Dog training equipment
Aggressive dog training
Getting a second dog
How to socialize a dog
How to choose the right dog trainer
Dog in a car
Dogs and cats living together
Training your dog can be a rewarding experience for both you and your pet. In your dog's eyes you are seen as the leader of his pack. By staying patient and persistent you can get your dog to happily follow your commands every time. Positive attitude and understanding dog's mind will be your best friends on this journey. We hope that our dog training tips will help you achieve great results. Basic obedience training helps the dog to learn to "sit", "stay", "walk on a leash", "allowing to brush teeth", "allowing to trim nails". Some behavioral issues are also addressed during obedience training. The issues include "chewing", "biting", "house training", etc. Obedience training helps dog owners to strengthen the bond with the dog and helps to maintain the appropriate level of control over their animal to create a safer environment for everyone. You can educate yourself on the subject of dog training or get in touch with a professional dog trainer. The more you learn about the subject, the more comfortable you will be with teaching your dog new commands. Even if you get the best dog trainer in the world, you will still need to know some basics in order to maintain your dog's obedience. Sometimes a very well trained dog only follows the trainer's commands and completely ignores commands given by the owner. Many experienced dog trainers admit that often it is easier to train the dog new commands and the most difficult part is to "train" the owner to properly give commands by using the appropriate verbal and body language for each command. Remember that your dog is observing every move you make and it listens to every word that you say. The dog associates your body gestures with the verbal command and in the animal's mind if you are raising your right hand every time that you are giving a specific command, then when you are not raising your right hand for that same verbal command the situation gets confusing for the animal and the command may not be followed by the dog. Your verbal commands need to correspond to your gestures in order to make sense to your pet. When you are giving a command, always use the same word for that command and the same body language so that the animal can understand what you are expecting. For example, if you are teaching your dog to "stay", you need to use one word "stay" and use the same gesture along with this command every time. Otherwise the dog can get confused and simply not know what is expected especially when the verbal command does not match the body language that the dog is used to for a specific command. Do not spend too much time on each command - a couple of minutes on one command several times a day is the most effective way to train your dog. Only say the command word once. If you have a habit of repeating the command, for example "Sit! Sit!" then the dog may get the idea that the command consists of two words and if you say the word "Sit!" once, the dog will not think that this is a command until you repeat it twice. See below for more tips on how to successfully train your dog.
Any dog breed from very small to very large can benefit from knowing at least basic commands. If you are new to dog training, then reading a book on the subject or getting some good tips from experienced dog trainers can help you to avoid making unnecessary mistakes as you are training your dog. Staying consistent and rewarding your dog immediately after the dog follows your command is the key to success. Remember to always use the same word for the specific command and the same gestures as your dog pays attention to your body language. Professional dog trainers pay very close attention to every small detail when they are training dogs. Your tone of voice, gestures and words all need to be consistent to make training your dog a straightforward process for the dog. The more consistent you are, the easier it is for your dog to learn new commands. Keep training sessions positive so that the dog associates training with a positive experience.
Puppies are ready to start getting trained from 2 to 3 months of age. Older dogs are also capable of learning new commands. Puppies learn from older dogs and having around an older dog that is well trained can be beneficial in the training process. Puppies and older dogs can learn many commands during play time. Pick a calm place with no distractions for a dog that is just beginning to get trained. For a more advanced stage of training (depending on your dog's progress), find a place with more stimulators as your dog should learn to follow your commands regardless of the environmental distractions. Give your dog a good walk prior to training exercises. Your dog will burn excess energy and will have easier time concentrating. Try not to overwhelm your dog with too many training exercises at a time. Repeating a command 2 or 3 times per training session is enough. Keep your dog in a positive state during and after exercises. When your dog does something right you need to acknowledge that with either a treat, vocalizing your praise or by patting your dog. It is best to interchange your reward methods. If you only reward your dog with food, your dog will learn to ONLY follow your command if you have a food reward for him. Remember to reward your dog immediately after he follows your command. Otherwise the dog will not associate the reward with following the command. Do not punish your dog for bad behavior unless you caught him in the act. The dog simply is not capable of associating the punishment with something that happened a while ago. For example, if you are working on teaching your dog not to jump on the couch and when you come home from work you notice dog's hair on the couch - it is too late to punish your dog. On the other hand if you see your dog jumping on the couch in front of you - this is a good time to discipline him by saying "NO!" and immediately getting him off the couch. If your dog is aggressive and shows signs of aggression towards people, dogs or other animals, it is best to let the professional dog trainer handle the training. Do not procrastinate as having an aggressive dog that is not being properly controlled by his owner may turn into a dangerous situation.
Dog training equipment
Dog training is much easier with the right dog training equipment.
As you are training your dog, don't forget treats to reward good behavior. A convenient training pouch where you can keep the treats, toys and waste bags can be useful during dog training sessions outdoors.
Agility competition video where dogs of different breeds show amazing agility training results.
Agility Training equipment for dogs:
Flyball is another popular dog sport. Dogs compete in teams by racing against each other. Competing dogs run over a line of hurdles, to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the dog presses the spring-loaded pad, then back to their handlers while carrying the ball. See video of flyball competition below.
Aggressive dog training
Dog aggression can cause many uncomfortable situations for the owner. Imagine that you're peacefully walking your dog around the neighborhood when you come across another dog. Suddenly your dog starts barking and growling in the direction of the other dog. You can hardly recognize your dog that turned into a very aggressive animal that is tugging at the leash and trying to lounge. Your aggressive dog only calms down when the other dog is completely out of sight. Why your dog is behaving this way? How can you tell if a dog is nervous to the point of being aggressive? There can be many reasons for aggressive dog behavior towards other dogs. Your dog either feels threatened by or is afraid of the other dog. Dogs that did not receive enough socialization with other dogs when they were puppies or dogs that had little contact with other dogs for a long time may exhibit the fear aggressive behavior. In some cases the dog can sense that the owner is getting nervous when another dog is approaching, the dog feels that the owner is tightening the leash and the dog understands that if the owner is getting nervous in a presence of another dog this could mean that the other dog is a threat. The dog may be suddenly aggressive because he is in pain and there could be a health issue that is causing the aggression in your dog. Even though there can be many reasons for aggressive dog behavior, there are ways to help your dog overcome his aggressive tendencies. Finding the cause of your dog's aggression can help to overcome this behavior.
How you as an owner can help your dog to not get so aggressive around other dogs? There are four steps that can help to stop your dog's aggression towards other dogs.
Aggressive dog training step 1: Watch out for signs of dog aggression.
Signs of aggression include growling, barking or whining towards other dogs. You will also notice that your dog's ears are pointing forward and that your dog is staring the other dog directly in the eye. Your dog's hackles may be raised and he will be pulling on the leash. All of these signs indicate aggression in your dog.
Aggressive dog training step 2: Do not reward aggressive dog behavior.
Treats and telling your dog that he did a good job aren't the only forms of rewards. Giving your dog attention even if it is to tell him to stop his bad behavior, is a reward for your dog. Ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior is a formula that will help you to discourage your dog's aggressive behavior. Keep calm and avoid other dogs. Do not tug on the leash when you see another dog. Your dog can sense when you are feeling nervous and can pick up that nervous energy from you. Stay as calm as you can whenever you encounter another dog on the street. Do not give your dog any clues that you are uneasy when you see another dog approaching. This will encourage your dog to stay calm because he sees that his leader (owner) is calm.
Aggressive dog training step 3: Desensitize your dog to the presence of other dogs.
Before your dog learns to be calm around other dogs, stay away from other dogs first. Gradually get closer to other dogs while rewarding your dog for staying calm. When you notice that your dog starts to get aggressive, distract your dog. You can try to play with your dog and get his attention off the other dogs. In case your dog continues to stare at another dog, pull his collar and break eye contact. Continue rewarding your dog's good behavior until the dog feels comfortable and not threatened by other dogs.
Aggressive dog training step 4: Associate meeting other dogs to positive things.
Once your dog is comfortable in the presence of other dogs, start associating socializing with positive things. Socialize your dog first to another dog of passive nature, a dog who will not react to your dog's aggression. Keep the dog on a collar and an extended leash as a precaution and be sure to be in relaxed state of mind as your dog can pick up on your nervous energy.
The described above aggressive dog training techniques will help your dog to stop aggression towards other dogs and to feel relaxed in the company of other dogs. It may take some time for you to achieve the desired results. If you are noticing that the aggressive dog behavior is only getting worse and is not improving, then you may need a help of animal behavior specialist who will be able to address the issue, find the reason and successfully resolve your dog's aggressive behavior. Don't give up on your dog - aggressive behavior can be resolved.
Here's a familiar scenario for many dog owners. You are entering your home and your happy dog immediately starts greeting you by jumping, getting on hind legs and placing his paws on you. Even your guests sometimes get the same jumping treatment. The situation is much more uncomfortable if your dog is a large breed. We received several questions on this subject and asked our experts to help.
Whenever your dog starts jumping on you - put one of your knees forward. The dog will inevitably have to end the unwanted behavior. When your dog begins to get on his hind legs and greet you by putting his paws on you, one way to stop the unwanted behavior is to carefully step on his hind leg with your foot. Please do so carefully to avoid hurting your dog. Your goal is to make it uncomfortable for your dog to get on his hind legs and jump as he is greeting you. If your dog is already familiar with the command "No!", then firmly saying "No!" should help to stop the unwanted behavior. Praise your dog when the dog is not jumping and standing with all four paws on the floor as he is greeting you. Do not yell, scream or push your dog away when the dog is getting on the hind legs when greeting you. Your dog may interpret such reaction as welcoming to his behavior. Instead, you need to stop the unwanted behavior in a calm and assertive way (see Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 above). Explain to your friends and relatives how to properly react to your dog's jumping.
How to socialize a dog
Socialization is a process that helps your puppy to grow into a confident, savvy, and accepting adult dog. Socialization involves introducing your puppy to different people, places, situations and animals. Be careful not to overwhelm your puppy as this may cause more harm than good to the young dog and may create fear which is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. Your goal is to provide positive new experiences that teach your dog that the world is a friendly place and that new people, animals and places are interesting and fun to explore. Let your dog meet all kinds of different people. Make sure that the people that your puppy meets are friendly and gentle and don't let them do anything to scare your dog. If you want your dog to be protective of his family and property, it's just as important to socialize the dog to lots of friendly strangers. The dog needs to understand that when you want him to be friends with someone, you'll purposely introduce him. That way he will view the introduced people as friends because you introduced these people to him. When the dog matures, he will recognize the difference between people that you introduced and people that are trespassing or behaving differently than "friends" do. Socializing your dog will make him a better, more discerning and intelligent protector than if he distrusts all the people outside the family.
Socialization includes introducing your puppy to other dogs, cats and other pets, as well as large animals such as cows, horses, etc. Be careful as you are socializing your puppy to other animals because if an animal you deem "friendly" intimidates or hurts your puppy, he may lose faith in your ability to distinguish safe from unsafe. Also be sure to only introduce your dog to other dogs if they are friendly and will not hurt your pup. It is a good idea to introduce your pup to other dogs of the same age. Do not let other dogs bully your pup. When you are introducing your dog to cats and other animals, there is no need to let your dog come very close to the other animals. Go near the animals close enough for your pup to satisfy his curiosity without getting in trouble. Safety should be your priority. Some people avoid taking their dogs out to socialize and meet the world until the puppy had all the shots, which is around six months of age. At six months the main window of opportunity for socializing a dog has usually passed and the dog has developed fear of the unfamiliar. It will take much longer to socialize a puppy that's been isolated for the first six months of his life.
There are some places that you should not use for socializing - for example do not socialize your puppy in a veterinary clinic with other dogs or animals there. It is not a good idea as many dogs come to the veterinarian because they have some medical issues that can potentially be transmitted to your dog.
Do not reward fearful behavior in your dog by patting it or trying to calm it as the dog may get an idea that being fearful will get him more of your positive or negative attention. It is best to let the dog successfully overcome a new situation and then reward the dog by praise or attention for confident behavior.
Socialization should not end when the dog reaches maturity. For best results, socialization should continue throughout your dog's life.
Socializing a mature dog that hasn't met many people in his life may be more complex. The dog may be shy or fearful and fear often appears as aggression towards unfamiliar people or animals. The dog may appear overly aggressive, and dramatic with a lot of barking. The dog may bite as a result of his fear. If you adopted an adult dog that wasn't properly socialized as a puppy, training lessons with an expert may be very helpful.
How to choose the right dog trainer
Choosing a bad dog trainer can have disastrous consequences for your dog and for you. There are important points to keep in mind when you are selecting a dog trainer for your pet. Dog training still remains an unregulated profession. Anyone regardless of the education or experience in the field can advertise themselves as a professional dog trainer. There are plenty of dog trainers that use outdated and even dangerous methods of dog training and your dog may be psychologically scarred for life if it ends up in the hands of the wrong dog trainer. Some dog trainers use both punishment and positive training techniques - these are hybrid dog trainers and these are not truly positive dog trainers. What separates positive dog trainers from hybrid dog trainers is the ability to use only positive reinforcement during behavior modification training to correct negative behavior such as aggression or separation anxiety in a dog. It takes a lot more skill and experience to use only positive reinforcement to correct these negative behaviors and this is exactly the kind of dog trainer that will deliver the best results.
Before you sign up for a dog training class check with your veterinarian about reputable dog training classes and see which dog trainer your veterinarian would recommend. Find the dog trainer that will encourage you to find and talk to his old clients on your own. A good dog trainer has nothing to hide. Before you sign up for dog training lessons, ask to observe a class. Visit the training class without your pet so that you can get a good idea of how the class is being taught without worrying about controlling your pet in the process. If the trainer won't let you observe a class, then do not enroll. This is not a good sign. A good dog trainer will encourage you and the whole household to participate during training sessions. Avoid dog trainers that insist to training your dog without you being present. This is not a good sign. It is important for you to be present during training sessions so that you can learn how to properly handle your dog. Very often dog trainers mention that in some cases it is more difficult to "train" the owner than it is to train the dog. That is one of the reasons why you need to be able to be a part of the process so that you learn to properly handle the dog after it completes the training. During the session you need to have full understanding of what is happening during the session. During a training session, the trainer will explain everything that is going on. The primary goal will be for you to step in and eventually take over the actual training with your dog. Treats and other positive rewards such as play or a clicker are all positive motivators for dogs. Training is also more fun for your dog when it is done in a positive way. If your trainer uses punishment during training - obviously this is not the kind of dog trainer that you want near your dog. Use of fear, pain and punishment is not a good sign. A dog trainer who believes in positive training will rely on the power of positive reinforcement which is more effective and has way less side effects than negative training approach. A dog trainer who insists that positive reinforcement is not effective is simply not a very gifted dog trainer. Find a more qualified dog trainer. Do not sign up with dog trainers who insist on using a choke chain or an electric color during training. If during a training session you are having doubts about the way your dog is being treated, tell your trainer to stop. Good dog trainers start by sitting down and talking through expectations, concerns and philosophies before starting any actual training or behavior modification work.
Getting a second dog.
Whenever there is an addition in the family such as a second dog, there's so much hassle in the household that it is easy to temporarily forget about the first dog who has been your loyal friend for a long time. To help your first dog accept the newcomer as a new friend rather than a competition make sure to treat your first dog with the same affection and attention as you did before you got the second dog. It is important to keep your first dog as a higher in ranks than the newcomer so that both dogs are comfortable with their positions in the family "pack". Always feed your first dog before you feed the newcomer. Remember to first provide attention and affection to your first dog and only after that you can provide attention and affection to the second dog. By treating your first and second dog this way you are ensuring that both dogs are secure in their positions in the family "pack" and you are eliminating the potential aggression of the first dog towards the newcomer. The setting where you are going to introduce a new dog to your dog is very important. Specialists do not recommend introducing the new dog in your house. Instead have someone bring your dog outside to a place that is neutral to both dogs so that they can have a successful start. Let your dog meet the newcomer and let them sniff each other's tails as this is a natural canine behavior when dogs learn about one another. As soon as the sniffing is over, walk both dogs parallel to one another so that they can accept one another as members of the same pack. This is a natural canine behavior when dogs are walking in a pack - dogs walk in the same direction parallel to one another. After a good walk both dogs should have finished with their eliminating and they are tired and ready to go home. Bring both dogs to your home and it is a good idea to have the newcomer dog walk in with a leash still on so that you can establish the rules around your house in the very first hour of the new dog being there. This way you have a better control of the new dog in your home and it is easier to correct the behavior that will not be allowed in your home from the very beginning. See the video below where an animal behavior specialist is explaining in great detail how to properly introduce a new dog to your dog.
Dog in a car
Dogs need to be properly introduced to new experiences, even if it's as simple as riding in a car. It is never too late to teach your dog that riding in a car can be a fun and relaxing experience. Stay calm and confident whenever you are training your dog because your pet easily picks up on any excitement or nervous energy that you may be projecting. It may help to walk your dog before introducing the animal to riding in a car so that your pet is more relaxed and receptive to learning something new.
Traveling with dogs
Dog car training tips
Get your dog comfortable in a stationary car.
Before your dog can be comfortable traveling in a car, he needs to learn that it is a safe place for him to be. Let your dog first get comfortable in a car that is not moving. Do not start the car as the noise created by starting the car can scare the dog. Your goal is to make your dog as comfortable as possible being in the car. Do not leave the dog alone in the car. Have your dog's favorite treats in the car. Bring with you your dog's favorite toy or a blanket, put it in the car and place your dog there. You can also bring your dog's favorite rawhide bone with you in the car and let him chew on it in the car.
Get your dog comfortable in a moving vehicle.
When you notice that your dog is fully comfortable being in a car that is not moving, it is a good time to start the car. Talk to your dog in a calm voice, to help the dog feel safe in the car that is starting up. Training Tip 6. Do not leave your dog alone in a vehicle. Dogs should never be left alone in a car, especially in the summer. The car's temperature can quickly rise, causing your dog to have a heatstroke. If he is not given immediate medical attention the dog may die.
Dogs and cats living together
Dogs and cats have a different way of establishing friendships within their species. This is a part of the reason why it is very uncommon to see friendly relationships between cats and dogs. By taking their differences into consideration there is a good chance that a dog and a cat can live together as friends.
Proper first introduction is an important step on the road to a life-long friendship. The easiest way is to start the introduction while your dog and cat are still at a young age. Very young kittens and puppies will likely become instant friends as they are still learning about the social behavior. The older they get, the more effort it will take on your part to help their friendship grow. A large, aggressive, territorial dog may have a tough time accepting a new addition to the family especially if it's a cat. For the first introduction meeting it is best to keep the dog and cat under your control. For example, the dog needs to be leashed and the cat may be in a pet box. Do not leave them without supervision until they are comfortable with each other. Also keep in mind that the cat and the dog should have separate feeding plates. Remember to provide a hiding place for the cat where the animal can hide and feel safe from the dog. If you have an aggressive cat then be sure to protect your dog. Be especially mindful of the cat's claws as it may cause serious damage to the dog's eyes and face. Your energy should be calm and confident. This is not the time for raising the excitement level. Your calm energy will help the new friends to feel more at ease with one another.