Get an introduction to the importance of training dogs, both for owners and the dogs themselves. Through some powerful analogies, Professor Donaldson will put you in the mindset of your dog to show you why certain training methods don't work and others do. Learn the three key principles of dog training that will provide the foundation for every lesson moving forward. She'll also recommend some important tools to have on hand. x
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!...
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.

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. 
The foundation of training should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a pay check for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values.  Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him.  It is important to remember that we can’t expect dogs to know what they don’t know – just like you wouldn’t expect a 2-year-old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.
Starting a training program can also help you to establish boundaries for your dog right from the beginning. Starting an obedience class sets him up for good behavior and makes it easier for him to become a happy and healthy member of your family! Remember, dogs are most at ease when they know the rules. Dogs crave structure and predictability, so training your new dog properly from the start is one of the best things you can do for him.
Examine the difference between tricks and obedience. Explore why teaching tricks can be beneficial to your dog as you work through three types of trick training: non-transitive or simple actions, transitive, and behavior chains. By using the foundation of obedience training you've already established, you can teach old (and young) dogs new tricks. x
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Puppies can begin very simple training starting as soon as they come home, usually around 8 weeks old. Always keep training sessions brief — just 5 to 10 minutes —and always end on a positive note. If your puppy is having trouble learning a new behavior, end the session by reviewing something he already knows and give him plenty of praise and a big reward for his success. If your puppy gets bored or frustrated, it will ultimately be counterproductive to learning.


Pups between the ages of 9–12 weeks who were permitted to observe their narcotics-detecting mothers at work generally proved more capable at learning the same skills at six months of age than control puppies the same age who were not previously allowed to watch their mothers working.[54] A 2001 study recorded the behaviour of dogs in detour tests, in which a favorite toy or food was placed behind a V-shaped fence. The demonstration of the detour by humans significantly improved the dogs' performance in the trials. The experiments showed that dogs are able to rely on information provided by human action when confronted with a new task. Significantly, they did not copy the exact path of the human demonstrator, but adopted the detour behavior shown by humans to reach their goal.[55] A 1977 experiment by Adler and Adler found that puppies who watched other puppies learn to pull a food cart into their cages by an attached ribbon proved considerably faster at the task when later given the opportunity themselves. At 38 days of age, the demonstrator puppies took an average of 697 seconds to succeed, while the observers succeeded in an average of 9 seconds.[56]
Once you and your dog have basic commands in place (meaning your dog will successfully come, sit, stay and obey other basic commands), they are invited to join us for additional training that is highly valuable in further building upon already learned techniques. Our dog training classes in New Braunfels are designed to place yourself and your dog in public places (surrounded by other dogs, people, smells and sounds), so that you can train your dog to obey you... regardless of the many distractions screaming for their attention!
The general principles of positive training are simple. Just like humans, dogs will repeat behaviors that they are rewarded for. Begin by choosing a behavior you want to encourage, such as sitting. Give the command, then watch carefully. When your dog does something close to what you asked for, quickly give her a reward. As she learns the command, you can shape her behavior by rewarding only a more accurate response. Your training coach can assist you and offer advice for tricky situations.
Examine the difference between tricks and obedience. Explore why teaching tricks can be beneficial to your dog as you work through three types of trick training: non-transitive or simple actions, transitive, and behavior chains. By using the foundation of obedience training you've already established, you can teach old (and young) dogs new tricks. x
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!...
As soon as your dog comes home with you – that very first day – you should begin training basic obedience commands like Come, Sit, Stay and Down. You might discover your dog can already follow basic commands. You might also find that you need to take it very slow, working on just one command a day or for a couple of days or weeks then moving on to another command. Repeating a command over and over won’t make your pooch listen any better. If you find he can’t speak any English, solicit the help of a ‘translator’ or positive dog trainer to help you communicate more effectively.
We have so much to be thankful for.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we wanted to let you know of our updated schedule for the Thanksgiving weekend: Thursday, November 22, Thanksgiving Day CLOSED Friday, November 23, Black Friday CLOSED Saturday, November 24 NO CLASSES (NO 8:30am Socialization, NO 9am or 10am Group Class. Demos will still be held as scheduled at 12 noon) Have a festive and safe Thanksgiving celebration!
“Look at the relationship you have with your dog, because that’s what it’s all about,” he said. Paramount, then, to correcting a behavioral issue is figuring out how a given issue relates to the relationship between dog and guardian. A good trainer, advises Mr. Bekoff, will say to you: “Tell me about you and your relationship with your dog: Do you work at home? Are you home a lot? How many people are in your house?”
The Monks of New Skete, who were breeders and trainers of German Shepherds in Cambridge, New York, published How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners in 1978 and it became an immediate best seller. Despite advocating a philosophy that "understanding is the key to communication and compassion with your dog,"[29] they endorsed confrontational punishments which were later shown to elicit dangerously aggressive responses in many dogs.[30]
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.
Even after puppy proofing, it's a good idea to not leave him unsupervised in the house until he has learned what is off limits. That way he won't have the chance to develop any bad habits while you're not looking! You'll also avoid having to buy all new shoes because he chewed up one from each pair. If your dog destroys something that is valuable to you, it is your fault for making it available to him. Dogs have no concept of how much something costs, and they don't chew things to spite you. They do it because it is fun. Dogs also chew to relieve stress, so a dog who normally doesn't chew things may do so when under stress. Make available appropriate chew toys and keep items you don't want chewed out of reach!
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.

The Monks of New Skete, who were breeders and trainers of German Shepherds in Cambridge, New York, published How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners in 1978 and it became an immediate best seller. Despite advocating a philosophy that "understanding is the key to communication and compassion with your dog,"[29] they endorsed confrontational punishments which were later shown to elicit dangerously aggressive responses in many dogs.[30]
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Ask your dog to sit. Then say “Stay” and start backing away slowly. As you take a step back and the dog stays in a sitting position, toss it a treat. Set your standards low at first: toss the treat after one step back for several repetitions, then after two steps back, and so forth. It will probably take many, many practice sessions, but soon you will be able to walk into another room and the dog will still be sitting patiently.
Moving to a new home can be stressful for dogs. It's an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. Some dogs experience stomach upset and diarrhea. House-trained dogs may regress and have accidents. Some will shy away from you for a while until you earn their trust. Be patient with your baby. It may take a while for him to adore you as much as you adore him. How long it takes is different for every dog. It could take anywhere from three days to three months for your new dog to settle in. Just be patient with him and show him in all of your actions that he is safe with you. If you are having any problems or have any questions during the adjustment period about a dog you adopted from Wags & Walks, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will do everything we can to help ease the adjustment period for both of you.

Remember that training is an ongoing process. You will never be completely finished. It is important to keep working on obedience training throughout the life of your dog. People who learn a language at a young age but stop speaking that language may forget much of it as they grow older. The same goes for your dog: use it or lose it. Running through even the most basic tricks and commands will help them stay fresh in your dog's mind. Plus, it's a great way to spend time with your dog.

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