loud yell should work. Most dogs are so surprised that they stop immediately.
If verbal cues don’t work, try trading a chew toy for your hand or pant leg. This swap trick can also work when a puppy discovers the joys of chewing on your favorite shoes. They tend to prefer a toy or bone anyway. If all else fails, interrupt the biting behavior and respond by ignoring them.
Tip 10: End Training Sessions on a Positive Note
Your puppy or dog has worked hard to please you throughout their training. Leave them with lots of praise, a treat, some petting or five minutes of play. This almost guarantees they’ll show up at their next class or training session with their tail wagging, ready to work!
Bonus tip: When your puppy is old enough, think about getting them neutered or spayed. The same goes if you adopt a dog. A neutered or spayed dog might be more docile, less aggressive and more open to successful training.
Training is an important part of any dog’s life, and is important for several reasons. It provides mental stimulation which helps to keep your dog happy, and if combined with morning exercise your dog will be mentally and physically tired at the end and far more likely to sleep during the day.
The RSPCA supports reward-based training methods whereby the dog is set up to succeed and then rewarded for performing the ‘good’ behaviour (positive reinforcement).
Reward-based training is enjoyable for the dog and positively enhances the relationship between the dog and handler. This approach revolves around positive reinforcement – i.e. rewarding behaviour that we like. Rewards may be in the form of a tasty food treat or verbal praise such as “good dog!” in a pleasant tone of voice, to be given when the dog performs the ‘good’ behaviour.
Reward-based training also involves generally ignoring any ‘unwanted’ behaviours. In this way, the dog is not rewarded for any unwanted behaviour. If dogs are not rewarded (i.e. receives no attention or treats) for a certain behaviour, then they tend to stop doing it. For example if a dog is jumping up to greet people they should be ignored if they jump up and only receive attention (including eye contact) when they have four paws on the ground. Only when they are standing or sitting should they be rewarded with attention and treats.
Sometimes if owners react to ‘unwanted’ behaviour by yelling or getting angry they may inadvertently reinforce the behaviour – dogs perceive this as attention and the ‘unwanted’ behaviour is simply reinforced. For some dogs, any form of attention/reaction from the owner is better than no reaction at all. For example, if an owner shouts at a dog who is barking excessively, the dog may interpret this as getting attention and thus the barking continues whereas it is more effective to try to ignore this behaviour.
Aversion therapy or physical punishment must not be used in training programs. Punishing a dog for ‘unwanted’ behaviour can actually exacerbate the problem.
We highly recommend booking your puppy into puppy school classes, which are an important way of socialising your puppy with other dogs. Your puppy can then use this practice and learning when they meet other dogs at the park or on walks as they grow into adult dogs. Puppies have a ‘critical socialisation period’ from about 3-17 weeks of age. This is the time when they need to socialise with other dogs in order to learn social cues and how to communicate well with other dogs.
For dogs that are no longer in the puppy stage, training classes are offered in most areas. RSPCA recommends classes that use reward-based training that revolves around positive reinforcement as the basis of training. For more information please see AVA Reward-based Training.
Anyone who adopts from the RSPCA is strongly encouraged to incorporate training for the well-being of their dog. In addition, all our communication activities encourage other dog owners to do the same as part of our responsible pet ownership campaign.
Are you looking for the best commands to teach your dog? Although having a trained dog isn’t the same as having a balanced dog, teaching your dog basic dog training commands can be helpful when tackling behavior problems despite whether they are existing ones or those that may develop in the future.
So where exactly do you start with teaching your dog commands? While taking a class may be beneficial for you and your pup, there are many dog training commands you can teach your dog right at home. Below, we’ve listed the best list of dog commands you and your pup are guaranteed to enjoy.
Teaching your dog to sit is one of the most basic dog commands to teach your pup, thus making it a great one to start with. A dog who knows the “Sit” command will be much calmer and easier to control than dogs who aren’t taught this simple command. Additionally, the “Sit” command prepares your dog for harder commands such as “Stay” and “Come.”
Here’s how to teach your dog the “Sit” command:
- Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose.
- Move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower.
- Once he’s in sitting position, say “Sit,” give him the treat, and share affection.
Repeat this sequence a few times every day until your dog has it mastered. Then ask your dog to sit before mealtime, when leaving for walks and during other situations when you’d like him calm and seated.
Another important command for your dog to learn is the word “come.” This command is extremely helpful for those times you lose grip on the leash or accidentally leave the front door open. Once again, this command is easy to teach and will help keep your dog out of trouble.
- Put a leash and collar on your dog.
- Go down to his level and say, “Come,” while gently pulling on the leash.
- When he gets to you, reward him with affection and a treat.
Once he’s mastered it with the leash, remove it and continue to practice the command in a safe, enclosed area.
This next command is one of the more difficult dog training commands to teach. The reason it may be hard for your dog to master this command is that it requires him to be in a submissive posture. You can help out your dog by keeping training positive and relaxed, especially if your dog is fearful or anxious. Also keep in mind to always praise your dog once he successfully follows the command.
- Find a particularly good smelling treat, and hold it in your closed fist.
- Hold your hand up to your dog’s snout. When he sniffs it, move your hand to the floor, so he follows.
- Then slide your hand along the ground in front of him to encourage his body to follow his head.
- Once he’s in the down position, say “Down,” give him the treat, and share affection.
Repeat this training every day. If your dog tries to sit up or lunge toward your hand, say “No” and take your hand away. Don’t push him into a down position, and encourage every step your dog takes toward the right position. After all, he’s working hard to figure it out!
Similar to the “Sit” command, the “Stay” cue will help make your dog easier to control. This command can be helpful in a number of situations such as those times you want your dog out of the way as you tend to household chores or when you don’t want your pup overwhelming guests.
Before attempting to teach your dog this command, make sure your dog is an expert at the “Sit” cue. If he hasn’t quite mastered the “Sit” command, take the time to practice it with him before moving on to the “Stay” cue.
- First, ask your dog to “Sit.”
- Then open the palm of your hand in front of you, and say “Stay.”
- Take a few steps back. Reward him with a treat and affection if he stays.
- Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving the treat.
- Always reward your pup for staying put — even if it’s just for a few seconds.
This is an exercise in self-control for your dog, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to master, particularly for puppies and high-energy dogs. After all, most dogs prefer to be on the move rather than just sitting and waiting.
This last command can help keep your dog safe when his curiosity gets the better of him such as those times when he smells something intriguing but possibly dangerous on the ground. The goal is to teach your pup that he gets something even better for ignoring the other item.
- Place a treat in both hands.
- Show him one enclosed fist with the treat inside and say “Leave it.”
- Ignore the behaviors as he licks, sniffs, mouths, paws and barks to get the treat.
- Once he stops trying, give him the treat from the other hand.
- Repeat until your dog moves away from that first fist when you say “Leave it.”
- Next, give your dog the treat only when he looks up at you as he moves away from the first fist.
Once your dog consistently moves away from the first treat and gives you eye contact when you say the command, you’re ready to take it up a notch. For this next training method, use two different treats: one that’s good but not super-appealing and one that’s particularly good-smelling and tasty for your pup.
- Say “Leave it,” place the less-attractive treat on the floor and cover it with your hand.
- Wait until your dog ignores that treat and looks at you. Then remove that treat from the floor, give him the better treat and share affection immediately.
- Once he’s got it, place the less-tasty treat on the floor but don’t completely cover it with your hand. Instead, hold your hand a little bit above the treat . Over time, gradually move your hand farther and farther away until your hand is about 6 inches above.
- Now he’s ready to practice with you standing up! Follow the same steps, but if he tries to snatch the less-tasty treat, cover it with your foot.
Don’t rush the process of teaching your pup any one of these dog training commands. Remember, you’re asking a lot of your dog. If you take it up a notch and he’s really struggling, go back to the previous stage.
This list of dog commands can help protect your dog from dangerous situations as well as improve your communication with him. Taking the time to teach your pup these common dog commands is well worth the investment of your time and effort. Remember, the training process takes time, so start a dog-obedience training session only if you’re in the right mindset to practice calm-assertive energy and patience.
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Discover tips & tricks on training your dog with obedience!
Training your dog can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’re new to pet parenthood. Rest assured that whether you’re a first-time dog-owner or an experienced one, obedience training requires the same basic ingredients: patience, diligence, and consistency.
Taking your dog to obedience school can be a wonderful experience. For times when classes led by a pro are not in your budget, a DIY-approach can be a fun (and effective) alternative. Get started with these seven easy steps.
1. Get Advice From Your Vet
Before you start your obedience-training adventures, speak with a veterinarian who has treated your dog. The vet may have breed-specific advice for how to get your dog to obey. If your dog comes from a rescue facility, has a health condition, or has anxiety, your approach to obedience training may need to differ from the norm. Make sure you get your facts from an expert before you get started on the next step.
Standard commands like teaching your dog to sit, heel, and lie down may take a few weeks. But once your favorite fluffy bestie has nailed the basics, new cues will get easier to introduce. And even if it takes a while, it’s worth it to stick with obedience training– the first time your dog obeys you without any coaxing, you’ll feel like the Dog Whisperer himself.
On an almost daily basis, I am contacted by dog owners who need help with their dog.
I’d estimate that about 80% of these callers say something to the effect of:
Caller: “I’m looking to do some Obedience Training with my dog. Is this something you can help me with?”
Me: “Sure can, but I want you to understand that Obedience Training is not the focus of what we do here..we generally focus on Behavior Modification for troublesome behaviors.”
Caller: “Oh, that’s what I meant, I guess. My dog is showing signs of Fear Aggression, I think, and actually just bit my neighbor’s kid…I thought Obedience Training is what he needs. What’s the difference?”
Well, I guess for some, it’s just semantics.
An accomplished Trainer should know the difference but for the average dog owner, they may have only ever heard of the term Obedience Training and not so much, Behavior Modification (or, B-Mod), or as we like to call it – Behavior Training.
What IS the difference?
In short…Obedience Training teaches or compels a dog to comply with a Verbal Command provided by the owner.
Behavior Training allows a dog to learn how to respond to any given context or situation, without the need for Verbal Commands, or for the owner to even be present.
Here’s how I see it, with a little help from Wikipedia:
Obedience Training usually refers to the training of a dog and the term is most commonly used in that context.
Basic Obedience Training makes an effort to teach the dog to reliably respond to basic Verbal Commands such as “Sit,” “Down,” “Come,” and “Stay”.
Obedience implies compliance with the direction or Verbal Command given by the owner or handler.
For a dog to be considered “obedient” rather than simply trained in Obedience, it must respond reliably each time its handler gives a command. Training a dog in obedience can be an ongoing and lengthy process depending on the dog, the methods used, and the skill and understanding of both the trainer and ultimately, the owner.
While I do find Obedience Training exercises to be a beneficial part of creating a solid and rewarding Leader-Follower relationship and it provides the dog with a set of compliance behaviors that should predict a positive outcome, or Reinforcement, I don’t see Obedience Training to be a viable or effective solution as a remedy to truly troublesome behaviors.
Obedience Training “tells” the dog what to do in any given context, via a Verbal Command provided by the owner/handler/Trainer.
- This type of Training would seem to work ONLY when the owner/handler/Trainer is present to provide the Verbal Command
- Also, the dog would need to have a “working relationship” with the person providing the Verbal Command in order to comply with consistency on the first command given
- The dog will likely comply ONLY if and when the Verbal Command is provided exactly the same way it was used when the dog was Trained
Behavior Modification refers to behavior changing procedures based on methodological behaviorism, where overt behavior is modified with presumed controlled consequences, including applied Positive and Negative Reinforcement contingencies to increase Desirable Behavior, or administering Positive and Negative Punishment to reduce Undesirable Behavior.
Behavior Modification relies on one or more the following to effect Positive Behavioral change:
(Positive and Negative) (Positive and Negative)
Behavior Modification provides the dog with the opportunity to learn for himself, which Behaviors will “work” (Reinforcement) and which Behaviors will “not worK” (Punishment) in any given context or situation.
- This type of Training works to guide the dog into making the proper choice of what behavior to offer in any given context, without the need for a human to be present to give a command.
- Because B-Mod creates a dynamic where the dog learns through Associating predictable Consequences to any offered behavior, soon enough, the Desired Behavior becomes highly consistent.
- Through the B-Mod processes of CounterConditioning & Systematic Desensitization, the dogs underlying emotional feelings (Fear, etc.) that have been “fueling” the Undesirable Behaviors can actually be modified to allow the dog more confidence and to feel safer and more secure. This is just not possible by teaching a dog to Sit on Verbal Command.
- Behavior Modification will generally last a lot longer and be far more solid and consistent than Obedience Training because with B-Mod, the dog actually believes he “figured out what works” by himself as opposed to being “told what to do”.
So, how does it make sense to hire an Obedience Trainer or sign up for Obedience Training to solve a Fear-Aggression problem? It doesn’t.
Will training a door-darting dog to Heel on Command prevent him from running through open doors in the future? No, it won’t.
However, this does not mean that Obedience Training is a waste of time…it’s not. It’s a great way to build a solid working bond with your dog built on gentle compliance exercises. It’s just not the type of Training you would be looking for to provide a successful remedy to your dog’s behavioral issues.
I guess if you worked long enough and in countless different environments, over time a truly accomplished Obedience Trainer could potentially get their dog to Sit on Command BEFORE the dog bites someone…but how does this Modify the dogs underlying emotional feelings that are fueling the actual Fear-Response? It simply doesn’t.
The Moral to this post? Be sure to understand what you are “shopping” for when seeking assistance to help you with your dogs behavior.
- For dogs WITHOUT Behavioral Issues, Obedience Training can be a great way to enhance the working relationship between owner and dog and build in compliance to Verbal Commands.
- For dogs WITH Behavioral Issues such as Aggression, Fears/Phobia’s, Hyper-Arousal, etc. Behavior Modification is the type of training that will actually change the way the dog views his own behavior with the eventuality of the dog offering a conditioned Desirable Behavior in place of the previously displayed Undesirable Behavior. This is all accomplished without the need for an owner to be standing there shouting Verbal Commands.
Closing Summary Opinion: In my experience, when dogs (and humans!) figure out “which Behavior works best” for them in any given situation – they tend to repeat that same Behavior each and every time they are in a similar situation in the future. After all…they figured it out “on their own”. That’s basic premise of all our work here at CBS Inc.
Teach your dog these basic obedience commands for a well-behaved pup.
When you get a new dog, whether it’s a puppy or an adult rescue, she probably needs some obedience training. More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No. Expert trainer Brandon McMillan, Emmy Award–winning host of Lucky Dog and author of Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days, calls these the “seven common commands” because they’re the ones most people will use with their pets on a routine basis. He teaches these training lessons to all of his rescue dogs, in order to help them stay safe and well-behaved, whether they spend most of their time in the backyard, at the dog park, or walking the neighborhood with their human companions. With several 10-to-15-minute practice sessions each day, most pets can master these core skills in just a week or two.
McMillan always teaches Sit first because it’s the most natural concept for most dogs. It’s therefore also one of the easiest for them to learn, so even pets who are new to training can get the hang of it within a few sessions. And because it’s also a transition command, once a dog can sit, you can move on to other directives.
McMillan compares his favorite dog training technique, Down, to taking the keys out of a car’s ignition. A standing dog could bolt like a running vehicle, because there’s nothing keeping her in place. A sitting dog is like a car in Park, but it’s still easy for her to boogey out of there. But when she’s lying down, you’ve cut the engine. Because the command helps you control your dog, it’s also a great transition to more complicated tricks like rolling over or playing dead.
A dog who knows how to stay won’t run into the street if she gets loose, so this is one of the most important skills for any dog to learn. McMillan recommends teaching it when your pup is tired and hungry so she won’t get too hyper to focus. And be patient: Most dogs take at least a couple of days to understand Stay and it can take a few weeks to master it. But because it protects your dog from danger, keep a bag of treats or kibble handy and keep practicing until she’s a pro.
If you plan to take your dog anywhere off-leash, she must know how to come when called. It can keep her safe at the dog park if a scuffle breaks out, get her away from the street if she breaks off the leash, or ensure she stays close when hiking or just fooling around in the backyard. McMillan teaches Come after Stay, since having the Stay skill first makes the process easier.
Dogs of all sizes should learn to heel, or walk calmly by your side, especially if you exercise your pup in busy urban areas where there’s not much room on the sidewalk. The skill is even more important for large or strong pups who naturally pull on the leash. Once a dog can heel, walks will be easier and more pleasant for your dog and your arm socket.
Jumping on visitors or furniture is one of the most common dog issues, so if your pooch can’t keep four paws on the floor, don’t despair. Get her to stay off by turning your back when she jumps up, grabbing her paws and shaking a plastic bottle filled with pennies while you say “Off,” suggests McMillan. All of those things discourage jumping, so try a few to see which clicks with your pet.
Some trainers teach both No and Leave It for slightly different situations, such as using No when a dog shouldn’t do something and Leave it for when you want your pup not to investigate an item or situation. McMillan sticks to No, period, to keep things simple. He says explaining the difference can confuse both people and animals, so No makes a good, all-purpose command for everything you want your pup not to do.
Lizz Schumer Senior Editor Lizz Schumer covers pets, culture, lifestyle, books, entertainment and more as Good Housekeeping’s senior editor; she also contributes to Woman’s Day and Prevention.
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At first it seems like a really cool trick – and yes, it totally is. However it is also so much more than that! Middle has so many uses and once you start using it yourself, you will find you start to call on it all the time.
Here are just 6 of our favourite reasons you should teach your dog a middle today:
1. Relaxed Vet Visits
It’s inevitable that at some point you will end up at the vets with your dog – maybe you need a routine check up or it is time for vaccinations, or heaven forbid they’ve had an accident.
Middle is a calm, relaxed place to chill out while waiting for your turn without getting them stressed out and over aroused. Middle is the perfect position to put your pooch in to stop them wandering all over the vet practice, trying to greet that grumpy cat in a basket or slip sliding around the shiney floor like Bambi on ice while you are waiting to be called in.
This is not even the best bit, where Middle really shines at the vets is when it’s time for the examination..
Being handled by a new person in a strange outfit can be stressful and it’s can be so easy for dogs to build a negative association with the vets because generally we only go there when something is wrong, or when our dogs are already feeling poorly.
You can use Middle as your superpower, allowing you to get your dog into a position where they are close to you for reassurance and you can feed them to help with calmness.
In turn you will find you can build a positive association and detect quickly if your dog has hit their threshold and no longer takes food.
It also allows the vet to be able to perform an examination safely and deliver vaccinations while you keep your dog focused or for nail care, whether that’s by your vet nurse, groomer or yourself.
Give it a try, you’ll be amazed!
2. Relationship Building
A middle for a dog is like a person holding someone’s hand. It can make them feel safe and connected to you. It allows them to communicate with you, that they are perhaps worried or concerned, not feeling entirely secure or even that they just want to be close to you and have fun.
How amazing is that! Giving your dog a channel to talk to you and share how they are feeling, their wants and needs. It’s the ultimate relationship booster.
3. Reliable Recall
As your dog builds lots of value in being in Middle it will become their favourite place to be. Given the chance they will never miss out on an opportunity to play Middle.
This is incredibly useful as part of your recall games. Recall is its strongest when your dog thinks the fun is always with you and Middle is a party they will love.
It’s also the perfect position for them to be in for you to put their lead on their collar. Win, win!
4. Managing Tricky Situations
Middle is amazing for managing dogs that are nervous or reactive to other dog, people or vehicles. It enables you to take away their line of sight of the thing they are nervous of, and gives them something positive to focus on instead. Once you get really good at it you will even be able to walk away from the situation in middle!
It’s a beautiful, sunny day and you are out with your pup. Suddenly you spot a squirrel in the distance and you know any minute your dog will spot it and turn into an unstoppable squirrel-chasing machine.
Or you calmly call them to a middle position, spin around to face a different direction and they don’t get the opportunity to even see it. For them, it’s a great game and are none the wiser and you averted a Fenton rerun and all is good in the world.
5. Perfect Portable Boundary
Boundaries can be really useful out and about. You can use it to stop and have a chat with a friend, take an important phone call or waiting for other people and dogs to pass by. What if there is nothing around in the environment to use though? Middle saves the day!
Boundaries are the same as bed and mat training, teaching your dog to settle and be calm in a set space. We instead call it a boundary so that we can be creative with what we use! Sofas, tree stumps, drain covers, the possibilities of what can be a boundary are limitless.
Your dog can sit in middle or even lie down, that way you can focus on what you need for 5 minutes and be aware of where your dog is and what they are doing.
6. Top Training Tool
It’s great to kick off your training sessions with some easy wins for your dog. Middle is perfect for this, it sets the tone for your training by being fun and warming up their brain ready to work.
You can also pop your dog into a middle to give you time to think about your next steps in the training session without them wandering off.
Middle is the foundation of many other behaviours too! You can use it to teach a range of awesome tricks, a base for fitness and stretching or as a startline wait in sports.
Whether you have a puppy or an older dog in need of some new manners, obedience training will not only help your pup fit in better with you and your family but also teach him skills that might be crucial to his safety. Here are all the answers to your question, “What can I expect when training my dog?”
Standard Obedience School Curriculum
Usually, obedience courses take place one hour a week over a six-week period. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), classes are typically divided between puppy classes, for dogs under five months of age, and adult or advanced classes, for dogs five months and older. Puppy classes may focus on skills like socialization with people and other dogs, potty training, the proper way to greet people without jumping on them, and learning how to walk on a leash, in addition to basic commands like sit, come, and leave it.
For older dogs, obedience classes may focus more on good manners and learning the household rules. In addition to learning the commands sit, come, and leave it, more advanced commands include stay, lie down, and heel while walking on a leash.
Benefits of Training My Dog
Obedience training offers a number of benefits for you and your pooch. For one thing, your pup will learn to behave in a manner that’s pleasing to you and other family members. Obedience training from a young age can help prevent him from picking up annoying habits, such as jumping on people or inappropriate barking or chewing. Learning good manners can help to curb similar habits in older dogs, says the AKC. More importantly, learning to come when called and to stay or drop an object on command are skills that could help prevent harm or injury to your dog.
Of course, your dog isn’t alone in his training. As you work with him to teach him these skills, if done properly, you’ll strengthen and reinforce the bond of trust and companionship. Not only that but attending obedience classes is a great way to meet other dog parents, providing you with opportunities to swap crazy dog parenting stories and make new human friends.
Does Obedience Training Work?
The effectiveness of obedience training depends on a number of factors. Your pet’s breed and temperament play a part in how well he’ll take to the training, and how quickly. For example, a strong-willed or a hyperactive dog will require more time, effort and patience than one that’s more laid back and eager to please. Age might also play a role. If your puppy is too easily distracted, for example, it might be necessary to try again when he’s older and calmer.
The number one factor in how effective obedience training will be, however, is you. For obedience classes to work, you need to go beyond the one-hour-a-week class and practice regularly with your dog at home. It’s also important that the entire family is on board and everyone is consistent with the rules. If Mom says the couch is off limits, for example, it needs to be off limits at all times. If Dad or one of the kids invites your pup onto the couch, even as a one-time treat, this will only confuse your dog and undermine his training. Also, be careful to not reinforce problem behaviors, points out Petfinder. You may be encouraging him without even realizing it. One example is by comforting your dog when he whines or giving him attention when he barks inappropriately. Applying proper training techniques consistently outside of the classroom is the only way to properly reinforce his training and make sure it sticks.
Training My Dog: Can I Do It Myself?
Formal obedience classes aren’t the only training option for teaching your dog how to behave. You can always take the do-it-yourself approach to teaching the same skills he would learn in obedience school. Countless books, websites and videos are available to help you train your pup at home. One advantage of this is that you can develop your own course by mixing and matching training approaches and styles to see what works best. DIY training might be the best approach if either your schedule or location doesn’t make it easy to attend a regularly scheduled class, or if your dog needs a more customized approach.
If you find that obedience school doesn’t fit your lifestyle but you still need help from a pro, many professional dog trainers will come to your home and work with you and your dog one-on-one. Some training programs offered by major pet store chains also offer private training classes that fit more easily into your schedule.
Is My Dog Too Old for Obedience School?
Contrary to the popular saying about old dogs and new tricks, dogs are never too old to learn new commands and new skills. Unruly senior dogs can benefit from obedience classes as much as younger pups. It’s best to talk to your veterinarian about what your elderly dog is able to handle.
Another challenge when it comes to training senior dogs is that undesirable behaviors have had years, if not a decade or more, of reinforcement. This doesn’t mean training can’t be done, but it might require a lot of time and patience to accomplish. The important thing to remember about training senior dogs is that you may need to adjust your expectations to match their capabilities.
Whatever your dog’s age, breed or temperament, if he doesn’t have good manners or if his safety might be compromised by his disobedience, it’s a good time to think about enrolling him in obedience school. This training will also make life easier on you as he will better respond to you. Dogs find training fun as it is a bonding moment with you. So, the more you train, the more well-behaved he can be as well as strengthen your bond.
Jean Marie Bauhaus
Jean Marie Bauhaus is a pet parent, pet blogger, and novelist from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she usually writes under the supervision of a lapful of fur babies.
Our dogs should bring us joy, companionship, and a sense of pride. But when a dog continually disobeys or exhibits behavioral issues, dealing with them can be a constant source of stress for both us and them.
Making sure your dog is properly trained is the responsibility of every dog owner—not just for your dog’s welfare, but for your own peace of mind as well.
No matter its age, breed, or temperament, every dog can benefit from a little instruction. Here are five reasons to consider training your dog, or having her enrolled in an obedience class.
1. Training benefits both dog and owner
When it comes to training, your dog isn’t the only one reaping the rewards. Working regularly with your dog helps you to understand her needs better, making you an even better owner as well.
It can also be a great source of exercise and open up new possibilities for you—the better behaved your dog is, the easier it is to take her along wherever you go.
2. For their own safety
The better you can control your dog with voice commands, the better you can protect her when unrestrained. A dog that bolts when off the leash is much more likely to run in front of a car, or to slip out the front door before you’re ready to leave.
Also, should your dog ever become lost or need to be placed in a shelter, being well-trained only increases the likelihood she will behave well, or in the event it’s necessary, be placed with a new family.
3. It helps your dog to be more sociable
As your dog learns to respect boundaries and behave properly in social situations, other dogs (and people) will be more comfortable and at ease around her as well. As a result, more of these interactions will be positive experiences for your dog.
If he begins to enjoy these social encounters, your dog will be more relaxed and manageable with each interaction.
4. Training makes boarding your dog go smoothly
That increased sociability we just mentioned becomes even more critical when it’s time to board your dogor when friends offer to take her in while you’re out of town.
It’s one thing for your dog to obey owner’s commands, but a successfully trained dog will also follow others’ orders when you’re not there. Unless you want to cut your vacation short because your dog isn’t playing well with others, making sure she’s properly trained should be a top priority.
5. Because you can teach old dogs new tricks
There are plenty of myths out there that might be stopping you from moving forward with your dog’s education. But many of them are just plain wrong, and some may even be causing you to encourage bad behavior.
For one, a dog’s age is no indication of his capacity to be trained. Older dogs may be need a few physical accommodations, particularly larger dogs or those with weight problems, but they can learn to take instruction just as well as younger dogs.
A well-behaved dog experiences less stress, interacts better with others, and forms a stronger bond with you. At Pet Palace, our team is committed to helping your dog live the healthiest, happiest life possible, and a well-behaved dog will have much more fun on her next stay with us. Contact us or stop by one of our locations to make your next reservation.
This is about to become your go-to list of sites and channels by (actually) qualified trainers
In so many ways, having a dog today is much easier than it was in the past; present day dog owners have quick access to great schools, groomers, off-leash parks, toys (oh the toys), and the list goes on. If we need help with any problem, all we need to do is get out our smartphones and start searching. The problem is that there can be hundreds of different results for even the simplest dog training conundrum. Couple that with the fact that the dog training industry is largely unregulated, and we can quickly find ourselves adrift in a sea of conflicting information.
The good news is that there are, in fact, people out there with the expertise and the qualifications to help. We rounded up some of the best online sources of dog training and education, from Youtube channels, to blogs, to online courses. Whether you want to just dip your toes in and watch a few short videos, or become a dog training wizard, there’s something for you here.
When we polled all the trainers we knew, this Youtube channel received a clear and unanimous vote. Not only is Emily Larlham a world-renowned dog training expert, but she very generously shares her knowledge with the public in simple, easy-to-copy videos on her channel. You can find an answer to almost every question you’ve ever had about your pup, and trust her to take you through the solution step by step. She never shies away from difficult problems and there is a breadth of information — helpful to experts and newbies alike.
These brilliant articles show up in my feed regularly with good reason. Jolanta provides very clear, simple explanations in her posts, that are both firmly science-based and not intimidating. She covers a wide range of topics, so you should be able to find an answer to even the most obscure question.
Don’t let the name fool you, this school is definitely not limited to people that are interested in dog sports. It’s packed with webinars, seminars, and courses designed to help you get the absolute best performance from your dog. Expect tips you will have never seen before, and expect your skills in basic handling and precision to improve leaps and bounds.
Chirag Patel is a soft-spoken trainer responsible for changing the way that many think about animal behaviour; his overarching philosophy is rooted in the idea that we should respect our pets’ pacing, space and needs. His techniques are out-of-the-box and just incredibly effective. He’ll teach you new ways to help your dog become comfortable with nail trims, muzzles, harnesses, and vet visits — and he doesn’t stop with dogs either… watch him train turtles and primates too!
Developed by a team of Toronto-based trainers with a wealth of experience and qualifications, this is a great resource for all things dog. Find on-demand webinars and workshops, and if you’re in the Toronto area, you can take advantage of in-person workshops and training.
I can honestly say that much of my dog training library has been purchased through Dogwise. The site is easy to navigate since products have been sorted according to level of expertise, and specific behavioural issues. Whether you’re looking for a book, a DVD, an online webinar, or a CD, you can find it here. The best part? Dogwise has sifted through the pseudo-science and misinformation so that you don’t have to.
Don’t forget to check out my training series with CBC Life! It covers those annoying problems that almost all dog owners deal with, from your pup jumping up when you don’t want them to, to them not coming when called. Aside from seeing me put my advice to the test (!) I think you’ll enjoy these instructional videos that are short, sweet, and easy to follow along with.
Danielle Hodges is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Licensed Family Paws Parent Educator for Dog, baby, and toddler safety. She is co-owner of Follow the Leader Inc Dog Training School with locations in Toronto and Hamilton.
We encourage calm, balanced dogs.
Dog Training in The Cowichan Valley
The Common Dog is a fully insured Dog Training Business that offers P rivate Training , Daily Training , B oard and Train Programs and Structured D og Walking . Our intention within all of our services is to encourage calm and balanced dogs, we take our training programs and dog walking to a higher level of learning and socialization.
Our training programs incorporate permission based training techniques, structure and boundaries through crate training and household management and introduce clear communication to teach our dog what we do and do not want.
Our programs prioritize the dog’s state of mind and focus on teaching a dog how to be calm and have polite manners regardless of the situation. This creates a stronger, more balanced relationship built on positivity, respect and leadership, rather than one built on stress and frustration.
If you are ready to make a change in the relationship with your dog, we are here to help. Take a look below at our programs available below and be sure to read about our training methods on the About Us page.
Private Training Programs
A collection of programs for one on one time training with the owner and their dog. Guided programs for puppy training, adult dogs, basic obedience, leash manners, problem behaviours & reactivity.
Daily Training Programs
Have your dog trained while you’re at work, in the comfort of you’re own home. These programs are geared towards problem behaviours, ecollar training, puppy training & obedience, or for anyone who wants a well behaved dog!
Board and Train Programs
Send your dog to the trainers home for an intensive boarding and training program. These programs are geared towards starting a puppy off right, obedience training, behaviour issues, ecollar training, or for anyone who wants a well behaved dog!
Virtual Training Programs
One on One training sessions from the comfort of your own home, no matter where you live!
Structured Dog Walking
On leash pack walks that focus on nurturing a dog’s calm mindset, polite socialization and behaviour, confidence building, impulse control and leash manners.
what clients are saying..
Very Pleased with the expert help Brooke has given Brody & Moira. She is so interesting and helpful. Great with the dogs we have learned so much. If you have any issues Brooke could help you through them. Thanks to the common dog we are improving our skills.
Last year I adopted a rescue dog. I thought I could train my dog myself (as I have always owned dogs) but soon realized I needed extra help with a few issues such as reactivity to strangers and other dogs. The Common Dog was the answer! Brooke is very calming, confident and caring. She is very knowledgeable about any situation, listens to your goals, and will accommodate your training needs to your
lifestyle. After lessons and continuing hard work, my dog and I can now handle different scenarios. A big success! I highly recommend the Common Dog for anyone and any dog!
Brooke has been an incredible help with training Murphy. We always knew how we would like Murphy to behave and act but we were never sure on what to do to get her there. Brooke has given us tools to use to train Murphy and improve some “bad habits” and it’s been amazing to see Murphy respond. It has blown us away at what a few changes, commands, and tools can do!
We are so thankful for Brooke and what she has not only taught our dog but us as well!
We highly recommend her!
Have you ever held a new puppy in your arms and fantasized about all the wonderful experiences you will embark on together? Perhaps you have watched Lassie, Old Yeller, Max or Air Bud and found yourself considering how life enriching the experience of owning a dog can be, only to find yourself frustrated and confused when your new puppy begins destroying your shoes or jumping on all of your friends.
Many new dog owners become discouraged when they realize that many dogs are not naturally the well behaved, obedient companions that we see in films or on TV. Just like children, they require consistent, good direction and patience to shape them into the pup we want them to be.
Training your dog is not only beneficial for you and your sanity, it has serious implications for the safety and health of your dog, the well being of the people and pets whom you interact with and the money you will spend on home repairs and replacement clothing.
Why Should I Train My Dog?
Many people, pet owners and non-pet owners alike, would agree that training plays a critical role in a dog’s development and ability to safely interact with their environment. Despite this, a majority of respondents in a Pet365 survey reported they had never taken their dog to a professional training class.
The consequence of not training a dog can result in everything from annoyance and frustration on the part of an owner to severe and preventable behavioral problems which can result in injury or death to your dog, family, other people or other pets.
January is designated National Train Your Dog Month by the APDT, so the following information has been written in honor of all the awesome dog owners out there who want to learn more about how they can transform their life and the bond they have with their canine companion through training.
Six Major Benefits of Dog Training
1. It is significantly safer for your dog.
The safety of your pup is of paramount importance – and as its owner, it is your responsibility. Ensuring your pet listens to your commands can prevent it from experiencing potentially deadly conflict with other dogs or wild animals, running into a busy road or generally harming itself in hazardous situations.
2. It’s safer for your home.
Training your dog helps ensure that your living quarters are treated with respect. Instilling manners in your pet means that it will know the difference between what is acceptable and unacceptable in your home, and it will behave with courtesy to the rest of your family. It will save a great deal of money on home repairs, and will significantly
decreases the likelihood that dog will chew its way through the irreplaceable piece of antique furniture which has been in your family for five generations.
3. It builds a lasting relationship between you and your dog.
A training regime will establish a fundamental connection between you and your pup. As you spend time together, creating boundaries, sharing experiences and learning to understand each other, a mutual respect will develop. Your dog will learn to trust and respect your judgment, and you’ll gain admiration for their potential and capabilities.
4. It’s easier when you take your dog out in public.
We’ve all seen instances where it looks like a dog is taking its human for a walk, rather than the other way around. By training your dog and building its confidence around humans and its fellow dogs, your walks together will be an enjoyable experience for both of you. Your dog will learn to interact safely and effectively with others.
5. It’s easier for the vet to work with your dog.
Veterinarians are not miracle workers, and cannot risk their safety or the safety of their staff attempting to work on a dog who is reacting violently to them. Pet owners who have not taken the time to desensitize their dog to being touched or worked on can risk overgrown nails, dental disease, untreated wounds or infections and the progression of disease which likely could have been prevented if discovered early.
6. You can help other dog owners.
Once you understand how to train a dog, you have that skill forever. Not only can this help you with all the dogs you own, but once you’ve mastered training your own dog, you can share your knowledge with other owners. You can even start a career as a trainer yourself – and what could be better than working with dogs each and every day?
January may be National Train Your Dog month, but the best time to begin experiencing the benefits of training your dog is right now – regardless of what day it is. Whether you already have a canine companion or are considering the addition of a furry family member, remember that training your pup is integral to optimizing your relationship with them and providing them the best life that you possibly can.
If you would like to learn more about dog training or are uncertain about where to start, we can help provide the information necessary to discover your dog’s true potential through science-based training methods. Please contact us for more information about our programs (including in-home lessons, group training sessions and more), visit us on Facebook, and remember: A well trained dog equals a happy human.
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To set the global industry standard in training dogs and people; we’re passionate in our pursuit to protect police and military working dog teams, enhance the quality of living for individuals with disabilities , and enrich the lives of people and their pets.
What’s involved in training a dog? “Vermont Edition” discusses creating a link with your dog to maintain confidence during stressful times. Pictured, a dog waits for a treat during a heat wave in Romania on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019.
It’s easy to spot a well-trained dog. Maybe the pup is well-behaved in a large group of people or other dogs. Perhaps the pooch can sit, shake and roll over on command. But what’s involved in training your pet that molds a calm, confident and well-behaved dog? We’re talking about dog training and dog psychology with two Vermont dog trainers.
Jeff Scarpino, co-owner and trainer at Off The Beaten Trail training and canine facility in Newark, helps us understand dog psychology and behavior, and important training techniques for trainers and dogs alike.
And Jo Meilleur, owner and trainer at Apex Vermont Dog Training in South Burlington, talks about matching goals for your dog with your family and your lifestyle, and creating a link between owner and animal to promote confidence and avoid panic during stressful situations.
Listen to the podcast audio above; find few excerpts from the program below:
Meilleur: “I think a lot of things that people don’t think about when it comes to their dogs are what really motivates them and what really is enticing to them — to, like, light them up and be excited about what they’re doing. A lot of dogs aren’t super excited about strict obedience; sometimes they’re really excited about playing and/or chasing a toy or really using some sort of food motivator. We use a lot of different toys and/or food to actually motivate a dog, to get them out of any type of weird panic or fear kind of reaction, in order to get them to start playing and really open up to being in the different environments.”
Scarpino: “You need that motivation and you need to figure out how to use that motivation to curb towards the behaviors that you want to see. So a lot of times what I bump into is people are giving out, you know, their affection, their time so much that it almost dilutes one of your most powerful tools. And so when you start to use it towards what you want to curb your dog into doing, you become more effective and your communication becomes better. So a lot of times what you end up having to do is making sure that you have spent enough time developing that communication so it’s very effective with you and your dog.”
Scarpino also recommends Temple Grandin’s book Animals Make Us Human: “One of the things that she talks about in there is the two main systems that drive behavior: you’re going to have what’s called a ‘seeking system’ and what’s called a ‘panic system.’ …
“Dogs that are stuck in the panic system … basically run on adrenaline and cortisol all day long — that’s what fuels their behavior. So as you start to combat anxiety and stuff like this, you have to be increasing and changing the way that the dog’s brain works. And a lot of times I do this through games.”
Scarpino: “I have a mentor that she always said a phrase [which] is: ‘you get what you pet.’ And so this is something that I really like to pass along to my clients, and really what it means is whatever you’re giving attention to, you’re reinforcing in that moment. So if in an example you’re giving more attention to the behavior that you don’t want to see, you can be reinforcing it.”
Meilleur: “They totally do talk, you know, with their bodies. So if they stiffen up, that’s something to really be on alert for with other dogs. Also where their tail is actually workable. A lot of people think that their tail, if it’s high and wagging, that it’s OK — sometimes it’s really not. Sometimes it’s a mid-set tail that’s wagging and slowly, like that’s the kind of dog you really want to be approaching or having to be approached … If you’re petting something that’s super excitable and that tail’s super high and really, really wagging tightly, then you’re rewarding that but you are also can be rewarding a dog that might be insecure.”
According to Scarpino, there are likely “a lot of low-level signals” coming from the dog that humans just don’t realize.
Scarpino: “One of the toughest things about dogs is that they are constantly communicating, and humans aren’t always paying attention.”
When using words to communicate with your dog, is raising your voice worthwhile? Meilleur says no.
Meilleur: “If you start screaming and yelling and putting that kind of energy, sometimes dogs actually think you’re playing with them and they get really excited about it and they think it’s a huge game. So it’s way more important to, you know, keep yourself calm and . replace that negative behavior with, you know, sending them to a placemat or sending them to their bed or their crate and giving them a different thing to practice.”
Home is the best place for training your dog – the distractions are controllable, the atmosphere can remain calm and you can choose your time. Your dog should also be relaxed, as they are in their own environment.
5 tips for training your dog at home
1. Prepare well
- What do you want to teach your dog? Maybe it is stopping your dog from jumping up, getting them to walk on a loose lead, or to come back when they are called. Even though these things seem like outdoor activities, it’s best to focus on the basics as good as you can while you are indoors, and then once you have a great foundation to build on, you can venture out into the garden. Make a list of your aims or explore other sites on the internet. Whatever you find, make sure that the instructor is using kind, motivational methods and positive reinforcement only, e.g. toys, food, verbal and hands-on praise, as opposed to shouting, lead jerks or any form of physical punishment
- Prepare your training equipment, e.g. lead or harness. You will need a good supply of rewards for your dog, including high value treats – those treats they love and can’t refuse – and toys used specifically for training purposes
- Chose a quiet room with minimal distractions. Maybe ask a member of your family to film you on your mobile phone, or set up your phone to record if you can, so you can play back what you do
- Keep your treats away from you or whoever is training – e.g. in a pot on the side – so your dog can see what’s on offer and you can reward, rather than bribe, when you start your training
- Prepare yourself – get in the right frame of mind, be controlled yet calm and motivational
- Prepare your dog – get out your treats or have a game with their favourite toy to make sure they are engaged with you
2. Teach thoroughly
- Break things down into tiny components, one lesson at a time – rewarding each component or even fraction of component if you can, ending in a chain of events
- Do not try to rush or short cut
- Teach each component until the dog gets the idea
- Link the components together, backwards if you can (starting with the end part first)
- Video yourself and your dog so you or your instructor can analyse later. It’s good practice – looking back at what you have done helps you to become a better dog trainer
- Repeat the components and chain, giving the dog help and lots of encouragement along the way
- Add cues (commands or signals) once your dog has the idea of what you are doing, and you can reasonably predict they will do it
3. Generalise your teaching
- Take your dog into a different room or into the garden and do the component training again and then build up the chains. This way your dog will start to learn that it doesn’t matter where you are, the exercise is still the same
- Change to other rooms until you have run out of options
4. Proof your training
- You will have started the proofing process, testing whether your dog still understands what you have taught them by changing rooms and carrying out the exercise somewhere different. This will have added distractions. Now go back to the first training area and add a small distraction (e.g. a toy, a person, the cat)
- Go back to the basic level of training again to help your dog get it right and make sure your dog understands that, even if there is a distraction, they should still do as they are asked and it will be worth their while. Give treats or a favourite toy for good behaviour.
- If your dog makes mistakes, think about what you can do to help them get it right next time. Maybe make it a bit easier, move distractions a bit further away, work on the ‘leave’ command first, so that your dog understands they should remain focused on you, and not take the distraction
5. Keep it fun
- Make sure you are keeping yourself upbeat – think of the best, most motivational teacher you ever had – that’s who you need to be to your dog!
- If you are feeling unwell, tired or impatient, it’s best to leave training until you feel better
- Teach some fun stuff – even just tricks will help you to build a relationship with your dog. Be the human your dog wants you to be!
Please note: there are many different ways to train your dog. This is just one method of teaching. If you are ever in doubt, please seek professional advice.
For more information and advice, you can find training classes with The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training scheme , browse our full list of The Kennel Club Accredited Instructors or find a dog training club near you.
As many dog owners know training is an important part of living with dogs, regardless if they are puppies or adults (yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks). Therefore, having a canine friend is a little more than just bring a new puppy or adult dog home and making sure that they are healthy and happy. Training can help add some structure to living with your dog since they will learn to follow your commands, plus, teaching them a few tricks can make for high-quality internet videos (watch out cats). Training can also make taking them for walks easier and more delightful. Before, you get started on the training there are seven basic must-haves items that will help you on your quest to have one of the best-behaved dogs in the dog park.
The most well-known and common items to aid you in dog training is having the right treats and rewards for your dogs. This can help them keep their motivation high as well as to show them that they are on the right track. Whenever they do something right, they learn that it is good to do so. You can purchase high-quality treats that are specifically designed with dog training in mind and these are easy to pack and carry. The actual size of the treats should be about the size of a berry. Some dogs may be picky eaters so you may need to get creative with the type of treats or rewards that you give them. You can try using play time with their favorite toy when they do a task or trick well done.
Treat Bag/ Training Carry All
Keeping in the theme of treats a little bag where you can store them would make a great addition especially on walks. You can buy a washable, treat pouch that can come with different departments with the use of zippers in order to keep your keys, phone and clean up bags separate for each other so you can get to them quickly when your dog does something good. Or you can make space in your handbag and make sure you do not forget all the items you may need before you leave the house.
Another way to reinforce the correct and positive behavior is dogs are with the use of clickers. There should be many types to choose from at your local pet stores such as small handheld ones, ones that can be attached to leashes or some that have wrist straps on them. Some leashes can even have built-in clickers. However, you can also get an app for clickers. Clickers can be used on multiple dogs at the same time or on individual dogs since they use different sounds depending on the type of dog. Clickers are one of the recent, great ways to show the dog what type of behavior you want from them regardless if they show it on cue or natural. Training can be a full-time job so be on the lookout to reinforce positivity.
While you are training your dog on walks it is a great idea to invest in a high-quality and strong lead and dog harness that is also quite long. About six feet (1, 8288 meters) would be a good length that can give you control as well as give your dog some freedom when need be. You would not like them to stick by your side so that neither of you have space to move. A leather leash can be a good choice since they are flexible, easy to hold in your hand, and should be durable enough to withstand even the biggest and jumpiest dogs. A good leash can also help keep your dog from running away and getting lost while you are taking them for a walk, especially if they are still learning the commands of ‘stop’, ‘stay’, ‘come back’ or their own name. However, if you are, unfortunately, looking for a lost dog you can go to a lost pet finder website to check if they are on there or to send out a request for people to keep an eye out if they are not yet on the site. Keep your long dog leash by your door so you can grab it on the way out for walks with them.
Something that goes along with a leash is a high-quality collar or a harness depending on the size and breed of your dog. The most common type of collar is the simple, flat-buckle that has some metal hardware. Metal elements are stronger and less likely to break or pop open when compared to their plastic counterpart. However, a harness could be a better choice since they can help you to guide the movements of your dog. Correction collars are not at all required for training purposes and would be best to avoid them.
A target stick can be used to help your dog stay on target while they are on their walks as well as for tricks such as teaching them to bow or even spin. A target stick is a long stick which could even be a wooden spoon if you have a spare in the house. However, you can also get ones that come with clickers or a foldable to allow for carrying and storage.
There are as many methods to teach and train your dog as there are books. Find one that would suit your needs with easy to follow instruction and the theory behind the method so that you can understand and maybe even tweak it a bit to suit your dog.
Dog training can be a worthwhile and rewarding investment not only for your dog, but for yourself as well.
Lauretta Williams is a web-addicted blogger. She loves spending her time listening to music, playing with her dog and writing blogs from her computer. We all want our dog not to run from home. But sometimes, they still might get lost. Don’t worry, we have your back. Report your lost with PawMaw we can help you find your lost dog.