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10 Dog Training Tips

10 Dog Training Tips

January is National Train your Dog Month. My readers know that I’m an advocate of humane, positive, science based dog training. So, every Tuesday on the Through a Dog’s Ear Facebook page is “Training Tip Tuesday”.  I ask fans and training experts to chime in with their training tips. Here are some of my favorites:

  • “When dealing with behavior issues, remember to look at daily sources of stress in your dog’s life and start with a de-stress or relaxation process before you begin tackling the problems. Much like us, ongoing stress or over-stimulation is not healthy for our dogs either!” Michelle Payson, owner of That’s My Dog Professional Dog Training in Douglas, MA.
  • “Remember that EVERY interaction that you have with your pet is training and that most pets will interpret ANY attention from you as a reward, even if you think of it as negative attention” Not Home Alone Pet, Livestock, and House Sitting in San Dimas, California.
  • “Focus on what you want your pet to do, instead of what you don’t want him to do. Don’t like the barking at the front door? What do you want instead? Work towards that! It changes your focus completely.” Shared by Karey Harris.
  • “Ignore or manage undesirable behaviors, and reward and/or reinforce desirable behaviors!” A suggestion from fan Sallee Autumn.
  • “When introducing new behaviors with most cats, it’s best to train before meals. When training new behaviors with high energy dogs, it’s best to do training sessions after a short period of exercise. Both of these tips will help the dog & cat to be more focused during a training session.” From Amy of in North Carolina.
  • “Loose leash walking – If we let our dogs leave the house in an excited state, loose leash walking might be difficult.” Here’s a great post by trainer Lupe Matt on the subject. (And you’ll get a good laugh out of the Boxer’s reaction in the video when he’s asked if he wants to go for a walk.)
  • “Accept your dog as is… a social creature, a companion animal. Be realistic in your goals and fair in your expectations. Train away the things that you absolutely can not live with and never, ever underestimate a dogs potential, based on your own preconceived notions.” Susan Gleeson, owner of Center for Heeling

Do you have any dog or cat training tips you can share with Care2 readers? Thanks for posting them in a comment below and letting us know what you think of the training tips in this post.

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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5:31AM PDT on Aug 6, 2015

Good guidelines! Thanks a lot. I am in love with your blog really. whole life insurance

6:26AM PDT on May 20, 2015

That's cool that January is "National Train Your Dog Month." The tip to focus on what you want your dog to do instead of what you don't want is a good idea. It makes the whole training thing have a more positive spin. I know I should focus more on my dog's training no matter what time of year it is, but this might help motivate me.

2:46PM PST on Feb 26, 2015

I didn't know that ignorance was the best way to punish a dog for bad behavior. We just got a dog and we're learning all the ins and outs of training her. I have to say, it's quite a bit of work. If every interaction we have with her is "training", then we'll have our work cut out for us. Thanks for the info though, it's a good start for us.

11:34PM PST on Dec 15, 2014

I’m eager to find the valuable information and for me this is the right place to get the good stuff. pitbulls for sale

7:19AM PST on Nov 11, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

10:55PM PDT on Oct 9, 2014

I knew this blog post was existed someplace. Thanks to post such articles. Will unquestionably be using it very soon. (source)

12:13PM PDT on Jul 25, 2014

Great article! I've become a better dog owner over the years as I have learned more about training. I understand now that training a dog is good for the dog! Nobody likes an untrained, spoiled dog who makes a nuisance of themselves.

9:38PM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

Never tell a dog to "sit down". "Sit" & "Down" are 2 different commands. The command "Off"is a versatile command. It can be "Off the couch, the person, the situation" & is not confusing to the dog. The hand command is similar to "Stay" it is a still, flat hand near the front of the face whereas "Off" is a flat hand close the front of the face sweeping away & pointing from the object that is to be "off"ed. Putting one's hand close to the face breaks the focus on the situation effectively stopping it.I trained a dog stronger than me, once, to heal while I was barely physically, mobile by wrapping the lead around me at the place I wanted the dog to walk and using my weight against it. I always speak kindly to the animals I deal with, (while trying) to be consistent with my words & appropriate tones of voice relative to their behavior..

8:36AM PDT on Jul 4, 2014

I learned something new today.

3:39AM PDT on May 28, 2014

very informative

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