Training a dog can be a frustrating experience if you’re not sure of what you’re doing. There are many ways that people approach the task, but in our experience, postive reinforcement techniques are the most effective and humane. Here are twenty universal dog training tips that will help beginners to achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time. They are useful to help beginners to understand the hows and why’s of the techniques that apply to all dog breeds universally. These methods are applicable to dogs of all ages whether they’re young puppies or older dogs. When your pet understands the rules of the house and abides by them, dog ownership becomes a wonderful experience for everyone.
WOW! Say it with me: Cesar who? Andrea Arden’s Katrina Krings is the true Dog Whisperer! I called her to work with my 4 month old Maltese who I was hopeless at training. After only a few sessions she literally transformed my dog, and then worked with me to make sure I could keep the training up on my own! Kartrina, I cannot thank you enough!!!!!!! Suki is happy and I was told by my vet that she is the most well behaved dog they have ever worked with. (To be clear, they called me at home to mention this because they were so impressed by her calm demeanor and pure obedience) Great job!!!!!!!!!!
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.
Animal behaviorists assert that using dominance to modify a behavior can suppress the behavior without addressing the underlying cause of the problem. It can exacerbate the problem and increase the dog's fear, anxiety, and aggression. Dogs that are subjected to repeated threats may react with aggression not because they are trying to be dominant, but because they feel threatened and afraid.[70]
Treat your shelter dog the same way you would a new puppy coming into your house. Assume he has never had any training. Even if he has had obedience training in the past, he may need a refresher after all he's been through. Your best bet is to expect that he knows nothing. This way you'll be pleasantly surprised if the dog already knows some basic commands or is already housebroken, but you won't be setting him up for failure with expectations that are too high. Be sure to train your new dog using positive reinforcement. Keep training sessions upbeat and low-stress.
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.
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.
At the Louisiana SPCA, our Training and Behavior team utilizes methods that are rooted in the sciences of animal learning and dog behavior to help you reach your behavior goals. From basic manners and advanced skills to fear and aggression, our trainers will help you build a positive, lasting relationship with your dog.  Email training@la-spca.org with any questions.  Check out our Training FAQ Page for more information on our training programs.
In competition obedience training, “heel” means the dog is walking on your left side with his head even with your knee while you hold the leash loosely. Puppy training can be a little more relaxed with the goal being that they walk politely on a loose leash without pulling. Some trainers prefer to say “let’s go” or “forward” instead of “heel” when they train this easy way of walking together.

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.

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To train your dog to come when called, start on leash in a quiet area. Back away from your dog while enthusiastically telling her to “come!” Only give the command once, but be enthusiastic, and keep your body language relaxed and open. You can show your dog a treat to encourage her to head your way. Once she starts towards you, say “yes!” (or click) and reward her with a treat.
Based on the principles of social learning, model-rival training uses a model, or a rival for attention, to demonstrate the desired behaviour.[65] The method was used by Irene Pepperberg to train Alex the African Grey Parrot to label a large number of objects. McKinley and Young undertook a pilot study on the applicability of a modified version of the model-rival method to the training of domestic dogs, noting that the dog's origins as a member of large and complex social groups promote observational learning. The model-rival training involved an interaction between the trainer, the dog, and a person acting as a model-rival, that is, a model for desired behaviour and a rival for the trainer's attention. In view of the dog, a dialogue concerning a particular toy commenced between the trainer and the model-rival. The trainer praised or scolded the model-rival depending on whether the model-rival had named the toy correctly. It was found that the performance times for completion of the task were similar for dogs trained with either operant conditioning or the model rival method. In addition, the total training time required for task completion was comparable for both methods.[66]
Don’t overwhelm your dog by expecting too much at first. Start slow by working on basic commands, such as “sit,” and keep training sessions short. You can gradually train your dog for longer periods of time and move on to more complex commands, such as “leave it,” once basic training is successful. As your dog learns these basic commands, it becomes easier to start training your dog on the more difficult ones.
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