Deciding How To Train Your Dog

When you first bring that cute little puppy home have you given any thought as to how you are going to train your dog?  If this is your first dog you may have not looked at all your options when it comes to the training of your new puppy.

how to train your dog
potty train

Of course we all know one of the first things we will train our dog to do is to go potty in a designated spot.  Now is this spot going to be in the house on a pee pad or outside in the backyard?  Maybe you are going to first teach your puppy to go on a pee pad and then later train your puppy to go outside.

One of the reasons you may want to first train your puppy to go on a pee pad and then outside may be due to weather conditions.  Not everyone lives where it is warm 365 days of the year.  A young puppy may be very susceptible to the cold.

Are you going to train using a crate? Do you know how to train your dog using a crate?

After you have your puppy relatively potty trained then what?  Maybe teach your dog a couple of tricks.  Are you going to do this on your own or are you going to seek the help of a professional?

There are many good dog trainers out there that are available for a reasonable price.  It’s as easy as signing up for classes which you attend once a week with other puppies, dogs and their parents.  Of course they really are not training your puppy or dog, they are teaching you how to train your furry companion.

You could also seek out a dog training course online.  Although this may seem convenient you need to be careful. Anyone can say they are a dog trainer.  They can put together a training manual which they can then sell to you for a certain price.

It may be the best training manual ever or it may be just some helpful tips for you to follow.  Most times with these purchases they do offer a money back guarantee which although a good thing can be kind of a pain.

If you are looking for a dog training course online you should look for one that offers videos so you can see what the trainer is actually doing.  Also are they available to answer your questions when you run into problems and you will run into problems.  Do they have a forum?  This isn’t necessary but it is a great way for fellow dog lovers to learn from each other.

Have you decided to train your dog using treats or maybe their favourite toy?  Have you decided what things are really necessary in your eyes that your dog needs to learn?

Is it necessary for your dog to:

  • Walk nicely on a leash
  • Come when called
  • Sit on Command
  • Lie down on command
  • Wait

If this is what you want from your dog then how are you going to achieve this?

Another question you need to ask yourself is what type of training equipment or tools are you going to be using if any.  Training equipment can be anything from the type of collar you use to what length of leash you use.  Also maybe you would be interested in training your dog using a clicker.

Many people have had great success when using a clicker.   Also although your new dog is going to hopefully be your best buddy going on daily walks, having snoozes on the couch with you, you may also have an interest in obedience competition or perhaps agility competitions.

how to train your dog
agility competition

If this is your goal you will really need to step up to the plate with your training.

Training for these types of competition is a lot of work, dedication and patience.  I guess what I am really trying to say that when you are deciding how to train your dog you need to know early on what your expectations are from your dog.  Is that relationship going to be built on spending time together in a sort of quiet companionship mode or is it going to center on participation in high level competitions.

To learn how you can train your dog check out the following.

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    • Debra
    • February 25, 2016

    Thanks so much for putting this information forth. I think, especially when we’re overwhelmed by bringing a new puppy home, we’re so interested in wondering about the how-to’s that we don’t actually consider that it’s our CHOICE on how we plan to train our dog. Great advice and information here – thanks so much.

    • shelby
    • February 25, 2016

    I really enjoyed your article. I have a dog training question. My dog is house trained, but she has irritable bowl issues and can’t control her “accidents”. For this reason, she has been banished to our closed in porch at night. I’m wondering how we can train her to wake us up when she is feeling sick?

      • Maureen
      • February 25, 2016

      Hi Shelby what does she do now during the day when she wants to go out? You can try putting a leash on her at night and when she has to go out hopefully her movement will wake you.(You will be holding the leash). You could try training her to go on pee pads at night or you could try using a doggie diaper on her at night. Is there any medication that you can give her to help with her problem?

    • Adam
    • February 25, 2016

    Thank you for your informative post!

    We just got a German Shepherd puppy for our daughter of 10. I didn’t really think about training the dog but my wife told me it could be a good idea to prevent later problems.

    You focus on teaching a dog by it’s owner. Do you think it’s better to bring it to a professional course?

    I can imagine that teaching it yourself strengthens the relation more than letting it to be trained by some one else.

    Thanks again!


      • Maureen
      • March 3, 2016

      Hi Adam When you take your dog to a professional course you are still doing the training. They are teaching you how to train your dog. It is good for the dog to be around other dogs. It helps them get used to other dogs and other people. Socializing your dog is very important. If you have never trained a dog before an obedience class may be a good place to learn a few things. Another place you can learn is through the many online course offered. You are right though when you teach your puppy it will strengthen the bond between you. Any interaction will do that. Enjoy your new puppy. German Shepherd are a wonderful breed. Very intelligent and very loyal.
      Almost forgot – your wife is right training your puppy right from the start can prevent many behavioural issues down the road.

    • Valerie
    • May 2, 2016

    Good information. I wonder if it’s not more important for people to get the manual before the dog. Some people don’t seem to understand how much time and energy is involved in owning a dog and training it. You’ve made it clear that there are important decisions to be made and then tons of time implementing even basic training.

      • Maureen
      • May 4, 2016

      Very good point Valerie. If more people actually knew what they were getting into when they buy or adopted a puppy or dog they may be better prepared and less dogs would end up in shelters. Dogs need training and socialization and this has to be done on a day to day basis. They are not some type of possession that you bring out once in awhile and decide to interact with it. They are a living breathing animal that needs constant care and attention.

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