Every dog needs to learn to walk on a leash. Besides the fact that most areas have leash laws, there will be times when keeping your dog on a leash is for his own safety. Learn how to introduce your dog or puppy to the leash, then teach him how to walk properly on the leash. A loose leash walk teaches your dog not to pull or lunge when on ​the leash, making the experience more enjoyable for both you and your dog.
5. Teach your dog to have good manners. Appropriate behavior from your dog is important, not just for keeping order at home, but for the safety, comfort, and life of other people and animals you may encounter outside the home. Training your dog not to bark excessively, jump on visitors, chase animals, drag you down the street during walks, and similar unwelcomed behaviors are just as important as training fun tricks at home.
Modifying these can be difficult and it’s even more frustrating to teach your dog to overcome these instincts altogether, but you can also learn how to use them as a baseline for your training regimen. Professor Donaldson layers in modern psychological practices such as B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning and Pavlov’s emotional manipulation to build conditioned responses in order to create a positive environment of action and reward, motivating your dog to overcome his instincts and to adopt the behaviors you want to instill.
Over time, the words “good dog” and the affectionate pat become secondary reinforcers. Because they have been paired with food in the past, they take on more meaning and become reinforcement in themselves. It is important to use secondary reinforcement because you will not always have food with you when you need your pet to obey. In addition, if you rely on food to get your puppy to comply, you will have a puppy that will only do the task when you have a treat.
First, teach the release word. Choose which word you will use, such as “OK” or “free.” Stand with your puppy in a sit or a stand, toss a treat on the floor, and say your word as he steps forward to get the treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can say the word first and then toss the treat AFTER he begins to move. This teaches the dog that the release cue means to move your feet.
The concepts of "pack" and "dominance" in relation to dog training originated in the 1940s and were popularized by the Monks of New Skete in the 1970s. The model is based on a theory that "dogs are wolves" and since wolves live in hierarchical packs where an alpha male rules over everyone else, then humans must dominate dogs in order to modify their behavior.[68] However, recent studies have shown that wolves in the wild actually live in nuclear families where the father and mother are considered the pack leaders, and their offspring's status depends on their birth order which does not involve fighting to attain a higher rank, because the young wolves naturally follow their parents' lead.[69]
Remember that training begins from the day your new dog comes home. It can be tempting to coddle him for the first week or so to try to make up for the time he spent in the shelter. Don't do it! If you allow your shelter dog to engage in certain behaviors when you first bring him home, such as getting up on the sofa, eliminating on the carpet or chewing on table legs, it will be much harder to train him to stop doing those things later. 
Konrad Lorenz, an Austrian scientist who is regarded as developing the foundations of ethological research,[14] further popularised animal behaviorism with his books, Man Meets Dog and King Solomon's Ring.[15] Lorenz stated that there were three essential commands to teach a dog: "lie down" (stay where you are), "basket" (go over there) and "heel" (come with me).[16]

Training a dog to sit, lie down, stay, and come when called make your job as a pet parent easier, but they can also make your dog’s life better and safer. Knowing these commands can help you protect your dog from dangerous situations, and in some cases, save his life. Once you’ve learned how to properly teach your dog, training will be a fun and useful activity for you both.
Stay is the second command to teach your dog. When he is in a sitting position, tell him “stay,” then walk a short distance. If he gets up, make him sit again and repeat the process, offering him a reward every time he obeys the command. Move further and further away each time until he stays when you are out of his sight. Be persistent and consistent until he understands the command and is willing to obey. The best hand gesture to use with this command is a flat hand turned upwards with fingers pointed up, held outwards towards the dog.
Once your dog has learned to sit on command, he is ready to learn to lie down. Begin in the sitting position. Instead of moving the treat over him, however, lower it slowly in front of him. He will respond by lowering his own body to reach the treat. As soon as he is in the down position, say the word “down” and offer him the treat. Avoid using the fuller phrase, “lie down,” as it is easier for dogs to learn single syllables.
At first you are going to let the puppy see the food in your hand so that you will have her attention and can use it to guide her into position. As your puppy begins to comply more readily, you can start to hide the food in your hand, but give the command and repeat the motion or signal that she has learned to follow. Soon the puppy will come to expect the treat each time she performs the task. Then, signal and give the command, but when she performs the task, reward only with praise and give the puppy an affectionate pat. Next, you can begin to vary the frequency, giving praise with “good dog” and perhaps patting each time, but giving the food randomly, perhaps every 3 or 4 times. In time, the puppy should respond to either the hand signal or the command.
After the “call your dog” exercise, the dog should be sitting directly in front of the handler. At this point, the handler will say the dog’s name and “heel.” The handlers will take a step back with their left leg, pull the dog in a circle (like stirring a large witch’s pot) and stop so that the dog can sit directly at their side while stepping back into place with the left leg. The right leg should never move.

Professor Donaldson is positive and encouraging, reassuring you the whole time that training may not go perfectly. Some lectures may need to be reviewed and repeated as you learn how best your dog will learn. As a bonus, she also helped create the guidebook for this course, which will give you detailed training plans for all the behaviors once you’ve gone through the course.
Training a dog to sit, lie down, stay, and come when called make your job as a pet parent easier, but they can also make your dog’s life better and safer. Knowing these commands can help you protect your dog from dangerous situations, and in some cases, save his life. Once you’ve learned how to properly teach your dog, training will be a fun and useful activity for you both.

Training classes for young puppies are also an excellent way to socialize your new puppy to a variety of people, dogs, and other stimuli in a controlled environment. In addition, you will learn how to prevent problems before they can begin, or deal with them as they emerge, rather than having to find a way to correct problems that have already developed. Your puppy might also make some new friends of the same age. You could then visit these friends (or vice versa) with your puppy for social play and exercise sessions. Since the primary socialization period for dogs ends by 3 months of age, puppy socialization classes are most valuable for puppies 8 weeks of age and older. If all puppies in the class have had initial vaccinations, are healthy and parasite free, the health risks are low and the potential benefits are enormous. Discuss the location of classes in your area and when to start them with your veterinarian.


Small pieces of food or a favored toy can be used to motivate your puppy to perform most tasks. Provided the reward is sufficiently appealing, the puppy can be prompted to give the desired response by showing the puppy the reward, giving a command, and moving the reward to get the desired response. For example, food held up over the puppy's nose and moved slowly backwards should get a 'sit' response; food drawn down to the floor should get a 'down' response; food brought back up should get a 'stand' response; food held out at a distance should get a 'come' response; and food held at your thigh as you walk should get the puppy to 'heel or 'follow'. By pairing a command phrase or word with each action, and giving the reward for each appropriate response, the puppy should soon learn the meaning of each command.

With Professor Donaldson by your side providing invaluable insights, these step-by-step, field tested training plans will teach you how to become a competent trainer, able to teach any dog—young or old, of any breed or variety—basic obedience, troubleshoot training problems, solve common behavior problems, and more accurately interpret behavior. Once you and your dog have finished this course, you’ll each have a better understanding of and a stronger relationship with your best friend.


Laying a solid training foundation will make life with your dog easier and more fun. If you’re not sure where to start, sign up for an in-person obedience class; there’s no better way to train your dog than to practice with an expert IRL. You can also follow any of the helpful links above, and check out our blog archives for additional tips and tricks.


Once your dog has learned to sit on command, he is ready to learn to lie down. Begin in the sitting position. Instead of moving the treat over him, however, lower it slowly in front of him. He will respond by lowering his own body to reach the treat. As soon as he is in the down position, say the word “down” and offer him the treat. Avoid using the fuller phrase, “lie down,” as it is easier for dogs to learn single syllables.

When you pick the dog up, everyone must remain calm. It can be tempting to greet the new family member with excitement, but this is not the time to do it. Accept the dog into your space, but do not give more than a minimum of attention or affection yet. You’re about to remove the dog from a place that’s become familiar and take her to somewhere entirely new. And remember: This step must remain in effect through the entire process.
Marian Breland Bailey played a major role in developing empirically validated and humane animal training methods and in promoting their widespread implementation.[12] Marian was a graduate student under B.F. Skinner. Her first husband Keller Breland also came to study with Skinner and they collaborated with him, training pigeons to guide bombs. The Brelands saw the commercial possibilities of operant training, founding Animal Behavior Enterprises (ABE). In 1955, they opened the "I.Q. Zoo" as both a training facility and a showcase of trained animals. They were among the first to use trained animals in television commercials, and the first to train dolphins and whales as entertainment, as well as for the navy.[12] Keller died in 1965, and in 1976 Marian married Bob Bailey, who had been director of marine mammal training for the navy. They pioneered the use of the clicker as a conditioned reinforcer for training animals at a distance.[11] ABE went on to train thousands of animals of more than 140 species.[12] Their work had significant public exposure through press coverage of ABE-trained animals, bringing the principles of behavior analysis and operant conditioning to a wide audience.[13]
At first you are going to let the puppy see the food in your hand so that you will have her attention and can use it to guide her into position. As your puppy begins to comply more readily, you can start to hide the food in your hand, but give the command and repeat the motion or signal that she has learned to follow. Soon the puppy will come to expect the treat each time she performs the task. Then, signal and give the command, but when she performs the task, reward only with praise and give the puppy an affectionate pat. Next, you can begin to vary the frequency, giving praise with “good dog” and perhaps patting each time, but giving the food randomly, perhaps every 3 or 4 times. In time, the puppy should respond to either the hand signal or the command.
×