A well trained and obedient dog is is a joy and pleasure to have around your home, friends and family. It isn’t until you come across an untrained dog that you realize what an inconvenience and damper it can put on your fun and joy. When your pet isn’t properly trained it can cause headaches and issues both in your home (chewed up furniture, broken belongings, torn papers and a house full of toilet paper bits!) and when you’re out in public.
Having a well trained dog makes everything easier including taking them out on walks, bringing them around people and strangers, and responding to when you call them. A well trained dog is also safer and ensures your own safety and that of others as well. This is especially important when you’re out in public or on walks near streets, cars or other animals.
In this article we’re going to go over some of the top training tips from Dog Training Experts as well as dog training professionals so that you can be well-informed on how to properly train your fido.
First we’ll explore some of the characteristics of a well trained dog and then move into the common reasons as to why you should train your dog and the benefits it can provide for your relationship, health and overall companionship together. Next we’ll dive into the specific training tips and techniques recommended by various dog training experts and professionals.
Characteristics of a Well Trained Dog
A well trained dog is a pleasure to have around the house as well as friends and strangers. His loving, calm and happy demeanor is usually enough to lighten the mood of just about anyone having a bad day. The benefits of a well trained dog reach far beyond what’s measurable in words because it simply makes being around them enjoyable. They’ll know when to stay and when to come when called, he’ll be trusted off the leash and of course will know how to act safely around others.
Lets jump into some additional characteristics of a well trained dog. If you’re looking to train your dog to meet these characteristics, you can look into expert dog training videos, consider hiring a professional dog training expert or even find some local dog training classes. Depending on how your dog is currently behaving you might want to look into specifics such as reaction training or aggression training.
Let’s look at some qualities of a well trained dog:
#1 – Doesn’t Jump On People
Both outdoors and when someone comes in the house. A well trained dog will usually walk up and sniff you out or be excited to see you, but won’t jump on you. If you want to learn about how you can stop your dog from jumping on others check out this article on Cesar’s Way.
#2 – Doesn’t Beg At The Table
We know, it breaks our heart! We want to feed them, but we just can’t. If you want to stop your dog from begging at the table check this out.
#3 – Doesn’t Trouble Guests
A well trained dog shouldn’t trouble your guests. If they do, consider keeping them in a separate room or behind a baby fence until they’re properly trained.
#4 – They Listen to Basic Commands Such as Sit & Stay
This is the foundation of a well trained dog. We’ll go over this more in detail below.
#5 – Doesn’t Pull The Leash
It’s true. A well trained dog won’t pull on the leash. If you find them pulling, then you’ll have to invest some additional time into teaching them to walk beside you.
Now that we’ve identified some characteristics of well trained pup, let’s look into why you should train them and the benefits associated with professionally training your dog.
Why Train Your Dog
In the past, people followed the idea that the only way to train your dog was through obedience commands and training. More so, through aggressive or heavy-handed techniques that were punishment based rather than through positive reinforcement. In addition, it was something that people believed could only be done through a professional and while that may stay be partly true, today there are many new beliefs and techniques available to the general public that new dog owners can learn about which allows them to take on the responsibility of training their own dog.
It’s not to say that hiring a professional isn’t valuable. It really is, especially if your dog is having severe behavioral issues that you can seem to crack.
However, in recent years, there has been an evolution in dog training that has steered away from aggressive, punishment based techniques and more to a lighter, positive based philosophy that focuses on and rewards good behavior.
Here’s what we know for sure…
A well-trained and properly behaving dog is a dog that everyone loves and wants to be around. It’s a pup that gives us the unconditional love and support we crave out of your dogs and it’s a dog that’s safe, respectful and listens.
There are a variety of great reasons on why you should train your dog so let’s explore a few of them.
#1 – To Build a Positive, Stronger Relationship
Training your dog helps to build a positive relationships from the start. It helps you understand how your dog learns and uses the principles of positive training to effectively teach them right from wrong, good and bad. This kind of training methods builds trust rather than punishing your dog. Remember that dog’s do not have nearly the intellectual capability as humans. When you get aggressive with them and try to control them using force, they withdraw becoming fearful and afraid. By using positive reinforcement, you train your dog to become more open, happy, loving, tolerant and self-controlled. When you reward positive behaviors using dog training treats, you’re going to have much more well-behaved pup.
#2 – Training Your Dog Teaches Them Life Skills
Humans aren’t the only creatures that need education and schooling. Every dog also needs training on how to navigate their relationship with humans and how to respect the home environment. While dogs that live the domestic lifestyle seem to have it easier than those living in wild conditions, living with humans and in a human environment comes with its own challenges and learning curves.
Part of the reason you want to train your dog is because it provides them mental stimulation which we’ll touch on later in the article. This mental stimulation along with physical exercise that comes along with training gives them the opportunity to adapt, learn and grow. This also helps mitigate undesired behaviors like destructive chewing, inappropriate barking and aggressive tendencies.
Part of what makes training your dog successful and teaching them the life skills they need is by setting up a proper environment for learning. For example if you know that your dog is more on the fearful side and gets anxiety when new faces or strangers enter the home, then perhaps set up a baby gate to allow them to observe from a safe distance while feeling protected behind the gate. If your dog happens to be overly excited when people come over, then teach them how to greet without jumping.
Understanding your dog’s personality and their temperament in certain social situations allows you to tailor the environment and a professional training style to their needs.
#3 – Dog Training Increases Your Dog’s Sociability
Socialization is very important part of their growing and learning process. Increasing your dog’s enjoyment of social situations will give them the confidence to deal with varying situations and encounters as they get older and become an adult. Not only that, you want to make sure that your dog is well behaved when it comes to taking them out around other dogs, people and strangers. By training them early on and helping them develop natural social skills they’ll be less prone to anxiety and discomfort down the line.
To paint a picture, imagine being home schooled your entire life and never getting much social training and then being thrown into high school. It’s a bit of a shock all around and will likely be difficult to copy with. The same can be said about social training for your pup. If your dog doesn’t seem to interact well with others, don’t force them. Not all dogs love people, but do know that this will apply to most dog owners.
As you take them out and about and introduce them to new people and new environments, keep a close eye on how your dog copes with the situation so you can better understand how to help them get through it and develop.
#4 – Professional Dog Training Helps To Avoid Behavioral Problems
Training your dog certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a build up of communication over time between you and your pup. The more time you invest into training your dog the more security and comfort you’ll find gets settled into your relationship. In addition, you’ll find that the better trained your pup becomes, the less behavioral problems you’ll notice from your pup ever to develop in the human world.
#5 – Properly Training Your Dog Creates Loyalty and Companionship
Properly training your dog creates a strong bond based on trust and companionship. Your dog actually craves a positive loving connection between you and her. Building a bond through positive reinforcement, training, love and compassion is being found to be far more effective than aggression training and punishment techniques. If you’re looking for tips on older dog training, following this positive reinforcement model of training is also to be found to be more effective. Using dog training treats and positive recognition for when your pup does things right will build a relationship based on trust and loyalty.
Training your dog is the key to a well-behaved, happy, mentally sound and healthy, safe pup. Now that we’ve explored some of the background on why you should train your dog, the characteristics associated with a well trained pup and the benefits. Lets dive into our listicle of 20 great training tips, techniques and strategies to ensure you’re optimally prepared for a great training relationship with your pup.
The Top 20 Professional Dog Training Tips From The Experts
While there are hundreds we can get into, we’ll cover some of the most popular training tips from professionals and experts so you can be equipped to walk away reading this with the insight and knowledge you’ll need to effectively train your pup.
#1 – Keep Things Light, Fun and Interesting
Remember that training your dog isn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows. There are times where it will seem like your dog just won’t cooperate and don’t want to listen. Remember to always keep things light and fun, as training should be. It’s not about forcing or aggressively manipulating your dog into your desired behavior, it’s about guiding them and helping them discover and understand what good behavior should be and look like. It’s then your job to reward them to help them learn that they should repeat the same actions again.
#2 – Training Works Best When Spread out Through 10-20 Minutes Sessions
Depending on your dog’s age, energy levels and amount of distraction in the environment, the time in which you can spend training your dog will vary. In fact, they say “more is less” when it comes to training your dog. Shorter sessions are more effective and the frequency of sessions also seems to follow suit. One study found that dogs trained 1-2 times per week with 1-2 sessions each were the most successful in training. You can expect to train your dog around 5-10 weeks on average following this general schedule, but of course, it can be tailored to your liking and your preference. Do realize that dogs get distracted easily and many factors can affect how they train including distractions, hunger levels and energy. If the dog seems to lose focus and attention on training then stop and revisit training at a later time. If you try and force train a distracted or tired dog then learning will be impeded.
#3 – Take a Dog Training Class
A dog training class can be a great way to learn how to train your dog with the guidance and counsel of professionals who are trained and know how to correct and modify behavior, both for us and our dogs! Often times, many owners think they’re training the correct way when they’re actually making some crucial mistakes. A dog training class is a great way to get feedback and know what techniques and strategies help to properly train your dog. If you’re looking for one local to you, the best way to find one is to go on Google and to do a search for “dog training class near me” and you’ll find some in the area. Call around and get a feel for their costs, schedule and structure to see what fits with your budget and goals.
#4 – Use Your Dog’s Name Frequently During Training
When you use your dog’s name properly it teaches them to associate it with good things. Use it during training sessions and when rewarding them for positive behavior with treats. Call their name in a happy voice and give them rewarding attention when she responds. Repeat this again and again to help them associate their name with positivity and rewards so they come to you.
#5 – Teach Them The Basic Commands Such as Come, Sit & Stay
These commands are the foundation of a well trained pup. The Humane Society recommends this game to help them learn “Come!” – Put your dog on a leash, say Come! and then back up until your dog catches up to you. When she arrives, give her a reward and enthusiastically exclaim, “yes!”
Teaching these basic commands can be found here
#6 – Socialize Socialize Socialize!
Helping your new pup adapt to social situations, other humans and dogs early on in life is a critical component to brain development and social awareness. By exposing them to different environments to learn, adapt and accommodate helps them become more agile in their ability to handle more complex situations later in life.
#7 – Listen To Your Dog
Training is not a 1 way street. Your dog is always talking to you in one way or another. The most obvious way will be through their body language. Learn to read your dog through their facial expressions, ears, tail, posture, tilt of their head and sounds. Although you’re your dog’s alpha, you still have to take great consideration into their own psychology and interpretation of what’s going on.
#8 – Hire A Professional Dog training Expert To Help
While classes are a great way of training your dog, they can sometimes be done in a group which can cause extra distraction. Hiring a private professional dog trainer to come to your home where your dog is comfortable can provide many advantages. Do a Google search for “Professional dog trainer” near me to see whose local. Chances are you’ll find plenty of options!
#9 – Respond To your Dog’s Behavior Right Away
A dog’s short term memory is about 5 minutes long so if you want to discipline your dog or reward them for positive behavior, they’ll likely forget what they did and won’t remember. Given this information, you’ll want to make sure you stay on top of your dog’s behavior and reward them or attempt to modify their behavior quickly after it’s done to ensure they “get the picture.”
#10 – Get Your Dog New Toys and Chewing Options Regularly
Chewing is a natural part of a dog’s behavior, especially in their growth and development stages. To help your dog maintain interest in these items and to prevent them for chewing on your personal items including furniture, shoes and paperwork, ensure you switch out their toys and buy them new ones on a somewhat regular basis to keep them occupied.
#11 – Be Patient And Stay Consistent
They say you can’t teach an old new tricks, which is absolutely not true. If you happen to be training an older dog, then expect to just spend a little more time and have a little more patients in teaching them new behaviors. Remember that proper training comes down to a strong bond and a relationship built on trust, so the more patient you are and positively rewarding you make the experience, the faster they will begin to learn.
#12 – Get Help If You Notice Aggression
Sometimes your dog may have resistance during training and you may notice aggression. If you do, it’s smart to hire a professional dog training expert who specializes in aggression training. Aggression is an undesirable characteristic in a dog so make sure you get the help you need to mitigate this type of behavior as it can be a cause for concern and safety in unmanageable situations down the line.
#13 – Let Your Dog Have Space For His Own Time
After training sessions, give your dog space and allow them to do their own thing, whether that’s relax or play in a certain area of the house they are allowed to be in. It’s important to allow a natural space to develop between training sessions to let them absorb and relax.
#14 – Never Hurt your Dog Physically or Physiologically
Always aim to train your dog using positive reinforcement and rewarding techniques. Physically hurting your dog can cause underlying emotional damage and cause aggressive tendencies.
#15 – Pay Attention To Your Dog and Use The Right Treats as Rewards
You may purchase a dog treat for your dog and use it to train them. It may work for a while but then you notice your dog’s attention span and ability to stay focused on training starts to diminish over time. If you notice this, consider switching up dog treats to something with a different flavor, texture or nutritional value.
#16 – Properly Discourage Unwanted Behavior
To do this you just need to make sure that your dog doesn’t get rewarded when they behave improperly. It doesn’t have to involve forceful pain or intimidation. Simply take away their treats and use body language to assert your underlying motivation. For example, if they jump on you in an attempt to get your attention, simply turn your body away and don’t show any response to their behavior. As soon as they stop the undesired behavior, you can go back to showing them attention and affection.
#17 – Keep Consequences and Rewards Consistent To Help Them Learn
For example if if you’re trying to reward behavior, use treats consistently in a similar fashion. If you’re trying to discourage bad behavior and choose to use body language to discourage the behavior do that consistently too. It’s not a good idea to yell at them one time and then use body language another because it can cause confusion for your dog in understanding the situation.
#18 – Be A Good Leader
Being a good leader isn’t about the common misconception of alpha male tendencies towards your dog. It’s more about controlling her access to the things she may want. A great way to do this is to encourage your dog to work for the things they enjoy like chew toys, balls and food. For example, make them sit, stay and respect other commands before they can have treats and fun time. This allows them to understand that you are in control, that you’re the leader and that they must be obedient and work for their enjoyments, which you’ll freely give them assuming they’re positive and have good behavior!
#19 – End Training Sessions on a Good Note
This ensures that you end the training session with positivity and affirmed behavior models. If you wait until either of you are tired or frustrated and it cause stress for both you and your pup which is never a desired part of the training process.
#20 – Have Fun!
Training your dog is supposed to be a fun, loving and bonding experience between the two of you. Use this time to really get to know each other, pay attention to their habits, body language, demeanor and reactions to what you do and teach them. Dogs are fun loving creatures with hearts the size of an ocean! So always keep things fun and light to ensure your training process is always progressing and enjoyable.
So there you have it! Our ultimate guide on the why, benefits and how to train your dog.
Let us know in the comments below what you thought of this article and what your favorite tips and insights are. Also, if you have any tips or strategies of your own that you found successful, let us know in the comments below!