How to train your dog

How To Train Your Dog

The Easy Way

Everything you must know about training your dog

“Every training session should be enjoyable, positive, and rewarding for your dog.”

By Linda Hamilton

For the safety of your dog, and the vicinity around him, it is good to know how to train your dog. It’s also important to teach your dog some basic commands. 

Get familiar with how dogs behave and how to train them before getting a dog. The best way to train your dog is to use positive reinforcement.

Briefly, it means that you reward your dog when he is behaving correctly.


Having a well-behaving dog requires a functional relationship between you and your dog. By learning to express rules clearly and calmly, so that your dog understands, it’s guaranteed that he will positively react to your commands and learn easily.

The best time to start training your dog is when he is a puppy. So when your new family member arrives, you should start almost immediately. 


Training sessions should be short and the puppy should be full of energy so he is able to focus. Rewarding at the right time, being patient and repetition of the command are important when training a puppy, and also when training an adult dog.



In this article I will tell you all you have to know about training your dog into a healthy and well-behaving companion.

Every training session should be enjoyable, positive, and rewarding for your dog. With these following steps, you can get started.

When training your dog, you have to take many things into consideration.

  1. Keep training sessions short

It is better to do many short training sessions in a day than just one long session. Your dog could get tired and lose focus. Then both of you can get frustrated, and the training goes to waste. Instead, keep it short and repeat it multiple times a day. Therefore it is enjoyable and more effective. When training, cut the tasks into small sections. This way, it’s easier for your dog to learn and understand what you want from him. Don’t move on to another step before your dog knows the first part properly.






2.    Define the rules


Puppies are not born knowing all the rules, and sometimes even adult dogs are not aware of the way that you would like them to behave. So clearly define all the rules you want your dog to follow using different training mechanisms.

Always tell your dog when he is not behaving correctly. Dogs are fast learners, so they learn fast if their actions are allowed or not.


The goal of training is to reward your dog for certain behavior. When you reward him for the behavior he is doing, he will repeat that, and the unwanted behavior, which is left without a reward, will be replaced by the rewarded behavior. This is called positive reinforcement and it is the best way to train
your dog. So that your dog understands what kind of behavior and action is acceptable, it is good that you reward him or leave him unrewarded just at the right moment. It reduces confusion and frustration.


Also, be consistent with the rules you make. Let everyone in the home know what the rules are and advise them to stick to them. For example, if you don’t want your dog on the couch, no one should allow him there. Don’t punish your dog for behavior he has gotten away with before. If someone in your family rewards your dog for unwanted behavior you shouldn’t punish the dog for it because it is not fair to him. Getting a reward one day and being punished the next for the same behavior is confusing for your dog. 






     3.  Behavior problems



At some point, you might notice behavior problems in your dog. These could be barking and jumping up. But there is no need to worry since these behaviors are common and easy to solve. When your dog is misbehaving, the best thing to do is to interrupt it. For example, you can tell him to sit and then reward him for the positive and wanted behavior. So make your dog focus on something else than barking or jumping.





4. How to reward


You can reward your dog in many ways when he is behaving the way you want. For example, you can give him his favorite treats, play with his favorite toy, praise him, or give him affection.


No matter how you reward your dog, ensure it is meaningful for him. For instance, some dogs prefer treats over playing with toys. So find what your dog enjoys the most.







5. Best place for training


I recommend starting training indoors. Thus outdoor distractions, such as other dogs and humans, different sounds, and cars, are not complicating the training session.


With time you can move the training sessions to the outside world, but make sure that the place where you train is calm.


Later on, when the training is secure and your dog can focus, you can move to a place where there are multiple distractions.







6. End with play


When is time to end the training session, or your dog gets bored or tired, that is when you know you need to end it. 


End the training session in a way that makes the situation comfortable for both of you. For example, you can play with his favorite toy or give him affection. This way, it leaves a positive feeling for your dog, and the training sessions are exciting for him.


 So always try your best to end the session on a positive note.







7. Patience


When teaching your dog rules and commands, there is never a situation where the use of physical strength or domination over your dog is allowed or necessary.


A good dog owner is calm and fair. It is important to be able to show your dog if he has made a mistake without the need to scream or get angry. Also, don’t get mad at your dog if his focus is somewhere else. Instead, use treats or toys to get his attention back to you. So know your dog’s limits and learn what works best for him.


Remember that not every training session will be perfect. There will be days when neither of you can’t focus and there will be days when it just doesn’t work. If you are already in a bad mood don’t have a training session with your dog. This could lead to frustration towards your dog if he isn’t performing the way you desire.







8. Individuality


Remember that every dog is an individual. What might work for one dog may not work for the other. If you have more than one dog, you know this from an experience. Some dogs learn immediately, and for some, it takes more time.



I’ve worked with many dogs and therefore experienced different ways dogs learn.



My dog Stacy has a hard time focusing on a task for a long time. Therefore, she gets distracted easily and starts to do other stuff. But then, Bruno, her brother, focuses so hard. He also learns everything so fast it is mind-blowing. Stacy was so much harder to potty train than Bruno. And also, daily walks with Stacy used to be a nightmare because it was so hard for her to focus on walking beside me. She rather jumped, barked, and pulled on the leash, when Bruno just calmly walked beside me. But then again Stacy’s personality is more bubbly, and she has more sense of humor than Bruno. She makes her own rules sometimes while Bruno is an old soul who likes his peace, and because he is so calm he always listens to me. Stacy doesn’t have time to listen to me because she has so many other things going on.


I love both with all my heart. It is so fascinating how they can be so different. Also, it is so interesting how their personalities have such a big effect on the way they learn.








Get help


Training your dog takes time and it can be a challenge.



Still, it is something all dog owners have to face. Remember that this is a journey you get to experience with your dog and luckily you don’t have to do it all alone!



 You can find a professional dog trainer close to you.



Just a few clicks away you can join a training program that happens online. 



This is just the thing for you if you don’t want to do it all alone.


Or if you enjoy reading here are a few dog training books you may like:





2 thoughts on “How to train your dog”

  1. Oh wow! I’ve been searching through the internet trying to find an article that would tell me about basic dog training, and finally I found one that is easy to read and full of good content! Thank you so much Linda 😇

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