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Dog Obedience Tips

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Dog Obedience Tips

I’ve been training dogs since the late 1970’s. I’ve trained obedience dogs, search and rescue dogs and service dogs.


  • Dogs are first animals, then dogs, then a particular breed and finally, they are individuals. This means that we can’t treat them like a machine or as a tool. We also can’t expect them to act as we humans do. Each breed has been refined to do the job they were created for and you need to be reasonable in your expectations. You are setting yourself up for a lot of hard work if you are attempting to turn your Bassett into a bird dog or your Pug into an expert tracker. Finally, each dog is an individual so not all German Shepards will want to obey and not every Labrador will be an expert with the dumbbell. Do your homework and temperament test before you decide on which puppy will be best for you.


  • Be consistent! Especially when you first start training. Ideally only one person should do the training. Even if you use the same cues, each person has different timing and voice inflections. This is confusing to the dog when they are trying to learn something new.


  • You never need to mistreat or abuse your dog to get results. There are many different ways to train a dog. The school of thought that you use to teach the “sit”, may not work to teach the “heel”.  Read up on the various methods available and talk to or watch different trainers as they approach problems. Remember, dogs are individuals and what works for one dog may not work for another.


  • Puppies should be trained differently than an adult dog. Puppies go through “fear” periods and you need to take this into account or you can traumatize them.


  • To socialize your pet properly, I highly recommend taking your dog to group training sessions. Find a reputable trainer and spend time to watch them before making a decision. They should know how to properly train a puppy. Watch how they deal with aggression and fear. You want a trainer that stays calm, knows when and how to administer discipline and definitely knows when and how to give praise.