Formal dog training has traditionally been delayed until 6 months of age. Actually, this juvenile stage is a very poor time to start. The dog is learning from every experience and delaying training means missed opportunities for the dog to learn how you would like him to behave. During the juvenile stage, the dog is beginning to solidify adult behavioral patterns and progresses through fear periods. Behaviors learned in puppyhood may need to be changed. In addition, anything that has already been learned or trained incorrectly will need to be undone and re-taught. Puppies are capable of learning much from an early age.

A dog who knows how to sit and lie down can easily learn how to stay. To teach your dog to stay, begin in the sitting position. Then, hold your palm outward, as if instructing him to stop. Say the word “stay” repeatedly, for as long as your dog remains still. After a few seconds, move back to him and give him a treat for his compliance. Gradually increase the amount of time you wait before offering him the reward. With some practice, most dogs can learn to stay for several minutes. The down and stay commands are especially useful for calming an excited animal.


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.
Konrad Lorenz, an Austrian scientist who is regarded as developing the foundations of ethological research,[14] further popularised animal behaviorism with his books, Man Meets Dog and King Solomon's Ring.[15] Lorenz stated that there were three essential commands to teach a dog: "lie down" (stay where you are), "basket" (go over there) and "heel" (come with me).[16]

Derived from the theories of symbolic interactionism, relationship based training exploits the patterns of communication, interpretation and adjustment between dogs and their trainers. Building on a positive relationship between them, the method sets out to achieve results that benefit both the dog and the trainer, while at the same time enhancing and strengthening their relationship. The basic principles include ensuring that the dog's basic needs have been met before beginning a training session, finding out what motivates the dog and using it to elicit behaviours, interpreting the dog's body language to improve communication between dog and trainer, using positive reinforcement to encourage desired behavior, training incompatible behaviors to replace unwanted behaviours, and controlling the dog's environment to limit the possibility of unwanted behaviours.[74] A relationship-based approach to dog training is not reliant on using particular training aids or treats, the relationship is always there, and the connection between dog and trainer is sufficiently powerful to achieve the training goals.[75]


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.


Konrad Most began training dogs for police work in Germany, and was appointed principal of the State Breeding and Training Establishment for police dogs in Berlin, where he carried out original research into training dogs for a broad range of service tasks. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was charged with organising and directing the use of dogs to further the war effort. He headed the Experimental Institute for Armed Forces' Dogs during the Second World War, and afterwards ran the German Dog Farm, a centre for the training of working dogs, including assistance dogs for the blind. He played a leading role in the formation of the German Canine Research Society and Society for Animal Psychology.[8] His 1910 publication, Training Dogs: A Manual, emphasised using instinctive behavior such as the prey drive to train desired behaviors, advocated the use of compulsion and inducements, differentiated between primary and secondary reinforcers, and described shaping behaviors, chaining components of an activity, and the importance of timing rewards and punishments. The book demonstrated an understanding of the principles of operant conditioning almost thirty years before they were formally outlined by B.F. Skinner in The Behavior of Organisms.[9] While publishers of the 2001 reprint warn that some of the "compulsive inducements" such as the switch, the spiked collar and the forced compliance are unnecessarily harsh for today's pet dogs,[10] the basic principles of Most's methods are still used in police and military settings.[11]
Konrad Most began training dogs for police work in Germany, and was appointed principal of the State Breeding and Training Establishment for police dogs in Berlin, where he carried out original research into training dogs for a broad range of service tasks. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was charged with organising and directing the use of dogs to further the war effort. He headed the Experimental Institute for Armed Forces' Dogs during the Second World War, and afterwards ran the German Dog Farm, a centre for the training of working dogs, including assistance dogs for the blind. He played a leading role in the formation of the German Canine Research Society and Society for Animal Psychology.[8] His 1910 publication, Training Dogs: A Manual, emphasised using instinctive behavior such as the prey drive to train desired behaviors, advocated the use of compulsion and inducements, differentiated between primary and secondary reinforcers, and described shaping behaviors, chaining components of an activity, and the importance of timing rewards and punishments. The book demonstrated an understanding of the principles of operant conditioning almost thirty years before they were formally outlined by B.F. Skinner in The Behavior of Organisms.[9] While publishers of the 2001 reprint warn that some of the "compulsive inducements" such as the switch, the spiked collar and the forced compliance are unnecessarily harsh for today's pet dogs,[10] the basic principles of Most's methods are still used in police and military settings.[11]
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.
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.
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]

Even if your dog is older, curiosity can get the better of him. Make sure your home is a safe place for him by putting yourself in his paws. Crawl around on the floor and check out any potential dangers. Electrical cords, poisonous houseplants, and any item small enough to swallow are just a few of the things that should be out of his reach. Veterinarians perform more surgeries to remove strange objects that a dog has swallowed than for anything else.

I recently completed Andrea Arden’s Adult Basic class with my newly rescued Wheaten Terrier. Over the class my dog’s behavior improved immensely, as did my knowledge of how best to train her. Andrea Arden Training uses reward-based training and my dog LOVES it – she now will spontaneously do obedience moves in the hopes that I will give her a treat. Our class was quite small (just 3 dogs), so it was almost like having 1 on 1 training. It was very helpful to see the trainers demonstrate the techniques. Additionally, many of the Andrea Arden trainers have also rescued dogs, so they have a good understanding of the different training issues rescued dogs face. Two paws up!
Every dog whether puppy or adult needs to be socialized. It helps them to be more accepting of new animals, people and places. The way that it is done is by gradually exposing the dog to new people, animals and experiences. You need to be near your pet when you do this, so you can stay in control. Your dog may have fears or phobias and it’s your job to put him at ease with these new encounters. Use a reassuring tone until your dog feels comfortable and talk to him. Let him know it’s alright. Exposure is the only way to socialize your dog. Use positive reinforcement to reward appropriate behaviors and firmness for negative behaviors including aggressive behaviors. Your dog will be more well adjusted if he is properly socialized. Some things that you can do to speed the process are to take your dog on regular walks where there are other animals and people, take hi to a dog par, enroll the dog in a doggie day care a few times a month or invite friends to come over and bring their dogs for a visit.
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]
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!!!!!!!!!!

First, teach the release word. Choose which word you will use, such as “OK” or “free.” Stand with your puppy in a sit or a stand, toss a treat on the floor, and say your word as he steps forward to get the treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can say the word first and then toss the treat AFTER he begins to move. This teaches the dog that the release cue means to move your feet.
Researchers have described several reasons why the dominance model is a poor choice for dog training.[71] First, a relationship based on dominance is established to gain priority access to scarce resources, not to impose particular behaviors on the less dominant animal,[72] so the dominance model is irrelevant for most of the behaviors that people want from their dogs, such as coming when called or walking calmly on a leash.[71] Second dominance-submission relationships, once established, are constantly tested and must be regularly reinforced.[73] Thus people, particularly children and the elderly, may not be able to retain their rank and are at risk of being injured if they attempt to do so.[71] Third, dominant individuals gain priority access to resources, but only while they are present, establishing dominance over a dog does not guarantee its behavior when the dominant individual is distant or absent.[71]
In addition, over the past year, we have had great success integrating remote collars into our training program. These collars use very low-level electrical impulses (usually lower than a human can feel in their own hand,) in conjunction with commands to reinforce understanding and bring your dog to on and off-leash reliability, while adjusting unwanted behavior in less time and with much less stress than ever before. 
One should realize that a “certificate” from a particular training school is simply that: A certificate for completing one of the numerous training courses available. Many individual businesses will also be happy to charge you a fee and “certify” you. If you choose to attend a “dog training school,” do your homework. Investigate the program and how it fits with your needs. If you’re interested in a true national certification, please contact the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
Welcome to Dog Training Elite New Braunfels! We are a professional New Braunfels dog training company with over 40 years of experience that specializes in strengthening the bond between your dog and your family, with a strong emphasis on teaching your dog the highest level of obedience, despite even the toughest level of distractions. Our programs are certain to meet all of your training needs. Unlike a lot of other dog training companies, we understand that each client has different needs, so we tailor our dog training programs to accommodate your unique situation. Dog Training Elite New Braunfels also trains service animals and personal protection K9's, and has donated their time to those with special needs in training personalized service dogs.
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!
Leashes are mandatory in some areas and they give you more control over the dog. Your pet may resist the leash initially, but reassure him that it’s okay as you attach it to his collar. Begin by gently coaxing and pulling him in the direction that you want to go. If he is afraid, be patient and work with him until he becomes more comfortable. Most dogs quickly learn that the leash will not harm them. If your dog has been abused, the process may take longer. Reward your dog by taking him on a nice walk. Do your best to avoid harsh stops that may cause choking. You’ll find that the leash can protect your dog from harm when walking near a roadway. It’s the best way for maintaining physical control of your dog at all times. Some leashes have a retractable mechanism that will allow to to let greater lengths out so your dog will have more freedom when appropriate.
Ready for advanced obedience training and want ideas for what to do next?  Let’s look at one option:  Fenzi TEAM Titles (http://fenziteamtitles.com). TEAM stands for Training Excellence Assessment Modules, and is made up of 6 levels of video “tests” for foundation through advanced obedience training skills.  Levels 1 – 3 are Sport Foundation, and build… Read more »
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]
With dog training equipment from PetSmart, you'll be able to crate train your pup more easily. Our supplies and help with dog obedience and housetraining by rewarding him for good behavior. Teach him to love his crate and have good manners indoors and out. You'll be amazed at what your dog can do! Browse all of our dog training equipment and supplies.
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.
The most important concepts in dog training are positive reinforcement, repetition, and patience. You didn’t learn the alphabet in a day; it would be unfair to expect your dog to remember every command perfectly after only a few tries. End your training sessions before the dog starts getting bored or frustrated, and try again another time, and have fun! If you stay calm and positive, the dog will pick up on your attitude and learn faster.
If you're adopting a puppy rather than an adult dog, expect an adjustment period for yourself, too! Adopting a puppy is like having a baby. There will be lots of potty breaks because their bladder isn't yet fully developed. Expect to get up a couple of times during the night for potty breaks. If you work, plan to come home everyday at lunch to let your puppy outside to potty. If you can't come home, consider hiring a pet sitter. Or, use an X-pen instead of a crate and set up a potty area on one side. Just know that a puppy HAS TO potty several times a day and plan accordingly. We recommend writing down every time the dog goes potty (both outside and accidents) so you can begin to see their patterns and how frequently they need to go out.  Puppies will also chew on everything available, so don't make anything available that he shouldn't chew on.
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.

In considering the natural behaviours of specific breeds of dogs, it is possible to train them to perform specialised, highly useful, tasks. For example, Labrador retrievers are the favoured breed for the detection of explosives. This is because of a combination of factors including their food drive which enables them to keep focused on a task despite noise and other distractions. Most working breeds of dogs are able to be trained to find people with their sense of smell (as opposed to their sense of sight). Cocker Spaniels are able to be trained as part of a termite detection team. Their relatively small size enables them to fit into small spaces, and their light weight allows them to walk on areas of ceiling which would be dangerous to anything heavier. In fact, although unusual, termite detection dogs are much more reliable at detecting termites than humans who rely on a basic system of tapping and listening. Because of their ability to learn signals by sight and for their energetic and athletic natures, German Shepherds are able to be trained for work alongside search and rescue teams and human apprehension teams.[79]
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.
The next option is called luring. Get down in front of your puppy, holding a treat as a lure. Put the treat right in front of the pup’s nose, then slowly lift the food above his head. He will probably sit as he lifts his head to nibble at the treat. Allow him to eat the treat when his bottom touches the ground. Repeat one or two times with the food lure, then remove the food and use just your empty hand, but continue to reward the puppy after he sits. Once he understands the hand signal to sit, you can begin saying “sit” right before you give the hand signal.

In 1935, the American Kennel Club began obedience trials, and in the following years popular magazines raised public awareness of the benefits of having a trained pet dog, and of the recreational possibilities of dog training as a hobby.[17] After WWII, the increasing complexities of suburban living demanded that for a pet dog's own protection and its owner's convenience, the dog should be obedient. William Koehler had served as principal trainer at the War Dog Training Center, in California, and after the war became chief trainer for the Orange Empire Dog Club—at the time, the largest dog club in the United States—instructor for a number of breed clubs, and a dog trainer for the Walt Disney Studios.[18] In 1962 Koehler published The Koehler Method of Dog Training, in which he is highly critical of what he calls "tid-bit training techniques" based in "the prattle of 'dog psychologists'".[17] Amongst the training innovations attributed to Koehler is the use of a long line in conjunction with a complete absence of oral communication as a way of instilling attentiveness prior to any leash training. Koehler insisted that participants in his training classes used "emphatic corrections", including leash jerks and throw chains, explaining that tentative, nagging corrections were cruel in that they caused emotional disturbance to the dog.[19] Vicki Hearne, a disciple of Koehler's, commented on the widespread criticism of his corrections, with the explanation that it was the emotionally loaded language used in the book that led to a number of court cases, and to the book being banned in Arizona for a time.[20] Despite the controversy, his basic method forms the core of many contemporary training systems.[21]

After discussing it with your veterinarian to ensure your dog has all the necessary vaccines, you may wish to take your dog to group training classes or the dog park. Pay close attention to your dog’s body language to be sure he’s having a good time — and is not fearful or a dog park bully. If you’re unsure of what signs to watch for, check out this video on safety at the dog park.
If you're adopting a puppy rather than an adult dog, expect an adjustment period for yourself, too! Adopting a puppy is like having a baby. There will be lots of potty breaks because their bladder isn't yet fully developed. Expect to get up a couple of times during the night for potty breaks. If you work, plan to come home everyday at lunch to let your puppy outside to potty. If you can't come home, consider hiring a pet sitter. Or, use an X-pen instead of a crate and set up a potty area on one side. Just know that a puppy HAS TO potty several times a day and plan accordingly. We recommend writing down every time the dog goes potty (both outside and accidents) so you can begin to see their patterns and how frequently they need to go out.  Puppies will also chew on everything available, so don't make anything available that he shouldn't chew on.

Many owners wonder if they should enlist the help of a professional dog trainer. Enrolling in a training class with your dog is often a great way to begin the training process, but it’s important not to rely on the trainer to teach your dog. A trainer’s job is primarily to teach the owner how to train the animal. By learning how to train your dog yourself, you can take the training home with you and better connect with your pet.
PuppyToob.com is your daily resource for the latest dog rescue news, adoption stories, and tips for raising a healthy dog. It's also the most in depth resource for dog breed information. We have detailed profiles on the Bulldog, Cane Corso, French Bulldog, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Pit Bull, Rottweiller, Tibetan Mastiff, Yorkie Poo, and other popular dog breeds.
Whenever you’re training your dog, it’s important to get as many family members involved as possible so everyone’s on the same page. If you are telling your dog “off” when he jumps on the couch and someone else is saying “down,” while someone else is letting him hang out up there, how on earth is he ever going to learn what you want? Consistency will be the key to your success.
The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, APDT, is a professional organization of individual trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through education. The APDT offers individual pet dog trainers a respected and concerted voice in the dog world. We continue to promote professional trainers in the veterinary profession and to increase public awareness of dog-friendly training techniques.
Top Dog Tips is here to provide dog owners with the most accurate and in-depth tips and advice on dog care, health, nutrition and training from the industry experts – veterinarians, dog trainers, groomers and animal scientists. We help dog owners effortlessly choose the best dog supplies on the market. We buy, test, review and rank pet products to help you avoid the bad stuff and purchase only what's best for you and your dog.
This first step of the stay will be done without leaving the dog. The handler will tell the dog “stay,” move their hand in a quick motion in front of the dogs face, and move out in front of the dog leaving with the leg furthest from the dog. The handler should be standing directly in front of the dog with little space between them. The handler should hold the leash directly above the dog without any slack (don’t choke the dog or pull too tight), then after a count of 10, the handler should walk all the way around the dog while keeping the leash tight; stop in the heeling position. After a count of 10, call exercise finish.
7. Keep training sessions short and sweet. Pet parents who spend short 5 to 10 minute training sessions with their dog a few times a day will make much greater progress than those that try to train for a solid hour or more each day. While it isn’t often physically demanding, training is mentally exhausting for your dog. A tired, overworked, or uninterested dog will not learn as quickly and efficiently as a dog that’s well-rested and excited to learn.
If you're adopting a puppy rather than an adult dog, expect an adjustment period for yourself, too! Adopting a puppy is like having a baby. There will be lots of potty breaks because their bladder isn't yet fully developed. Expect to get up a couple of times during the night for potty breaks. If you work, plan to come home everyday at lunch to let your puppy outside to potty. If you can't come home, consider hiring a pet sitter. Or, use an X-pen instead of a crate and set up a potty area on one side. Just know that a puppy HAS TO potty several times a day and plan accordingly. We recommend writing down every time the dog goes potty (both outside and accidents) so you can begin to see their patterns and how frequently they need to go out.  Puppies will also chew on everything available, so don't make anything available that he shouldn't chew on.
A dog who knows how to sit and lie down can easily learn how to stay. To teach your dog to stay, begin in the sitting position. Then, hold your palm outward, as if instructing him to stop. Say the word “stay” repeatedly, for as long as your dog remains still. After a few seconds, move back to him and give him a treat for his compliance. Gradually increase the amount of time you wait before offering him the reward. With some practice, most dogs can learn to stay for several minutes. The down and stay commands are especially useful for calming an excited animal.
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