How To Train Your Dog

Whether you are a first-time puppy owner or you are experienced in dog ownership, you can train your dog yourself. It can seem scary at first but from the list of sitting to house training, to the best behavior, training your dog is very rewarding as it helps build a stronger bond and more fun between a puppy and the pets owners.

To equip you for the task of nixing puppy behavior problems at home and on the go, this article will show you how to teach your dog to follow some essential commands and give you some dog training tips. Skip group classes and start the fun in your living room! With this list of tricks and some treats in hand, let’s get right to your training sessions.

How to Train a Dog to Sit and Stay

Before anything else, let's start with the basics. The first step in this training process is luring dogs into position using the treat. Call the dog's name, hold the one or few treats over his nose and move it in an arc over his head till he sits. Once he sits, do your part to praise him and give them the reward.

You want to make sure the dog’s rear end is on the ground before you feed him the treat (and have patience). If there's a question about the dogs sit, give them none. If you want to be training your dog into sitting low with his chest on the floor, drop your hands from their head to their front paws below and watch the dog hover forward for things like some treats or cookies. If you want your dog to get it, ensure he gets into a full sitting position before giving him the treat.

Give the dog a cookie when he hasn’t fully obeyed your commands, and he won’t see the need to actually sit or meet your training goals during these events. Repeat the practice in regular sessions in your living room, and as the dog masters sitting, begin to add the command “sit.”

Master the sit, and then use the same method while doing your part to take a few steps backwards to get your dog to stay, and come when called. The rest of their obedience training process, like on off leash behaviors, and yes even house training, will come easier and be more fun after the sit!

How To Train a Dog to Heel

The key is in luring your dogs into sitting behind your left foot. Start with the dog facing you. Put a treat or something of value in your left hand and show it to the dog in front of you. Then, in an arc in proportion to the size of your dog, swing your arm behind your left leg. The dog should follow the treat and get behind the space at your left side. Reward the dog's behavior with positive reinforcement, some treats, and fun pets at that time.

Most puppies don’t sit within their first session of heeling at your side, but they at least learn to step their paw behind your left heel. However, if your puppy doesn’t get into place, or there's a question about the move, you have to face the dog and try the cues again. Other tricks include you taking steps backward while you make the command and take it back when your pets make a move to follow your order.

Note that every time you try to get your dog to get into this spot, you have to say the word cue for this information to register. Repeat the luring motion till your dog masters the command. Slowly and in turns, add movement, take a step, increase the duration, and then upgrade to rewarding the dog only when it shows the proper behavior and sits down.

If you’re dealing with a distracted dog, use a leash. However, be careful on your part not to use leash corrections to teach your dog to the proper pose. This kind of leash training by people can cause puppies to react negatively to the leash and the family.

How to Train a Dog to Pay Attention

In order to train your pup to observe you and others in your family, you have to have your dog’s attention in the first place. In your house, start your puppy training by getting his gaze with one treat, or lure them with clicker training. Say his name while bringing the lure up to your face. Wave the treat around his face and direct him to your face. You can also accompany your hand motions with kissing sounds or clicker training to encourage him to observe to you. Don't use a leash to get your dog's awareness as this can create a foundation of issues against the leash, other animals, and the family involved.

Once you can make eye contact with the puppy or he looks in the general direction of your face, reward him with the treat. Your dog might try to coerce you into giving him the treat — probably by jumping on you. Whatever trick your dog uses, don’t fall for it. Only feed him when he looks up at you to reinforce training your dog the right way otherwise, give them none. Once he masters the behavior of looking up at you when you call his name and bring the kibble to your face, get to the next step.

Use food as a distraction and train the dog to ignore the food lure and look towards him. Call the puppy's name and make kissing noises for reinforcement. If he looks at you, feed him with the treat he had to look away from. Keep doing this until the canine fully masters the lessons behavior and guides his gaze towards you each time you call. This is an important process for them to learn, especially when you don your shoes to take your dog for a walk or to a park area. If there's other puppies or people around, or something enticing the dog needs to investigate, you'll want to know all the tricks to keep space between them and their distraction, as if nothing was happening.

How to Train a Dog to Climb

Teaching a dog to climb is the foundation of phase two dog training and is useful for things like grooming, or getting in the car, events like vet visits, and for dog sports for agility activities and things like exercise. It is also important for emergencies like house flooding. For this training, you need a low platform or table. Stay next to the table and with the treat in your hand, look, step, and point until the puppy gets onto the table completely.

Reward your puppy with the gift and then say “free” to release him from the command. Make note that you only do the free cue when the puppy is still on the platform.  Repeat until the dog masters the training behavior. If your dog loses track of the cues, go back to the “look step point” level and repeat this training for a while.

Don’t forget to express praise for them every time they successfully get on and off the platform with this dog sports technique. “Good boy” or ‘good girl” works fine to weed out behavior problems and create a good user experience for both you and your puppy this way.

How to Train a Dog to “Leave It”

You should teach your dog the “leave it” command to make life more easy for yourself and you pets. Training them on disengaging from things like an object, people, bad food, situations with another dog and more is vital for their safety. Start by showing the dog a treat or toy and when he goes for it, hold on to the treat and say, “Now you leave it.” As soon as your pets release the reward, let him have it along as you further encourage their training with more praises and positive reinforcement.

Repeat till the puppy gets the right idea and consistently chooses to move away. The trick to getting this training right is to keep your hands stationary while you say the cue. Moving your hands this way and that way during the command is more counter-productive as it will only distract from the desired behavior and entice the dog to the toy more.

On Training Your Dog

Puppy training is not a daunting task — all you need is adequate knowledge. How about being your puppy’s private training partner? Join K9-1 to learn the skills and commands. Subscribing to K9-1’s online dog training and newsletter gives you access to detailed and updated resources on dog training science, clicker training options, mechanics, and more. From basics like sit and stay, to house training and on off leash behaviors, K9-1 has your dog training under control.

This exclusive package and newsletter comes with many perks, from avoiding paying outrageous puppy training charges to getting your dog trained in safe conditions. While training dogs, many trainers and services adopt cringy techniques, commands, and punishment you don’t want to imagine using with your pets. You can avoid this by learning generally safe and humane methods of training away your dog's behavior problems and teaching them new tricks.

Make that investment of time and money today, get your questions answered, and get fully equipped with resources to handle your dogs needs — you are your pet's best possible trainer, after all!