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A Guide to Basic Training for Your New Dog

A Guide to Basic Training for Your New Dog
Dogs
,
Behaviour
Share this article
A Guide to Basic Training for Your New Dog
A Guide to Basic Training for Your New Dog
Dogs
,
Behaviour
A Guide to Basic Training for Your New Dog
Share this article
A Guide to Basic Training for Your New Dog
Basic training will help strengthen the bond between you and your dog, and help establish a form of communication that can help you both. By learning a set of commands or key words, you can help your dog fit into your life, and help to keep them safe at the same time. A dog who has basic skills in obedience will be a happier, more settled individual long term.

When training a dog, it has been proven that positive reinforcement such as praise or treats is more effective than negative punishment such as hitting or shouting at your dog. Using positive reinforcement combined with repetition of a task can give your dog the confidence to make mistakes and learn quickly. Dogs naturally want to please us, we just need to find the right way to communicate what we would like them to do for us. Negative punishment, such as being hit, can cause your dog to develop severe anxiety or they may even start to become aggressive in defence. This makes it much harder to train your dog and can leave your dog suffering from lifelong mental trauma as a result of being hit or shaken.

Equipment

Have a treat pouch with small treats or pieces of their normal kibble on your waist whilst at home and out on walks so that you can reward the positive behaviours you want when they are happening. Your dog is much more likely to associate the behaviour with a good outcome, and therefore be more likely to repeat this behaviour in the future. If you’re training with clickers or whistles, have extra and always keep one in the car in case you lose one on a walk.

Have a lead and collar or harness and make sure they fit appropriately – if unsure pop into your vet clinic for some guidance. Avoid using retractable leashes as these can cause injuries in dogs who get tangled in the lead.

Have a designated area that is your dog’s ‘bed’ or if you are crate training, have a crate and make sure it’s the right size for your dog. This is an important part of house training your dog.

Keep it simple

Have a praise word such as ‘Nice’. To start, pair this word with a treat so they learn that the praise word is a positive thing. Then gradually reduce the treats and swap them for the praise word. Your dog will still have a strong positive association from your earlier training and be happy to receive the praise word instead of a treat. This praise word then can reinforce the positive behaviour you want to see in your dog, such as walking on a lead without pulling ahead. Use the word often and back it up with treats intermittently to add extra praise.

Have a backup

Use high-value treats that your dog is extra keen on when trying to train an important skill like not lunging towards other dogs when walking past them. A special toy that gets your dog super excited is also useful to have in case your dog escapes before they are trained to recall.

Keep commands consistent

Use specific words such as sit, down, stay. Keep these words the same so your dog does not get confused. Make sure all family members are using the same words, and the same hand actions if using hand gestures. This will help your dog learn the commands quickly.

Join a club

Puppy socialisation classes or beginner dog training classes are highly recommended. It's great socialisation for your dog, and you can have personalised help from a dog trainer on areas specific to your needs.

Toilet training

The faster your dog learns to toilet outside, the easier life becomes for everyone. Start toilet training the moment you bring your dog home. Before letting them into the house, wait and play outside until they urinate. Then once in the home, let them out every hour and say your chosen command for toileting e.g. ‘get busy’. If your dog does toilet (urination or defecation) heap ample praise on them whilst doing the action and give treats when finished. When your dog is not toilet trained, you should try to let them out every hour to have the opportunity to toilet if they need to. Reward any toileting outside with praise and small treats.

If your dog toilets inside, avoid negative actions such as rubbing your dog's nose in the mess. This is traumatic for your dog and does not teach them to stop soiling inside. Instead, carry them outside straight away and stay out for another 5-10 minutes in case they need to toilet again. Clean any soiling in the home well with disinfectant to remove the smell, as the smell can encourage dogs to urinate or defecate in the same place again.

Summary

Training can feel overwhelming, especially for a new pet owner. Keep your goals small, and know that if you are struggling there are always professionals you can reach out to for guidance.

Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Subscribe
Always be up to date!
Receive a digest of the latest events and offers for you and your pet every month.
Basic training will help strengthen the bond between you and your dog, and help establish a form of communication that can help you both. By learning a set of commands or key words, you can help your dog fit into your life, and help to keep them safe at the same time. A dog who has basic skills in obedience will be a happier, more settled individual long term.

When training a dog, it has been proven that positive reinforcement such as praise or treats is more effective than negative punishment such as hitting or shouting at your dog. Using positive reinforcement combined with repetition of a task can give your dog the confidence to make mistakes and learn quickly. Dogs naturally want to please us, we just need to find the right way to communicate what we would like them to do for us. Negative punishment, such as being hit, can cause your dog to develop severe anxiety or they may even start to become aggressive in defence. This makes it much harder to train your dog and can leave your dog suffering from lifelong mental trauma as a result of being hit or shaken.

Equipment

Have a treat pouch with small treats or pieces of their normal kibble on your waist whilst at home and out on walks so that you can reward the positive behaviours you want when they are happening. Your dog is much more likely to associate the behaviour with a good outcome, and therefore be more likely to repeat this behaviour in the future. If you’re training with clickers or whistles, have extra and always keep one in the car in case you lose one on a walk.

Have a lead and collar or harness and make sure they fit appropriately – if unsure pop into your vet clinic for some guidance. Avoid using retractable leashes as these can cause injuries in dogs who get tangled in the lead.

Have a designated area that is your dog’s ‘bed’ or if you are crate training, have a crate and make sure it’s the right size for your dog. This is an important part of house training your dog.

Keep it simple

Have a praise word such as ‘Nice’. To start, pair this word with a treat so they learn that the praise word is a positive thing. Then gradually reduce the treats and swap them for the praise word. Your dog will still have a strong positive association from your earlier training and be happy to receive the praise word instead of a treat. This praise word then can reinforce the positive behaviour you want to see in your dog, such as walking on a lead without pulling ahead. Use the word often and back it up with treats intermittently to add extra praise.

Have a backup

Use high-value treats that your dog is extra keen on when trying to train an important skill like not lunging towards other dogs when walking past them. A special toy that gets your dog super excited is also useful to have in case your dog escapes before they are trained to recall.

Keep commands consistent

Use specific words such as sit, down, stay. Keep these words the same so your dog does not get confused. Make sure all family members are using the same words, and the same hand actions if using hand gestures. This will help your dog learn the commands quickly.

Join a club

Puppy socialisation classes or beginner dog training classes are highly recommended. It's great socialisation for your dog, and you can have personalised help from a dog trainer on areas specific to your needs.

Toilet training

The faster your dog learns to toilet outside, the easier life becomes for everyone. Start toilet training the moment you bring your dog home. Before letting them into the house, wait and play outside until they urinate. Then once in the home, let them out every hour and say your chosen command for toileting e.g. ‘get busy’. If your dog does toilet (urination or defecation) heap ample praise on them whilst doing the action and give treats when finished. When your dog is not toilet trained, you should try to let them out every hour to have the opportunity to toilet if they need to. Reward any toileting outside with praise and small treats.

If your dog toilets inside, avoid negative actions such as rubbing your dog's nose in the mess. This is traumatic for your dog and does not teach them to stop soiling inside. Instead, carry them outside straight away and stay out for another 5-10 minutes in case they need to toilet again. Clean any soiling in the home well with disinfectant to remove the smell, as the smell can encourage dogs to urinate or defecate in the same place again.

Summary

Training can feel overwhelming, especially for a new pet owner. Keep your goals small, and know that if you are struggling there are always professionals you can reach out to for guidance.

Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Subscribe
Always be up to date!
Receive a digest of the latest events and offers for you and your pet every month.
Basic training will help strengthen the bond between you and your dog, and help establish a form of communication that can help you both. By learning a set of commands or key words, you can help your dog fit into your life, and help to keep them safe at the same time. A dog who has basic skills in obedience will be a happier, more settled individual long term.

When training a dog, it has been proven that positive reinforcement such as praise or treats is more effective than negative punishment such as hitting or shouting at your dog. Using positive reinforcement combined with repetition of a task can give your dog the confidence to make mistakes and learn quickly. Dogs naturally want to please us, we just need to find the right way to communicate what we would like them to do for us. Negative punishment, such as being hit, can cause your dog to develop severe anxiety or they may even start to become aggressive in defence. This makes it much harder to train your dog and can leave your dog suffering from lifelong mental trauma as a result of being hit or shaken.

Equipment

Have a treat pouch with small treats or pieces of their normal kibble on your waist whilst at home and out on walks so that you can reward the positive behaviours you want when they are happening. Your dog is much more likely to associate the behaviour with a good outcome, and therefore be more likely to repeat this behaviour in the future. If you’re training with clickers or whistles, have extra and always keep one in the car in case you lose one on a walk.

Have a lead and collar or harness and make sure they fit appropriately – if unsure pop into your vet clinic for some guidance. Avoid using retractable leashes as these can cause injuries in dogs who get tangled in the lead.

Have a designated area that is your dog’s ‘bed’ or if you are crate training, have a crate and make sure it’s the right size for your dog. This is an important part of house training your dog.

Keep it simple

Have a praise word such as ‘Nice’. To start, pair this word with a treat so they learn that the praise word is a positive thing. Then gradually reduce the treats and swap them for the praise word. Your dog will still have a strong positive association from your earlier training and be happy to receive the praise word instead of a treat. This praise word then can reinforce the positive behaviour you want to see in your dog, such as walking on a lead without pulling ahead. Use the word often and back it up with treats intermittently to add extra praise.

Have a backup

Use high-value treats that your dog is extra keen on when trying to train an important skill like not lunging towards other dogs when walking past them. A special toy that gets your dog super excited is also useful to have in case your dog escapes before they are trained to recall.

Keep commands consistent

Use specific words such as sit, down, stay. Keep these words the same so your dog does not get confused. Make sure all family members are using the same words, and the same hand actions if using hand gestures. This will help your dog learn the commands quickly.

Join a club

Puppy socialisation classes or beginner dog training classes are highly recommended. It's great socialisation for your dog, and you can have personalised help from a dog trainer on areas specific to your needs.

Toilet training

The faster your dog learns to toilet outside, the easier life becomes for everyone. Start toilet training the moment you bring your dog home. Before letting them into the house, wait and play outside until they urinate. Then once in the home, let them out every hour and say your chosen command for toileting e.g. ‘get busy’. If your dog does toilet (urination or defecation) heap ample praise on them whilst doing the action and give treats when finished. When your dog is not toilet trained, you should try to let them out every hour to have the opportunity to toilet if they need to. Reward any toileting outside with praise and small treats.

If your dog toilets inside, avoid negative actions such as rubbing your dog's nose in the mess. This is traumatic for your dog and does not teach them to stop soiling inside. Instead, carry them outside straight away and stay out for another 5-10 minutes in case they need to toilet again. Clean any soiling in the home well with disinfectant to remove the smell, as the smell can encourage dogs to urinate or defecate in the same place again.

Summary

Training can feel overwhelming, especially for a new pet owner. Keep your goals small, and know that if you are struggling there are always professionals you can reach out to for guidance.

Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Subscribe
Always be up to date!
Receive a digest of the latest events and offers for you and your pet every month.
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