How to train your dog – The complete guide
Hi. Last time I wrote about aging in dogs. This week, I’ll deal with another topic- How to train your dog.
There are many dog training resources out there trying to provide information on exactly how to train your dog. Most people don’t know how to begin, and change their lifestyle to accommodate their dog’s behaviors. In this post I’ll try to do the impossible and give you a detailed outlook of all the best dog training methods out there.
Dogs have some deeply rooted, hardwired behaviors like jumping when they say hello, barking, chewing everything and digging. These behaviors can make it challenging to actually live with a dog. In order to enjoy life with your dog it’s highly recommended that you teach him (or her) skills that will allow you to live together in harmony.
Learning how to train your dog will improve your life and your dog’s life, enhance the bond between you, and ensure his safety. It can also be a lot of fun.
Dogs are usually eager to learn, and the key to success is good communication. Your dog needs to understand how you want him to behave and why he should act in the way you want.
Dog obedience training is not something cruel- It’s an amazing opportunity to improve the connection between you and your dog so you can enjoy a far greater understanding throughout the years.
When it comes to dog obedience training, most of the dog training resources out there do not specify all the best dog training methods, and are mainly focused on one dog training resource. My hope is that by the end of this article you will know exactly how to train your dog in the way that best fits your personality and lifestyle.
The article is divided into several categories:
You can quickly scroll down by clicking on the links above.
There are a lot of benefits for dog training. We listed some above, but the major ones are:
Puppy training classes give your dog the chance for a positive beginning in your house and family. It provides your puppy with the social skills he needs in new places.
When you know how to train your puppy with general puppy house training, you get the knowledge to deal with dog behavioral problems, like leash training, and aggressive dog chewing.
You get the good behavior-
When you know how to house train a puppy then all the good dog behavior you always wanted is possible; from welcoming people coming to your house, to peeing only when outside. All making your dog easier to handle. Dog obedience training creates all the simple behaviors; like politely greeting people and coming back when called, possible. So when you know how to train your puppy, your dog becomes a fun family member and can join all the family activities. You won’t need to put your dog in another room when you have visitors and can take your dog everywhere!
Prevents your dog from running away-
House training puppies is the best and top reason that a dog stays at home.
Training your puppy is known to create an unbelievable connection between you and your dog and makes your dog happier. You understand your dog far better, and research show that owners that went through obedience training with their dog get more pleasure and have a better connection with their pet, which is quite understandable- when your dog isn’t pulling on the leash and is potty trained, it’s easier for you as a dog owner.
It’s fun! –
Training your puppy is fun for you and the dog. It’s an uplifting and engaging experience for you both and can be quite an amusing experience as well.
This is one benefit of dog training which is obvious but people don’t think about so much. When you know how to train a dog you can limit safety risks for your dog. A dog that comes back when called is less likely to get hit by a car for example. Furthermore, if unfortunately you had no reason but to place your dog in a shelter, a trained dog is more likely to find a new home after obedience training than without obedience training.
Dog obedience classes can take up a lot of time, therefore it isn’t right for everyone, so I tried to provide all the best dog training methods that we know of in this article. By a disciplined training you can have a well behaving dog, which could save you from years of stress handling a misbehaving dog.
Generally speaking, dogs learn through the immediate consequences of their behavior. If the consequences of their behavior are good, they will do them more. If not, they will probably stop. In other words, if a dog’s behavior results in something pleasant like food, or a petting, your dog will do that action more. On the contrary, if a behavior’s result is unpleasant, like being ignored, he will do that behavior less.
Taking this into consideration, here are a couple of general dog training tips:
Most dog behaviorists think that punishments are ineffective in the long run. Your dog just doesn’t understand the reason you are angry with him. Research shows that aversion training techniques provoke fearful or defensively aggressive behavior, while positive training makes your dog know you are happy with him and makes him behave well- You can read the full research here. Positive training can be dog toys, food or petting. The basic idea is to give your dog a positive reinforcement, a reward, every time he behaves “right” so he knows he is good.
Keep Training Brief-
No more than fifteen minutes. Keep in mind that your dog won’t learn everything on the first go, so you can repeat later the day. Use dog treats when your dog performs a good behavior. As treats, you can use a couple of the dog food treat products that we listed at the end of the article.
Take it easy–
A dog can learn everything at once. Take your time, be patient and enjoy the dog training process. Practice makes perfect so be disciplined.
Pick a time when you won’t get interrupted-
Turn off your phone and other distractions. You want to create a clear concise association between a behavior and reward. You want your dog to know he is getting rewarded for sitting when you say “sit” and not because your phone is ringing. Furthermore- this is dog fun time! Don’t waste it.
Use specific words, all the time-
Dogs don’t understand English; therefore only use concise, specific words like “sit”.
Reward immediately (!!)-
After your dog behaves correctly. You want to create an association between the good behavior and being rewarded. You can follow the reward with verbal reinforcements like “good dog!”
Only give the reward if your dog behaves in the proper way–
Remember, the number one rule for effective dog training is controlling the consequences of your dog’s behavior. Reward behaviors you like. Make sure behaviors you don’t like are not rewarded.
Don’t get angry with your dog-
Try some other time if your dog doesn’t get it.
Check your dog’s attitude-
Only train when your dog is up for it, for example: NOT when he is sleeping like an angel on his mat.
Be the pack leader-
This does not mean being a dominating jerk, but only being in control of what your dog want’s and using this to train him properly.
Dogs are able to learn a huge amount of training skills and tricks. Each dog owner has a style of his own and different ideas about what he or she wants from a dog.
Polite dog skills-
Obviously, the first thing you should probably teach your dog is some polite dog behaviors. These polite dog behaviors vary from teaching your dog basic house training, dog crate training, potty training, teaching your dog how to sit, teach your dog how to stay, wait at doors, or come when called. If you’re planning to take your dog out on walks (and you should), start teaching your dog not to pull on the leash. If you have a large dog you should be teaching your dog not to jump on people as well.
There are some easy dog tricks that you can teach your dog and other cool dog tricks like “high five”, tug of war or rolling on a skateboard! There really are no limits to dog tricks. You can check specific dog skills and tricks for dogs online, but here is a free resource to give you an idea of what is possible and how to train your dog to do it: https://www.doggiebuddy.com/topics/Trainingtopics/traintopic3.html
The best way to learn how to train your dog for free is by watching.
In my YouTube channel I gathered over 50 of the best free dog training videos, so you can easily sit back on your chair and enjoy learning how to train your dog from the comfort of your own home. You will also find puppy training tips, and learn how to potty train a puppy. You can check out our free dog training videos playlist here.
You can also check out these free dog obedience training videos by Howcast which are good too.
APDT is another great resource for free online dog training courses and provide free dog training webinars and information.
If you want the review of the books listed here, I wrote a review about the top 10 best dog training books.
These are the list of what I found as the best dog training books out there:
- The Power of Positive Training by Pat Miller
- Maran Illustrated Dog Training
- Dog-Friendly Dog Training by Andrea Arden
- The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson
- How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks by Ian Dunbar, PhD
- Puppy Training Guide by James J Jackson
- Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog
- Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals
- 12 Terrible Dog Training Mistakes Owners Make That Ruin Their Dog’s Behavior…And How To Avoid Them
- Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement
Best dog training DVDs
For those of you who are still on DVDs, These are the best dog training DVDs out there:
- The Natural Dog Training Method
- New Puppy, Now What? DVD by Victoria Schade
- The Dog Whisperer: Beginning and Intermediate Dog Training
Taking puppy training classes or dog obedience classes with a certified dog trainer is by far the best way to train your dog. With that being said, it is also the most expensive way and could cost up to several hundreds of dollars for just a couple of hours.
Although it isn’t a must, if this is your first dog, consider a private dog trainer or sign up for a training class. Make sure you check the number of dogs already signed up before agreeing to attend. Eight to ten dogs are the Maximum amount for a trainer to give full attention.
If you want to locate the best dog trainer near you I recommend that you check out this article by ASPCA.
A lot of Professional Dog Trainers (CPDTs) offer telephone consultations, in-home private consultations, training sessions, and dog training classes.
Paying a live dog trainer for a house visit costs on average of $400; this puts it directly out of budget for a lot of people.
I highly recommend that you invest in some training. Not just to learn how to teach your dog to behave, but also to teach you how to better communicate with your pet. Therefore, the solution of an online dog training course is good if you don’t want to pay a lot of money for training.
There are many online dog training sites on the internet. We listed the most popular ones.
The Online Dog Trainer
Complete dog training course by well-respected dog trainer Doggy Dan. This is by far one of the best dog training solutions available.
For example, in his “Project Moses”, Dan provides a full puppy training course filming his puppy training method. Dan shows you how he trains his puppy Moses, from the age of 8 weeks to the age of one year. Thus, providing you with a complete step by step guide.
It costs 1$ for a 3 day trial and then you pay 37$ for month.
Udemy is the giant of online courses, and dog training is no exception.
Try these recommended online dog training courses:
Training Your Dog 101. Price: $9 Review: 4 stars (69 reviews)
Dr. Ian Dunbar’s SIRIUS® Dog Trainer Academy. Price: $300 Review: 5 stars (15 reviews)
Polite Puppy Dog Training Class. Price: $60 Reviews: 5 stars (7 reviews)
Dog Training Tricks Level 1. Price: $49. Reviews: 5 stars (4 reviews)
Dog obedience training by Kingdomofpets
This is another highly popular online training course running around.
If you decide to sign up for their course please share your results with me.
There is so much dog training equipment out there that it’s hard to decide what to get your dog. My recommendation is stick to the basics at the start.
Here are a couple of products to start you out-
- Lavien #1 Amazon Braided Leather Dog Leash for Large Dogs
- Flexi Explore Retractable Dog Leash
- A&S Creavention dog trainning clicker set
- Pet Botanics Training Rewards
- Canine Hardware Treat Tote, Assorted Colors
You can also find the best selling Dog Training & Behavior Aids here.
Ok, we covered a lot of distance here… I hope it was helpful and you both enjoy learning how to train your dog.
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