A big part of being a responsible dog owner is providing training to our dogs. Our dogs are a big part of our life. For them to live a full dog lives with you, your family, to experience the outdoors, other people, other pets, and different life experiences that can enrich you and your dog’s life. Training is needed. Dog training will remove the barriers for you and your dog to these life experiences.
Here are some tips that can guide your dog training experience, whether you do it yourself or have a professional do it.
50 Tips on Dog Training
1. Start early
Start training as soon as you get a dog. The sooner, the better.
2. Focus on what your dog is doing right.
Instead of scolding your dog for bad behavior, praise, and reward your dog’s good behavior with treats and affection.
3. Be Proactive and keep your dog from misbehaving in the first place.
Do not allow your dog to engage in bad behavior by knowing what triggers bad behavior and removing them.
4. Stop saying, No!
Dogs will become confused when you say NO without an explanation. Instead, say NO! and then direct him to the right behavior. Reward your dog when he uses the new behavior.
5. Be patient, persistent, and consistent.
Know that your dog will learn new behaviors, but it will take time, practice, and repetition. Do not give up when the training becomes challenging. Be consistent, so your dog knows what to expect, not to get your dog confused.
6. Always enforce your commands.
When you give a command, and our dog does not follow, reinforce it immediately, for example, by pushing him gently into the desired position and praising and rewarding him afterward.
7. Use the ONE command rule.
Give your dog only the command one time. Do not repeat the command a second time. If we want your dog to heel, tell him HEEL! If your dog ignores the command the first time, gently guide him to heel and praise him after.
8. Clearly define your commands.
Clear consistent commands so as not to confuse your dog. If your dog is confused, they will ignore us. Like for example, teaching the command SIT, and next time, using SIT DOWN.
9. Have reasonable expectations.
Bad behaviors are reversed through positive training, but we need to realize that our dog’s bad behavior may continue until they have unlearned the bad behavior. So if your dog has not mastered the command stay and as soon as we open the door, he would run outside. Ensure your dog is on a leash when opening your door or when outdoors.
10. Be kind and gentle for the best results.
Reward your dog for good behavior and be gentle when redirecting. Punishing a dog for bad behavior is detrimental to your dog and will only frustrate you, the owner.
11. Do not use a training technique that is not natural and pleasant for you.
Use dog training techniques that you understand and feel comfortable with. Your dog will sense your uncertainty or anxiety, which may lead your dog to ignore the commands causing frustration to both of us.
12. Consider trying clicker training.
Clicker training, or mark and reward, is a form of positive reinforcement dog training. The clicker communicates the exact moment your dog does what you want. The trainer will repeat the “click,” and a reward is given for good behavior. The timing of the click is important, and a reward must follow every click.
13. Teach your dog to read your tone.
Use a consistent tone when giving a command so your dog can recognize and respond. Pick a firm and authoritative voice tone and stick to it.
14. Analyze stubbornness.
If your dog does not listen to commands, your dog just doesn’t understand or is confused, so repeat the training for the specific command and reward and make your dog feel comfortable by praising and giving rewards.
15. Learn the difference between separation anxiety and boredom.
If your dog misbehaves when you are not around, you need to determine if they are bored or experiencing separation anxiety. If it is boredom, then stuff toys with treats is an option. If its separation anxiety, then you need to learn ways to desensitize your dogs to your absence, or “preparing to leave” routine.
16. Never use your dog’s name in anger.
Do not use your dog’s name when reprimanding them so your dogs will not have a negative association with their name. When you praise your dog, call them by name, so your dog happily responds when he is called by name.
17. Earn the respect of your dog.
When you have a good relationship with your dog, they are willing to do whatever we expect them to do. If we hit or scream at them, our dogs will not respect us, and they become reserved and afraid of us.
18. Consider an obedience training class.
Not everybody can train their dogs on their own. Ask for help.
19. Consider joining a training club.
These groups will offer access to various information on caring for your dog and professional trainers.
20. Learn about your dog’s breed.
There are different dog training methods for different dog breeds.
21. View yourself as the team leader during training.
You and your dog are a team. So know both of you must be willing to participate in the training to be successful.
22. Remain calm and relaxed.
When your dog senses your fear, anger, or anxiety, they cannot focus, resulting in ineffective training.
23. Be consistent.
Issue commands that you will enforce. Otherwise, you will only be teaching your dog that you only mean what you say some of the time. This will also confuse your dog and frustrate you.
24. Recognize and respect your dog’s needs.
Meet your dog’s basic needs to make teaching your dog easier. Provide quality food, fresh water, socialization with people and other pets, shelter and safety, lots of exercise.
25. Practice, practice, practice.
Practice one skill repeatedly for several 5-10 minutes sessions throughout the day until your dog has mastered it before moving on to something new.
26. Expose your dog to different situations slowly over time
Socialize your dog, expose him to different and unfamiliar environments slowly and one at a time, and show your dog that you are still in charge no matter where you are.
27. Find out what works.
Not every dog learns the same way. Try different training techniques that work for your dog, and you are comfortable with it. If a technique is not working for a week, try something else.
28. Remember that training should not be harsh.
Training that is cruel will result in a dog that scared and mean. When you replace bad behavior with a rewarding behavior, the greater the chances for a well-behaved dog.
29. Use a short leash for training purposes.
A leash around 6 feet long with a loop that you can slip your hand through to secure your dog. If your dog is on your right side, keep the leash in front of you with the loop around your left hand. This will help you keep the leash short and to maintain control.
30. Start early and keep at it.
An excellent time to train any dog is when they are puppies. The earlier, the better. The younger, the better.
31. Define training for yourself first.
Create a list of your goals for the dog training from the very beginning, so you know where you are as you experience the training and what to expect after the training.
32. Stick to small intervals when training.
For effective dog training, break up your sessions into 5-10 minute intervals. Work on one command, then water breaks, short playtime, a quick nap, etc. in between.
33. Be aware of the importance of timing.
You need to catch your dog in the act of bad behavior if you want to correct it. If you do it after, they may not make the connection of the correction to the bad behavior.
34. Familiarize yourself with your dog’s parents.
If possible, observe the parents of your dog. Knowing behaviors, for example, aggression, will enable us to determine potential problems that can be addressed during dog training.
35. Hire a professional.
Consider a professional if you do not have time and experience to train your dog properly.
36. Do not leave your dog unattended for prolonged periods.
While your dog is on training, do not leave your dog for long periods that you can not reinforce good behavior and correct bad behavior. A bored or anxious dog can do destructive behaviors. But if it is unavoidable to leave your dog, secure an appropriate crate to keep your home safe while you are away and keep the momentum of his training.
37. Teach your dog that nothing in life is free.
Do not give the reward until your dog does what you command. By doing so, we reinforce his basic training and show him who the pack leader is.
38. Find out what makes your dog tick.
Discover what motivates your dog. You can use it to motivate your dog or as a reward for good behavior.
39. Establish the Pack structure early on.
When you establish boundaries by placing him into a crate during the first stages of training and using a leash when outside, When you let your dog know that when you give a command, he has to obey them will establish that you are the leader of the pack, also, let your dog feel that he can trust you and you will not hurt him.
40. Determine the ground rules or house rules before you begin training.
Create a list of the do’s and don’ts for your dog so he can be trained accordingly from the very beginning. This will avoid confusion and frustration on you both. If you do not want your dog to get into bed with you, or jump into the couch, etc. identify these things early so training can be catered accordingly. And make this list available to other people in the household, so everybody is consistent and on the same page and not confuse your dog.
41. Use an invisible fence.
An invisible fence is a good way to train your dog to stay on your property before you are certain that your dog will not attack anyone that he views as an invader.
42. Train your dog to be less sensitive.
Dog training should also address how to teach your dog how to handle fear and anxiety. If he is afraid of thunder, play a CD with thunder noises while you are at home. When he starts getting anxious, tell him NO, and redirect his attention. This will desensitize him. Until then, put him in a crate whenever there are loud noises, and you cannot be there to correct and assure him.
43. Don’t for that the key to a well-behaved dog is giving him plenty of exercises.
When your dog gets a lot of exercises, he will be tired and spend time resting and not be bored or anxious, leading to misbehaviors.
44. Know the verbal and the non-verbal commands that you are giving.
Be attentive to your posture, tone of voice, and attitude during the training sessions. Your dog will not only pick up the commands you give verbally but also your actions and expressions that go with the command.
45. Feed your dog only at scheduled times.
Feed your dogs the same times every day and leave the food for 10-20 minutes and remove it when time is up. Take your dog outside after.
46. Maintain eye contact.
A dog cannot properly learn if they are not focused on your commands. During the training sessions, make sure that your dog’s attention is on you and that you’re making eye contact. Hand signals rather than verbal commands are a good way to ensure that your dog is focused on you.
47. Set up his own dog space.
Give your dog his own space, which is more often a crate. He will benefit from short periods of alone time in comfort and safety.
48. Teach him “dog time.”
When your dog has bad behavior, choose a consistent training method, for example, a time out and do it right away so your dog can associate the bad behavior and the correction.
49. Training time should include socialization time.
Socialization exposes him to new people, places, and experiences, making your dog at ease when he encounters new people, places, and experiences in the future. It can prevent the development of fears and phobias. They are also less likely yo develop behavior problems.
50. End training sessions on a positive note.
Praise him, and call his name, a treat, some petting, or five minutes of play. He will associate a good training session with a pleasant experience after.
There is no question that dog training is important. It teaches your dog life skills that he will need to live a full dog life with you, your family, and be a part of your life. It enables you to enjoy the love and companionship of your dog. Dog training alleviates the stress, help avoid conflict when our dog misbehaves. Dog training will help us deal with this misbehavior and teach us how to handle bad behaviors when it happens. It also offers us a better understanding of our dogs and how to relate to them. It ensures safety not only for our dogs but also for our loved ones and us.
Dog training helps us and our dogs live full and happy lives together.
Dog Training, Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Training Man’s Best Friend. Kindle ed.