Person-to-person communication is key with trainers, but words matter only so far as they can be translated into action. “Any kind of woo-woo language, about ‘energy,’ ‘packs,’ ‘leadership;’ anything that sounds very non-concrete, where you come away thinking, ‘O.K., but what’s actually going to physically happen with my dog here?’; any attempt to obfuscate — that is a huge red flag,” Ms. Donaldson said.


When you adopt a puppy or dog from a shelter, he comes with a history — not the least of which is being relinquished to the shelter. Keep in mind that the stress of this, along with whatever the dog has experienced in his past, can make him less than confident in new surroundings. Plan on giving him some time to adjust to his new home and family. Dogs can take anywhere from a few hours to several months to get used to living in a new place. During this adjustment time, do what you can to make your new dog feel safe and comfortable. Be patient while he adjusts, but also try to keep things consistent and predictable in his new environment.
It’s also a good idea to assume your dog wasn’t socialized by previous owners. At a minimum she isn’t socialized to all the stimuli in her new life with you. It will be your responsibility to expose her to all the sights, sounds, smells, and other living creatures in her new environment. Take care not to overwhelm her, though. Let her set the pace and use gentle encouragement if she’s especially timid or shy.

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.
Our methods focus on creating a positive relationship between you and your dog to improve your dog's behavior and obedience. Our expertise is in understanding how a dog naturally thinks, learns and communicates and then using this to show you how to be your dog’s leader. Once this relationship is established, behavior change is a natural next step. Our techniques work with any age, any breed, any issue. You and your dog get one-on-one attention, an individualized plan to suit your family AND guaranteed support for the life of your dog.
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.

Providing your dog with at least some training is the best and most loving thing you can do for him. Training your dog ensures that he’s safe and welcome everywhere he goes and that he’s easy to live with. When beginning obedience training, you need to keep in mind a few do’s and don’ts, and you should start with a few basic exercises, including sitting and laying down on command. Training him to respond to the Come and Sit-Stay commands also is extremely helpful.
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. 
“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.

Jean Donaldson is the founder and principal instructor of the Academy for Dog Trainers, which has trained and certified more than 700 trainers in evidence-based dog behavior, training, and private behavior counseling since 1999. Ms. Donaldson is a four-time winner of the Dog Writers Association of America’s Maxwell Medallion. Her books include The Culture Clash; Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs; Fight!...
Dogs, like their wolf ancestors, are used to working and living with a pack. Think of the pack like a small cohesive military unit. Dogs work better when they are consistently given rules and orders to abide. Training gives the dog an opportunity to learn what it should and should not do. It also helps the owner establish that his word is law, and that the dog would do well to obey its owner.
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.

10. Keep training fun! One of the most important things to remember when training your dog is to keep it fun! As long as you and your dog are happy, enjoying your time together, and making progress, you’re doing it right! If you find that your dog seems uninterested in training, think of creative ways to make it fun for him. Choose higher value rewards, like freeze-dried meaty treats instead of boring old biscuits or end training sessions with a fun game of fetch or a walk to the park. Make sure you’re having fun, too! Your dog will sense your level of excitement and feed off of it. A happy dog that’s having fun will not only learn faster, but will look forward to your next training session together, too.
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