10 Essentials For Effective Training

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Building a strong bond with your dog is the key to achieving respect, trust and friendship

Know your dog

Find out what motivates your dog. Some dogs will do anything for food while others love nothing more than a fun game with you and a toy or praise. Once you find out what that is, then only let them have it when you are train­ ing with them. If you are using food, make sure that you use high value food rewards that will keep your dog engaged and focused.

Relax and have fun

Motivate your dog to want to be with you and enjoy training. The more you make it into a game, the more your dog will enjoy the train­ ing. Dogs are sensitive to our body language and especially our tone of voice. Use an upbeat tone and smile enthusiastically when your dog does what you are asking of them.

Control your environment

When you start training a new command, do it in a quiet place with no distraction. Once your dog understands the command, build up distractions slowly so he is able to focus on you eventually in any situation. First at home, then out on a walk.


Your dog is communicating with you all the time. Try to tune into subtle expressions and body language your dog displays so you can better understand what she is trying to tell you.

Don’t talk too much

Use one command for each exercise and avoid repeating commands. Repeating commands teaches your dog to ignore you and you will find yourself having to repeat commands while your dog is focusing on everything but you. If your dog requires too much repetition, he either does not understand the command and you need to go back to basics and teach it again, or up your motivation and/or reward.

Be consistent

Use the same words and rules for everything. Using different words or allowing your dog to do something some of the time but not all the time will confuse your dog. Also, your tone of voice and hand signals should be the same every time. By being as consistent as possible you are helping your dog clearly understand what is expected of him.


Building a strong bond with your dog is the key to achieving respect, trust and friendship. Once your dog understands that he can trust what you are asking of him in any given situation, you have a relationship where your dog is looking to you for guidance. As a result you have a dog that is more relaxed and balanced.


Dogs live in the moment. When training make sure you offer the reward no later than 2–5 seconds after the dog completes the exercise correctly so he understands what he has just done will fetch him a reward for it.

Keep your training sessions short

You can train anywhere, anytime. While making a cup of tea, or out on a walk. Keeping your sessions short and interesting will make training more fun for your dog. Remember to always end on a positive note, have a play session with your dog or give him a reward and cue a release that training is finished. If you ever find yourself becoming frustrated. Stop. Never train while you are frustrated
or angry.

Expect the best

Once your dog understands an exercise, expect her to complete it perfectly. This will keep the training sharp and your dog will try harder to work with you. Most of all have a great time. Your energy will be infectious for your dog and both of you will look forward to training together.

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