How to Train Your Dog

How to Train Your Dog

Get the do’s and don’ts on effectively training your furry friend.

A new puppy can bring a lot of fun and excitement into any household. But as many of us know, puppies can also be a lot of work. It’s important to start training early and to start instilling a respect between dog and owner. Check out these tips to begin training your puppy and you will be on your way to having a happy, well-behaved dog.

Do lay down foundations from day one — set limits and boundaries. A dog regards you as a dog on two legs. We are either the pack leader, equal to, or submissive to them. If you show signs of weakness, the dog will instinctively feel that he needs to take control.

Don't let your dog on the furniture or the bed. If he’s on your level, you’re raising his ranking in the pack.

Jumping Up
Do walk straight in, put your bags down and go about your business — pretend (for the moment) that you don’t have a dog. When the dog has settled, greet him calmly.

Don't ever greet at the front door. Your excited greeting or reprimand for jumping up just creates anxiety.

Separation Anxiety
Do separate regularly, early on, for increasing periods of time. Leave the dog a special treat when you go out, like a toy that will keep him busy.

You don’t necessarily have to sneak out, but try not to make unnecessary noises as you go. Put your keys in your pocket, wait to make a morning phone call until you leave, don’t slam the door and so on.

Riding in the Car
Do start slowly. First, put the dog in the car, open the windows, close the doors and sit quietly. Praise and reward him if he’s calm. You could even feed the dog there. The next time, start the engine and sit in the car. Later, take a ride around the block. Build up distance slowly until the dog is at ease in the car.

Be sure to look up your state laws before heading out for a ride, too, as there are half a dozen states with regulations about pets in a vehicle with you. Some can come with hefty fines if the dog is unrestrained.


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House Training
Do be diligent, day and night. Take the dog out as much as you can, especially after he’s eaten and slept, with a little treat in your hand and give a command. When the dog has done his business, praise him, give the reward and come inside. Eventually he’ll ask to go out, and you can reward him.

Don't reprimand or put the dog’s nose into it if he has an accident inside. If the dog needs to relieve itself and no one is around to read the signs, he will do it. It’s nature. Just clean it up and say nothing.

Nuisance Barking
Do get his attention: clap your hands sharply, say “Enough!” and redirect his attention.

Don't shout at your dog for barking, he’ll just think you’re joining in.

Do give him physical release and mental stimulation — that’s where dog-training classes come in. Socializing, being in a group with other dogs and learning stimulates the dog’s brain.

Don't think a quick walk around the block will satisfy a large dog’s need for exercise. It’s not enough. A lot of dogs bark and dig and chew and destroy because they’re bored and frustrated.

Guard Dogs
Do have your dog in the house with you and as part of the family.

Don't think a dog will protect you if it’s outside. If you’re in danger and the dog isn’t used to being in the house, it won’t come in to protect you.

Dogs are lifelong companions and quickly become members of the family. While it may take some effort, training your dog can prevent problems in the future, leading to a worry- and stress-free relationship that lasts for years.

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Great advice. We just got a puppy less than two weeks ago! It has been a challenge.

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