Top 14 Best Dog Training Tips

Did you know that almost a million pets were adopted in 2021? That’s so many pets that got to go to new and loving homes and so many people searching for the best dog training tips! Are you going to be part of that statistic for 2022?

Best-dog-training-tips

Getting a new dog is exciting. You’re bringing a new friend into your household! Training the dog, however, is a different story.

Training is frustrating, but if you want your dog (and your home) to be safe, it’s essential. We’re here with the best dog training tips so you can get started.

Read on to learn more.

1. Start Right Away

From the moment that you bring a new dog home, the training begins. Whether your dog is a brand-new puppy or an older dog from a shelter, you need to make sure that they know who’s boss and what they should be doing.

Many people think that puppies are too young to learn. Puppies are difficult to train, they need more sleep than adult dogs, and they have shorter attention spans. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start teaching them the basics. 

Older dogs may not need as much training depending on their backgrounds. If your dog came from a household that trained it well, you may only need to make a few small adjustments, if you need them at all. Some dogs, however, came from neglectful environments or they were strays, and they’ll need more training. 

It’s often difficult to “teach an old dog new tricks,” but it’s not impossible as long as you establish the learning process right away. 

Tips-For-Training-My-Dog

2. Keep Training Fun

Just like children, dogs learn best when they’re able to have fun and play games. If you can turn training sessions into enjoyable experiences, your dog will pick things up more quickly. 

You can’t force a dog to do what you want it to do. While some people choose to discipline their dogs or use force, this will result in dogs who are either skittish or aggressive.

By keeping things light and interesting, your dog will understand that learning commands isn’t a punishment. They’ll equate them with playtime and rewards.

There will be some situations in which you’ll have to be more strict with your dog, but for the most part, aim to have fun with the training process. 

3. Don’t Aim for Long Sessions

This is one of the best dog training tips for puppies. While all dogs have short attention spans, puppies are the worst. They’re easily distracted and they have no interest in learning for long periods of time (even though dogs love to learn). Remember, they’re like toddlers. 

It will benefit both you and the dog to keep training sessions brief and give your dog plenty of breaks. 15 to 20 minutes is often more than enough to help your dog learn.

It’s a good idea to use commands while you’re between training sessions, like during playtime or on walks, just to solidify them in your dog’s mind. 

4. Redirect Negative Energy and Behavior

This is another one of the best dog training tips for puppies. When they get too rowdy, or when they’re doing something that they’re not supposed to do, find a way to redirect them. 

Dog-Training-Tips

When your puppy is chewing on something that it’s not supposed to chew on, like a sleeve or your finger, it might seem cute. It won’t be cute when the puppy is causing actual damage when it gets older. 

Instead of allowing that behavior, place a chew toy or rope in the dog’s mouth. This should distract them and let them know that there are appropriate things to chew on in the house.

Your puppy is teething, so don’t discourage chewing in general. Just make sure that it’s not harming you or your home!

5. Consider Training Classes

When your dog is a puppy, you have access to plenty of affordable training classes at puppy daycares or pet supply stores. Take advantage of this by attending at least one class.

While one class won’t be enough to train your dog, it will get your dog used to other dogs and it will give you an idea of what you should be doing when you’re training the dog at home.

Pay close attention to what the trainer does while they’re training the puppies. Mimic that behavior at home. Remember, they’re professionals.  

6. Always Start with the Basics

It’s tempting to get your dog to learn tricks right away, but basic commands will be easier for your dog to understand and more useful for you. They keep your dog and other dogs safe.

The most important commands for any dog are going to be “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” “Leave it” is another important one.

Dog training basics

When you’re out and about with your dog, you want to be able to get its attention and stop any inappropriate actions right away. If they’re straying too close to another dog, for example, you want to be able to call them back without having to pull on them.

“Leave it” is important because your dog may try to go for things that aren’t safe for it. Dangerous foods or another household pet’s toys are good examples of this. When you drop an onion on the floor while cooking, you don’t want that to be the first time that you try to get your dog to leave something alone. 

7. Pay Attention to Your Dog’s Reactions

Just like your dog has to pay attention to you during training sessions, you have to pay attention to your dog. Notice how it reacts when you give it commands, even if it doesn’t follow them yet.

If your dog isn’t understanding something, you may need to change your methods. Remember that all dogs are different and they’ll all respond differently to teaching methods. 

This is also important when you’re choosing rewards or discipline methods for your dog. You want to make sure that you’re motivating your dog in the right way. If it becomes desensitized or bored by whatever you’re using, you’ll have to pay attention to this so you can change things up. 

8. Don’t Hesitate to Praise or Discipline

As we mentioned before, dogs have brief attention spans. They can remember things long-term, but their short-term memory isn’t fantastic. This means that it’s crucial to praise or discipline your dog for their behavior as soon as it happens, if possible.

So what does this look like in practice?

When you’re training your dog and it obeys a command, you should praise or reward them as soon as they finish. The second your dog’s bottom hits the ground when you tell them to sit, they get a reward. 

This is also true for discipline. If your dog chews or bites on something that it’s not supposed to, immediately discipline your dog (we’ll talk about proper discipline methods later on). This will help them understand that the action was inappropriate.

This will take some getting used to, and there are some situations in which it won’t be possible. Your dog will develop the ability to remember and understand when it misbehaved when you weren’t around, but that will take time.

We’ve all seen videos of dogs “looking guilty” when they’ve made a mess in the house while the owner wasn’t home! While they’re not “really” feeling guilty, they do know when they’ve done something wrong and you’re going to be unhappy with them. 

9. Reward Good Behavior

It’s always better to use positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement when it comes to training (though you may need to use both depending on the situation). Dogs are reward-motivated and they want to please you. 

Find the right reward for your dog. For most dogs, the best rewards are treats. That said, too many treats can cause your dog to gain weight.

If your dog responds well to treats, we recommend breaking the treat into pieces so you don’t have to feed it too many during your training session.

At the end of training sessions, consider rewarding your dog with something larger, like a toy or a large chewable treat.  

10. Don’t Be Mean to Your Dog

Use the carrot, not the stick. When your dog does something wrong, you can be strict but not mean. Do not harm your dog physically or psychologically.

Remember that your dog is still learning. It doesn’t understand that it’s doing something wrong and it’s trying to take in a lot of information at once. It will make mistakes.

Yelling at a dog loudly or swatting it when it does something wrong will cause the dog to fear you. You can use a stern voice and your body language to let a dog know that its behavior was unacceptable. 

When you’re teaching basic commands, withhold treats when the dog isn’t obeying. Don’t punish the dog. 

11. Stay Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to training a dog. One of the best dog obedience training tips that we can give you is to make sure that you’re consistent with training methods, rewards, and discipline methods. 

Your dog has a hard enough time understanding commands. If you’re constantly switching up commands and how you respond to the dog’s behavior, you’ll confuse it even more. The only exception to this is if a dog is clearly not understanding what you’re trying to teach it.

You also need to be patient. It’s going to be difficult to stay consistent with your training method if the dog isn’t learning as quickly as you’d like. Keep up with it and you will see results.

12. Allow Time to Decompress

After training sessions, make sure that your dog has time to expend some energy and play. Whether this means that you go for a long walk, let them play in the yard, or have a fun indoor playing session, do something that your dog enjoys.

Some dogs prefer to relax after training, but this is uncommon. If this is the case, give your dog a toy or a chewable treat so it can go lay down and rest after the tough training session. 

13. “Trial Run” in Public

Teaching your dog commands and tricks at home is one thing. Getting your dog to listen to those commands in public is a whole other story. Outside, there are so many things to distract your dog, so it’s more difficult for them to focus on your commands.

Start using commands while your dog is on short walks. Keep in mind that you may have to use them more than once, especially if your dog is a puppy or if you’re in a new place.

Once your dog has that down, consider taking it to a dog park (as long as it isn’t aggressive). Once your dog is able to obey commands when it’s in public, you know that you’ve done a good job training. 

14. Hire a Professional for Help

If you’re struggling to train a stubborn or “unteachable” dog, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional dog trainer. Even a few sessions with a trainer will help your dog learn.

Dog trainer

These sessions are one-on-one and it’s common for the trainer to visit you to do them. This way, the dog gets to learn in a comfortable and familiar environment.

The trainer may also give you helpful instructions for training your dog when they’re not around. 

Try the Best Dog Training Tips Today

These dog training tips are sure to help you get your furry friend listening to commands and behaving as soon as possible. Remember: you have to be patient with your new canine companion. They’re trying to learn so many things at once!

As long as you stay consistent and make training fun, you’re sure to have a good experience.

Are you looking for more helpful information about pet ownership? Visit the rest of the blog for tips and tricks! Start with this post about potty training your new puppy.

Leash Training A Puppy That Bites The Leash

Leash-Training-A-Puppy-That-Bites-The-Leash

Are you trying to teach your puppy to stop biting their leash to no avail? You have found the right article!

Leash training a puppy that bites the leash when walking can be very frustrating, especially if you have a playful little pup. Your dog might be biting the leash for many reasons, including excitement, anxiety, or frustration. 

Training your new puppy to do anything takes time. Walking nicely can be a huge challenge for your puppy. Yet, you can get them to stop this bad behavior in several ways.

All you need are some treats and patience.

Keep reading to learn our best puppy tips to stop leash biting. 

Leash Training A Puppy That Bites The Leash- 7 Tips

1. Start Early

Of all puppy tips, this is the most important and couldn’t be more important when Leash training a puppy that bites the leash. While puppies are adorable and difficult to say no to, remember that consistency is key and the earlier you can start the better.

Reinforcing bad behavior by basically not correcting it just makes it harder to correct the habit in the future.

As soon as you start walking your puppy on the leash, you need to start leash training your puppy. It is recommended that you start this training in your living room by just letting them feel comfortable having the leash on.

Training your puppy not to bite the leash before it starts happening on walks is like teaching your toddler to say please and thank you. 

Start by holding the leash in your hand when it is not attached to your dog. Then, calmly dangle it in front of them. If they do not attack it, give them a treat.

If they do, drop the leash, hold their collar, and wait for them to drop it. Once they let go you can reward them with a treat. When your dog bites the leash many times during this experiment, try backing up further. 

After each session, use a tug toy to play. We recommend these in particular here. They are very good for tug of war purposes and are even pretty good for them to chew on.

Owner Note this particular brand we recommended above or any rope for that matter needs to be monitored. If the ropes start to come apart and the puppy starts eating it, it can be bad news.. It can get caught in their intestines. They last awhile but just monitor your pup while they chew the rope or really any toy.

Every day that you begin training again try to make the session more difficult for your dog. Wave the leash around or drag it on the ground to enable their need to play. 

Soon, your dog will know that the leash is not something they are supposed to play with. The puppy will leave it alone. 

2. Don’t Wrestle

Leash Training A Puppy That Bites The Leash

When our puppies bite the leash on a walk, it’s tempting to yank it away from them. Yet, doing so makes them think that you are playing a game. It only makes them hold on tighter. 

If your dog does this on a walk, ignore the behavior for as long as you can. When you can stop in a safe area, do so and hold their collar calmly until they drop the leash. 

Always reward your puppy when they drop the leash. Ignoring them while they have it in their mouth ensures that they will not confuse biting the leash with playing a game.

3. Get a Quality Leash

A quality leash can be a good tool to help your dog stop chewing and encourage you to keep training. A cheap leash can both be unsafe and unmotivating.

Cheap, thin, and breakable leashes will not hold up during training. You may spend more replacing your cheap leashes than on the quality leash itself.

When you opt for a higher quality puppy leash( like this one we recommend that discourages biting and pulling), you as the owner will be more motivated to help your dog out of this behavior due to the expense of the leash. 

This particular high quality puppy leash seems to have a lot of positive reviews on Amazon. They also have ranges of this type of collar (under 5 lbs, and XL dogs 130 Lbs or more) and all ranges in between.

Retractable leashes are also a no-go. Often, they are made out of a thin cord that is known to break and put you both in harm’s way. Plus if you give dogs too much leeway, especially puppies its hard to possibly lose control over them. It’s not difficult to find horror stories about them online. You may have one of your own. 

4. Use Positive Reinforcement

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Puppy Leash Training

As you probably know, positive reinforcement goes a long way with puppies, especially when you are leash training a puppy that bites the leash. It is the key to teaching them a new trick or to stop tearing at the leash.

Rewarding behavior you want is much more effective than punishing bad behavior. Punishing your dog for bad behavior can keep your dog from learning to behave and hinder the learning process.  

Once you start leash training, make sure you leave the house every time with a pocket full of treats. Be sure that every time they walk without biting, they are getting rewarded.

Additionally, as you reward them with treats, reward them physically and verbally too. Give them a scratch on the head or a nice pat. During this, tell them that they are doing a good job in a cheerful voice. 

Positive reinforcement makes your puppy want to behave and learn. If biting on the leash has become a difficult thing for them, give them your best treats when they go an entire walk without biting. 

Keep in mind, you do not want to reward your puppy for no reason. Giving them treats when they’ve done nothing to deserve it can set back your progress. An unwarranted treat can become confusing for your puppy. 

5. Be Aware of Triggers

If you notice that your training puppy only bites right when you leave the house, when other dogs are around, or something else, take note. Something related to your walk may be triggering them. 

Based on their trigger, try to accommodate their needs. This could look like taking them on walks with other dogs, choosing a quiet route, or trying a new leash. 

6. Give Your New Puppy an Outlet

Giving your puppy an outlet during walks could be very beneficial. Instead of rewarding them with treats, reward them with a tugging toy. Starting with treats and moving onto the tug toy can eliminate confusion in your pup. 

After your puppy has the basics of leash pulling and responds to rewards, try bringing along a long toy that you can hold while they tug on it. 

You can start this by showing your puppy the tug toy and the leash at the same time. If they choose the tug toy, give them a treat. If they choose the leash, wait to reward them until they drop it. 

7. Try Alternative Methods

If regular old puppy training doesn’t work, you may need to consider an alternative method. There are many alternate training methods out there, and one may work much better than typical training. 

Bitter Apple

Bitter apple is a substance you can put on your leash to deter your dog from biting. The liquid is safe for consumption, but your dog will not like the taste. Therefore, they are less likely to chew on it. 

No-Pull Leash 

No-pull leashes or no-pull harnesses are designed to stop your dog from pulling. Since the end of the leash is located on their back, it’s also more difficult for them to bite it. We recommend this one here. Some of the benefits of this no pull leash are as follows:

  • Comes in sizes of small all the way to XL
  • Reflective coloring that makes it easy to see you and your pup on night walks
  • NO Pull and NO Choke It wraps around their chest Not the neck

Some of these leashes can create pain when rubbing. Pay close attention to your puppy during and after walks to make sure that the leash is not causing them any pain. 

Head Halters and Muzzles

Head halters and muzzles are typically the last things people use to break their puppy of leash biting. The only reason you would really elect to go this route would be if you tried and tried the methods above and you still can’t get a handle on it.

If you decide that a muzzle or head halter is necessary, then this “gentle leader” is what we recommend. Can be seen here

What I really liked about this one was a few things:

.Teaches better leash manners because it prevents pulling, jumping and lunging

Has over 45,000 reviews and counting and most seem to be positive

Very easy to fit any size type of dog (petite on up to xl size)

When head halters and muzzles are used properly, they can be an effective tool. Be sure that you know how to put it on and use it so you do not accidentally hurt your dog. 

Pain and punishment can lead to an escalation of bad behavior in your dog. Even as a last resort, hurting your puppy should never be an option. While using this alternate method, confirm that your dog is comfortable and happy.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is another way to use positive reinforcement. When your dog stops biting or lets go of its leash, you use the clicker and give them a treat. Or you could simply use the clicker to stop them once they start biting the leash.

This clicker here is what we would recommend. Its just under $7 and it can be used for a variety of dog training not just leash training. You can teach them to do tricks, stop other unwanted behavior its really up to you.

This way, your dog associates good behavior with the click sound and knows they will be rewarded.

For this to work, you must be sure that your dog understands what the clicker means. You can start by making the click sound every time they go potty outside, and then slowly move onto leash training. 

Find More Puppy Tips 

Raising a puppy is a thrilling experience that many of us are lucky enough to enjoy. Yet, when bad behavior like leash biting begins to rear its head, you have to nip it in the bud. 

Using many of these puppy tips is sure to help you and your pup get along just fine. Our website, My Furry Friend, wants to help you learn about all the ins and outs of raising a puppy. Subscribe to our blog to read all about it.

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