You will be training your puppy from the moment you bring it home and start to house train. Puppies start learning from birth and good breeders begin handling and socialization right away. Some training can begin as soon as the puppy can open its eyes and walk. Young puppies have short attention spans but you can expect them to begin to learn simple obedience commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age.
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If your toddler was repeatedly sticking her fingers into open electrical outlets, what would you do? Would you sit her down and try to explain why that’s not a good idea? Would you smack her every time she did it? Nope, you’d probably buy some outlet covers. Voilà! Problem solved. Prevention is sometimes the best solution. When training a dog, the easiest way to deal with a behavior problem might be to simply prevent the undesired behavior from happening. If your dog raids the kitchen trash can, you could spend weeks training a perfect down-stay in another room-or you could move the trash can to a place where your dog can’t get to it. Prevention is also important if you’re trying to train your dog to do one thing instead of another. For example, if you want to house train your dog, she’ll learn fastest if you use a crate to prevent her from making mistakes inside while you focus on training her to eliminate outside.
If you leave your dog home alone, and return to find that Fido has redecorated, your dog is likely anxious about your being away. "This is separation anxiety — the excessive chewing to relieve the stress it feels; continual barking; pacing; whining," Victoria Stilwell, author and dog trainer, told Sandy Eckstein for WebMD. "Sometimes, if it’s really excessive, a dog will chew through walls. I’ve had dogs jump through windows, through glass, to get outside. Most of the destruction is centered on points of exit."

Start by finding an AKC Club near you that offers training classes. Ask if you can observe a class before committing to make sure it’s the right one for you. Learn more about different types of classes here. To get the most benefit, you must plan on practicing at home as well. But don’t worry: Your at-home sessions don’t have to be very time-consuming and practice sessions should be kept short.
I need advice on how to help my dog with an anxiety which is not listed here. He has a huge toy anxiety. What I mean by that is he will play till he drops. He gets extremely worked up over toys and fixates on them. He pants heavily and shakes and salivates. He wont leave you alone even if you throw the toy for him to fetch because he brings it right back. This can go on for hours. I am concerned about his health and how this much anxiety is ad for him.
Lindsay says of this study, "Schilder and Van der Borg (2004) have published a report of disturbing findings regarding the short-term and long- term effects of shock used in the context of working dogs that is destined to become a source of significant controversy ... The absence of reduced drive or behavioral suppression with respect to critical activities associated with shock (e.g., bite work) makes one skeptical about the lasting adverse effects the authors claim to document. Although they offer no substantive evidence of trauma or harm to dogs, they provide loads of speculation, anecdotes, insinuations of gender and educational inadequacies, and derogatory comments regarding the motivation and competence of IPO trainers in its place." [64]
Frequently provide food puzzle toys. You can feed your dog his meals in these toys or stuff them with a little peanut butter, cheese or yogurt. Also give your dog a variety of attractive edible and inedible chew things. Puzzle toys and chew items encourage chewing and licking, which have been shown to have a calming effect on dogs. Be sure to provide them whenever you leave your dog alone.

Dogs competing in dog sports, such as flyball, agility or Schutzhund, must be trusted in an open field, off leash and surrounded by other people, dogs, hot dogs, and flying discs. This requires more focused attention on the owner and a better recall than that found in most household companion dogs, and more advanced training than that required for formal obedience.


Understand the value of the “stand” command. The value of the "sit" and "wait" seem obvious, but you may not understand at first why the "stand" is an important skill to teach your dog. You won't use the "stand" every day, but you'll need it throughout the dog's life. For example, a dog who can stay calmly in a "stand" is the ideal patient at a vet clinic or client at a groomer's.
I can see why this type of training can seem stressful, it’s a lot of work. We tried many other training methods with Sally and none stuck but this one. We don’t do any jerking, we give light tugs on the leash, to me that is not jerking. Sally may look confused to you because she’s not used to be on leash in the basement. Typically when we put the leash on, it means we are going outside but it was rainy that day and Sal hates the rain. I don’t think she looks stressed, I think she is excited for some interaction time with me since it was during my work hours. There are many different types of training and we respect your decision to not utilize this form. Sally is such a well-behaved dog and much of that is thanks to these training methods. We have such a strong bond and our love for one another is unconditional.
Also, please note that because of volume, we are unable to respond to individual comments, although we do watch them in order to learn what issues and questions are most common so that we can produce content that fulfills your needs. You are welcome to share your own dog tips and behavior solutions among yourselves, however. Thank you for reading our articles and sharing your thoughts with the pack!
Thank you for your reply. We took your advice and are keeping Bailey’s experiences with my husband very positive. Bailey always loved to share whatever my husband is eating, so he made a little Hansel and Gretel trail of sweet potato chips that led up to the sofa. This is working for now. We will continue to take things slowly and positive, letting Bailey set the pace within reason. Thanks again.
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.
Before you can train your dog to protect, he must first have mastered the basic commands, 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. If possible, you may want to work on training him to 'speak' or bark--and be quiet--on command. Your dog should also be well socialized with other people and dogs. This will go a long way towards helping your dog learn to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys. Supplies needed for this training include:

The Dog Obedience Club of Lee County is located near the Fort Myers area. Founded in 1983, we are an AKC sanctioned, not-for-profit organization dedicated to making dogs better citizens through training. Whether you wish to compete in obedience or just want a well-behaved companion and best friend, we can help you train your dog. Our instructors have all raised and trained dogs from a variety of breeds and have achieved AKC Obedience titles on their dogs. They actively compete in AKC obedience, rally, agility, tracking and more.


Almost every single animal on this planet works under the same principle: in order to continue receiving good things, you need to continue acting a certain way. The same concept holds true for dogs. Whenever they do something that is good, you should reward them. This will reinforce that positive behavior and cause them to continue acting that way. Eventually, they will start acting that way without requiring an award.
Practice everywhere, with everyone If you learn that two plus two equals four in a classroom, you’ll take that information with you wherever you go. Dogs, however, learn very specifically and don’t automatically apply their knowledge in different situations and places as well as people do. If you teach your dog to sit on cue in your kitchen, you’ll have a beautifully kitchen-trained dog. But she might not understand what you mean when you ask her to sit in other locations. If you want your dog to perform new skills everywhere, you’ll need to practice them in multiple places-your home, your yard, out on walks, at friends’ houses, at the park and anywhere else you take your dog.
There are a variety of established methods of animals training, each with its adherents and critics. Some of the better known dog training procedures include the Koehler method, clicker training, motivational training, electronic training, model-rival training, dominance-based training, and relationship-based training. The common characteristics of successful methods are knowing the animal's attributes and personality, accurate timing of reinforcement and/or punishment and consistent communication. The use of punishment is controversial with both the humaneness and effectiveness questioned by many behaviourists.
Animal behaviorists assert that using dominance to modify a behavior can suppress the behavior without addressing the underlying cause of the problem. It can exacerbate the problem and increase the dog's fear, anxiety, and aggression. Dogs that are subjected to repeated threats may react with aggression not because they are trying to be dominant, but because they feel threatened and afraid.[70]
Dogs suffer from stress and anxiety as much as people do, though it can be harder to recognize their symptoms. Your pet might try to tell you that he’s stressed by pushing his ears back, tucking his tail, salivating, yawning, licking his muzzle, or lifting his front paw. Other, more obvious signs of dog anxiety include cowering or hiding, trembling, panting, or expressing his anal glands.
For a new puppy, a crate helps with housebreaking and provides a safe den for sleeping. When your puppy is used to his crate, it will be easy to take him visiting, or for trips in the car, or to the vet. When we watch TV, we sit in our favorite chairs and our dogs typically choose to lie down in their crates (doors open), watching the same shows we watch (well, sort of!).
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.
Just remember that your dog is relying on you as well. They need you to provide guidance and help. Take an active role in teaching and practicing obedience. Generally, they are willing to learn and eager to please. However, so often, it is us who have not done any kind of studying and research on how to best teach a dog. After all, you would not think of going into a kindergarten classroom and trying to teach those students without any kind of training. Or would you? God help those brave souls who answered yes to that one!

Practice everywhere, with everyone If you learn that two plus two equals four in a classroom, you’ll take that information with you wherever you go. Dogs, however, learn very specifically and don’t automatically apply their knowledge in different situations and places as well as people do. If you teach your dog to sit on cue in your kitchen, you’ll have a beautifully kitchen-trained dog. But she might not understand what you mean when you ask her to sit in other locations. If you want your dog to perform new skills everywhere, you’ll need to practice them in multiple places-your home, your yard, out on walks, at friends’ houses, at the park and anywhere else you take your dog.

When your dog knows the release cue and how to sit on cue, put him in a sit, turn and face him, and give him a treat. Pause, and give him another treat for staying in a sit, then release him. Gradually increase the time you wait between treats (it can help to sing the ABC’s in your head and work your way up the alphabet).  If your dog gets up before the release cue, that’s ok! It just means he isn’t ready to sit for that long so you can make it easier by going back to a shorter time.
I have two 5 month old great dane/ german shepherd mixes. They did not listen to me at all. Marc came out and showed me exactly what to do and the results are amazing. I thought there was no hope for me or my dogs and that i was going to waste my money. Totally worth the money. Not only did Marc show me what to do, he explained why it works. I cant...
As I understand it, dogs repeat behaviors that get them good results. Therefore, if we reward certain behaviors such as staring, licking, or following around, with affection or other rewards, then that may encourage a dog to keep repeating those behaviors. I usually ask my dog for a positive pre-trained behavior (e.g. Sit, Down, Look) before giving him a reward. In this way, I redirect the undesirable behavior and reinforce the desirable one.

While you may be more concerned about one or two issues, it's important to work on all behavior and socialization training when introducing obedience training at home. Having an idea about what you want to focus on in the beginning will help you get off to the right start. Just remember to touch on all behavior concerns throughout the time you spend training.

Emily Vey is a content aficionado on the Dogs Naturally team. She’s constantly looking for the most up-to-date news and information to share with DNM readers and to help her own dogs live the healthiest lives possible. She lives in Ontario with her partner-in-crime Ryan, their husky Inuk and German shepherd Indi. Together they enjoy hiking, swimming and all things outdoors!

We got our dog a year ago (shes 2 now). When we first got her the only thing that made her anxious were thunderstorms. In the last couple months we’ve noticed she seems anxious/fearful more often, and we can’t put our finger on what may trigger this behaviour. She will no longer come into the den where we watch tv and her bed is. If we are in that room she goes upstairs. She won’t sleep in our bed, which she did every night before. She won’t go for a walk in the evening (sun still out). we can’t even get her to leave the front step in the evening.


The classes are designed to teach you positive-reinforcement training methods that reward good behavior, e.g. manners, come, sit, stay and most of all walking on a leash without pulling, and correct unwanted behavior, e.g. nipping, chewing, digging and jumping. The various levels of instruction include written and illustrated step-by-step lesson plans.
Ask the breeder or rescue facility/group that you got your dog from f they observed any signs of anxiety. Dogs will develop anxiety in the earlier stages of their life  [14 weeks old] and how they interacted with other dogs after birth could affect their anxiety. Dogs that come from puppy mills could have higher chances of anxiety due to the conditions they were exposed to right after birth. 

Typical positive reinforcement events will satisfy some physiological or psychological need, so it can be food, a game, or a demonstration of affection. Different dogs will find different things reinforcing. Negative reinforcement occurs when a dog discovers that a particular response ends the presentation of an aversive stimulus. An aversive is anything that the dog does not like, such as verbal admonishment, or a tightened choke chain.[39]
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You want your puppy to be able to respond to you in various situations and places, so be careful not to limit training to one room of your house or corner of the yard. Practice commands in your home, backyard, front yard, surrounding neighborhood, woods, park or in any other location you visit with your pet. There are different distracting smells and noises in new areas, and you want to be sure your dog can still perform what he knows in different environments.

Observational learning is the learning that occurs through observing the behavior of others. This form of learning does not need reinforcement to occur; instead, a model animal is required. While the model may not be intentionally trying to instill any particular behavior, many behaviors that are observed are remembered and imitated.[52] The domestic dog is a social species and its social dependency makes it aware of the behavior of others, which contributes to its own behavior and learning abilities. There is, however, ongoing discussion about how much, and how, dogs can learn by interacting with each other and with people.[53]
Changing behavior takes time. You need to have realistic expectations about changing your dog’s behavior as well as how long it will take to change behaviors that you don’t like. Often behaviors which are “normal” doggie behaviors will take the most time such as barking, digging and jumping. You also need to consider how long your dog has rehearsed the behavior. For example, if you didn’t mind that your dog jumped up on people to say hi for the last seven years and now you decide that you don’t want him to do that anymore, that behavior will take a much longer time to undo than if you had addressed it when he was a pup. Remember it’s never too late to change the behavior some will just take longer than others.
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