San Francisco Dog Trainer & Dog Behaviorist

Phone: (415) 643-3333
Email: info@poochcoach.com

General Dog Training Tips

GENERAL DOG TRAINING TIPS

1. Start training your puppy early on.

While old dogs can be taught new tricks, what’s learned earliest, is often learned quickest and easiest. Moreover, the older the dog, the more bad habits will likely need to be “un-learned”. When it comes to raising and training a dog, an ounce of problem prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure!

2. Train your dog gently and humanely, and whenever possible, teach him using positive, motivational methods.

Keep obedience sessions upbeat so that the training process is enjoyable for all parties involved. If training your pooch is a drudgery, rev things up a bit, and try the “playtraining” approach: incorporate constructive, non-adversarial games (such as “Go Find”, “Hide ‘n’ Seek”, retrieving, etc.) into your training sessions.

3. Does your dog treat you like “hired help” at home?

Does he treat you like a human gymnasium when you’re sitting on the furniture? Does he beg at the table? Jump up on visitors? Demand your attention by annoying you to death? Ignore your commands? How well your dog responds to you at home affects his behavior outdoors as well. If your dog doesn’t respond reliably to commands at home (where distractions are relatively minimal), he certainly won’t respond to you properly outdoors where he’s tempted by other dogs, pigeons, passersby, sidewalk food scraps, etc.

4. Avoid giving your dog commands that you know you cannot enforce.

Every time you give a command that is neither complied with nor enforced your dog learns that commands are optional.

5. One command should equal one response, so give your dog only one command (twice max!), then gently enforce it.

Repeating commands tunes your dog out (as does nagging) and teaches your dog that the first several commands are a “bluff.” For instance, telling your dog to “Sit, sit, sit, sit!”, is neither an efficient nor effective way to issue commands. Simply give your dog a single “Sit” command and gently place or lure your dog into the sit position, then praise/reward.

6. Avoid giving your dog combined commands which are incompatible.

Combined commands such as “sit-down” can confuse your dog. Using this example, say either “sit” or “down”. The command “sit-down” simply doesn’t exist.

View training tips & solutions to common behavioral problems on our YouTube Channel

7. When giving your dog a command, avoid using a loud voice.

Even if your dog is especially independent/unresponsive, your tone of voice when issuing an obedience command such as “sit”,”down” or “”stay”, should be calm and authoritative, rather than harsh or loud.

NOTE: Many owners complain that their dogs are “stubborn”, and that they “refuse to listen” when given a command. Before blaming the dog when he doesn’t respond to a command, one must determine whether or not: a) the dog knows what the owner wants, b) he knows how to comply, c) he is not simply being unresponsive due to fear, stress or confusion.

8. Use all food or other reward-giving occasions as opportunities to train.

This provides simple on-going training that can be reinforced regularly. Examples: Always make him do a sit and stay before eating his meals or before going out for a walk. When giving treats, always practice commands. Practice commands during playtime as well. Make training part of each day.

9. Correct or, better yet, prevent the (mis)behavior, don’t punish the dog.

Teaching and communication is what it’s all about, not getting even with your dog. If you’re taking an “it’s-you-against-your dog, whip ’em into shape” approach, you’ll undermine your relationship, while missing out on all the fun that a motivational training approach can offer. Additionally, after-the-fact discipline does NOT work.

10. When training one’s dog, whether praising or correcting, good timing is essential.

Take the following example: You’ve prepared a platter of hors d’oeuvres for a small dinner party, which you’ve left on your kitchen counter. Your dog walks into the room and smells the hors d’oeuvres. He air-sniffs, then eyes the food, and is poised to jump up. This is the best, easiest and most effective time to correct your dog: before he’s misbehaved, while he’s thinking about jumping up to get the food.

11. Often, dog owners inadvertently reinforce their dogs’ misbehavior, by giving their dogs lots of attention (albeit negative attention) when they misbehave.

Needless to say, if your dog receives lots of attention and handling when he jumps up on you, that behavior is being reinforced, and is therefore likely to be repeated.

12. Keep a lid on your anger.

Never train your dog when you’re feeling grouchy or impatient. Earning your dog’s respect is never accomplished by yelling, hitting, or handling your dog in a harsh manner. Moreover, studies have shown that fear and stress inhibit the learning process.

WANT MORE TRAINING TIPS?

DOG OBEDIENCE & MANNERS

puppy training

Puppy Training

New bundle of furry joy? We can make sure you get “off on the right paw” with puppy training, housebreaking, safety & manners. Don’t let bad habits form – start training right away!

Read more →

Puppy Potty Training by The Pooch Coach Dog Training

Dog House Breaking

Need a few quick tips? Check out our 9 minute potty training video & paper to get all the help you need right away. We clear up misconceptions and make sure you’re on the right track.

Read more →

basic dog obedience

Basic Dog Obedience

There are some commands that every dog needs to know in order to be safe. We’ll make sure your dog knows them all and happily responds, even when you don’t have a treat.

Read more →

advanced dog obedience

Advanced Dog Obedience

Want Fido to get to the next level? We train for real life situations like never stepping into a street without permission, or not picking up even the most tempting food on the ground.

Read more →

American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Test Evaluator AKG/CGC Test

AKC Canine Good Citizen Test

The American Kennel Club has a test to prove your dog is safe & well trained. (It’s great for helping to convince landlords to allow your dog!) The Pooch is a certified AKC evaluator.

Read more →

Dog Barking Jumping and Pulling

Manners: barking, pulling, jumping

Does your dog have a couple of bad habits you’d like help overcoming? We can help stop obsessive or annoying behaviors of any kind. Free video tips for common problems.

Read more →

HELP WITH BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION

Dog Aggression Towards People

Dog Aggression

We are the SF Bay Area experts on dog aggression. Click for help and to learn more about what causes dogs to be aggressive and the different types of dog aggression.

Read more →

help with fearful dogs The Pooch Coach

Dog Fear and Shyness

It can be heart wrenching to watch your dog cower or shake in fear. And, fearful dogs almost always turn aggressive, so you need help as soon as possible.

Read more →

dog separation anxiety the pooch coach

Dog Separation Anxiety

Dog Separation Anxiety takes many forms. We’ve seen it all: Barking, chewing, urination, scratching at doors, breaking through windows… and more. Relax! We can help.

Read more →

Dog Resource Guarding

Dog Resource Guarding

Dogs often protect their food, bones or toys. It’s in their nature to do so. But it’s also very unsafe. We will teach your dog to stop feeling like they need to protect their stuff.

Read more →

dangerous-dog

Temperament Eval

Need an evaluation of your newly adopted dog? Did your dog bite someone or start a new behavior? We’ve done hundreds of evals to help shelter dogs, new owners & dogs in court.

Read more →

multiple dog household

Multiple Dog Households

There are many challenges with having more than one dog. Sibling dogs usually compete or even fight over resources, and they learn bad behaviors from each other. Get tips and help here.

Read more →

Contact us for help today!

 


(415) 643-3333
info@poochcoach.com

Address

San Francisco, CA
Phone: 415-643-3333
Email: info@poochcoach.com

Voted "Best Private Dog Trainer" in the entire San Francisco Bay Area! Three Times!

SF Chronicle

and

Search

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Dog Health & Nutrition
Dog Training Tips
General Dog Tips
Miscellaneous Cuteness
News & Events
Pooch Coach Newsletters
Traveling with Your Dog
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!