How animals learn is one of the most studied phenomena in the history of cognitive science, and yet how to apply these learnings is not always clear cut. Much like humans, dogs carry embedded instincts and rich memories—from their evolution and the inherent drive for survival, to getting scolded for something they did but didn’t understand a mere week ago.
Food - Changing a dog's food abruptly can cause diarrhea, sometimes for several weeks. To avoid this, continue feeding the same food provided by the foster home, or mix the old with the new to gradually adjust your dog to a new diet.  Instructions on switching to a new food as well as guidelines on how much to feed your dog and how often should be on the bag itself, however most dog food brands also have this information on their website.
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.
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.

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.
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.
To start training your dog to “settle,” leash her up and take a seat. Step on the leash so your dog has only enough room to sit, stand, and turn around, but not stray from your side. Then, wait. Your dog may be excited at first, and try to jump up on your lap or run around the room. Let her figure out that she can’t go anywhere. Once she settles down on her own, say “yes!” and give her a treat.
“Down” can be taught very similarly to “sit.” You can wait for your dog to lie down (beginning in a boring, small room such as a bathroom can help) and capture the behavior by reinforcing your dog with a treat when he lies down, giving him his release cue to stand back up (and encouragement with a lure if needed) and then waiting for him to lie down again. When he is quickly lying down after standing up, you can begin saying “down” right before he does so.
Let your new dog gradually earn freedom throughout your home. A common error that many pet parents make is giving their new dog too much freedom too soon. This can easily lead to accidents relating to housetraining and destructive chewing. So, close off doors to unoccupied rooms and use baby gates to section off parts of the house, if necessary. One of the best ways to minimize incidents is to keep your dog tethered to you in the house and by using a crate or doggie safe area when you can’t actively supervise him.
Before enrolling with a particular club contact them and ask if you can go to watch a class without your dog. This will help you decide if this is the right environment for you and your dog. Some clubs have waiting lists and you will need to book ahead, some accept people on a roll on roll off basis. Prices will vary from a joining fee and then weekly payments to a one off fee for a certain length of training.
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.
When it comes to training, you must define what is keeping your dog from picking up what you are teaching; defining if your dog has what problems or why problems can alleviate frustration. Professor Donaldson explains how to motivate a dog and adjust your rate of reinforcement for these and a number of other common obstacles that may stand in his way. She also provides tips for transitioning out of training mode and into integrating what your dog has learned into common behaviors. x
Classical conditioning (or Pavlovian conditioning) is a form of learning in which one stimulus, the conditioned stimulus, comes to signal the occurrence of a second stimulus, the unconditioned stimulus.[43] Classical conditioning is when a dog learns to associate things in its environment, or discovers some things just go together. A dog may become afraid of rain through an association with thunder and lightning, or it may respond to the owner putting on a particular pair of shoes by fetching its leash.[44] Classical conditioning is used in dog training to help a dog make specific associations with a particular stimulus, particularly in overcoming fear of people and situations.[45]
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.
HEALTHY PETS DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Dr. Karen Becker cannot answer specific questions about your pet's medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Your pet's medical protocol should be given by your holistic veterinarian.

All of our clients learn off-leash control of their dog. We create and control distractions which set the platform for your dog to learn. At our 11 acre dog training facility, dogs learn how to interact and socialize with people and other dogs instead of just training at home where there’s little distraction and no interaction with anything. By nature dogs are pack animals, social creatures. Our dog training is attention-based and your dog will learn how to focus on your commands regardless of the distraction.

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.


The University of North Texas in Denton’s Department of Behavior Analysis is offering graduate and undergraduate courses on behavior modification through positive reinforcement shaping. Students do their hands-on research at zoos and animal shelters and at home. Training a pet is a course requirement for graduates and undergraduates alike. To learn more about this and other university programs that involve modern animal training, visit the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas.
This is another important command to teach your dog. You start by telling your dog to lie down in a certain spot. While you’re speaking, help to position the dog in the laying position, gently with your hands. Praise him for obeying. Be patient and continue to work with him until he understands what you mean. Offer rewards in the beginning, and gradually decrease the rewards until he will obey the lie down command without requiring your intervention.
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There are a variety of established methods of animals training, each with its adherents and critics. Some of the better known dog training procedures include the Koehler method, clicker training, motivational training, electronic training, model-rival training, dominance-based training, and relationship-based training. The common characteristics of successful methods are knowing the animal's attributes and personality, accurate timing of reinforcement and/or punishment and consistent communication. The use of punishment is controversial with both the humaneness and effectiveness questioned by many behaviourists.
Once your dog can stay in a sit for several seconds, you can begin adding distance. Place him in a sit and say “stay,” take one step back, then step back to the pup, give a treat, and your release word. Continue building in steps, keeping it easy enough that your dog can stay successful. Practice both facing him and walking away with your back turned (which is more realistic).

In general, those individuals employed as dog trainers are largely “self educated”. This means they have read extensively on behavior modification and dog ethology, attended seminars, workshops and conventions, and perhaps mentored with other trainers. There are some “dog training schools”. As a matter of policy, at this time the APDT cannot endorse any of the selected training programs that are available around the country. When you investigate a school, be sure to inquire about methods used.


The idea of using treats to train is often equated with bribery. Truthfully, dogs do what works. If using treats gets them to do what you want, then why not? You can also use the world around you as a reinforcement. Every interaction you have with your dog is a learning opportunity, so when you think about it, you probably don’t use food very often except during active training sessions. So why does your dog continue to hang out? Because you reinforce him with praise, touch, games and walks. Just remember, the behavior should produce the treat; the treat should not produce the behavior.
You will come out of this course knowing how to teach your dog the most commonly desired obedience actions; understand the complicated and fascinating world of dog behavior; grasp the fundamentals of dog communication; and have a strong foundation in the principles that underlie modern dog training philosophies. You’ll learn how dogs learn, act, react, and connect, opening the door to better interactions and a new world of trust between you and your dog.
Camp Bow Wow New Orleans offers several options for our canine training. Our Certified Trainers can work with your dog while they attend Camp, spending one-on-one time with them. We can also provide training services working with you and your dog in a private setting if that’s most comfortable for you. These sessions can help your pup overcome behavior issues or provide enrichment.
When your dog knows the release cue and how to sit on cue, put him in a sit, turn and face him, and give him a treat. Pause, and give him another treat for staying in a sit, then release him. Gradually increase the time you wait between treats (it can help to sing the ABC’s in your head and work your way up the alphabet).  If your dog gets up before the release cue, that’s ok! It just means he isn’t ready to sit for that long so you can make it easier by going back to a shorter time.
Punishment is operationally defined as an event that lowers the probability of the behavior that it follows. It is not "punishment" in the common sense of the word,[40] and does not mean physical or psychological harm and most certainly does not mean abuse. Punishment simply involves the presentation of an undesired consequence (positive punishment) when the wrong behavior is performed, such as a snap of the leash, or the removal of a desired consequence (negative punishment) when the wrong behavior is performed, such as the trainer eating the cheese that would have been the reward.[41] A behavior that has previously been developed may cease if reinforcement stops; this is called extinction. A dog that paws its owner for attention will eventually stop if it no longer receives attention.[42]
Most people don’t have a problem being very clear about when they are unhappy with their dogs, but, they often ignore the good stuff. Big mistake! Make sure you give your dog lots of attention when he’s doing the right thing. Let him know when he’s been a good boy. That’s the time to be extra generous with your attention and praise. It’s even okay to be a little over the top.
People often say they don’t see their dog’s true personality until several weeks after adoption. Your dog may be a bit uneasy at first as he gets to know you. Be patient and understanding while also keeping to the schedule you intend to maintain for feeding, walks, etc. This schedule will show your dog what is expected of him as well as what he can expect from you.

There is nothing inherently wrong with telling your dog “no,” except that it doesn’t give him enough information. Instead of telling your dog “no,” tell him what you want him to do. Dogs don’t generalize well, so if your dog jumps up on someone to say hello and you say no, he may jump higher or he may jump to the left side instead of the right. A better alternative would be to ask him to “sit.” Tell him what you want him to do in order to avoid confusion.


Typical positive reinforcement events will satisfy some physiological or psychological need, so it can be food, a game, or a demonstration of affection. Different dogs will find different things reinforcing. Negative reinforcement occurs when a dog discovers that a particular response ends the presentation of an aversive stimulus. An aversive is anything that the dog does not like, such as verbal admonishment, or a tightened choke chain.[39]
Clicker training, a common form of positive reinforcement, is a simple and effective dog training method. Although it is still fine to train your dog without clicker training, many people find it helpful. With clicker training, you can easily and effectively teach your dog all kinds of basic and advanced commands and tricks. It's fast and easy to learn how to clicker train your dog
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