Dog Training 101: Helpful Resources For Any Age!
Do you have a new dog or puppy and are ready to start training your new furry family member? Proper training and socializing are essential to raising a well-mannered dog. You’ll want to start dog training as soon as you bring them home.
Dog training can be challenging if this is your first dog, but you can do it. By following our complete guide to dog training, you’ll be able to conquer every aspect of shaping your dog into a well-behaved furry friend.
Beginner Basics: Start Here
First things first, we’ll break down the basics of dog training that you’ll want to do first, then work toward training your dog with more complex commands and tricks.
What is the First Thing to Train?
You’ll want to:
- House Train
- Leash Train
- Socialize With Other Animals
- Teach Basic Commands
After your dog has mastered these basics, then you can move to teach more complex commands and tricks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Beginning Dog Training
To have a professional dog trainer come to your home, you can expect to pay between $120 – $400 per session. This is primarily based on where you live and your dog trainer availability.
No, you can train a dog regardless of age. Old dogs can actually learn new tricks and correct destructive behaviors with proper training.
Definitely, just remember that it will take time, dedication, patience, and love.
Best Techniques for Dog Training
There are several different techniques for training a well-behaved dog. We recommend following one of these techniques:
Enroll Your Pup In An Obedience Program
While there are some things you’ll have to train your dog at home on your own, you can get help from professional dog trainers. Enrolling your puppy or dog in an obedience program will help accelerate your dog’s ability to learn and follow basic commands and behaviors.
If you have a new puppy that needs to learn obedience or an older dog that struggles to follow commands, hiring a professional dog trainer is generally a good idea. But not all dog trainers are equal. You’ll want to make sure the trainer is certified with either the:
- Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)
- International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)
The national average for dog training is $30 – $80 per class. Obedience programs generally cost about $200 – $600 per week. Dogs that are being trained as service dogs will typically cost about $120 per hour.
Using positive reinforcement is essential to training and socializing a happy, well-behaved dog. The Humane society outlines several positive reinforcement methods to use while training your dog. Using training treats is a positive way to train your dog.
Follow a Six Week DIY Training Program
There are several different six-week programs for training your dog at home:
- The Best Dog Training Books (2021)
- Family Friendly Dog Training (Ebook)
- Six Weeks to a Well Trained Dog
A fun way to train your dog is by playing games to teach behaviors or commands. You can use games to teach:
- Cognitive Training: Several cognitive games to deepen your bond as well as help your dog be smarter.
- Obedience Training: These are games your puppy will love to play, and it sneakily teaches obedience.
Clicker training is a mark and reward form of positive reinforcement training. You use a clicker to communicate with your dog about what you want. To clicker train, you’ll need a clicker and lots of training treats.
House Training & Crate Training
House training your dog to use the potty outside is the first thing you need to teach your new puppy or dog. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself cleaning up lots of accidents. Following a schedule and being diligent is critical to house training. Follow these proven techniques:
- Crate Training for Dogs and Puppies
- How to House Train Your Dog or Puppy
- How to Stop Submissive and Excitement Urination in a Puppy or Dog
House Training Frequently Asked Questions
No, you can potty train your dog at any age. You’ll want to make sure there aren’t underlying behavior or physical problems that are preventing proper potty training.
It may be a medical issue, so see your vet to rule out a physical problem. Then you’ll want to give your dog lots of breaks and watch for triggers.
Leash Training a Dog or Puppy
Training your dog to walk calmly on a leash without yanking, dragging, or stepping in front of you is another essential skill. It’s also an critical behavior because most places outside your home will require your dog to be on a leash, such as a park, beach, or national parks. Here are some great posts on leash training:
- How to Teach a Puppy to Walk on a Leash
- Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Loose Leash
- 3 Leash Training Techniques to Help A Dog That Pulls
- Train Your Dog to Run Next to a Bike
Frequently Asked Questions About Leash Training
A good age to start leash training for your puppy is about eight weeks old.
If your dog refuses to walk on a leash, you may want to implement these techniques to motivate your dog to move.
This YouTube video gives clear tips to stop leash biting.
How to Socialize a Dog
Socializing your dog is training your dog to accept and be around new people, animals, and different environments. This is done by exposing your puppy or dog to new people, animals, and environments in a safe and controlled manner.
When a dog is well socialized, it welcomes being around new people and animals. Socialization also prevents developing behavior problems.
How to Successfully Socialize a Puppy
It is best to start socializing your puppy between 7 to 12 weeks old. Continue socializing your dog until they are at least 14 weeks old.
Frequently Asked Questions About Socialization
Dogs are healthier and happier when interacting, exercising, and playing with other dogs, people, and children. Socializing teaches them how to listen to others, make friends, and have fun while exercising.
You’ll want to create a positive experience by slowly adding more new people and other animals as your puppy feels more comfortable. Introducing your puppy in a controlled way will help them feel less fearful around others.
No, you don’t need anything special. You just need to show patience, love, and diligence. By slowly introducing your puppy to new people, animals, and places, your dog will grow less fearful and enjoy meeting new people.
No! Dogs can be socialized at any age. But it is vital to socialize them between 8 weeks – 4 months old.
Basic Dog Command Training
Teaching your dog to follow basic commands is vital to creating a structure for your dog to learn and grow happily. Commands also help manage and overcome common dog behavior problems. Here are the essential commands to teach puppies and dogs:
- Teach your Dog: Come, Sit, Down, Heel, and Stay
- 21 Essential Dog Commands
- How to Teach a Dog to Speak
- The 10 Best German Dog Commands Your Dog Can Learn
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Commands
The seven basic commands are: sit, come, down, heel, stay, off, and no.
There is no wrong answer to this question, and you may find this debated among dog trainers. Some suggest using this order: heel, sit, stay, and come. But you’ll want to adapt depending on how well your dog responds.
Fun Tricks to Teach Your Dog
Once your dog or puppy has learned the basics, it’s time to teach your dog some fun tricks. Not only is it a good time, but it is also a great way to bond with your dog. Here are some great tricks to teach your dog:
How to Proof Behaviors
Proofing is the last step of training. Proofing behaviors validates if your dog has learned the behavior and can be obedient in new or social situations. To proof your dog’s training, you need to practice the newly learned behaviors in various situations. Here are some general techniques for proofing dog behavior:
How to Stop Common Behavior Problems
If you are aware and watching for potential behavioral issues, then you can control and correct the problem before it gets unmanageable. Here are a few behavioral issues that are common for dogs:
- Common Dog Behavior Issues: This article covers aggression, barking, destructive chewing, food guarding, howling, mounting and masturbation, nipping, mouthing, separation anxiety, and whining.
- Correcting Dog Behavior: Tips on how to stop unwanted dog behaviors.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Behavior Problems
It’s going to take patience, positive reinforcement, and time. When you understand the triggers that encourage bad behavior, you can help your dog learn self-control and management.
Learn to discipline your dog without hitting using time-outs, voice, toy removal, and not giving attention to your dog.
You’ll need patience, clear communication, repetition, and understanding. Follow these techniques and tips to train your dog that struggles to listen.
There are several reasons your dog licks its paws. It could be environmental, food-based, stress, or an ingredient intolerance. Excessive paw licking is generally because your dog may have yeast, bacteria, or fungi overgrowth.