Training Tips

Beginners Tip #1

Observe which training methods work best. Think about your dog. The more you do in the “dog world” the more different advice you’ll get on how to train your dog. Not all advice will necessarily be applicable to your dog – be open to advice, and try things out, but think about the results – get other peoples views on the results (they may see faults which you cannot). Then stick with what works best for you and your dog.

Beginners Tip #2

Don’t let your dog be the boss!  To have an obedient dog you need a dog that looks to you for leadership. Be in control consistently – don’t let your dog on the sofa when it wants – rather only when you want. Be sure you eat before your dog.  Don’t put up with the small misdemeanours – if a dog thinks it can do small things wrong it will try the bigger ones next! 

Beginners Tip #3

Train by rewarding good behaviour. It’s quite possible to train your dog by just rewarding them when they do the right thing, and ignoring the undesirable behaviour. For example – training your dog to do their No. 1s and 2s on command cannot be done by compulsion. But if each time they do it in the garden you make a big fuss saying something like “Good busy boy” they will soon catch on. It’s surprising how many experienced handlers haven’t done this, but it makes life so much easier. If it can work for this it can work for any other behaviour that they can do. 

Beginners Tip #4

Give commands not requests! Make sure you commands are firm and clear. The dog will understand a simple “SIT” better than “oh please do sit down” said as if to your aunt. Commands should be single words and distinct from each other – if they sound similar to us just think of the dog!. Be consistent with how you use them or you will confuse your dogs. One of the most commonly misused are “down” and “off” – if your dog leaps on the sofa why tell it to lie down when you mean get off? 

Beginners Tip #5

Getting your dog to come back to you. Start by rewarding him when he comes at your call. Always sound exciting and happy – who’d want to go towards someone who sounds ready to commit murder?! It’s more difficult than it sounds to maintain that high happy tone when you are getting impatient, but it’s worth it. If he doesn’t seem to understand what’s required of him you could also try training him on the end of a long line so you can pull him in when he should come. Start in an enclosed space like your garden – there’s no point running before you can walk. 

Beginners Tip #6

Don’t try to train if you’re too tired or angry. A dog will pick up on the anger and neither of you will enjoy the training, nor will it even be effective. Far better to take your dog out for a walk instead on those occasions!