The time it takes to train a dog varies according to the dog and what you’re attempting to train. Housetraining a puppy usually only takes a few weeks, if adhering to a proven training system with a typically intelligent puppy. Beginner behavioral or “manners” training courses typically run 6 weeks. Obedience training typically takes 2-3 sessions per new skill—if you are practicing with your dog multiple times a day in between sessions, and if your dog is young.

Once your dog can stay, you can gradually increase the distance. This is also true for the “sit.” The more solidly he learns it, the longer he can remain sitting. The key is to not expect too much, too soon. Training goals are achieved in increments, so you may need to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. To make sure the training “sticks,” sessions should be short and successful.
Based on the principles of social learning, model-rival training uses a model, or a rival for attention, to demonstrate the desired behaviour.[65] The method was used by Irene Pepperberg to train Alex the African Grey Parrot to label a large number of objects. McKinley and Young undertook a pilot study on the applicability of a modified version of the model-rival method to the training of domestic dogs, noting that the dog's origins as a member of large and complex social groups promote observational learning. The model-rival training involved an interaction between the trainer, the dog, and a person acting as a model-rival, that is, a model for desired behaviour and a rival for the trainer's attention. In view of the dog, a dialogue concerning a particular toy commenced between the trainer and the model-rival. The trainer praised or scolded the model-rival depending on whether the model-rival had named the toy correctly. It was found that the performance times for completion of the task were similar for dogs trained with either operant conditioning or the model rival method. In addition, the total training time required for task completion was comparable for both methods.[66]

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She is calm in the car, and loves going in the car. Sometimes when we drive only a few blocks she will jump out but will not want to walk anywhere or leave the side of the car (in the evenings). And sometimes she won’t leave the car at all. But, if we go to the park in the evening she’s totally fine and will jump out and is ready to play at the park. Now we’ve been taking her to the park in the evenings. At the dog park we’ve been taking her to she has never experienced a thunderstorm.
Anxious dogs may also feel extra anxious when around other dogs or other people. It can take time for your pet to become acclimated to all the changes of being in your home. This can be especially true if you already have other pets living at home. Together they must “figure each other out” and find familiarity in their space. Until that happens, there can be extra moments of stress or anxiety for your pet.

Strictly following the model set out in the Koehler Method of Dog Training, some 50 years later, the Koehler method continues to be taught in both class and private training formats. The method is based in the philosophy that a dog acts on its right to choose its actions. Koehler explained that a dog's learned behavior is an act of choice based on its own learning experience. When those choices are influenced by the expectation of reward, the behavior will most likely be repeated, and when those choices are influenced by the anticipation of punishment, they will most likely cease. Once the dog has learned that its choices result in comfort or discomfort it can be taught to make the correct decisions. Action→Memory→Desire encapsulates the learning pattern used by the method; the dog acts, remembers the consequences, and forms the desire to repeat or avoid those consequences. Adherents believe that once the behavior has been correctly taught, it should be performed, thus making any correction, fair, reasonable, and expected.[57] While the model has been used consistently since 1962, some of the punishment procedures described in the book are now not considered necessary, humane, or appropriate by many trainers.[23]
Encourage him to enter the crate. Once you've made the crate an inviting space, use treats to lure him inside. At first, place some outside the door so he can explore the exterior of the crate. Then, place treats just inside the door, so he will poke his head in to retrieve them. As he grows more comfortable, place the treats further and further inside the crate.

Does your dog have specific concerns that cannot be addressed in a larger class such as extreme fear issues? If so, then you will need to be aware that these issues cannot be addressed in a traditional obedience class and need to be handled before class. In these cases, it is best to enroll in a fearful Fido’s class or bring in a specialty trainer to conquer these concerns before enrolling in a large obedience class.
If you can teach your dog polite manners without hurting or frightening her, why not do it? Rather than punishing her for all the things you don’t want her to do, concentrate on teaching your dog what you do want her to do. When your dog does something you like, convince her to do it again by rewarding her with something she loves. You’ll get the job done without damaging the relationship between you and your best friend.
The foundation of training should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a pay check for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values.  Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him.  It is important to remember that we can’t expect dogs to know what they don’t know – just like you wouldn’t expect a 2-year-old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.
Set up his private den. He needs "a room of his own." From the earliest possible moment give your pup or dog his own, private sleeping place that's not used by anyone else in the family, or another pet. He'll benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of his den. Reward him if he remains relaxed and quiet. His den, which is often a crate, will also be a valuable tool for housetraining.
Consequences must be consistent When training your dog, you-and everyone else who interacts with her-should respond the same way to things she does every time she does them. For example, if you sometimes pet your dog when she jumps up to greet you but sometimes yell at her instead, she’s bound to get confused. How can she know when it’s okay to jump up and when it’s not?
Training can be started at any age, though, younger the dog, the better it is for him. When done properly, training can be great fun for both you and your pet and can also exercise his brain. For best results, use positive rewards and treats when training. Food treats work really well and can include anything from small pieces of liver, beef jerky, chicken, cheese, hotdog sausages etc. You can even give him his favorite toy or play his favorite game. When using food treats, you must reduce the portion of his meals or he will end up gaining weight. When teaching a command, say the command, and then show what you want the dog to do. You must reward him every time he does what you say correctly. Also praise him verbally each time. Over time, you can reduce the treats and only praise him verbally.
Destructive behavior is also common with separation anxiety. The damage is usually located around entry and exit points, like doorways and windows, but dogs in a state of heightened anxiety are also at risk of harming themselves. Attempts to break out of dog crates, windows, and even doors can result in painful injuries and expensive veterinary treatments.

Dog training has changed a great deal in the past 25 years, and we now know much more about how dogs learn and the most effective ways to motivate them. While dog training in the past relied on being the “alpha” in the relationship and required equipment like correction collars (or choke collars), behavioral science proves that it’s much more effective to use positive reinforcement training, where training is a team activity with both parties working together to achieve goals.
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I appreciate your concern, but I do not agree with your analysis. Whenever Sally has her leash on her she is EXTREMELY excited and ready to go on our next adventure outside. She works hard for me when I give her commands and she wants so badly to please me. For this video, we were in the basement because the weather wasn’t nice outside. This drove her bonkers because she knows that if the leash goes on, we’re going outside! She was working extra hard for me when I filmed this video and I know how difficult that was for her. She’s such a good girl.
First, make sure your puppy is comfortable wearing a leash. This can feel strange at first, and some puppies may bite the leash. Give your puppy treats as you put the leash on each time. Then, stand next to your puppy with the leash in a loose loop and give him several treats in a row for standing or sitting next to your leg. Take one step forward and encourage him to follow by giving another treat as he catches up.
When considering treating your dog for anxiety, it is important to know the source of the anxiety. Is your dog anxious about being left alone? Being confined? Is the anxiety caused by loud noise, or travel, or sudden changes in environment or routine? Some dogs have phobias of certain objects, types of people, or specific situations. The source greatly informs the treatment. For example, calming music might help a dog with separation anxiety, but won't do much to help a dog who has anxiety about walking in crowded places. There are pharmaceuticals available from veterinarians for extreme cases, but to minimize medicating your dog and experiencing any potential side-effects, try these options before going in for a prescription.
I have a 14 year old shep mix and have been putting up with these behaviors for two years now. I know his senses of sight and hearing are diminishing, but not gone. He has a form of dementia, which is kinda a senile thing. He is not always in this state of mind, I have to constantly be with him, or his anxiety level will go off the wall with constant barking.
I appreciate it when you said that I can enroll in a dog obedience class so that I will know how to train my dog or I can just hire a professional to do it for me. I think the latter will work better with my schedule. There are always so many things for me to do after all. Aside from this, I do not think it will be easy for me to train my little Rio since I do not have the patience to do it.

This class will set you on the path to a great working relationship with your dog. We will teach you the mechanics that make you a great trainer and will cover a variety of basic cues and life skills that will make life with your dog more enjoyable. We will show you how to effectively use positive reinforcement to improve your dog's behavior in all situations. The foundational training you and your dog will receive will continue to help you throughout your dog’s life.
If your dog is less anxious before you leave, you can probably skip the predeparture treatment above and start with very short departures. The main rule is to plan your absences to be shorter than the time it takes for your dog to become upset. To get started, train your dog to perform out-of-sight stays by an inside door in the home, such as the bathroom. You can teach your dog to sit or down and stay while you go to the other side of the bathroom door. (You can also contact a Certified Professional Dog Trainer for assistance. Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, to locate a CPDT in your area.) Gradually increase the length of time you wait on the other side of the door, out of your dog’s sight. You can also work on getting your dog used to predeparture cues as you practice the stay. For example, ask your dog to stay. Then put on your coat, pick up your purse and go into the bathroom while your dog continues to stay.
One of the most frequent complaints of pet parents is that their dogs “just won’t listen.” But put yourself in your dog’s shoes for a moment. If someone was constantly chattering away in a foreign language that you’d never heard before, how long would you pay attention? Probably not for very long-because you simply wouldn’t be able to understand what the foreign speaker was trying to communicate.
Before you try to teach your dog to protect a child, you need to take the time to make sure he is fully obedience trained and well-socialized. This means taking the time to take your dog out in a wide range of environments where he will encounter lots of people, objects, other animals, sounds, and sights. You need to know that no matter what distractions you are around, your dog will obey your commands. He needs to know you are in charge.
I had our 5 year old black lab out for a walk. We were approximately 1/2 hour away from the house when it started to thunder. He was quite scared but there was nothing I could do to get home any faster than walking. I spoke to him in a calm voice and during the walk back to the house there were probably 3 or 4 more rumbles. When we got in the house he wasn’t shivering like he’d normally be with load noises but kept next to me. A couple of nights later we started out for our walk again. I didn’t think about the thunder on our previous walk and we weren’t half way when he stopped and wouldn’t go any further. We were following the same path as the evening of the thunder. I tried to coach him to continue but he wouldn’t budge. When I turned and started back the way we came, he started to jump up and down, tail wagging and visibly happy.
Obedience training usually refers to the training of a dog and the term is most commonly used in that context. Obedience training ranges from very basic training, such as teaching the dog to reliably respond to basic commands such as "sit," "down," "come," and "stay," to high level competition within clubs such as the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club, where additional commands, accuracy and performance are scored and judged.
We can show our puppies how to behave in our homes without ever scaring or hurting them. It’s actually much easier to focus on teaching your puppy what to do rather than what not to do. You don’t have to back up your requests with threats. In fact, your puppy will bond with you and listen better if he’s not scared of getting it wrong (and what you’ll do if he does).
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Very thorough and well written hub. I would like to direct you to the Anxiety Wrap. It is the original patented pressure wrap designed for dogs – and cats – by Susan Sharpe, a T-touch practitioner and certified professional dog trainer. I believe the Anxiety Wrap is a superior product and recommend it in my own practice with clients who consult me about their anxious and fearful dogs. In a recent study completed at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, the Anxiety Wrap was found to be 89% effective in study participants – dogs with Thunderstorm phobia. I have used it on dogs with separation anxiety and generalized anxiety, including my own dog and have found it to provide consistently effective results. Check it out – I think you’ll be quite impressed too, and thanks for writing such a detailed, well thought out hub!
Laying a solid training foundation will make life with your dog easier and more fun. If you’re not sure where to start, sign up for an in-person obedience class; there’s no better way to train your dog than to practice with an expert IRL. You can also follow any of the helpful links above, and check out our blog archives for additional tips and tricks.
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