10 Steps To Train Your Dog

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  • 01 of 10

    Getting Started With Dog Training

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    Are you ready to start training your dog or puppy? Proper training and socialization are among your ​dog's basic needs. It's important to start training your dog as soon as possible. But how do you get started?

    At first, dog training can seem pretty overwhelming, especially if this is your first dog. The truth is that training your dog is a very big project. However, if you take it step by step, you will find the task to be far less daunting. Here is some information to help get you started:

    • Start ...MOREa Dog Obedience Program: Learn how to set a basic foundation before you begin to train your dog.
    • Positive Reinforcement: There are many different ways to train a dog, but most dog professionals agree that the positive way is the best for both the dog and trainer.
    • Train Your Dog Using Games: Training your dog should be fun! Everyone knows it's easier to learn when you are having a good time, so try implementing some games into your dog training regimen.
    • Six Weeks to a Well-Trained Dog: Using this schedule as a guide, you can teach your dog the basics in about six weeks.

    Need help with dog training? Consider getting help from a dog trainer. Try group classes and/or private lessons.

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  • 02 of 10

    Tools for Dog Training

    Dog Treat on Golden Retriever's Nose
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    You are almost ready to begin the training process, but you might find that certain tools can help you along the way. Learn about the most important dog training supplies before you start buying. Fortunately, there are not a whole lot of supplies necessary for good training. Certain dog training books can be a great help. You'll also need to decide if you wish to seek the help of a professional dog trainer. The following guides will help you get the right tools for the job:

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  • 03 of 10

    House Training and Crate Training

    Puppy in Crate - Photo of Dog in Kennel
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    Unless you plan to keep your dog outdoors--and few of us do because it's not recommended--you'll need to teach your dog where to eliminate. Therefore, house training (also called housebreaking or potty training) is one of the first things you need to work on with your dog. Crate training can be a very helpful part of the training process. This includes house training as well as many other areas of training. Here's how you can work on crate training and house training with your dog:

    • Crate Training...MORE Dogs and Puppies: Here are the basics of training your dog or puppy to accept and even enjoy the crate. Not only will it help with housebreaking, it will also give your dog a place of his own.
    • How to House Train your Dog: When it comes down to it, house training is not that complicated. But, this doesn't mean it's easy. Consistency and diligence are key during the housebreaking process.
    • Submissive/Excitement Urination in Dogs: If your dog is still having accidents in the house, it may be more than a simple housebreaking issue. Your dog might urinate out of excitement or to express submissive behavior.
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  • 04 of 10

    Leash Training Dogs and Puppies

    Sheltie Dog Walking On a Loose Leash - Leash Training Dogs to Walk on Leash
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    Every dog needs to learn to walk on a leash. Besides the fact that most areas have leash laws, there will be times when keeping your dog on a leash is for his own safety. Learn how to introduce your dog or puppy to the leash, then teach him how to walk properly on the leash. A loose leash walk teaches your dog not to pull or lunge when on ​the leash, making the experience more enjoyable for both you and your dog. Here's what you need to know:

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  • 05 of 10

    How To Socialize Dogs and Puppies

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    Socialization means training your puppy or adult dog to accept new people, animals, and various places by exposing him to these things. Socialized dogs are less likely to develop behavior problems and are generally more welcomed by others. Socialization can also help prevent the development of fears and phobias.

    The bottom line is that socializing your dog or puppy will make him a happier, more well-behaved dog. The following information can help guide you through the steps of dog socialization:

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  • 06 of 10

    Clicker Training for Dogs

    Clicker Training Dogs
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    Clicker training, a common form of positive reinforcement, is a simple and effective dog training method. Although it is still fine to train your dog without clicker training, many people find it very helpful. With clicker training, you can easily and effectively teach your dog all kinds of basic and advanced commands and tricks. It's fast and easy to learn how to clicker train your dog.

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  • 07 of 10

    Basic Commands and Fun Tricks

    Dog Trick Photo - Train Your Dog to Roll Over
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    There are some basic dog training commands and dog tricks that every dog should know. Basic commands give your dog structure. In addition, they can help you overcome common dog behavior problems and will help keep your dog safe.

    What's more fun than showing off your dog's cool tricks?! Dog tricks are a great way to take your dog training to the next level and give your dog some mental stimulation.

    The following lists of commands and tricks will give you and your dog plenty to work on:

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  • 08 of 10

    Proofing Behaviors and Troubleshooting

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    Proofing is the last step in training your dog to do any new behavior. Learn how to proof behaviors so your dog will be as obedient at the park or a friend's house is he is in your own living room.

    Remember, just because you have reached the final stages of training, it doesn't mean that behavior problems won't crop up. Learn about the most common dog behavior problems and how to deal with them. These guides will help you navigate this part of the training process:

    • Proofing Behaviors: Practice...MORE behaviors in a variety of situations with different levels of distraction. Without proofing, your dog may behave well in your living room, but seem to forget all his training when he is outside the house.
    • Teach Your Dog Self-Control: This method teaches your dog that nothing in life is free, but that he needs to earn things like food and attention through obedience.
    • Common Dog Behavior Problems: Understanding potential behavior issues can help you detect and address them before things get out of control.
    • Dog Behavior Management Versus Dog Training: While dog behavior management and dog training are two different things, they are not mutually exclusive. Behavior management is an important part of any dog training program.
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  • 09 of 10

    Training Specific Types of Dogs

    Labrador Retriever Looking at Yorkshire Terrier - Dog Breed Contrasts
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    No two dogs are exactly the same. Many dogs learn differently based on breed, size, age, and history. Find out how to customize your training methods and style to get the best results.

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  • 10 of 10

    Going the Extra Mile: Advanced Dog Training

    border collie disc dog photo
    Photo © Barbara Giacobe

    Once your dog has mastered all the basics, you can consider moving on to a more advanced level. These activities will help keep your dog active, fit and mentally stimulated. Plus, they will help strengthen the bond you share with your canine companion. Here are some ideas for taking dog training to the next level:

     

    Remember that training is an ongoing process. You will...MORE never be completely finished. It is important to keep working on obedience training throughout the life of your dog. People who learn a language at a young age but stop speaking that language may forget much of it as they grow older. The same goes for your dog: use it or lose it. Running through even the most basic tricks and commands will help them stay fresh in your dog's mind. Plus, it's a great way to spend time with your dog.