Training Tips for Your Dog

dog training

Training guides can have varied opinions on what works and doesn't. We thought we'd stick to what we know. Here are some tips we have collected over the years working with your pets!

Feel free to add some of your own.....or, if you have a special challenge you need help with, let us know!

1. You get what you reinforce - not necessarily what you want 

If your dog exhibits a behavior you don't like, there is a strong likelihood that it's something that has been reinforced before. A great example is when your dog brings you a toy and barks to entice you to throw it. You throw the toy. Your dog has just learned that barking gets you to do what he wants. You say "no," and he barks even more. Heaven forbid you give in and throw the toy now! Why? Because you will have taught him persistence pays off. Before you know it you'll have a dog that barks and barks every time he wants something. The solution? Ignore his barking or ask him to do something for you (like "sit") before you throw his toy.

2. Be generous with your affection 

Most people don't have a problem being very clear about when they are unhappy with their dogs, but, they often ignore the good stuff. Big mistake! Make sure you give your dog lots of attention when he's doing the right thing. Let him know when he's been a good boy. That's the time to be extra generous with your attention and praise. It's even okay to be a little over the top. When you give a command and they respond correctly, say “Thank You”.

3. Listen to your dog 

Learn to listen to your dog. If your dog appears to be uncomfortable meeting another dog, animal or person, don't insist that he say hello. He's telling you that he isn't comfortable for a reason, and you should respect that. Forcing the issue can often result in bigger problems down the line.

4. Be consistent 

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.

5. Be specific when you tell your dog you want them to do something 

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.

6. Does your dog jump on people when they come to your house? 

If you know someone is coming to your house, put a leash on your dog, stand perpendicular to the door, put your dog in it a sit/stay position. Then stand on the leash so she can’t jump up on people. Tell your guests to ignore her until she settles down and then let her smell them. Only then should you remove the leash.

Turn your back to the dog so they cannot jump on you. The key to promoting the 'no jump concept' is if everyone in the home follows this method. If some allow the dog to jump and others don’t that is sending mixed signals. Consistency is the key in any training.

Do you have any Training Tips?


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