9 Simple Secrets to Training Your Dog

Secrets to Training Your Dog

A well-trained dog makes for a happy dog parent and an obedient dog. When your dog is adequately trained, you can expect fewer scenarios of them acting out, destroying your furniture or becoming a safety risk to those outside your household. 


However, for first-time dog owners and those who have never trained a dog, training can be challenging when done independently. You might find that shouting at your dog doesn’t stop them from acting out, nor do some practices stop them from repeated bad behavior. 


If you want to know how to train your dog effectively, these are some dog training secrets to keep in mind the next time you try to work on your dog’s behavior. With these secrets, you’ll turn your dog into the best pup they can be!


9 Secrets to Dog Training You Should Know


Training your furry friend can sometimes feel like solving a complex puzzle, but worry not, as we have gathered dog training secrets to help you become the best dog trainer.


1. Teach Your Dog To Pay Attention First

One of the most critical dog training secrets is getting them to focus on you. Whether that’s saying their name, whistling or clicking your tongue, there should be a go-to signal that gets them to pay attention to you. This is the first step toward establishing communication and keeping a dog attentive to your commands. 


Additionally, it’s not enough for your dog to be focused during training – you should be just as focused. Put your phone aside, don’t do anything distracting like eating a snack in front of your dog, and give your furry friend your full attention. When you’re both mentally present, you can bond and learn to pick up cues from each other. 


2. Have a Name for Every Action

Getting your dog to follow your commands isn’t like programming or using any language to tell Siri or Alexa what to do. It’s training your dog to associate a specific action with a particular word. While your dog may not understand complete sentences, they can recognize words. The goal is to associate the proper behavior with these words, so every action you teach them needs a specific name.


We recommend starting their training by teaching them the basics: their name, potty training, crate training, sit, stay, heel, wait and lie down. Once your dog has mastered these commands, you can explore fun commands like shaking their hand or finding a specific family member. 


3. Start Training in Distraction-Free Environments

Though this isn’t necessary in some older dogs, this is mainly a good idea among puppies and older dogs who have never been trained. Training in a dog park might seem like a good idea, but there are plenty of distractions out of your control that could redirect your dog’s focus. Alternatively, if you live in a home filled with people, training in a room with high foot traffic may also be a distraction. 


Try to plan and schedule your training in quiet environments. Ideally, it should be a room or space with no toys and no one to distract your dog. 


4. You Might Be Rewarding Bad Behavior 

It’s already a given that bad behavior shouldn’t be rewarded. Unfortunately, you might unknowingly be reinforcing your dog’s bad behavior by unintentionally rewarding them. This gives them the idea that bad behavior gives them what they want, making training more difficult. 


For example, if you’re giving your puppy attention when they try jumping at you or if you feed them from your plate when they beg. You could be undoing your training attempts by giving in to these behaviors. As much as you want to give in, don’t give your attention to them unless they behave correctly. 


5. Understand What They Consider High-Value Rewards

No human likes working for pocket change, and neither do dogs. Your dog is unlikely to cooperate in training if they’re finding that the rewards you’re giving them aren’t worth the effort of complying. What dogs count as a “high-value” reward can vary between pets, so feel free to explore and find what their favorite treats are. Some pets may be food-driven where treats are their high-value reward, others may be toy-driven and others may be driven by praise and affection.


Giving your dog high-value rewards during training serves as a powerful motivator for your dog. These create excitement and eagerness in your dog to work and learn, making the training process much more enjoyable and effective. Additionally, it creates a positive association between you and those rewards. This positive association reinforces your dog’s perception of you as the source of good things, building trust and enhancing your bond. 


6. Socialize Your Puppy

If you have a new puppy, socializing them with their surroundings can make training more manageable for both of you. Puppy socialization involves introducing them to their environment and surroundings as everyday people, items or events, which can ease their fears of being in a new home. When done right, socialization gives them a pleasant experience and teaches them not to be afraid. Alternatively, improper socialization can traumatize your puppy and make them more hesitant, especially when actions involve things they fear. 


Socializing your dog helps build their confidence and friendly nature. A well-socialized dog is likely to be calm, relaxed, and happy when encountering new experiences. Exposing your dog to various people, dogs, and environments teaches them how to interact appropriately and positively. They will learn how to communicate effectively and read the body language of other dogs and humans. Socialization also provides mental stimulation for your dog, preventing boredom and potentially destructive behaviors.


7. Positive vs. Negative Reinforcement

If you’re wondering about the impact of positive versus negative reinforcement, positive reinforcement can have lasting effects on your training. The idea behind positive reinforcement is to encourage the dog to repeat the behavior by associating it with something enjoyable. This can include treats, praise, toys or any other positive interaction with the dog.


One recommended way of using positive reinforcement is through the use of clickers. Press the clicker while providing the reward when they perform a desired activity. This helps them understand that the behavior is good and associated with treats. 


8. Short Training Over Long Periods

There’s no shortcut to good doggy behavior. If you plan to train your dog, have a lot of patience, as it can take a while for dogs to develop the right behaviors, especially among puppies. Training is more effective in shorter sessions, as it doesn’t overwhelm your pet and frustrate both of you. Dogs have limited attention spans, so keep training sessions short, typically around 5 to 10 minutes. 


Additionally, training in short bursts helps to keep the dog’s enthusiasm and motivation levels high. Dogs are naturally energetic and eager to please, so shorter sessions help to capitalize on their natural drive. By ending a training session while the dog is still engaged and actively participating, you can end on a positive note that excites your dog for the next session. In contrast, long, tiresome and monotonous sessions may demotivate your dog.


9. Invest in the Right Crate

Crate training is one of the first things you should teach your dog. A crate provides a safe and secure space that helps in various aspects, such as potty training, preventing destructive behavior and ensuring their safety. Crate training also assists in housebreaking and teaching dogs to control their bladder and bowel movements, as dogs will want to keep their space clean. 


While crate training is essential, keep in mind that the type of crate you use also affects how successful training will be. Ideally, your dog’s crate should be at least four inches taller and longer than your dog to keep them comfortable. It’s much better to have a crate that’s too big than one that’s too small, as a cramped crate can make it difficult for your dog to feel comfortable. 


Unleash Fido Knows the Secrets to Effective Dog Training 


At Unleash Fido, we understand the importance of proper dog training. Your new furry friend needs some training to adjust as a new family member. If you lack the experience or means to foster good behavior or provide the proper training, our team is happy to offer our services. 


We offer specialized training options depending on your dog’s breed, behavior, and existing bad habits. Our trainers provide humane but firm guidance to provide the necessary training. From rowdy puppies with no training experience to older dogs needing behavior modification, we recommend the appropriate training program. 


Contact Unleash Fido today to discuss the right training program to turn your pet into the best boy or girl they can be.