Dog Obedience Training Tips

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My dog hates car rides! How do I get her used to riding in the car?

Along for the Car Ride

If you have a dog who is wary of car rides, there's hope. Get your pooch used to going for car rides in small steps. Start by just sitting with you canine in the car. It also helps if you bring along his favorite toy, blanket and a few treats. When he's comfortable, try going down just to end of the street. Lengthen each trip and in no time your canine friend will be used to car rides.

Does positive reinforcement work better than physical force in dog training?

Training: Don't Force It

Physical force should never be used in dog training. The use of physical force may turn a normally mild-mannered pooch into a fearful or skittish dog who can become aggressive. Dogs can readily learn by other means - teach your dog how to behave by using positive and negative reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement involves rewarding your dog for desired behavior. If you are teaching your dog to stay and he does, so, give him praise or a treat.

Negative reinforcement, contrary to popular belief, is not akin to punishing a dog. For instance, you are teaching your dog to stay off the couch. Each time he goes on the couch, you blow a whistle. The dog, irritated by the whistle, develops a negative association with jumping on the couch. You've just taught your dog to stay off the couch by negative association.

Remember to always train your dog in a manner that reinforces trust and a positive bond between you and your canine.

How do I know if a dog is safe?

Canine Body Language: Friendly

You see a dog standing across the street - her tail is loosely wagging and her ears are up. You wonder is she friendly?

In this case, most likely she is. In general, a non-aggressive dog will appear to be relaxed. She'll be standing evenly on all four feet (as opposed to a charging position) and her tail will be wagging loosely in a low position. Her ears will be up, but not pressed forward.

It's always a good idea to approach an unfamiliar dog slowly and avoid staring, which is a confrontational gesture.

How can I pet a dog safely?

Pet a Dog Safely

It's can be so easy to approach that friendly looking dog outside the coffee shop. His friendly tail is wagging and he just looks so sweet. Before you act, remember that when approaching an unfamiliar dog to pet him, make sure you've got the owner's permission. Then allow the dog to sniff you, and reach out slowly and pet the dog's body. A common mistake that most people make is automatically trying to pat a dog that you do not know on the head. This is actually a sign of dominance, and some dogs may not react kindly to the gesture.

How can I read my dog´s body language?

Canine Body Language: Submissive

A dog will use everything from his eyes and ears to tail to communicate. A canine who is acknowledging a person or other dog to be of higher rank, will lower his tail, send his ears back, and close his eyes half-way. A dog can also show submissive body language by lying on his back with his belly exposed.

One way to find out if a puppy has more dominant or submissive tendencies is to try and lay him on his back. If he fights back, he is very likely dominant. If he lies on his back willingly, then he is a submissive dog.

What is clicker training?

Clicker Definition

The clicker is a useful tool to train your dog to learn new behaviors.

Clicker training conditions a dog to identify the behaviors which produces a reward - often, a yummy and tasty treat. For instance, your give your dog the command, "Down." He complies - you click the clicker and give him a treat. Your dog will very quickly learn when he's in the down command, he'll get his tasty reward.

What does a friendly dog look like?

Canine Body Language: Friendly

A friendly dog has perked up ears, open and alert eyes, a relaxed mouth, and a tail or whole rear end wagging. He may and also be whimpering, yapping or giving short barks.

One thing to keep in mind is that a wagging tail does not always mean a dog is friendly. If a dog raises his tail with a stiff wag, perks his ears forward, has intense eyes, and bares his teeth, he is in a threatening posture.

How many words can a dog learn?

Words: How Many can Dogs Understand?

There is technically no limit to the number of words a dog can learn, if you want to take the time to teach your canine.

A dog learns by associating a word with an action or object. For instance, she learns whenever you say, "Sit!" that you expect her to put her hindquarters and bottom on the floor and stay put for a while. Whenever you say, "Fetch slippers!", she knows to get your favorite leather slip-ons and not your old tennis shoes.

What food treats are extra good motivators in training?

Training Treats

The variety of treats available to help train your pooch is wide and varied. In addition, what one dog may love, another dog may shun. In general any food that your dog is fond of is useful as a motivator in training. These training goodies can be anything from jerky treats to bite sized lamb treats or even carrots. Keep in mind that healthier snacks are best. Select something that is appropriately bite sized for your breed of dog.

What options do I have for dog training?

Be Clear and Consistent

A fundamental rule of dog training is to be clear and consistent in the words you use for commands and in your rules for appropriate behavior. Consistency helps keep your dog from being confused and resorting to unwanted behaviors.

What is the role of attention in training?

Attention Training

Dogs crave attention! This can be positive or negative attention. They will learn quickly what gets your attention and sometimes it doesn't matter if you're singing their praises or yelling in frustration. The key is to reward your dog for good behavior and give her positive attention for good behavior and remove attention for unwanted behavior. A strict or firm "No!" exactly at the time of occurrence will do. Then move on.

Training will also be more effective if your dog gives you its undivided attention when working on a new skill. To achieve this, you must first draw your dog's attention to something it wants and then link that attentiveness to you, the trainer. Give your dog your own full attention while in a training session.

What influence does a trainer´s body language have on a dog?

Training - Using Your Body Language

A dog owner's body language is one of the most influential training tools available. Stand straight and firm to give your dog a sense that you are in charge and in command. Crouching down to your dog invites playtime. Even subtle cues such as your facial expressions can communicate your mood to your dog. Eye contact with your canine will let him know you mean business. A smile will let your dog know that you are pleased.

How can I keep my dog from being bored with training?

Enhance Training with Games

There are ways to make training sessions a little more exciting for your dog. Don't let repetition get in the way. Keep her alert and involved by adding some fun games. Some experts balance precision training with more playful sessions like hide and seek for treats and taking a breather with a game of retrieving a tennis ball.

Why don´t I give the command first when clicker training?

Commands and Clicker Training

In the classic method of clicker training, commands are not given until after a behavior is repeated quickly and reliably. The clicker is used to capture a behavior, like taking a picture of the moment your dog produced the behavior you desired. At first it may take a minute or two for the behavior to be repeated as the dog tries to figure out exactly what got the click.

For example, you are teaching your dog to sit. Once she realizes that sitting earns her a click and treat, she will repeat the behavior. Only when you are sure your dog's bottom is headed toward the floor, do you actually say, “sit.” This ensures that she will be able to quickly associate the command with the behavior.

What should I do if my dog becomes bored?

Training Boredom

While dogs need routines in their lives, they can also become bored with toys, food, training sessions and more. For young dogs, keep training sessions short to match their shorter attention spans. For older dogs, vary training routines and provide new treats and rewards. In general, if a dog is bored during training, it's a good idea to take a break and resume training later.

How should I use body language and voice tones in training?

Body Language and Voice - Keep it Consistent

Successful dog training requires that your body language, including facial expressions and your tone of voice must be consistent with your commands to your canine. When praising your dog use a cheerful, higher pitched voice. When correcting your dog, speak in a firm voice and use a deeper tone. Remember to match your body language as well. Stand straight when giving a command. Be consistent and your dog will learn to understand you.

What besides food can be a training reward?

Training Rewards

Next to food, dogs love to be loved! Reward your dog by providing praise and affection. The next time you're training your dog and you want to give an alternate motivation for a job well done, praise her by saying, "Good Dog!" in a happy, upbeat tone. Lavishing an extra dose of affection, ranging from a scratch behind the ears to a welcoming hug is another way some dogs can be rewarded.

How can I tell an agressive dog?

Canine Body Language: Aggressive

This dog has a stiff raised tail, its eyes are glaring and his body is tense and learning forward. Is he aggressive?

In this case, the dog is very likely aggressive. An aggressive dog has his ears tilted forward or flattened back against his head. His eyes are narrowed or challenging, his is body tense, and he is bearing his teeth. His tail is held out stiffly from his body. He may also be snarling or growling.

Where does my dog belong in my home?

A Special Place
for Your Dog

Give your puppy or dog a special place in your home to call his own. This area should have your dog's own blanket, pillow or dog bed as well as toys. For a dog without a crate, this place is the equivalent of the dog's den or retreat. While you may encourage your dog to use his area to escape during high activity in your home, never use it for punishment.

How do I train my dog for hunting?

Hunting Dogs

Back before the time of supermarkets and modern day restaurants, if you wanted to eat duck, or game animal, you had to hunt for it. Some industrious hunter figured out long ago that dogs were better at retrieving, flushing, and scent hunting than humans.

There are several types of hunting dogs. Gun dogs point out the prey and will retrieve it on command. Prey capturing dogs will actively seek out and capture prey with minimal direction from their human counterparts.

Some hunters prefer a 'turn-key' dog, which is one who is already trained, and well disciplined.

If you want to train your own field dog, the key is to start early. You want to teach your dog early on how to apply proper bite strength to avoid bruising the kill. A young dog should also learn how to distinguish directional whistle calls.

Is puppy kindergarden a good investment?

Puppy Kindergarten

To train a companion dog, concentrate on the basics: sit, stay, come, leave it, etc. You will want to enroll in a puppy kindergarten ASAP as this will not only give you tips on how to train your dog, but also socialization with other dogs.

The weekly discipline of a good puppy kindergarten also keeps you working on commands in phases and good puppy trainers will have knowledge about your breed of dog and what techniques work best. They will also have tips for commanding large and small dogs and help you communicate with your dog more effectively.

When introducing a command you will want to have tasty treats to reward your dog. Keep the simpler kibble treats for down the line.

You can find terrific books on the subject but you should make sure to socialize your dog with puppies, dogs and small children as soon and as often as possible.

What is the first command I should teach a puppy?

Teaching the
Come Command

One of the first commands every pup should learn is to come when called by name. For instance, your little furry canine should answer to, "Come, Buddy!" Start using your pup's name in a positive, upbeat tone as soon as he joins the family. Always praise him for coming to make sure he finds it a positive experience.

How can I teach my dog a trick?

Tricks and Routines

To get your pooch started learning tricks - have some treats handy and pick a time when he's calm and relaxed.

Start by extending your hand to your canine's paw. You may have to pick it up yourself at first. Regardless of the result, award him a treat. Eventually, he'll learn that when his paw is extended, he'll receive a treat and soon, he'll offer up his padded feet on his own.

How can I teach my dog to let me know he wants to go outside?

Ring that Bell!

Teach your puppy to ring a small bell with its nose or paw to tell you it wants to go outside to do its business. Show the pup how to ring the bell before you take it outside or get it to ring the bell with a small treat. Do this every time. Soon your dog will always tell you when it needs to go with a signal you can understand.


Catch the Dog in the Act

To be effective, correction or praise should occur when the dog is in the act of the behavior you are trying to eliminate or reinforce. That way, the dog can connect his behavior to your reaction.

For instance, when a dog tears up your favorite flowerbed, you should tell him, "No! Bad Dog!" at precisely the time of the incident - not two seconds after the fact and certainly not two hours later. A reprimand after an incident has occurred will only confuse a dog. He won't know why he's being scolded.

How can I convince my dog to stay off the couch or bed?

Off the Furniture

In order to convince your canine to stay off the couch or bed, you have to create a negative reinforcement whenever he happens to jump onto furniture. As soon as he jumps on the couch or bed, give him a sharp, "No!". Firmly but gently lead the way off the furniture if necessary. If your pooch decides to sit happily at your feet while you are on the sofa, give him a reward by lavishing him with attention. It is also helpful if you give your furry friend his own comfy spot in the house where he can lounge.

What does it mean to shape a behavior?

Shaping Behaviors

Shaping is the process of gently modifying an action to get the behavior you want. For example, you might want to train your dog to hold a toy - so you use a clicker and treat every time your dog mouths the toy. Every time your dog mouths the toy, he hears another click and receives a treat. In the next step, you wait to click and give your dog a treat until he actually puts the toy in his mouth. In no time, your dog learns that he only gets a treat if he bites the object. Finally, your dog must pick up and hold the toy in order to hear the click and get a treat. When your dog successfully repeats holding the toy, you have shaped a behavior!

What is needed for successful dog training?

Make Training a Success

Part of successful training involves understanding your dog and what motivates him or her. Just as the dog is learning from you, you are also learning from him - what makes him tick, what works and what doesn't.

Whether you're training your dog for the show ring, for sports like agility or for family obedience, offer your dog variety in the training exercises plus a positive approach that makes training fun. An alert, happy dog will in most cases perform better.

Why do I need a crate for my dog?

Crate Training

Crate training is used as a means to teach dogs to be housebroken. The concept lies behind the idea that dogs by nature feel secure in a den-like environment and will not soil their sleeping area. In this case, their sleeping area during housebreaking is their crate or den.

How can I understand my dog´s body language?

Canine Body Language: Playful

Dogs often use body language to communicate their thoughts and needs. For example, a dog that "bows" or rests his font legs on the ground with his butt in the air is inviting play. This posture, often referred to as a "play bow" is a maneuver often initiated by puppies and those canines who are young at heart.

What is canine obedience?

Obedience as a Sport

Canine Obedience Trials is a sport for dogs that involves running them through a series of predetermined exercises or routine in the ring. The purpose is to display that a dog has been trained to behave well as a companion animal. The dogs are scored based on their performance in the competition.

Do dog trainers use different approaches to education?

Collar & Leash Mean Business

One way to help your pooch understand that it's training time is by teaching her to associate training with certain cues. In this case, the cue would be putting on a collar and leash. She'll soon learn it's time to get serious and that it's not play time. And you'll be on your way to successful training in no time.

What messages do a trainer´s voice tones convey?

Use your Voice

Your tone of voice is an important factor in communicating with your canine. When training, it is important to project confidence - after all, you are the designated leader in your dog's life. Speak clearly, and enunciate when teaching your dog a command. If your dog is successful at learning a new trick or behaving well, let her know it. Use a cheerful upbeat tone to praise her. On the other hand, if your dog is jumping on houseguests and you're trying to curb her from it, use a sharp tone to say, "No!" In general, refrain from an unnecessary display of anger or shouting. You won't get your message across and will only confuse your dog instead.

Is the training for a working or service dog different than for a companion dog?

Service Or Working Dogs

Training a working or service dog involves intense instruction and numerous hours logged in at training sessions. Working dogs and service dogs must be calm, intelligent and focused. A service dog is typically trained by a professional who has expertise in the area of work that the dog is intended for. Some common canine professions include police dogs, seeing-eye dogs, and therapy dogs.

Working or service dogs encompass a wide range of breeds including German Shepherds, Bloodhounds, and Beagles.

Therapy dogs often undergo a certification test to ensure that they will be suited for their potential role. Basic obedience, patience, and a friendly disposition are ideal qualities that dogs possess for therapy work.

Why is dog obedience training important?

Basic Dog Obedience Training

All dogs should have basic dog obedience training; this ensures you, as the owner, can control your dog in public and around other animals. If you can, start when your dog is young, since a puppy tends not to have picked up any bad habits. And if they have, it is fairly easy to un-train them.

Although there are many books on the subject, generally they should be treated as supplements. Professional dog training classes tend to give the best practical experience and socialization exposure for your dog. Since most basic classes cost under $100, they are fairly accessible. Talk to your veterinarian, or other dog owners to find a good dog training class near you.

What does a dominant dog look like?

Canine Body Language: Dominant

A dog displaying dominance will carry her ears straight up or forward, her mouth will be slightly open to display teeth, and her eyes will be wide and staring. Her body will be stiff and she'll learn slightly forward. Her hackles (fur on the back of her neck) may be raised and her tail will be stiff with a slight wag. She may assert herself with a low growl.

How do dogs think?

Understanding How Dogs Think

People often assign human traits to their canine counterparts. However, it's important to remember that our beloved four-legged pets possess their own unique needs and traits. Keeping your pet happy requires understanding how she thinks and what her needs are.

1. Dogs do get lonely. They really should not be left on their own for extended periods of time. Alone time can breed unhealthy behaviors such as separation anxiety. Your dog just wants to be with you and your family.

2. Dogs understand the pecking order. Your dog wants to know who is in charge and how everyone else fits into the order of things. As a dog owner, you are the designated leader, so take charge and show your pooch what behaviors are acceptable and what are not.

3. Get your canine moving! Spend time engaging your dog in physical activities. Playing fetch can be one activity – it doesn't have to be complicated! Most breeds need a certain amount of exercise every day. Consider what your dog was bred for and try to find an appropriate activity.

4. Give your dog some social time. Your dog will enjoy spending time with you in varied activities from accompanying you on errands to sofa time in front of the television. Allow your dog plenty of time to socialize with her peers as well. Supervised playtime at the dog park can be just what your dog needs to keep her occupied.

What does a fearful dog look like?

Canine Body Language: Fearful

A fearful dog shows takes on a defensive posture. He'll throw his ears back, narrow or avert his eyes, and expose his teeth. He'll crouch and tense his body and tuck his tail between the legs. Often, he'll snarl to let you know that he does not want to be approached.

It is important to note that a fearful dog is prone to attack. His gestures are saying, "Leave me alone or I will bite."

What options do I have for dog training?

Dog training options

There are a variety of dog training classes available today. Check with your local pet store, animal shelter, or kennel club organization. There are puppy classes, group classes for dogs, and individual instruction available from dog instructors. For those who need specialized advice, an animal behaviorist might be a consideration for more serious pet problems like biting or serious separation anxiety.

Your top responsibility as a dog owner is to socialize your puppy so it behaves well with his family, visitors and when out in the community. The 10 tests for a dog to earn the Canine Good Citizen Award from the American Kennel Club highlight skills your puppy needs, such as sitting for petting and coming when called.

What does a predatory dog look like?

Canine Body Language: Predatory

A dog in hunting mode is on the prowl. His predatory instincts will have kicked in and his body language will adjust accordingly. His ears will be alert listening, his eyes will be very focused, and his mouth will be shut and quiet. He'll carry his tail low, his body will be tense, crouching, and ready to spring on possible prey.

What is clicker training?

Origins of Clicker Training

Clicker training was developed by marine animal trainers to signal to their dolphins. To an animal, a click signifies that she has just earned a reward. This method of dog training is highly effective because it simplifies your method of communication with the dog. Give it a try - many people get quick results, and with consistency, your dog will be trained in no time!

How can I clicker train the sit?

Training Your Dog to Sit

To clicker train your dog to sit, you will only need a clicker and treat. Keep the clicker and treat close by while you casually observe your pooch. When his bottom touches the floor, click and offer the treat. Each time your dog sits, click and offer another treat. Your dog will get the idea that sitting earns him a click and a tasty morsel. If he stands to get the treat, simply increase the length of time that your dog sits before clicking and giving your dog a reward. Once your furry canine repeatedly sits, you can add the command, "Sit!"

You can repeat this exercise a few times a day to keep it fresh in your dog's mind.

What is the most important aspect of dog training?

The Key to Training - Consistency

The key to training dogs is consistency. Since you are essentially teaching your dog a new language, you need to be patient with the learning process, and consistent with the training regiment.

Dogs need to know what the limits are and what behaviors are appropriate and accepted. When setting the ground rules make sure you have a clear set of do's and don'ts. Your dog is willing to please if he can figure out what he should and shouldn't do.

For instance, if your dog is expected to sit before a mealtime, ensure that he always does so and he'll soon learn that this is an expected behavior.

Do dog trainers use different approaches to education?

Check Approach
to Training

Yes, there are different schools of thought on dog training. This depends also on what the dog is being trained for. Trainers can use a method of positive reinforcement in order to train the dog. This method means that the dog is rewarded for achieving the behavior that you want - through doggy treats or love and affection. You can also teach dogs via negative reinforcement. This method gives dogs a negative association when he does a behavior that is not wanted and is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, a puppy may be given a sharp "No!" every time he nibbles on his owner's slippers. Reputable trainers will use a method of training that instills trust and not fear in a dog.

How do I train my dog to stop unwanted barking?

Bark No More!

Do you find that your canine is too vocal? Don't give treats to quiet your barking dog or raise your voice to quiet him. Instead, praise him and offer lots of attention for being quiet or offer treats at that time. This way, you encourage the behavior you want - silence.

Where did the dog come from?


The Dingo is a wild dog, smaller in size than the modern day wolves of the northern hemisphere. This dog is a relatively unchanged version of the early ancestors of the domesticated dog. They reside in Australia and parts of South East Asia.

How can I train my dog to sit without pushing on him?

Lure Your Dog into Sitting

If you own a breed prone to hip dysplasia or if you are simply looking for a hands-free method for training your dog to sit, luring may be the option you are looking for.

Start by holding a small food treat in front of your dog's nose and slowly raise your hand up and over his head. As his head rises up and leans back his rump should lower. As soon as his bottom touches the floor, praise him and give him the food reward. If your dog backs up to keep the treat in view, try luring him to sit in a spot where he cannot reverse. For instance have him sit in front of a piece of furniture or wall. When you are sure that your dog will sit for the lure, teach him to associate the action with the word “sit”.

How can I train my golden retreiver without buying anything?

Training on a Budget

Items such as a collar and a leash are essential to dog ownership and can be used in basic obedience training. They are can be relatively inexpensive depending on the material you choose. In general, most nylon collars and leashes will suffice. Beyond those items you can add a clicker and treats for reward. To start off with, consider borrowing items from a neighbor or friend. Rather than purchasing training books, you might want to consider borrowing from your local library.

Why should I enroll my dog in obedience class?

Obedience Class
Can Help

There are several benefits to having a dog enroll in an obedience class. An obedience class helps to socialize a dog to be around new people and other dogs. Depending on the class, a dog learns basic manners and obedience - a definite plus to make living and going out with your dog easier. Class time can also strengthen the bond and understanding between dog and owner. Remember that a young dog must have all its vaccinations before being enrolled in a class.

What options do I have for dog training?

Choosing a Trainer

Unless you live in a very small town, you will have many different choices for your dog's education. The prices generally will vary based on the amount of personal attention your dog gets. You can choose a dog behavior specialist who works just with your dog. Or you can join a large dog obedience class offered by a local dog club, community education program or 4-H for youngsters. Decide based on your dog's needs and personality, what you can afford, and recommendations of people who have used the trainer or program.

Do dog trainers use different approaches to education?

Training Approaches

Yes, there are different schools of thought on dog training. This depends also on what the dog is being trained for. Trainers can use a method of positive reinforcement in order to train the dog. This method means that the dog is rewarded for achieving the behavior that you want - through doggy treats or love and affection. You can also teach dogs via negative reinforcement. This method gives dogs a negative association when he does a behavior that is not wanted and is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, a puppy may be given a sharp "No!" every time he nibbles on his owner's slippers. Reputable trainers will use a method of training that instills trust and not fear in a dog.

Do dogs really understand what we say?

Words - Do Dogs Know What They Mean?

The answer is yes - sort of. Dogs learn by association. They learn that whenever you say, "Stay!" you don't want them to budge an inch. They learn that whenever you say, "Fetch!" they should run after the ball.

However, the tone of voice and gestures can be as important as our use of specific words. People have experimented with scolding dogs in the tone they typically use to praise a dog. The response? The dog responds by wagging its tail in pleasure. The same has been true of experiments where the dog was given a scolding with a word normally used for praise. The dog responded according to the tone of voice and not the actual word usage.

So, remember, temper your tone with the command you are using.

What should I do if my dog always bolts out the door?

Taming the Bolter

If your dog has been known to make a fast exit at the first sign of an open door, exercise some preventative measures. Consider installing a safety gate that would block your four-legged companion's access to the outdoors. Then, work on some training with your pooch.

Train your dog to sit and stay by the front door. Once this is accomplished, you can practice having your dog sit and stay with the door ajar. Keep your dog on a lead to ensure her safety. Once you are confident that she'll stay put, allow her to sit and stay sans the leash.

Where does a dog´s behavior come from?

Learn from
Wolf Behavior

Looking at a miniature poodle or cocker spaniel, it is often hard to remember that our dogs are really just a subspecies of wolf. But genetic research has shown that is true. So it is worthwhile for dog owners to learn about wolf behavior for insights on their dogs' behavior and motivation.

How can I reduce the chance of dog bite?

Avoiding Dog Bites

When approaching an unfamiliar dog, remember that body language is key. Avoid maintaining eye contact as this can be perceived as a challenge and a dominant or fearful dog may attack. If a dog appears to be aggressive, keep your distance, but do not run or bolt. A dog that is aggressive may instinctively perceive you as prey and bite. If a dog does start to attack, a good line of defense is to place any available item between you and the dog, such as a bag or bike.

What influences my dog´s behavior?

Drives and Instincts

While dogs are intelligent animals, much of their behavior is influenced by drives and instincts developed over many thousands of years. Pack instincts, predatory drives, and hierarchy (i.e. whether your dog is a dominant dog, submissive dog, or somewhere in between) can influence a dog's natural behavior.

Training can either tap a dog's natural drive for purposes such as herding or hunting or help rein it in so that a dog can be a good citizen in human society.

What value are dog crates in training and care?


In order to teach a puppy to go potty outside, keep her in her crate if you are heading out and during the night. As soon as you come home, let your puppy outside without greeting her. Choose a keyword or phrase such as "Outside!" or "Go Potty!" and use it every time. Avoid interacting with your dog until she has eliminated.

Keep in mind that puppies have limited bladder control and that you cannot expect them to refrain from peeing or pooping for long periods. For instance, a 20-week-old puppy should have six to eight potty breaks a day.

Dog owners have discovered that, if used properly, a dog crate can be both a useful training tool and a happy place for a dog. A dog can come to consider a crate to be the equivalent of a den, as long as it is associated with positive experiences not punishment.

Dog owners have discovered that, if used properly, a dog crate can be both a useful training tool and a happy place for a dog. A dog can come to consider a create to be the equivalent of a den, as long as it is associated with positive experiences not punishment.

Where do dogs´ behavior traits come from?

Understand Dogs'
Wolf Traits

A dog's behavior comes from its ancestor, the wolf. Understand this and you'll understand the motivation for a lot of your pet's behavior in training him as well as on a day to day basis.

The modern day dog still carries many of their original behavioral drives for hunting, territory, and pack status from wolves. But time has modified the dog as he has been domesticated. Nowadays, domesticated dogs rely largely on humans for food, shelter, and leadership. The need to hunt may be replaced by playtime - chasing down the tennis ball or the backyard squirrel.

When training, establish yourself your dog's pack leader and he'll look to you for guidance and accepted behaviors.

How do I break bad dog behaviors?

The Key to Training - Consistency

The key to training dogs is consistency. Since you are essentially teaching your dog a new language, you need to be patient with the learning process, and consistent with the training regiment.

Dogs need to know what the limits are and what behaviors are appropriate and accepted. When setting the ground rules make sure you have a clear set of do's and don'ts. Your dog is willing to please if he can figure out what he should and shouldn't do.

For instance, if your dog is expected to sit before a mealtime, ensure that he always does so and he'll soon learn that this is an expected behavior.

Is praise or punishment better in dog training?

Praise versus Scolding

Dogs generally figure out what gets your attention and then they do what it takes to get that attention. Sometimes it's positive attention. Sometimes it's negative attention. That having been said, training should be a positive experience and further the bond between you and you canine.

Use praise whenever possible to let your dog know she's on the right track. Occasionally, if your dog jumps up at an inappropriate time, it is ok to issue a sharp "No!" to let her know she has misbehaved.

How should I give my dog commands?

Avoid Repeating Commands

When giving a dog a command, state it once in a clear, firm tone. Avoid using repetition if your pooch does not respond. She may learn that she can ignore you. If you find your furry friend feigns a deaf ear, go to her, reinstate the command and gently reinforce it. If you dog is still resistant, it may be time to take a break and resume training at a later time.

How do I become the leader in my dog´s "pack"?

Lead the Pack

Dogs are naturally pack animals. This means that dogs operate on a hierarchy system. In a family situation with people, a dominant dog may "test" his place in the pack by asserting himself. You would show that you are the leader by using a firm tone of voice and showing confident body language. When issuing a command, say it like you mean it. Avoid engaging in "dominance" type games such as playing tug of war with a rope. Always keep in mind what motivates your dog's behavior and treat him with respect and you'll have a willing follower in your pack!

What is positive reinforcement?

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is one way of training your pup. It involves rewarding your dog for good behavior. For example, if you are teaching your dog to sit and he completes the task, reward him with a treat or affection.

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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.