As pet parents, we have a responsibility to provide for our furry friends, and supplying them with lavish toys and treats isn’t exactly what I’m talking about. Yes, those things are nice, but we also have a duty to provide the best that we can in diet and nutrition, veterinary care, socialization, and training. Many times, pet parents get the first few things right but have trouble tackling the task of training. Dogs love to learn. They thrive on that interaction with their humans and build confidence in themselves through training work. Here are 10 key points that will make your time training more effective and fun for you and your dog.

Build a relationship with your dog

  • Talk to your dog
  • Walk your dog every day
  • Teach your dog fun tricks
  • Jump right into clicker training because positive training builds a bond between you and your dog

Be consistent

  • Keep your cues consistent
  • Make sure your whole family and anyone else who will be interacting with the dog knows the proper cues and is consistent with training

Timing is everything


  • Dogs live in the moment so timing is everything
  • All rewards or reprimands should be given within one to two seconds of the dog’s action
  • If you can’t deliver in that amount of time, don’t deliver

Repetition, repetition, repetition

  • Dogs are creatures of habit
  • It’s important to repeat training even after the dog learns a behavior to keep it fresh in their memory

Prevention is key


  • It’s better to prevent a behavior from ever happening than have to correct it later
  • You might think your puppy on the couch with you is cute, but you might not when the dog is full grown

Keep Sessions Short

  • It’s about quality, not quantity
  • Always finish training sessions on a positive note

Work in an environment with no distractions


  • Always begin training in an area with no distractions
  • As your dog is successful, move to areas with more and more distractions

Step backward

  • If you progress in training and your dog begins to have trouble, take a step back to where they were last successful and begin again
  • Don’t be afraid to take these small steps back. If you don’t and continue to move forward, you will have to take leaps back later on

Rewards are important

  • The dog determines the reward, and every dog is different
  • Some dogs are motivated by treats while others enjoy toys, and some are happy to work for praise and petting

Eye Contact is Essential


  • Eye contact is crucial because dogs communicate with each other this way and look into your eyes to try and determine what it is you are asking of them
  • If you’re training outside, never train with sunglasses on. Your dog needs a clear view of your eyes