12 Must-Know Dog Training Tips For Beginners

dog training in the park

Attempting to train your new dog can be daunting for new dog owners. With the right dog training tips, you can confidently navigate this path.

Knowing your dog’s breed can really help since each breed has its own vibe. And training in environments helps a ton because it keeps them sharp and listening, no matter where you are.

Also, train your dog before mealtime. They’re more eager to listen when they know food is coming. Keep those training sessions short to keep their attention.

Crate training is a big win for giving them their own chill space. And treats? Use them wisely to reward the good stuff they do.

Just remember to be super consistent with commands and patient. It’s all about making training feel like a fun game rather than a chore.

This guide will walk you through the best essential training tips to start you on the right path.

1. Know Your Dog’s Breed

different dog breeds

Before you start training your dog, you must first understand your dog’s breed top characteristics.

Different breeds possess distinct traits and tendencies that can influence their training process.

You can then tailor your training approach for more effective results.

Here are some examples.

Herding Breeds

These dogs are known for their intelligence and energy. They excel in tasks that involve problem-solving and physical activity.

Training should include mental stimulation and regular exercise.

Popular herding breeds:

  • Border Collies
  • Corgis
  • Shelties
  • Australian Shepherds

Hound Breeds

Hounds are led by their noses due to their superb sense of smell.

Their training might focus on recall exercises and managing their strong tracking instincts.

Popular hound breeds:

  • Bloodhounds
  • Beagles
  • Dachshund

Working Breeds

These breeds are often protective and loyal.

They respond well to obedience training and tasks that give them a sense of purpose.

Popular working breeds:

  • German Shepherds
  • Huskies
  • Dobermans
  • Rottweilers

Sporting Breeds

Energetic and friendly, these dogs are great at retrieving, playing fetch and swimming activities.

Clicker training as well as practicing retrieving work well on these dogs.

Popular sporting breeds:

  • Labradors
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Spaniels
  • English Pointers

2. Training In Different Environments

Slowly introduce your dog to public spaces to ensure they follow commands amidst greater chaos.

Training your dog in different environments is essential for reinforcing its command responsiveness.

Dogs can get used to certain places, so exposing them to various locations helps them follow commands in any setting.

Start in a familiar low-distraction area like your living room where your dog can concentrate and learn basic commands.

As your dog responds better, take the training outdoors like the backyard to introduce your dog to external stimuli like wildlife and new sounds.

Slowly introduce your dog to public spaces to ensure it follows your commands in busy places.

This step-by-step training method not only enhances obedience but also builds your dog’s confidence and trust.

3. Train Before Meal Time

dog eating hungrily

Did you know that training your dog before meals can be a highly effective strategy?

As a dog owner myself, I know how greedy my dog can get. And when there’s food coming a dog’s obedience level goes up a notch or two.

This approach leverages your dog’s natural hunger to enhance focus and motivation during training sessions.

Related Article: Guide For New Dog Owners

4. Keep The Training Sessions Short

Too long and your dog will start to lose focus and start getting distracted.

Lengthy marathon training sessions aren’t helpful for your dog.

The aim is to keep it short and sweet.

A study has shown that a dog’s attention and learning abilities tend to improve until middle age and then decline.

Aim for 3-5 minutes per training session.

Too long and your dog will start to lose focus and start getting distracted.

Remember, training with your dog should be a fun and engaging experience for both of you, not a chore.

5. Don’t Forget To Crate Train

Cate training is an important part of dog ownership.

It is a great way to provide a safe and comfortable space for your dog at every stage of its life.

For young dogs, it’s an effective tool in housebreaking and establishing routines.

While for older dogs, it offers a familiar, safe space to retreat if they face age-related challenges like anxiety or health issues.

6. Pepper In Passive Training

Passive training is a gentle yet effective way to reinforce good behavior in your dog.

This form of training focuses on rewarding desirable behaviors as they naturally occur throughout the day.

Your dog is learning all the time.

For example, if you see your pup sitting or lying calmly next to you, praise it for being such a good dog.

Or if your dog is chewing on its toy calmly instead of the furniture, that’s a great moment to reward your dog.

This method not only encourages good behavior but also deepens the connection between you and your dog.

7. Use Treats Effectively

The timing of the treat reward is important.

Besides meal times, many dogs are always happy to receive as many treats as possible.

Treats serve as a strong motivator, encouraging dogs to repeat good behaviors.

Choosing the right treats is also key. They should be small, appealing and suitable for quick consumption to maintain focus during training.

I prefer to bake my dog’s treats which I find to be healthier than those sold outside.

But if you are pressed for time, buying healthy dog treats works fine as well.

The timing of the treat reward is important.

Giving your dog a treat right after it has done a desired behavior helps the dog associate the treat with its action.

As your dog’s behavior becomes more consistent, the frequency of treats can be reduced and replaced by praise.

9. Be Consistent

Consistency is the golden rule in dog training, much like following a set recipe when learning to cook.

Keeping the instructions the same every time makes it easier for your dog to understand and follow what you’re teaching.

Use the same words and actions for each command.

If “sit” works today, use “sit” every time.

This consistency helps your dog quickly recognize and respond to your commands.

Try to have your training sessions at the same time each day.

Dogs love routines and they learn faster when they know what to expect and when.

9. Be Patient

You need to be patient when you’re training your dog.

Your dog is not going to get it right get it right on the first few attempts and that’s okay.

Dogs have their good and bad days as well.

They need time to figure things out and getting upset or rushing them won’t help.

When you’re patient, your dog feels safe thus making the whole training thing a lot more fun for both of you.

Remember to celebrate those little wins and enjoy the time you spend teaching your furry buddy.

10. Don’t Punish Your Dog

dog getting scolded

If someone yelled at you every time you made a mistake, you’d feel pretty lousy, right?

It’s the same for dogs.

If you punish your dog each time it doesn’t do as commanded, it will get scared and confused.

As your dog grows more afraid of you, whatever bond and trust you have built will start to erode.

Instead of punishing, try to show your dog what you’d like it to do.

Training your dog is about building a bond, not breaking their spirit.

11. Avoid Pushing Your Dog Too Hard

When your dog is having a hard time with a certain command, remember to hit the pause button and take a break.

Watch for signs in your dog’s body language that indicate frustration or stress.

That’s your signal to take a breather.

During the break, switch things up with some playtime or cuddles to keep things light and fun.

When you both feel more relaxed, give the command another go. Or start with something easier to get your dog back in the groove.

12. Find The Right Tone Of Voice

When you’re training your dog, the tone of voice matters.

Every dog is unique, and they don’t all respond the same way to our voices.

Some dogs might perk up and listen better when you use a soft, gentle voice.

On the other hand, some dogs might need a firmer, more assertive tone.

Experiment a little to see what works for both of you.

Once you find that sweet spot with your tone of voice, it can make a world of difference in how your dog responds to training.

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