How to Train a Dog

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Some basic tips on how to train a dog remain the same no matter what the skill might be. Dogs learn in much the same way as humans…that is they all learn a little bit differently. All dogs can learn and you just have to find the right combination of factors. No matter what you are teaching your pup, the following factors will apply in some fashion:

Keep Training Sessions Short

Dogs are not going to respond very well to marathon sessions of training. Like humans, they will lose their focus and get antsy after a while. Instead, have several shorter sessions during the day that have a cumulative effect.


Rewards are great for dog training and should be used in both directions. If the dog does something good, reward him. If he does something you do not approve of, remove the treat. Both ways are effective in communicating your desires to the dog. The idea behind rewards is to show the dog what is expected and then to give them a pat on the back to let them know they succeeded. Treats are a must for any dog training session.

Only Work on One Skill at a Time

Another common dog training mistake is trying to hammer the dog with fifty skills at once. Teach him one thing per session and let them gain confidence. This allows the dog to be more pliant and comfortable as they learn. When the dog is worked for long periods of time, they will eventually resent the training and not want to comply. They may even misunderstand the training altogether.

Do Not Yell

Only two things happen when you yell at your dog….either they will think you are barking too, or they will be scared. Neither of these things are good for training a dog. You need to make sure to speak in a calm, even tone that is firm. Make sure you are speaking in a strong voice, but not an angry one. Correct the dog the same way every single time you do so. The regularity will become noticeable to them and help them to know what you want.


If you were going to learn a new skill, you would practice it over and over to make sure you have it down pat. Dogs are no different and require a good bit of time to really let things sink in. Allow them the same opportunities that you would take if you wanted to learn a new skill.

Knowing how to train your dog is really not that hard if you think of it rationally. Most things you might not do with a human you should not do with a dog either. Showing them respect and working patiently are the primary factors for success. 

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