Training Tips

  • Start training your puppy early on. If you have adopted or purchased an adult dog, establish the rules early on. Dogs and puppies not only need structure; they want it. Dogs are adaptable and will adjust to your lifestyle if given the proper guidelines.
  • Train your dog humanely and kindly. It is not necessary to yell or coerce your dog to learn. In fact, dogs respond much more quickly to gentle guidance and instruction. Focus on the Pawsitives. Pay attention to the things that you dog is doing right. Ignore the behaviors that are annoying and intrusive and they will extinguish themselves.
  • The most effective method of training is a motivational and reward based practice. Use food, toys, and praise as rewards. It is only fair to give back to your dog when he is working hard for you. A dog’s natural instinct is to work for food and privileges deemed appropriate by the leader of the pack. In this case yourself. You have to feed your dog anyway, so why not ask for a few commands for his dinner?
  • Be consistent in your expectations for your dog. If you do not want your dog on the couch, do not make exceptions. Thinking “Oh, just this one time” will confuse your dog. He will not understand why he can’t get up every time. Practice your commands first, in every room in the house, then in the yard, the car, the park, etc. your dog will begin to realize that you are the leader no matter where you are. You will have a pleasant working experience with your dog and will eliminate embarrassing situations.
  • Start slowly and work your way up to a greater level of difficulty. Avoid giving a command that you cannot enforce. Each time a dog is ” let off the hook”, he begins to realize that commands are optional. Give your dog only one command and gently back it up. Telling you dog to “sit, sit, sit!” is a waste of your energy and simply ineffective. If your dog does not sit the first time, revert to hand signals or hold him closely and limit his options. Eventually, he will get bored and get the message. Remember to reward for compliance.
  • Use the same command for each behavior every time. In other words, do not say “sit- down” when you want your dog to sit. This is in fact giving two commands and can confuse your dog. Dogs do not generalize very well and it is up to you to see that your dog understand exactly what you are saying.
  • Avoid using a loud voice when giving commands. Dogs have excellent hearing and yelling can be counterproductive. Instead, use a soft, calm and authoritative voice. If you are confident in the ability of yourself and your dog, he will sense and respect your authority.
  • Do not confuse non-compliance with willfulness or a refusal to comply. Before blaming the dog, one must determine: does the dog truly know what you want? Is he stressed, fearful or confused? Are you being consistent in the delivery of your commands?
  • Learn to anticipate your dog’s behaviors. We learn pretty quickly our dogs habits (good and bad). Try to intervene before the dog jumps on your guests. Put a leash on him and teach him to sit when a guest arrives. It is much easier to redirect a behavior beforehand than trying to correct in the midst of unwanted behavior.
  • Owners inadvertently reinforce negative behavior by paying lots of attention to the dog when they are misbehaving. This type of attention can be rewarding to a dog. Remember behaviors that are rewarded are repeated. Inversely, behaviors that are not rewarded will extinguish themselves.
  • Dogs can make us laugh at their antics or they make us very angry. Keep you anger in check! Never train you dog if you are angry. Give yourself and the dog a time-out. You cannot earn your dog’s respect by hitting ot yelling at him. Studies have indicated that fear and stress inhibit the learning process.
  • Call All Things Pawssible today! We can show you how to start your relationship with your dog “off on the right paw”.

One comment on “Training Tips

  1. Jane H. Buchanan on said:

    We came to All things pawsible 11 years ago with our Std. Poodle Windsor. Alas, he has gone to his reward but we have a new pup, from the same breeder in Toronto, Canada. Hannah is 12 weeks old and I think we would like to bring her to a Puppies 101. She will not have her rabies shots for another month…and 6:15 is a terrible time for us. Do you know when your next scheduled Puppies 101 class will be held after the September session. Thank you,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *