Dog Training 101: Helpful Resources For Any Age!

Do you have a new dog or puppy and are ready to start training your new furry family member? Proper training and socializing are essential to raising a well-mannered dog. You’ll want to start dog training as soon as you bring them home.

Dog training can be challenging if this is your first dog, but you can do it. By following our complete guide to dog training, you’ll be able to conquer every aspect of shaping your dog into a well-behaved furry friend.

Dog Training 101

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Beginner Basics: Start Here

First things first, we’ll break down the basics of dog training that you’ll want to do first, then work toward training your dog with more complex commands and tricks.

What is the First Thing to Train?

You’ll want to:

  • House Train
  • Leash Train
  • Socialize With Other Animals
  • Teach Basic Commands

After your dog has mastered these basics, then you can move to teach more complex commands and tricks.

Frequently Asked Questions About Beginning Dog Training

How Much Does Home Dog Training Cost?

To have a professional dog trainer come to your home, you can expect to pay between $120 – $400 per session. This is primarily based on where you live and your dog trainer availability.

Is it Ever Too Late to Start Training a Dog?

No, you can train a dog regardless of age. Old dogs can actually learn new tricks and correct destructive behaviors with proper training.

Can I Train My Dog Myself?

Definitely, just remember that it will take time, dedication, patience, and love.

Best Techniques for Dog Training

There are several different techniques for training a well-behaved dog. We recommend following one of these techniques:

Enroll Your Pup In An Obedience Program

While there are some things you’ll have to train your dog at home on your own, you can get help from professional dog trainers. Enrolling your puppy or dog in an obedience program will help accelerate your dog’s ability to learn and follow basic commands and behaviors.

Should I Have My Dog or Puppy Professionally Trained?

If you have a new puppy that needs to learn obedience or an older dog that struggles to follow commands, hiring a professional dog trainer is generally a good idea. But not all dog trainers are equal. You’ll want to make sure the trainer is certified with either the:

How Much Does Dog Training Typically Cost?

The national average for dog training is $30 – $80 per class. Obedience programs generally cost about $200 – $600 per week. Dogs that are being trained as service dogs will typically cost about $120 per hour.

Train Using Positive Reinforcement

Using positive reinforcement is essential to training and socializing a happy, well-behaved dog. The Humane society outlines several positive reinforcement methods to use while training your dog. Using training treats is a positive way to train your dog.

Follow a Six Week DIY Training Program

There are several different six-week programs for training your dog at home:

Use Games

A fun way to train your dog is by playing games to teach behaviors or commands. You can use games to teach:

  • Cognitive Training: Several cognitive games to deepen your bond as well as help your dog be smarter.
  • Obedience Training: These are games your puppy will love to play, and it sneakily teaches obedience.

Use a Clicker

Clicker training is a mark and reward form of positive reinforcement training. You use a clicker to communicate with your dog about what you want. To clicker train, you’ll need a clicker and lots of training treats.

House Training & Crate Training

House training your dog to use the potty outside is the first thing you need to teach your new puppy or dog. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself cleaning up lots of accidents. Following a schedule and being diligent is critical to house training. Follow these proven techniques:

House Training Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Too Late to Potty Train My Dog?

No, you can potty train your dog at any age. You’ll want to make sure there aren’t underlying behavior or physical problems that are preventing proper potty training.

How Do I Get My 5 Year Old Dog to Stop Peeing in the House?

It may be a medical issue, so see your vet to rule out a physical problem. Then you’ll want to give your dog lots of breaks and watch for triggers.

Leash Training a Dog or Puppy

Training your dog to walk calmly on a leash without yanking, dragging, or stepping in front of you is another essential skill. It’s also an critical behavior because most places outside your home will require your dog to be on a leash, such as a park, beach, or national parks. Here are some great posts on leash training:

Frequently Asked Questions About Leash Training

What Age to Start Leash Training a Puppy?

A good age to start leash training for your puppy is about eight weeks old.

How to leash train a dog that won’t move?

If your dog refuses to walk on a leash, you may want to implement these techniques to motivate your dog to move.

How do you stop your dog from chewing on the leash?

This YouTube video gives clear tips to stop leash biting.

How to Socialize a Dog

Socializing your dog is training your dog to accept and be around new people, animals, and different environments. This is done by exposing your puppy or dog to new people, animals, and environments in a safe and controlled manner.

When a dog is well socialized, it welcomes being around new people and animals. Socialization also prevents developing behavior problems.

How to Successfully Socialize a Puppy

It is best to start socializing your puppy between 7 to 12 weeks old. Continue socializing your dog until they are at least 14 weeks old.

Frequently Asked Questions About Socialization

Why Is Puppy Socialization Important?

Dogs are healthier and happier when interacting, exercising, and playing with other dogs, people, and children. Socializing teaches them how to listen to others, make friends, and have fun while exercising.

How Does a Puppy Need to Be Socialized?

You’ll want to create a positive experience by slowly adding more new people and other animals as your puppy feels more comfortable. Introducing your puppy in a controlled way will help them feel less fearful around others.

Do I Need to Do Anything Special When I Socialize My Puppy?

No, you don’t need anything special. You just need to show patience, love, and diligence. By slowly introducing your puppy to new people, animals, and places, your dog will grow less fearful and enjoy meeting new people.

Is 5 months too late to socialize a puppy?

No! Dogs can be socialized at any age. But it is vital to socialize them between 8 weeks – 4 months old.

Basic Dog Command Training

Teaching your dog to follow basic commands is vital to creating a structure for your dog to learn and grow happily. Commands also help manage and overcome common dog behavior problems. Here are the essential commands to teach puppies and dogs:

Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Commands

What are the 7 Basic Dog Commands?

The seven basic commands are: sit, come, down, heel, stay, off, and no.

In what order should I teach the dog commands?

There is no wrong answer to this question, and you may find this debated among dog trainers. Some suggest using this order: heel, sit, stay, and come. But you’ll want to adapt depending on how well your dog responds.

Fun Tricks to Teach Your Dog

Once your dog or puppy has learned the basics, it’s time to teach your dog some fun tricks. Not only is it a good time, but it is also a great way to bond with your dog. Here are some great tricks to teach your dog:

How to Proof Behaviors

Proofing is the last step of training. Proofing behaviors validates if your dog has learned the behavior and can be obedient in new or social situations. To proof your dog’s training, you need to practice the newly learned behaviors in various situations. Here are some general techniques for proofing dog behavior:

How to Stop Common Behavior Problems

If you are aware and watching for potential behavioral issues, then you can control and correct the problem before it gets unmanageable. Here are a few behavioral issues that are common for dogs:

  • Common Dog Behavior Issues: This article covers aggression, barking, destructive chewing, food guarding, howling, mounting and masturbation, nipping, mouthing, separation anxiety, and whining.
  • Correcting Dog Behavior: Tips on how to stop unwanted dog behaviors.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Behavior Problems

How Do I Train My Dog to Be Good?

It’s going to take patience, positive reinforcement, and time. When you understand the triggers that encourage bad behavior, you can help your dog learn self-control and management.

How Do You Discipline an Older Dog?

Learn to discipline your dog without hitting using time-outs, voice, toy removal, and not giving attention to your dog.

How do you discipline a dog that won’t listen?

You’ll need patience, clear communication, repetition, and understanding. Follow these techniques and tips to train your dog that struggles to listen.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

There are several reasons your dog licks its paws. It could be environmental, food-based, stress, or an ingredient intolerance. Excessive paw licking is generally because your dog may have yeast, bacteria, or fungi overgrowth.

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