Pack Mentality: Dogs are pack animals by nature. Establish yourself as the pack leader.
Communication: Dogs communicate primarily through body language. Pay attention to your dog’s cues and be mindful of your own body language.
Basic Training Steps
Start Early: Begin training as soon as you get your dog. Puppies are easier to train because they have not yet developed bad habits.
Positive Reinforcement: Reward good behavior with treats, praise, or playtime. This encourages the dog to repeat those behaviors.
Consistency: Be consistent with commands and your expectations. If a rule is established, stick to it.
Short Sessions: Keep training sessions short and focused (5-15 minutes for puppies, 15-30 minutes for older dogs), to keep your dog’s attention.
Patience: Be patient. Training takes time, and different dogs learn at different paces.
Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose.
Move your hand up, allowing their head to follow the treat and causing their bottom to lower.
Once they’re in sitting position, say “Sit,” give them the treat, and share affection.
Put a leash and collar on your dog.
Get down to their level and say “Come,” while gently pulling on the leash.
When they get to you, reward them with affection and a treat.
Find a particularly good-smelling treat, and hold it in your closed fist.
Hold your hand up to your dog’s snout. When they smell it, move your hand to the floor, so they follow.
Slide your hand along the ground in front of them to encourage their body to follow their head.
Once they’re in the down position, say “Down,” give them the treat, and share affection.
Ask your dog to “Sit.”
Open the palm of your hand in front of you, and say “Stay.”
Take a few steps back. If they stay, reward them with a treat and affection.
Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving the treat.
Place a treat in both hands.
Show them one enclosed fist with the treat inside, and say, “Leave it.”
Let them lick, sniff, mouth, paw, and bark to try to get it — ignore the behaviors.
Once they stop trying, give them the treat from the other hand.
Repeat until your dog moves away from the first fist when you say “Leave it.”
Dealing with Behavioral Issues
Biting or Nipping: Replace your hand or furniture with a chew toy to teach them what is acceptable to bite.
Jumping Up: Ignore your dog when they jump on you and only give them attention when all four paws are on the ground.
Barking: Teach a “Quiet” command. When they bark, say “Quiet,” and when they stop barking, reward them.
Exposure: Introduce your dog to different people, animals, environments, and situations.
Positive Associations: Make new experiences positive with treats and praise.
Handling: Get your dog used to being handled. Touch their paws, ears, etc., and reward them, so vet visits are easier.
Once your dog has mastered the basics, you can move on to more complex commands and tricks, such as “heel,” “shake,” or “roll over.” You can also engage in specific training for activities such as agility, service work, or therapy.
Professional Training Classes
Puppy Classes: A great way to get basic training and socialization for your puppy.
Obedience Classes: For more formal training and to address specific issues.
Specialized Training: For behavior modification or training for specific purposes (e.g., search and rescue).
Tools You Might Need
Clicker (for clicker training)
Leash and Collar
Crate (for crate training and housebreaking)
Training Pads (for puppies)
Books or videos on dog training for additional guidance
Training is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Continue to practice commands and introduce new challenges as your dog progresses. Always end training sessions on a positive note to keep your dog eager and happy to participate.