All dog lovers take puppies, rescues and strays home in the hopes of raising them to be obedient, reliable dogs. After all, who does not want a well-trained canine companion? Dog owners, especially first-time dog owners, often think that training a puppy to be well-mannered and socialized is easy. This assumption leads them to take the time, commitment and effort needed to train any dog.
When you pick up your dog, remember to ask what and when he was fed. Replicate that schedule for at least the first few days to avoid gastric distress. If you wish to switch to a different brand, do so over a period of about a week by adding one part new food to three parts of the old for several days; then switch to half new food, half old, and then one part old to three parts new. For more information about your dog’s diet, check out our section on Dog Nutrition.

Some dogs do well with their training until they encounter a new situation. They may become aggressive with other animals or people. If your dog becomes aggressive, this behavior cannot be tolerated. Responding with violence will only make the situation worse. Some things that you should try include removing your dog from the situation immediately. Tell him no, to let him know that you disapprove of the behavior. It’s important to deal with aggressive behaviors swiftly and consistently.

Fetch is a command that is very useful for socialization, exercise and obedience. Throwing a safe object for a distance will give your dog some excellent running time to build his muscles and improve his overall health and fitness. An additional benefit of this game is that it will help you to form a special bond with your pet. Play is positive attention and it’s good for both you and your dog. Most dogs will respond quickly to this game. When he chases the item that you throw, tell him to bring it to you. When he does, give him praise and a reward. Gradually decrease the rewards as he gains more understanding of what is going on. For this game, you can use the “drop it” command, or if you prefer the word “release,” they both work out the same.
8. Reward your dog’s successes. Because dogs generally repeat actions that are successful for them, reward-based training is a proven method for teaching the behavior you expect and desire of your dog. Although one of the most valued rewards you can give your dog is a tasty dog treat, rewards can come in the form of praise, affection, or playtime with a favorite toy, too. Just be sure your rewards are given in response to good behavior and not used as a bribe to elicit the behavior you want.
Start with the basics. For most trainers, the “basics” are sit, lie down, stay, and come. Although many owners start with the sit command, consider beginning your training by teaching your pet to come to you. This is perhaps the most useful command when it comes to keeping your dog out of harm’s way, and it’s one of the easiest commands for a dog to master. Simply catch your dog in the act of coming toward you and say the word “come” as you offer him praise. You can also practice this command with a long lead in your backyard or other outdoor space.
“It’s kind of like doing a background check,” Mr. Bekoff said. Certified Pet Dog Trainer, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and Certified Dog Behavior Consultants are three that experts point to. Accolades from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and the American Animal Hospital Association are also promising signs.
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Dog training is the application of behavior analysis which uses the environmental events of antecedents and consequences to modify the behavior of a dog, either for it to assist in specific activities or undertake particular tasks, or for it to participate effectively in contemporary domestic life. While training dogs for specific roles dates back to Roman times at least, the training of dogs to be compatible household pets developed with suburbanization in the 1950s.
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.
Likewise, if you have a special place you’d like the dog to stay when she needs to be out of the way of household activities, take her there. This is where you can finally let her off-leash. That place can be where her bed is, or a spot in the corner of the living room where you want her to lie, or her crate. By letting her off the leash here, you are telling her, “This is yours.” Don’t be surprised if she immediately decides to settle down and ignore the family for a while. This doesn’t mean she hates her new home. It means that she has found her place in it.
When you welcome a dog into your family, you may be excited about your new arrival but unsure how to train a dog to be obedient and polite. At Petco, we teach you how to speak your dog’s language through fun, informative classes that focus on encouraging good behavior and nurturing the bond between you and your pet. Our positive training classes can help new pet parents with kennel training, potty training, loose-leash training and obedience training. We offer a safe environment where pups can learn the skills they’ll need to thrive in real-world situations. 

In one study laboratory-bred Beagles were divided into three groups. Group A received an electric shock when the dogs touched the prey (a rabbit dummy fixed to a motion device). Group H received a shock when they did not obey a previously trained recall command during hunting. Dogs in group R received the electric shock arbitrarily, i.e. the shock was administered unpredictably and out of context. Group A did not show a significant rise in salivary cortisol levels, while group R and group H did show a significant rise. This led to the conclusion that animals which were able to clearly associate the electric stimulus with their action, i.e. touching the prey, and consequently were able to predict and control the stressor, did not show considerable or persistent stress indicators, while animals that were not able to control the situation to avoid the shock did show significant stress.[62]

In the 1980s veterinarian and animal behaviourist Ian Dunbar discovered that despite evidence on the peak learning periods in animals, few dog trainers worked with puppies before they were six months old.[25] Dunbar founded Sirius Dog Training, the first off-leash training program specifically for puppies, which emphasizes the importance of teaching bite inhibition, sociality, and other basic household manners, to dogs under six months of age.[31] Dunbar has written numerous books, and is known for his international seminar presentations and award-winning videos on puppy and dog behavior and training.[32]

9. Train in a variety of environments. Because dogs don’t generalize well, it’s important to have training sessions in a variety of different environments. You may have mastered the sit cue in your living room, but find your dog baffled when you ask him to sit in the back yard. A great way to help your dog learn that your cues should be followed no matter where you’re at is to clip a treat pouch to your waist, a leash to your dog’s collar, and have a series of mini training sessions. Start indoors, head to another room of the house, walk into the back yard, then take a short walk around the neighborhood, taking time to stop and practice cues and commands in each location.


Some pet owners make the mistake of allowing their dogs to bite them playfully. While all puppies and some dogs do this, allowing the behavior to continue could turn into a serious issue. Rough play can lead to serious injury. Dog bites can cause damage or even make you sick if they become infected. This is also a liability if they cause injury to another human or animal. Even if it doesn’t hurt when they bite you, stop the behaviors immediately by telling them “no” in a firm voice and consistently discouraging the behavior.

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We base our training around the "Classical Conditioning" model (aka "Pavlovian"or "respondent conditioning"). This includes developing conditioned or automatic reflexes to commands. In it's simplest form (after proper conditioning) -- when owner says 'sit', dog automatically sits without thinking about it. Our unique techniques ensure our program is a success no matter the behavior we encounter.
You will be training your puppy from the moment you bring it home and start to house train. Puppies start learning from birth and good breeders begin handling and socialization right away. Some training can begin as soon as the puppy can open its eyes and walk. Young puppies have short attention spans but you can expect them to begin to learn simple obedience commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age.
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