10 Tips When Training Your Dog

  1. 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 should say hello. Your dog is telling you that he is uncomfortable for a reason, and you should respect that.
  2. Be Generous With Affection - Make sure you give your dog lots of attention when he is doing the right thing. When he's being a "good boy," that's the time to be extra generous with your attention and praise. 
  3. Does He Really Like It? - Just because the bag says "A Treat All Dogs Love," doesn't mean your dog will automatically love it. Some dogs are very selective about what they like to eat. Soft and chewy treats are usually more exciting for your dog than hard and crunchy treats, so keep your eyes open for what he enjoys. 
  4. Tell Him What You Want Him To Do - Dogs don't generalize well. So if your dog jumps on someone to say hello and you say "no," he may jump higher. The better alternative would be to ask him to sit. Tell him exactly what you want him to do in order to avoid confusion. 
  5. Be Consistent - Whenever you're training your dog, it's important to get as many family members involved as possible so that everyone is on the same page. If you're telling your dog "off," when he jumps on the counter and someone else is saying "down," how on earth is he ever going to learn what you want. Continuity will be the key to your success.
  6. Have Realistic Expectations - Changing behavior takes time. You need to have realistic expectations about changing your dogs behavior. Often behaviors which are "normal doggy behaviors," such as barking, digging, and jumping, will take the most time. Remember, it's never too late to change the behavior, some will just take longer than others. 
  7. Feed A High Quality Food - Don't underestimate the benefits of feeding your dog a high quality food. Feed your dog a high quality diet with appropriate amounts of protein. The money that you'll spend on feeding an appropriate quality food, will often be money that you save on vet bills later on. I recommend you always check with your veterinarian, for the right diet for your dog. 
  8. You Get What You Reinforce - If your dog exhibits a behavior you don't like, then theres a strong likelihood that it is something that has been reinforced before. A great example of this is when your dog brings you a toy and barks to entice you to throw it. You throw the toy and your dog has just learned that barking will get you to do what he wants. 
  9. Bribery Vs. Reward - Every interaction you have with your dog is a learning opportunity. When you think about it, you probably don't use food very often, except during active training sessions. Instruct your dog with praise, touch, games, and walks. Remember, the behavior should produce the treat. The treat should not produce the behavior. 
  10. Freedom - Let your new dog gradually earn freedom throughout your home. A common error that many pet parents make, is giving their new dog too much freedom too soon. One of the best ways to minimize incidents is to keep your dog tethered to you in the house by using a crate or doggy safe area when you can't actively supervise him.