How To Train A Dog To Come Fast

The call of ‘come’ is a common sound in dog parks all around the world. You will always here dog owners calling their pet to ‘come’, but a lot of the time they don’t. While it can be an amusing sight to watch this spectacle, the reality is that it is frustrating and potentially dangerous.

Teaching your dog to come is one of the most important things you can do and in this guide we are going to show you how to do it. We will take you through a step-by-step approach that will get your dog coming to your call in no time.

Additionally, we are going to cover exercises you can do to enforce the ‘come’ command, what rewards you need, and potential problems you may face.

This may be your first time training your dog, or you may have already taught them to ‘sit’ or ‘lie down’. If you have already taught these two commands to your dog, you will probably find this guide a little bit easier than if you haven’t.

If you haven’t taught your dog ‘sit’ or ‘lie down’, don’t worry, you can still follow this guide. However, we do recommend you check out our guide to “Training Your Dog to Sit”.

Why Is Training Your Dog to Come So Important?

Along with ‘Sit’, the command ‘come’ is one of the most important things you can teach your dog. The ability to reliably call your dog back to you can keep them safe in dangerous situations or prevent them from doing things like running in the road or chasing a cat.

Additionally, the ability to get your dog to come back to you will help in situations like dog parks, where there are a ton of distractions. You will also need a strong, reliable ‘come’ if you ever want to walk your dog off a leash.

It can be incredibly frustrating if your dog does not come to your command and in some cases it can be downright embarrassing.

Best Tips and Tricks for Training a Dog to Come

Dogs have a short attention span and they can become easily distracted when you are trying to train them. However, dogs are always keen to please their owners and you can use this to your advantage when you are training them. You should always know your dog’s limits and never give them too hard a task straight off the bat. This will only confuse them and make progression much slower.

Pick a Good Environment to Train In

Training in a busy environment or place where there are lots of different distractions is a recipe for disaster. Think about your dog’s attention span and how they react to the world around them. You want to pick a place that is familiar to your dog, but also quiet.

Try not to train in places that are full of distractions like other dogs, humans, food or toys. You want to have your dog’s full attention when you are training them. This will give you the best progression and make the training process less frustrating. Below we have listed some tips to finding the right training environment:

  • Use a large room indoors as you have more control over you dog and you can confine them in an area. You can also control the distractions, so that your dog finds you the most interesting thing. You will probably need a large room as you need to put a bit of distance between you and your dog.
  • Avoid training outdoors if possible. While it is nice to train outside, there can be far more distractions that are less controllable. Outside training also limits your ability to confine your dog in a single area, which will make training a lot more difficult. If you can only train outside, try and use a lead to keep them close to you.

Eventually you will want to start training your dog outside and in places with more distractions to reinforce what you have been teaching them. However, you want to train them in a low distraction environment when you first start. The ultimate is to try and train your dog in places like dog parks, where there are lots of interesting pooches around.

Regular Short Training Sessions Are the Best

Like we said above, dogs have short attention spans and can become easily distracted. To combat this, you want to use regular, short training sessions to help them learn. When it comes to deciding how long a training session should be, you should also consider your dog’s energy levels, age and ability to focus.

For puppies, aim for sessions around three to five minutes in length. Spread two or three of these short sessions throughout the day and try and train them when they have energy, not when they want to sleep.

If your dog is older, you can probably get away with training sessions that are up to ten minutes in length. However, we still believe that slightly shorter, more frequent sessions are the way to go. Additionally, you can increase the frequency of the training sessions, but two or three a day should be enough to train your dog to come.

While it is good to set out a time limit for your training, if your dog is becoming bored or distracted it may be best to try again later.

Remember Your Dog’s Mood

Just like humans, dogs can get pretty tired. Sometimes they just don’t want to train and you need to remember this. If your dog just doesn’t seem in the mood to train, give them a break and then try again later. A tired dog can become more easily distracted or disobedient, which can make training them frustrating.

The other thing to remember is that they just might not be excited to train. While dogs love to please their owners, they also like to have fun and tasty treats as a reward for their hard work.

Supply Your Dog with High Value Rewards and Praise

There is no doubt that dogs love food and they love to be rewarded with tasty treats when they have been well behaved. Giving your dog nice, delicious treats is a crucial part of training them.

A great way to get your dog more invested in the training process is to use higher value rewards such as beef or chicken. You may need to try a few different types of treats to get the best response from your dog.

Before giving your dog any food item, always check to make sure it is safe for them to eat. Many food items like onions, grapes or chocolate are dangerous for dogs to eat.

Take a look at our ‘Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can Eat’ to find out more information on safe and unsafe foods for dogs.

Another way to reward your dog is to use their favourite toy or play a game with them. This is an excellent method of rewarding your dog, however, we do not recommend it when you are just starting out with training. Using toys or games can cause lengthy interruptions in the lesson, which can slow progress.

For this guide we want to make rewards as quick as possible and food is definitely the best way of doing this. If you are looking for a great pre-made treat, try ‘Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats’.

Praising your dog is another important part of the reward process. Your dog wants to please you, so make sure you give them lots of praise when they do the right thing. This lets them know they are doing the right job and will make them even more keen for training.

Watch Your Attitude

The way you speak to your dog and the tone of your voice can have a big impact on training. You should be firm but kind and calm.

You must never shout at your dog and end the lesson if you are getting upset or frustrated with your dog. Canines have significantly better hearing than humans and giving them an earful will seem aggressive and frightening to them. Always use a clear, normal tone that your dog can easily understand and listen to.

If you are frustrated, your dog will be able to tell and that can negatively impact the training. It can confuse your dog and turn the lesson into a disobedient mess. Always keep calm and it will help your training progress.

This article from Petiquette goes into more detail about why you shouldn’t get mad at your dog. 

Keep a Positive Vibe

Carrying on from above, always make sure to keep the training positive. Training your dog should be a fun, enjoyable experience for both you and your dog, rather than a job.

Try to always finish the lesson on a positive note, rather than a negative one. Take this for example, if your dog comes to you on request a couple of times in a row, you could in the session there. We are ending the session because the dog has done what we asked and has followed the command a couple of times.

Another tip is to make the training more fun. To do this you can turn it into a bit more of a game. This will make your dog more interested in the training and they will look forward to the next lesson with you.

Occasional, you will not be able to finish a lesson on a positive note and this is ok. What you don’t want to do is continually finish on a negative experience. If you find your dog is getting distracted or the lesson is going south, try get your dog to “come” a few more times to see if you can finish positively.

The last thing you can do to keep the lesson positive is to finish with a game. Dogs love to play and finish with a game of tug will keep them excited for future training sessions.

Think About a Signal You Want to Use

Before you even begin training your dog, you want to decide on a signal that lets your dog know that they are doing the right thing. This is not a treat; it is something you use or say to give an instant reward.

We use the word ‘yes’.

Say ‘yes’ in a clear and enthusiastic manner, and then follow this with a treat or other reward. Your dog will eventually start to look for the signal in your lessons to know they are pleasing you. Using a signal will reinforce good behaviour and gives instant gratification.

In this guide we will be using ‘yes’, however, you can use your own word or even try clicker training.

Questions About Teaching a Dog to Come

We’ve put together a number of questions owners commonly ask about teaching their dogs to sit. Some of the questions below relate to owners who have already tried to teach their dogs to sit, but are having difficulties doing so.

When Should I Teach My Dog to Come?

Training a puppy can be easier than training an older dog, however, the belief that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is entirely wrong. Puppies may learn quicker, but if you have an older dog that won’t come, you can still teach them to do so.

You can start training a puppy as soon as they come home. While you may not want to introduce the ‘come’ command immediately, you can reward them for naturally coming to you.

How Long Does It Take to Train a Dog to Come?

Teaching a dog to come is not instantaneous. It will take time and patience on both you and your dog’s part. However, the amount of time that it takes can depend on a few factors:

  • The age of your dog
  • Any previous training
  • If you have tried to teach them to come already
  • Your dog’s energy levels and nature
  • How often you train your dog
  • Any mistakes that are made during the training process
  • Where you want to use ‘come’ (eg, It’s easier to get your dog to come in a house, rather than the park).

My Dog Won’t Come When They Are Called

This is a common problem people have with their dogs. You may find that your canine companion will come sometimes, but will ignore you on other occasions. This is because they have not been trained to come correctly. You want the response to the command to be automatic.

Dogs usually will ignore your command when there is something more interesting than you. This could be other dogs, people, food or smells. You need to train your dog to ignore these distractions and that you are the most interesting thing to them.

Many owners train their dogs to come in somewhere like their house or garden, and then expect them to do it in the park. This is not going to happen, so you need to gradually increase the intensity of the distractions around you dog during training.

Don’t worry if your dog is like this. If you follow this guide you will have your dog coming in no time.

How to Train a Dog to Come?

Most dogs do not come because they have not been taught to automatically respond to the ‘come’ command. When training your dog, you want to create a trained response that they do not have to think about.

Once you have trained you dog correctly, they will not ask themselves “should I go to my owner or is that other dog or human more interesting?” They will just come and will not be able to stop themselves.

Before we start training, let’s look at why ‘come’ can be associated with bad things in your dog’s mind

Why Come Can Be Bad to Your Dog

Dogs associate one thing with another, and commands are no different. The word ‘come’ and running to you can be associated with all sorts of boring or even unpleasant experiences. For instance, think about the following:

  • Discipline or being told off
  • Finishing a walk
  • Leaving the park
  • Coming inside from the garden
  • Going back home

The above and more can often be seen as negatives to dogs. Your dog doesn’t want to go home from the park, because they are enjoying their time playing with the other dogs. They don’t want to be told off or finish a walk.

In the situations above we often tell our dog to ‘come’ when we want to take them home, tell them off or get them inside. Dogs will associate the negative feelings they get from these actions with the word ‘come’. They realise they get no benefit when they come to you and while you may think your dog loves praise, studies have shown that praise alone is not effective at changing a dog’s behaviour.

To change your dog’s behaviour you have to reward them with something like treats and give them physical affection, such as petting.

This makes it difficult when it comes to training a dog to come, as we naturally want them to follow the command in those situations. What you need to do is make coming fun and exciting for your dog. They need to think that if they come to you, it will be the best thing that they have done all day.

How Do I Make ‘Come’ Fun?

So how do you make ‘come’ fun? Well, that’s actually easier than you may think. What you need to do is create a situation where your dog runs to you and then turn it into an incredible experience for them.

This, of course, will require food, games and lots of fun. You are trying to create a memorable experience for your dog that puts a big smile on their face. What you are not doing is using the ‘come’ command at all during this time.

We are not barking out orders or forcing them to do anything for us. This stage of the training process is about getting them to chase you, and luckily dogs love chasing people.

Remember the High Value Rewards

We can’t emphasise this enough, you need to have treats that your dog gets excited about. They should be small pieces of food or small treats such as Zuke’s Mini Naturals’, otherwise your dog may experience weight gain.

Walk Away from Your Dog

The first step of this guide is to simply walk away. You want to wait until your dog is a short distance from you with their attention focused solely in your direction. When they are looking at you, just walk away.

You should find that your dog starts to follow you. As they do this, increase the speed you are walking and then quickly turn around and give them a nice tasty treat when they get to you.

In addition to the treat, make sure you give your dog the biggest fuss. Pat them, play with them and praise them, so they know that following you is a good thing. Feed a few more treats to your dog and then repeat the process a few times.

What You Shouldn’t Do at This Stage

While this stage of the training is pretty straightforward, there are a few mistakes you can make. We have listed some of the things to watch out for below:

  • Don’t go towards your dog – Moving towards your dog at this stage is a big no, no. Taking steps towards them, will tell them that they get a reward for nothing. Think of yourself as the reward, and they have to come to you to get it.
  • Don’t use the word ‘come’ – Like we said earlier, you are not using the word ‘come’ or any other command to call them over to you. We are not saying the command because if your dog doesn’t come to you, they have just learnt to ignore it. If you make the mistake of using the ‘come’ command, you may need to think of another one.
  • Don’t use food as a bribe – The food you give your dog should be a reward, not a bribe. Always keep the treats out of sight before giving it to them as a reward. Don’t wave them about or stick them in front of your dog’s nose, as this will only set you up for failure in the future.
  • Don’t try to train without food rewards – Training without food is always a recipe for disaster. It is a super common mistake and it will lead to poor progress. Many people try and just pat or praise there dog as a reward, however, this just isn’t good enough. The quickest and fastest way to train the ‘come’ command is to use food. Once you have taught your dog, then you can change up the rewards.
  • Don’t use low-value treats – Low value treats are ok, but when you really want to get good progress, use high-value ones.
  • Don’t train around distractions – At this early stage of training, you want your dog to simply follow you. If there is something more interesting, your dog may follow that.
  • Don’t train a full dog – Training a dog just after they have had dinner is a big mistake. While some dogs are never full, it is always better to train them before meal time rather than after. This will make them more willing to follow your instructions and the treats will be more valuable to them.

Help! My Dog Won’t Follow Me!

You may find that your dog simply won’t follow you. This might be because they feel you are boring or uninteresting, and can’t really see any point in following you. If this is the case, you can get your dog’s attention by making noise or having your arms about. Your pup should see this and start to move towards you to find out what is going on. When they do this, walk away like we described above.

Introducing The ‘Come’ Command

Now that your dog knows that moving towards you or following you is good, it is time to introduce the command. You need to be careful at this stage, don’t start shouting at your dog to come. This is because your dog does not understand ‘come’ at the moment and using it can ingrain bad habits.

What you need to do is use the ‘come’ command when your dog is already doing the action. For example, if your dog is coming towards you, you can say the word come. We are teaching the dog that ‘come’ means run towards my owner.

Continue doing this for about a week. Your dog will eventually start to associate the word with the action. Make sure you continue giving them treats when they do come towards you, especially when you are using the command.

Training The Come

If your dog decides to naturally run towards you, that’s great, say the word ‘come’ and give them a treat. You are probably going to find that you either forget this in naturally occurring situations or they just don’t happen that much at all. Like we did before, you want to engineer these situations so that they happen.

Wait until you have your dog’s attention and begin to move away from them. As soon as your dog commits to running or walking to you, give the ‘come’ command. Do this is a clear manner and only say it once.

When your dog gets to you, reward them with a treat and make a big fuss of them. This shows that you are happy with their behaviour.

Mistakes You Can Make When Introducing the Come Command

Again, this part of the training is pretty straightforward. It is almost exactly the same as the first stage, but with ‘come’ thrown in there when your dog starts moving towards you. However, there are a couple of mistakes you can make.

  • Don’t give the command to come too early – Saying the word ‘come’ before they have started moving is a big mistake. You should only say the word when your dog is fully committed to coming to you. If your dog decides to change his direction after you have said ‘come’ it can create bad habits.
  • Phasing out treats – You need to continue to use treats at this point. If you remove treats from the training process, your dog’s interest level in the training will nosedive. Try to use high-value rewards as well.
  • Not giving them enough attention when they come – Along with rewarding your dog with food, you need to make sure to give them lots of attention. Making a big fuss of them is an important part of the training process.

Teaching Your Dog to Come On Command

Here’s the part you have all been waiting for, teaching your dog to come on command. We have already taught our dog that coming to you is a good thing and they also now associate the word ‘come’ with the action. Now we are going to teach our dog to respond to the ‘come’ command.

You need to start in the same locations as you have already been training in. Remember to remove any distractions or train in a place that has no distractions already.

Wait until your dog is a small distance away from you and paying some attention to you. Your dog should not be moving towards you at this point. Give the come command.

You should find that your dog runs straight up to you to collect his reward. If they do, give them a treat and make a big fuss of them.

Once you have got your dog coming back to you on command in a controlled environment, it is time to change it up a little. Surprise your dog with a ‘come’ command when they are not expecting it. Don’t do it in an environment where there are lots of distractions, but it could be in another room or in the garden of your property.

Try it when your dog is lying down, walking about and sitting, and then heavily reward them when they come to you.

My Dog Didn’t Come!

So, what happens if your dog doesn’t come at this stage. If they do not come to your command, there are a couple of things you can do:

  • Run away – Like we have done before you can run away, wave your arms, jump up and down, and just generally act silly, so that you get your dog’s attention. You will be far more interesting to your dog if you move. When your dog does get to you, make sure you heavily reward them and give them a good old pat.
  • Revert back to the previous stage – Sometimes your dog just might take a bit more time to associate the word ‘come’ with the action. Go back to the previous stage and spend another week or two getting them used to the word.
  • You need to be clear – You must make sure you are saying ‘come’ in a clear, concise manner, with no other words attached.
  • Increase the value of your rewards – If you are failing to get the desired response, it can be a good idea to try some different treats. If you are just using biscuits, try and use some chicken or beef.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

You need to practice the command regularly. Don’t think that because your dog has successfully come on command once, they will do it again. You need to continue with regular and random training sessions to ingrain the command in their mind.

What Can Go Wrong

Do not repeat the command and do not bribe your dog. Shouting come repeatedly is a major no, no. Your dog will learn to ignore the command if you continually shout it at them, which will cause you further headaches.

When training goes wrong, many owners resort to showing their dog food to get them to carry out the command. This will only set you up for failure in the future and will make progression much slower.

Introducing Distractions

This is where things can go really wrong. Introducing distractions is an important part of the training process and it can cause problems. You need to slowly build the intensity of the distractions around your dog.

Changing the location, introducing new pets or people, using smells and food are all great ways to challenge your dog. Eventually, you want to be able to call your dog to come when you are at a park with other dogs around, or when there is food about and much more.

How Do You Introduce Distractions?

Before you go testing your dog at the park with other dogs around, you need to start small. Gradually introduce distractions in an area you have already been training in. Start with something like adding another person into the mix.

What you need to do is get your dog sitting beside the person helping you. The helper must ignore the dog completely and should be a short distance away from you.

Call your dog to come and reward them heavily for doing so. To change the intensity of this, add more people or change the person who the dog stands next to. Try adding an extra person in a triangle formation, so that there is another person your dog could potentially go to.

If you find your dog is failing to come to your command, reduce the intensity of the distractions.

Using Food as a Distraction

Another great way of getting your dog more used to distractions is by using food. While you probably won’t be calling your dog away from food that often, it is a nice way to train your dog to come away from something they want. Dogs love food and if you can get them to come from it, then you are probably on the right track.

Initially, use a food item that is not that interesting to your dog. You don’t want to use food that is more enticing than the treats you are giving to them as a reward.

Other Dogs

Along with food, there is probably nothing your dog likes more than their own kind. Training your dog to come away from other dogs can be difficult. If you have ever been to a dog park, you will know that it is full of people trying to get their canines away from other dogs.

The best way to train this is to enlist the help of a friend with a dog. Start off with asking your dog to come away from one dog and then eventually you will be able to train them to come away from many.

Get your friend, their dog and your own dog standing a short distance away from you. Your friend should be ignoring your dog and they should make their pup sit. Ask your dog to come and if they do, then heavily reward them.

Remember to only say the command once and do not try to bribe your dog with food. Additionally, after calling your dog to come, remember to let them go back and play with other dogs. This shows them that coming to you doesn’t mean the end of playtime.

Using a Long Lead or Leash

When you are moving to new locations or trying ‘come’ in somewhere like a park, it can be a good idea to use a long lead or rope. Start off with a short distance and gradually increase the distance that you are training at.

The process is exactly the same as we have outlined above in this article, except you have a bit more control over your dog. Using a long lead is a great way of keeping your dog relatively close to you when you are adding in new distractions such as other dogs, or changing location.

The lead should not be used as a tool to force your dog to come to you. Your dog should be willing to come and the lead should only be used as a last resort if things go bad.

Games to Play That Reinforce the Come Command

Training your dog should be a fun experience. If you make training fun, your dog will be more motivated to listen to your commands. Creating games is also a great way of reinforcing commands when the bulk of the training is over. We have listed a couple of games below that will help with your dog’s come command.

In The Middle

You can play this with your family or a large group of people. Place your dog in the middle of everyone and make sure all the people in the circle have treats.

Take turns asking your dog to come and then rewarding them as they do. Only one person should be calling them and if they go to the wrong person, they should ignore the dog until the find the right person. Remember to keep this game nice and short, you don’t want to exhaust your dog.

Hide and Seek

Everyone loves a good game of hide and seek, and it is also an excellent way of training your dog to come. Either get your dog to sit and wait, or get someone to hold them in place and then run away with a high-value reward.

When you are just out of sight, call your dog to come. Only say the word once and when they find you, praise and reward them generously.

When Can I Get Rid of Rewards?

Now that you have finished the bulk of the training, you are probably wondering if you can get rid of treats. Completely removing treats can do away with all your hard work. It is one of the most common mistakes people make and it can be really frustrating.

Once you have taught your dog to come, you can reduce the amount of treats you give them, but do not get rid of them entirely. You still want to reward your dog for their good behaviour. If they never receive any rewards and you only use ‘come’ in situations like returning home from the park, your dog will start to become less motivated to follow your command.

The other thing you can do is to start using toys as a reward. Take their favourite toy with you on a walk and when you call them to come, play a game with them.

Wrapping Up Teaching a Dog to Come

Training a dog to come is certainly one of the more important commands to teach them. It can keep them out of danger and can save you from frustrating or embarrassing situations at the park. Remember to take the training slow and always have fun.

While this guide ‘to train a dog to come’ is long, it should cover everything you need to know about the subject. If you have any questions about teaching a dog to ‘come’, leave a comment down below.

You can also check out the American Kennel Club for more information on training a dog to ‘come’.

Now Read: The Ultimate Guide To Training Your Dog To Sit


How To Teach A Dog To Lie Down Correctly

We all envy those with a well-trained dog and it can be frustrating when you can’t get your dog to behave the way you want them to.

The ‘lie down’ command is one of the most important commands you can teach your dog. It allows you to control your dog in certain situations and push the pause button when things are heading south.

If you are looking to train your dog to lay down, then you have come to the right place. This is the ultimate guide to getting your dog to lie down and stay until you decide when they can get up again.

While training your dog to lie down isn’t the most difficult command, you are going to need time, patience and a whole lot of treats.

The Benefits of Teaching Your Dog to Lie Down

Before you even think about teaching your dog tricks like ‘paw’, you want to teach them basic commands that let you control them in different situations. Commands like ‘lie down’ and ‘sit’ are essential to dog control, and they open the door to more advanced forms of training.

Training your dog any command, including ‘lay down’ will also help you and your dog form a closer bond. It feels great teaching your dog a command and they will love to please you.

Let’s look at why the ‘lie down’ command is so great to teach:

  • Down commands can help calm an overly excited dog. If your dog is bouncing off the walls or gets too excited in general, teaching them to get down is a great way to get that excitement under control.
  • It helps dogs stick to one spot. Just like the ‘sit’ command, teaching your dog to lay down will help them stay in one spot. This can be really beneficial in all sorts of different situations and will help you get better control over your canine companion.
  • It can be used when guests come to your house. While you might not mind your dog jumping all over you, your guests probably will. Teaching your dog to get down and stay calm is a great way to stop them giving your guests a big wet, slobbery kiss. It is also great for when your dog meets children or new puppies.
  • A good down command will give you ultimate control over your dog. The ability to teach your dog to stop and get down is the best way to prevent them from moving towards a dangerous situation.
  • Your dog can hold the position for a long time. Just like humans tend to find lying down relaxing, dogs are the same. If you need to get your dog to stay for a long time, this is the position to get them into.
  • It keeps their brains working. Teaching your dog any command is a great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated. Think of training as a fun, play session with your dog.

Common Questions When Teaching Dogs to ‘Lie Down’

Some of the questions below are related to owners who have already tried to teach their dog to lie down, but are having some issues with their behaviour.

Why Does My Dog Not Get Down When I Tell Them to?

Teaching your dog to lie down isn’t actually that hard. The problems start when you ask your dog to do it in different situations and with distractions around them.

While you may think that this is just a case of bad behaviour or that your dog is trying to be dominate, you would be wrong.

Your dog knows the ‘lie down’ command but fails to action on it because you have not reinforced it. You need to teach them to get down in all kinds of different environments with different distractions. Dogs do not understand this automatically, so you have to train them to understand it.

Many dog owners will teach their canine companions to lie down in the kitchen or somewhere in the house, but then expect them to do it in the park. In reality, teaching your dog to get down is not that easy.

My Dog Doesn’t Stay Down?

Another problem people seem to face is when their pups simply won’t stay in the down position.

This might be because someone touches the dog and they get excited, which can be incredibly frustrating. While this is annoying, it is perfectly natural for our dog; however, we are going to teach you how to stop this.

Another reason why your dog doesn’t stay in the ‘lay down’ position is because of the command they have been taught. Many owners teach their dog two commands ‘lie down’ and ‘stay’. This does work, but we want to take a different approach.

We want to teach our dog to lie down and then stay until we use a release cue, rather than asking them to stay. It may be a small difference, but it can have a big impact.

Remember that your dog doesn’t know how long they should lie down. If you teach them to wait for your signal, then there is no confusion and your dog will understand your command.

My Dog Won’t Lie Down When There Are Other Dogs Around?

Most dogs will not stay in a lying down position when there are other dogs around, they are just too interesting. It is only in a dog’s nature to want to play with other dogs and your command is much less interesting than them.

You will find that dogs that stay lying down when there are other dogs around are either really well trained, or just not interested in other canines.

When Should I Teach My Dog to Down?

Starting early is always the best option when it comes to training dogs. While puppies do tend to learn quicker than older dogs, you can certainly teach an old dog new tricks. Teaching an older dog to lie down may take a bit longer and a may require a few more treats!

Some Helpful Tips for Teaching Your Dog How to Lie Down


Pick A Good Place to Train

Establishing your training environment is incredibly important. Before you begin training your dog, think about where you are. Dogs can be easily distracted, so try to find a quiet place to train. Remember to try and use an area that is familiar to your dog as well.

Avoid any areas that have a lot of distractions when training. Things like food, toys or other dogs can easily ruin a training session. Your dog’s attention should be solely on you during the lesson.

  • A room inside your house is a great place to train your dog initially. You will have loads of control over your dog and can confine them, so that all their attention is fixed on you.
  • Tell other people in your house that a training session is going on. This will help to prevent any unwanted distractions from butting into the lesson.

Training outside, especially in the early stages of teaching your dog how to lie down can be problematic. It is much more difficult to control distractions outside and it is harder to confine your dog. If you have to train outside, use a lead to keep your dog close to you.

When you have progressed and your dog is comfortable lying down in a low-distraction area, move the training sessions to a place with more distractions. Increasing the difficulty will help reinforce good behaviour.

Remember that the floor your training on can also have an effect on your dog’s behaviour. Some dogs don’t like to lie down on a cold or uncomfortable floor. Teach your dog somewhere comfortable like on carpet or a rug.

Reward Your Dog with High-Value Treats

It’s so important to reward your dog and praise them when you are training. Dogs love treats and they love pleasing you, so let them know they are doing the right.

If you find that your dog just isn’t interested in training, it may be because you are not using the correct treats. Higher-value treats will make your dog more excited to please you and perform the task you want them to do. You may need to try a few different treats before you settle on one that works for your dog.

Remember to check that the food you are giving your dog is safe for them to eat. There are a whole host of different dangerous foods to dogs, so be cautious.

Take a look at our ‘Ultimate Food Guide for Dogs’ for more info on what food items are safe or unsafe for canines to consume.

Another thing to remember is that rewards don’t always have to be food. A favourite toy is also another great option, but at this early we recommend you use food to train your dog. Food is probably the quickest way of rewarding your dog, which is important when training.

Don’t Make Training Sessions Too Long

Always remember that dogs usually have short attention spans and can get distracted easily. Keeping your training sessions short can help to keep your dog focused on you, rather than other things.

Consider your dog’s age, energy level and focus level when deciding how long you should make your lesson. Puppies that are about 12 weeks old should be trained for no more than five minutes. Keep the training sessions to about two or three times a day, and remember to train them when they have energy.

For older dogs, you can get away with extending their training sessions to around ten minutes in length. Additionally, you can increase the number of sessions in a day, however, we think two or three, five minute lessons in a day should be more than enough to train your dog to lie down.

Keep It Positive

Training should be a fun positive experience for the both of you. If you turn it into a chore, both you and your dog will become fed up with it and the lesson will suffer.

Remember to always try and end your session on a positive note. For example, if your dog is lying down when you ask them to, you can end the session a bit earlier. Make the lesson more of a game as this will keep your dog more interested, and they will look forward to the next session with you.

If the lesson is headed south, give the command another couple of goes to try and see if you can finish on a positive note. You can also finish the training session with a game as well, which can help to make the lesson more positive.

Also remember to be positive yourself. Your dog will sense when you are not happy and they will get anxious. Try to remain calm and don’t get frustrated. If you find yourself getting annoyed, end the training session and try again later.

Think of Your Dog’s Mood

Sometimes, your dog just won’t want to train. They may be tired or they may be the opposite, overly excited. If your dog is sleepy, let them rest and train when they have a bit of energy. Dogs with too much energy can be a real handful, so try wearing them out a little bit before you train. Take them for a walk or play a game to expend some of that excess energy. Read this article for a bit more information on a dog’s mood and training.

Think About the Signal You Want to Use

The last tip we want to give you is to decide upon a signal before you start training. This guide requires you to use a signal for part of it, so think about what you want to use.

We recommend that you use ‘Yes’ as your signal. A clicker is another great signal you can use as well.

Always say ‘yes’ in a clear and enthusiastic manner, and then follow with a treat. Once your dog learns the signal that you use, they will begin to look for it when you are training. Using a signal will make the training easier and will reinforce any good behaviour.

We will be explaining how to use the signal as we progress through this guide.

Train Your Dog to Lie Down

Teaching your dog, the ‘down’ command is a fairly straightforward process. The position is completely natural for your dog and it is pretty comfortable as well. No one had to train your dog how to lie down, they just did it. All what you are doing is associating a command with the action.

There are a few different methods to training your dog to get down. Different methods can work better or worse with different dogs and their owners.

The main two methods we are going to look at in this guide is ‘luring’ and ‘capturing’.

You can also force your dog to get into the down position, however, we would not recommend this method.

Why You Should Never Force Your Dog to Lie Down

Old school trainers sometimes forced a dog to get into a position by forcing them. They would push and pull on parts of the dog’s body to get them into a position they wanted. This is not what we want to do.

Imagine if somebody much larger than you pushed down on your shoulders to force you to lie down. If you didn’t understand what they were asking for, it would be pretty scary, wouldn’t it? Your natural instinct would probably be to resist and fight this person.

Your dog will almost certainly feel the same way. They do not speak your language and forcing them into the down position can make them fearful. This sort of training method can reduce the trust your dog has for you, which can make future training sessions even more difficult.

Rather than making our dog do something out of fear or force, we want to teach our dog to listen to the command we give them. Your dog should happily listen to the down command and enjoy the training process. Forcing your dog into a position is counter-productive.

Check out this article for 13 effects of negative training methods with dogs.

The positive training methods we are going to show you in this article may take a bit more patience on both you are your dog’s part, but it will produce a better outcome. Your dog will be much happier about the down command and it will be a great bonding session for the both of you. If you follow the methods we give you in this guide, your dog will learn how to get down and they will enjoy it!

Train Your Dog the Lie Down Command with Capturing

The first method we are going to look at is ‘capturing’. Capturing works by waiting for your dog to lie down naturally, and then rewarding them when they do. You are also using the signal word or sound as we discussed earlier.

Your dog will learn that the signal (In our guide we are using ‘yes’) means that they are doing the right thing.

In most cases, it can be hard to give your dog a treat at the exact moment they are performing the desired behaviour. This is why we use a signal like ‘yes’ or a clicker to let them know what behaviour you are rewarding them for.

This same training method can be used for a variety of different behaviours. In this guide we are only using it for the down command, but we have also discussed it in our other training guides like ‘how to teach your dog to sit’.

Getting set up

The first thing you want to do is to get in a suitable training area. As we wrote earlier, avoid high distraction environments for this stage of training. If your dog is overly excited or has too much energy, take them for a walk or play a game with them. This will make them a bit more settled and controllable.

Capturing A Lie Down

Now that you are ready, the next step is to wait for your dog to lie down. Once your dog goes down, use your signal and then reward your dog immediately with a treat. You should wait for your dog’s elbows to touch the ground before doing this.

When you say ‘yes’ and give your dog a treat, they will almost certainly get up. This is perfectly fine and is actually quite helpful, as it sets you up for the next capture. Wait for your dog to lie down again and then repeat the same process.

What you are doing is essentially creating a ‘snapshot’ in time that lets your dog know that you liked it when they went into a lying down position.

You may find that your dog tries to offer you different behaviours to get a reward. While this is cute, you must ignore all other behaviour until they lie down again.

Once you have ‘captured’ a lie down around five times, your dog will start to realise that they are triggering the rewards you are giving them. Your dog will then try and figure out what they are doing that pleases you, so they can get more treats.

This is why we give a dog a signal. It tells them what you liked, so that they know to do it again in the future.

If you have used this method to teach your dog another command, then they will catch on pretty quick. Dogs that have not experienced this training method may take a bit longer.

Adding The ‘Down’ Command

The last step of this training method is to add the ‘down’ command. Your dog now understands that lying down is a good thing, but you now need to add the command into the mix.

You need to say the word ‘down’ just a fraction before your dog goes into a lying down position. We are still going to reward the dog and give them the signal just as before, but we are adding the command.

Eventually, your dog will associate this command with the action and they will begin lying down at your request.

Luring Your Dog into the Down Position

Luring is a pretty simple technique. It uses your dog’s love of food and their nose to get them into the right position. Your dog will follow the treat until they are lying down and then be rewarded.

Just like the previous method, you are going to need a lot of treats and you need to be in a low distraction environment.

Using the Lure

The first thing you need to do is get your dog’s attention with them facing you. Hold a treat in your hand, but don’t let your dog see it. Let your dog smell the treat, you should have their full attention at this point. If your dog doesn’t seem interested, you may have to try a different treat.

Once your dog’s nose is locked onto your fist, move your hand down towards the ground. Your dog’s head should follow your hand down, following the smell of the treat.

At this point, your dog will probably be in some strange position with their head on the floor and their bum up. What you need to do now is move your hand away from your dog along the floor. The movement of your hand and the treat should look like an “L”. Your hand moves directly down and then away from the dog.

Avoid moving your hand in a diagonal movement. If you have done the movement correctly, your dog should quickly drop to a lying down position and follow the treat.

Another tip is to ask your dog to sit before you get them to lie down. This way, your dog’s backend is already on the floor. If you haven’t taught your dog to sit already, we recommend you do this before teaching them to lie down. Check out our ‘how to teach a dog to sit guide’.

You may find that getting your dog to sit first doesn’t help. If this is the case, don’t worry just be patient. Some dogs may stay standing and paw at your hand rather than lying down. While this can be a bit frustrating, eventually your dog will lie down to get the treat. Remember, don’t give your dog a treat until they are in the position you want them in or if they attempt to get in the correct down position.

A Different Approach to Luring

If your dog isn’t responding to moving the treat in an ‘L’ shape away from them, you can go the opposite way. Rather than moving the treat away from them, try and push the treat towards them – aiming at a spot between their rear paws.

Most dogs will lean back, causing them to fold together into a lying down position. This can be an effective method if the above isn’t working for you.

Reward your dog as soon as their tummy meets the floor.

Getting Rid of the Lure

Losing the lure is an important part of this technique. While the foundation of this method is based on the lure, you do not want to rely on it for too long. This is because you and your dog can become dependent on the lure, which is not a good thing.

For this next stage, you are going to want to ditch the lure in your hand. However, remember to keep a treat hidden away in your other hand or close by.

Once your dog has moved into the down position around five times with a lure, repeat the process with an empty hand. Show your dog that your hand is empty and let them sniff it.

The next step is to move your empty hand in the exact same pattern as before. If your dog moves into the down position, reward them and give them the signal.

You may find that your dog does not follow your empty hand. If this is the case, give it another couple of goes and revert back to the lure if you are still not seeing any progress.

Carry on practicing without a lure, your dog should soon move into the ‘down’ position when you put your hand close to their nose.

Adding the ‘Down’ Command

Now that your dog understands that getting into the ‘down’ position is a good thing and they can do it without a lure, it is time to add the command.

Just as with the ‘capturing’ method, you need to say ‘down’ just a fraction before your dog’s tummy hits the floor. You are still going to reward your dog and give them the signal, but we are just adding the command into the mix.

With a bit more practice, your dog will soon begin to associate the word ‘down’ with the action of moving into a lying down position.

Why Does My Dog Not Stay in the Down Position?

So you’ve now taught your dog to get down, but they won’t stay. Most people want their dogs to stay when they ask them to lie down. Your dog isn’t going to know how to stay naturally. What you have taught them above is just moving into a lying down position.

In this next section we are going to teach your dog to stay, but before we do that let’s talk about the command.

In this guide, we are not going to use the word ‘stay’ or any sort of stay command. We think it is a waste of time and will actually hinder your training. Telling your dog to ‘stay’, whether it is in a lying down, sitting or any position can be confusing to them.

When you ask your dog to stay, they do not understand how long. To them, staying could mean a couple of seconds or a couple of minutes before they get up and move.

What we want to do is give them a release word or signal, that tells them when to get up.

Increasing Duration While Lying Down

Once your dog has got the hang of lying down on command, it is time to add some duration to it. We want to teach our dog that the down command means, “Lie down until I say you can get up and move.”

As we mentioned above, we need to teach our dog a release command or signal that lets them know when they can get up.

With a release command, you should ideally choose something that is not frequently heard in conversation. This is to prevent any confusion. Below we have listed a few common release commands:

  • ‘okay’
  • ‘free’
  • ‘off you go’
  • ‘up’

This release command can also be used for other positions where you want your dog to stay. If you have taught your dog one already, you can use that again.

Building Duration

When you first start, your dog probably isn’t going to stay in the down position for long. What you need to do is increase the duration that your dog can stay before you release them. Do this inside in a low distraction environment.

To start, ask your dog to lie down and simply wait a couple of seconds. Give the release signal and then reward your dog.

If your dog gets up before you release them, they get no reward. Tell them to lie down and try again. If you are successful, gradually build the duration of the stay before you give the release command. Move it from two seconds to three, then five and so on.

Mix up shorter stays with longer ones to keep the training interesting. Don’t expect a whole lot from younger puppies. If you can manage a thirty second stay before they are released, you are doing well.

Once they are trained. Older dogs should be able to easily stay in a lying down position for around thirty minutes. While this seems like a long time, by gradually building up the duration you should eventually get there.

Adding Distance

Getting your dog to stay in the down position for thirty minutes is no use if you can’t walk away without them getting up. Creating distance between you and your dog is an important part of getting them to stay. For this phase of the training you should start inside.

Once your dog can stay for about half a minute in the down position, you can start to introduce some distance into the mix.

To start, ask your dog to lie down and then take one step away from your dog. Return to your dog and reward them if they stay lying down.

If you are successful, gradually increase the distance you move away from your dog over the course of several training sessions. Always remember to return to your dog and reward them if they stay.

Failing to return to your dog can make them ‘break’ the stay, which can hinder the training process. You want avoid telling your dog to ‘come’ as well, as this can have the same effect. For this training guide we are simply walking away and then returning to them.

Eventually, you should be able to walk a couple of meters away from your dog and then return to them, while they are lying down.

Mixing Commands

Now that your dog knows the ‘down’ command, you can mix it up a little. Switching commands is an important part of making sure your dog understands what you are asking of them.

Ask your dog to ‘sit’. You may find that your dog lies down instead of sitting. This is because your dog does not fully understand the commands you are giving them.

If your dog does not sit when you ask them to, lure them into a sitting position and reward them. Throw another treat away from your dog so they have to get up and move to get it. When your dog comes back to you, ask them to sit again and repeat until your dog stops lying down.

The next thing you want to do is ask your dog to lie down. See if they sit or lie down. If your dog sits, repeat the same process as above, expect you are getting them to lie down.

Eventually, your dog will begin to understand what command means sit and what one means lie down. You can start to alternate the two commands, until your dog can respond to each one correctly.

This process can take a couple of training sessions to get right, so be patient.

Introduce Some Distractions

Now that you can get your dog to lie down and stay, it is time to add some distractions. People often forget that this is an incredibly important part of the training process. Your dog may lie down in the kitchen, but making them do it in the park with other dogs is a whole different ball game.

What you need to do is slowly introduce distractions into your training sessions. These could be family members walking in and out of the room or even another dog.

If your dog is finding the distractions too tempting, try and reduce their intensity. For instance, if you have another dog in the room try and move them further away from the dog you are training.

The other thing you need to do is reduce the distance and duration when you are making them stay. Don’t make your dog wait too long, as the distraction will become more interesting than you. Additionally, if you move too far away from your dog, they may go to the other person or dog in the room instead.

Break your training sessions down into easy stages and go back to a previous stage if your dog fails. Teach your dog to lie down when guests come to the house or when you move in and out of doors.

The general rule of adding distractions is to only add one at a time. Don’t try to add too many at once as this can be frustrating and can make your training go backwards.

Moving Your Training Outside

At this stage, you’ve probably only trained your dog inside (unless you don’t have enough room). Now we are going to move outside, which introduces a whole lot more distractions.

The distractions you find outside on walks are less controllable than the ones in your house. It may be another dog walking down the street or an interesting new smell. You need to teach your dog to lie down when these distractions are around and make them stay.

The best thing to do is start in a quiet corner of a park. This way you can avoid the majority of the distractions around your dog, but they are still in a new environment. You can slowly move towards the distractions when your dog successfully lies down and stays.

Remember to avoid long training sessions. Take your dog for a walk and then spend five minutes in the park teaching them to lie down with distractions around.

When you first start training your dog in an area like a park, you can use a lead as this will prevent them from running away.

Increase the intensity of the distractions until your dog can lie down and stay with other dogs and people around.

Don’t Become Dependent on Treats

While treats are a great way of training your dog, you do not want to become dependent on them. Eventually, you will want to phase out treats. Once your dog understands what you are asking them, you can get them to do it a few times before rewarding them with food.

This is important because sometimes you will want your dog to lie down, but you do not have any treats available. It will also wind up saving you money in the long run and can help stop your dog’s waistline from ballooning.

You can replace food rewards with something else that motivates your dog. For example, you could praise your dog or find a toy they get really excited about.

Treats can still be used, just less often. Don’t be predictable with your rewards, keep your dog guessing and they will love it. Mix up praise with food rewards, toys and games.

In addition to mixing up their rewards, you can also ask for a series of behaviours before rewarding your dog. For example, you may ask your dog to sit, then lie down and then sit again before rewarding them. This will further ingrain the commands in your dog’s mind and will help them understand what you are asking for.

Summing Up How to Train Your Dog to Down

Teaching your dog to lie down will require patience and commitment on both you are your dog’s part. Just like teaching your dog to sit, getting them to lie down on your command is one of the best things you can teach your dog.

It can help keep your dog safe and will make them better around people. Tell your dog to lie down when people came to the house and everyone will love your dog that much more.

When it comes to the two training methods we’ve gone through in this guide, we feel that luring is probably the quicker method. Both methods should work fine however, and it should be great fun training your dog.

A signal like ‘yes’ or a clicker are useful aids when training. They will let your dog know that they are doing the right thing instantly. In addition to a signal, don’t forget high-value rewards to make your dog even more exited to train.

Train your dog two or three times a day to bring on fast results, without overwhelming them. Remember that the most important part of training is having fun!

If you have any questions or other tips on teaching a dog to down, leave them in the comments below.

Now Read: 27 Of The Best Training Tips For Dogs


27 Of The Best Training Tips For Dogs

Are you struggling with your dog’s behaviour or are you looking to get your new puppy trained? Training a dog can be a daunting process and it can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you have never done it before.

Whether you train your dog all by yourself, take classes or hire a private instructor, there are some basic tips and tricks you should know about. These tips can help improve the training experience for both you and your canine.

We’ve created a list of all of our favourite dog training tips that don’t warrant a full article about them. These tips can be used when training your dog all sorts of commands; from come to sit and even heel.

Before you get into the tips, let’s look at why training your dog is so important.

The Importance of Training a Dog

Training a dog isn’t just about showing how much better behaved your dog is than your friends. Teaching a dog tricks like “paw” and “play dead” are cool, but there are much more important things to teach them.

Getting your dog trained well can make owning a dog a much more enjoyable experience and can even save their life in some circumstances. Being able to control your dog in various situations is incredibly important.

For example, training to walk your dog on a lead without pulling will make taking them out for walks much more enjoyable. Additionally, training them to ‘come’ reliably can stop your dog from running away or into traffic.

A well trained dog is also a lot nicer for guests when they come to your house, because while you may love your dog’s wet slobbery kiss, your friends probably don’t.

While you may think a dog is just naughty, it is probably just poorly trained, a problem that can be solved with some patience, consistency and training.

Best Dog Training Tips and Tricks

1. Sort Out Your Dog’s Training Environment

Trying to teach a dog new commands in a place full of distractions like a dog park is a recipe for disaster. You should select a training environment that is familiar to your dog, where you can control and limit the number of distractions.

We recommend starting in a room inside your house like the kitchen. This way you will have control over any distractions and can confine them in the area, so all their attention is fixed on you.

Let other people in the house know that you will be training the dog to prevent any unwanted distractions interfering with the lesson.

2. Introduce Distractions Slowly

While starting training in a place with lots of distractions is bad, never introducing distractions into your dog’s lessons is equally as bad. Dog owners often wonder why their dog will sit at home, but never in the park and the answer is simple, they have never trained them to.

When you are at home, you are probably the most interesting thing to your dog, but when you get to the park, other dogs, smells and people are too tempting for them. So how do you fix this?

What you need to do is to introduce distractions slowly. This may be introducing new people into the lessons, changing the environment or training around other dogs. Stepping up the difficulty in training will help your dog respond to your commands in real life. You want to make their response automatic.

If you find that your dog is becoming difficult when you introduce new distractions, go back a step and try again.

3. Start with the Basics

Training your dog to ‘sit’, ‘come’ and ‘down’, should come before things like training them to heel. This is because your dog will grow used to your training methods and will pick up future commands quicker. Additionally, sitting is natural to your dog, while walking at heel is not.

For puppies, we recommend that you get them toilet trained, socialised and not to bite before you start thinking about more complicated commands. However, you can introduce new commands slowly as they get older.

Check out our “When to start puppy training” article if you would like to read more about puppy training.

4. Choose the Right Rewards

Simply praising your dog is a waste of time, you need to reward them. Food is undoubtedly the best reward for your dog when you start training. You may see other people use other rewards such as toys, however, these should only be used when your dog is already trained in a command.

Like humans, dogs have their preference when it comes to food. What works for one dog may not work for another. Additionally, you should select treats for the command or skill you are going to be training them.

If you really want to get your dog’s attention, use high-value rewards such as chicken or beef. These will make your dog keener to follow your commands and please you.

Check out our ‘Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can Eat’ for more information on safe and unsafe food for dogs.

5. Train Them When They Are Hungry

A hungry dog is more likely to try and please you when they know that food is available. Place a lesson before your dog’s breakfast and dinner times to make them even more keen for training. This combined with high-value rewards will make your dog incredibly keen for training.

6. Don’t Make Training Sessions Too Long

Dogs, especially young puppies have very short attention spans. Try to keep your lessons relatively short. When it comes to deciding how long you should train your dog, there are a few factors to consider; including their age, energy level and any previous training experience.

For puppies around eight to twelve weeks, we recommend that you keep lessons to about three minutes. Any more than five minutes and your dog will start to get distracted and/or tired.

Older dogs can focus for a bit longer, so you can try sessions that are around ten minutes in length. However, we still recommend that slightly shorter sessions are better.

If you notice that your dog is becoming bored or distracted, it may be best to finish the lesson and try again at a later time.

7. Be Consistent

Consistency is one of the most important parts of training a dog. You need to set out regular daily lessons for your dog, especially when they are young. We believe that you should aim to do two to three short sessions a day, every day. However, if you can only do one lesson a day, that is better than nothing.

Being consistent is not just about setting out regular training sessions, it is also about being consistent with the content of your lessons and the commands you use. Don’t switch up words for specific commands, stick with one. If you keep on changing the word you use, your dog will become confused and not follow your instructions.

8. Pick the Right Goals

Modern dog training methods focus on training good behaviour rather than stopping bad behaviour. This is because there are often many different ways a dog can be bad, but only one that they can be good.

For example, we train a dog to ‘sit’ when we great them, rather than trying to stop them from jumping up. Jumping up can be caused by all sorts of issues, so it is easier to focus on getting your dog to sit.

9. Set Out a Training Plan

You should set out a training plan for your dog, that focuses on what and when you will be training your dog. For new dog owners, do this before or when you get your dog home, so you can dive straight in. If your dog is a bit older, you can still make a training plan.

Always start with the basics like toilet training, socialisation and discouraging biting.

If you would like to see a rough example of what you should be teaching a puppy and at what age, check out our ‘When is the best time to start training a puppy’ article.

10. Decide On a Signal

Before you start to train your dog, you will need to select a signal and be consistent with it. This signal will let your dog know that they have done something you like. It can be used for pretty much all of the commands you teach your dog.

We recommend that you use the word ‘use’. However, you can use almost any word you want, as long as it is not one you use for a command. Additionally, if you want to use a clicker you can as well.

The signal word or sound should be clear and said or used in an enthusiastic manner. A reward should immediately follow the signal to reinforce any good behaviour. Once your dog becomes used to your signal, they will soon start looking for it in your training sessions.

11. Manage Your Dog When They Are Outside

Some dogs are perfectly capable of trotting alongside their owners without causing any trouble, and some are not. Managing your dog while you are out outside can make the difference between a dog that is a pleasure to walk and one that is not.

Pestering other people on the street, chasing wildlife and just generally being annoying are common activities that young dogs will do when not managed.

What you need to do is keep your dog invested in you. That means play games and do activates with them during a walk to keep their attention focused on you.

12. Think of Your Dogs Mood

Sometimes, your dog just isn’t going to be in the mood for training. Training can be a tiring activity for both you and your dog. It requires patience, focus and can leave you drained. If your dog starts to become distracted or unruly during a lesson, consider taking a break. Your dog may be getting bored or completely overwhelmed by the training process.

Another thing to think about is that your lessons may simply be not exciting enough. To solve this, you can try and increase the value of the rewards you are offering them. Additionally, reduce the length of your lessons and move to an area with less distractions. You can also introduce games into your training sessions to increase your dog’s motivation levels.

13. Train Your Dog to Work for Their Food

We all love to treat our dogs, but sometimes we can get in the habit of giving our dog rewards for nothing. If you want to give your dog a treat, ask them to do something for you. This way you are turning it into a mini training session and it will show your dog that they have to work for their food.

You can also do this before dinner or breakfast time. For example, we get our two dogs to find their food in the cupboard and then sit and wait while we give it to them.

14. Avoid Punishing Your Dog

Modern training methods shy away from punishing dogs for bad behaviour. It has been found that punishment can negatively impact a dogs training and can even make some shut down completely.

Punishing a dog can lead to more aggressive behaviour and can make them even more unruly to deal with. Negative training methods that focus on punishment will impede your ability to become proficient in positive training methods – thus increasing the likelihood of using punishment methods in the future.

Punishment doesn’t have to be using techniques that frighten or hurt your dog. It can be anything that diminishes behaviour and is really an outdated form of training that should not be used.

15. Keep it Positive

Carrying on from above, try to always keep your lessons and interactions with your dog positive. Training should be a fun and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog, rather than a chore that you have to do.

Finishing each session on a positive note is the best way to get them excited for future lessons. For example, if your dog has successfully accomplished doing what you want them to a few times in a row, finish the lesson. Additionally, you can make lessons more like a game to keep them more interested in training.

Sometimes it will not be possible to finish on a positive note, and that is okay. However, do not make this a habit. If you notice that your dog is starting to become distracted or bored, give them the command a couple more times and then finish the lesson.

16. Use a Training Lead

Do not be afraid to use a lead when training. When you first start training a dog or puppy, you need to prevent them from wandering off or helping themselves to rewards. The best way to do this is with a lead or line.

A lead gives you control over your dog and puts you in charge of all of their rewards. Use a training lead or line until you are confident that they understand the commands you want to teach them. It is especially useful in places where there are other dogs or people.

Check out this training cord from SportDOG.

17. Catch Good Behaviour

It’s so easy to focus on bad behaviour that we sometimes forget when our dogs are being good. If you notice that your dog is doing something good or behaving well, reward them for it. This shows them that you are pleased with what they are doing.

18. Keep Your Dog Exercised and Mentally Stimulated

Bored dogs with lots of energy will get themselves into trouble. Training a dog that has excessive amounts of energy can be a real nightmare, so try and burn off some of that energy before you start a lesson.

Take your dog out for a walk or play a big game with them. This will make them more controllable and easier to train. However, remember to consider your dog’s own energy levels. Certain breeds of dog and puppies will have more energy than others, so don’t go wearing out your dog completely.

19. Be Quick with Rewards and Praise

If you reward your dog more than a few seconds after they have done something you have asked them to, they will probably have no idea why they are getting it. Additionally, your dog may also associate the reward with another action that took place after the command. Your dog will only be too happy to take the reward, but they will fail to learn what you are teaching them if you are too slow.

20. Set Up Different Scenarios

How do you teach your dog not to jump at guests, steal food off of the table, or run off after other dogs all of the time? These things do not typically happen every single day, so how to you train for them?

The answer is that you need to set up fake scenarios in which these events happen. Enlist the help of a friend or family member (it’s even better if you have another dog to use as well) and run through scenarios where your dog is struggling.

For example, if your dog behaves badly around other dogs, you can use a friend’s canine to practice different scenarios that may happen on the street. This could be anything to walking past another dog to getting them to come away from one.

21. Always Be Happy When Your Dog Comes to You

One of the biggest problems dog owners have with their dogs is that they will not come when called. This is generally caused by the fact that there is something more interesting than you around or they do not like what might happen next (punishment for example).

To fix this, you need to train your dog to come, but you also need to be happy and excited when they come to you at any time (whether you call them or not). Give your dog a reward if they come and make a big fuss over them.

Never punish your dog when they come to you, no matter what they did before. Simply ignore the behaviour and carry on as normal.

22. Learn About a Dog’s Body Language

While your dog may not be able to talk, they can show you how they feel through their body language. A dog’s body language can show you when they are feeling, scared, tired, hungry, aggressive and much more. It is important to learn about a dog’s body language and it will help you become a better trainer.

If you would like to learn more about dog body language, check out this article from the American Kennel Club.

23. Get Them Socialised

Socialisation is a major part of your dog’s training and it can even help you with further training down the track. You should be introducing your dog to new people, kid, other dogs and other animals as soon as possible. Failure to do so can lead to unwanted and sometimes aggressive behaviour.

24. Choose Your Dog’s Name Wisely and Be Respectful of it

Choosing a name for your puppy is almost as difficult as deciding what breed you want, but it is no less important. While there are all sorts of different names you have probably considered, think about choosing a shorter name that ends with a strong consonant. This will allow you to say their name clearly and strongly.

You should always associate your dog’s name with pleasant, fun things, rather than negative ones. This is because you want them to think of their name in the same way they think of other things; like “dinner”, “walk” or “biscuit”.

If you have an older dog that has come out of an abusive situation it may be best to change their name. A new name will represent a fresh start and luckily dogs are pretty adaptable when greeted with a new name.

25. Consider a Professional Trainer

If you are really struggling with your dog, it may be time to consider enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer. A good dog trainer can tell you what you are doing wrong and will give you some solutions. Just remember to avoid those old school trainers who punish dogs.

26. Practice, Practice, Practice!

Unless your dog is a genius, they are probably not going to get a command the first, second or even third time. Training a dog requires constant practice and is a never ending cycle. Your dog needs to learn from consequences and from rewards for good behaviour.

Using fake scenarios, introducing distractions and reinforcing good behaviour is all part of a good training program. Exposing your dog to all sorts of different situations in training will help them when they are greeted by a distraction in real life.

You need to be persistent and use other people, dogs and the environment to your advantage when training your dog.

27. Have Fun

Training a dog should be a fun and enjoyable experience for the both of you. If you are not enjoying training, your dog will be able to sense this and they may become confused or distracted. Don’t get too caught up in progressing quickly as dog training is more of a marathon rather than a sprint race.

Concluding the Best Training Tips for Dogs & Puppies

Well, there you go, 27 of the best training tips for dogs and puppies. While all of this may seem like a lot of information, most of it is really just common sense. You need to be excited about training and focus on the basics first.

If you have any other tips or tricks for training, let us know in the comments below.

Now Read: The Ultimate Guide To Training Your Dog To Sit

When Is The Best Time To Start Training A Puppy?

Training a puppy can be confusing. There is so much conflicting information regarding when, how and what can be accomplished with puppy training.

It can often be incredibly frustrating for new puppy owners, as their bundles of fur can quickly start causing trouble around the house. While some dog trainers claim that you shouldn’t train a dog until they are at least six months old, others recommend starting it as soon as you get them home. So, who is right?

In this article we are going to talk about why some trainers recommend six months and why others think starting immediately is the best option. We are also going to discuss what puppies can learn and some of the best ways you can start training.

Why Training Is So Important

New puppy owners often make the mistake of spending too much time figuring out what collar they want, the best treats and what bed should they get for their dog. While this stuff is important, getting your dog trained correctly is equally, if not more important.

A badly behaved or poorly trained dog can be an absolute nightmare to live with. We all want to be that owner with a well behaved dog that walks nicely by our side, but that takes work.

Training your dog can keep them safe in dangerous environments, make them much easier to live with, and your friends and family will think your puppy is amazing too.

Why Do Some People Recommend Training at Sixth Months?

The idea that you should put off your dog’s training comes from more “old school” training where heavy collar corrections were used. This meant that dogs needed to be old enough to withstand wearing a collar and dealing with physical corrections or punishment when training.

Most trainers agreed that around six months was the perfect time for dogs to start training as they were physically stronger.

Additionally, it was believed that dogs would reach the same skill level in adulthood, whether they started at six months or eight weeks old, so there was no reason to start them earlier.

What About Training at Eight Weeks?

Generally, eight weeks is about the time puppies are taken from their mother and siblings, and then sent to a new home.

Puppies that are under eight weeks old should be spending time with their mother and siblings to learn about being a dog. They learn about what it means to be part of a pack, canine communication, how to play and what discipline means. This is an incredibly important time for puppies and taking them away earlier can be detrimental to their development.

The idea that training should start at eight weeks is simply based on the fact that most puppies go to new homes around this time. They have learnt what they need to off their mothers and now it is time to learn off their new owners.

In addition to this, a puppy’s brain isn’t properly formed to learn much before eight weeks. They do not have the ability to learn correctly and it is best to wait a little bit.

When Should You Start Training a Puppy?

Here at DogOPedia, we believe that you should start training a dog as soon as you get home, whether that is at eight weeks or twelve. While young puppies have short attention spans you can teach them basic obedience commands such as “follow”, “sit”, and “come”.

You need to also teach your dog about taking food gently, not to bite and get them socialised.

Modern training methods such as rewarding, luring and clicker training can be used from the get go and are much more enjoyable to use than forceful methods.

Your puppy will learn all the time, so we feel it is beneficial to use this to your advantage and start training immediately. Remember to also have fun and don’t expect too much of your puppy during this early stage of their life.

What to Expect from a Puppy?

If you start training a puppy at eight weeks old, you shouldn’t expect them to get the hang of things straight away. Young puppies are impulsive, have little self-control and their attention spans are very short.

Do not start correcting your dog at this early stage and make sure you are not making training sessions too long.

Think of your puppy as a child, they will try and go where they like, play with anything they like and do anything they like. They don’t understand what is theirs and what is not, so do not punish them for chewing your shoes. Puppies at this age will not be able to listen and act on your every command or word.

We have created a rough guide for a puppy training schedule below.

Let’s Look at a Puppy Training Schedule

The following training schedule may be slightly different for each individual dog, however, it should give you a rough idea of what you should expect your dog to learn at each stage.

8 – 10 Weeks

When you first get your new puppy home, your focus should be on getting them socialised, toilet training and how to take food. You shouldn’t expect too much at this stage and do not create any formal training sessions, just let them happen naturally.

You can reward your dog for following and coming to you naturally from the moment you take them home. This will help you with more advanced commands down the track.

  • Socialisation – Dogs need to be socialised as soon as possible and you need to introduce them to a range of different people and animals. While you may not be able to take them out for walks straight away (due to vaccinations), you can still introduce them to a friend’s dog who has been vaccinated.
  • Follow – Teaching your new puppy that following you is good is very important. It forms the basis of many more advanced commands and will help when you teach your dog to “come”. Reward your puppy heavily when they follow you.
  • Recall or come – While you are not teaching your dog to come properly, you are teaching them that coming to you is a good thing. This involves rewarding them when they naturally come to you.
  • Not to bite – You want to discourage hard biting, but allow mouthing.
  • How to take food – Nobody likes a dog that snatches food and you should be teaching your dog how to take food gently at this early stage.
  • House Training – One of the most important things you can do at this early stage. Get your dog house trained, but remember it will probably take a couple of months before accidents stop completely.
10 – 12 Weeks

This stage is pretty much the same as eight to ten weeks. You are not introducing much more here, just double down on what you have already been doing. However, you can introduce heel training at a very basic level when they are this old.

  • Socialisation – Increase the amount you socialise your dog and make sure they are meeting a wide variety of people and dogs.
  • More recall training – At this stage you might introduce the ‘come’ command, but only associate it with the action. Only use the word ‘come’ when they are already moving towards you. Keep on rewarding your dog if they come to you naturally.
  • Discourage biting – discourage and hard biting, but allow mouthing.
  • Fetch or retrieve – Encourage your dog to chase after toys and pick them up. Don’t try and get them to fully retrieve yet, but reward heavily of they do.
  • Walk by your side – Start to introduce heel training by getting your dog to walk by your side. You can do this by either using clicker training or food rewards.
3 – 4 Months

At three months, most puppies will be able to easily sleep through the night and they will be having less toilet accidents in the house.

Despite discouraging biting from day one, you may find that your puppy is even more keen to sink their teeth into you. Don’t worry about this. Three months is the peak age for biting, so don’t expect to cure the problem yet.

You can introduce positions such as ‘sit’ or ‘lie down’, but don’t expect your dog to stay. In addition to this, you can start rewarding your dog when they come to you and get them associated with a lead.

  • Lead walking – Introduce a lead to your dog for short periods of time. Take them for walks around your garden or house and get them used to it. Read more about lead training here.
  • Even more socialisation – Once your dog is vaccinated, you can introduce them to more dogs and take them more places. Take advantage of this.
  • Come – Once your dog has associated “come” with the action of moving towards you, you can begin to use it as a command. Try and get your dog to come to you in a distraction free environment.
  • Biting – No biting should be allowed, but gentle mouthing is ok.
  • Fetch and retrieve – Continue to encourage your dog to retrieve different items or toys.
  • Introduce some new positions – Start rewarding your dog when they sit or lie down. We are not fully training them yet, but letting them know we like it when they go into those positions. Read more about teaching your dog to sit here.
  • Basket – Introduce the idea that sitting in their basket when you are doing the washing or when you are eating dinner is good. Reward them for doing so.
4 – 6 Months

At four to six months old you should be getting your puppy’s biting problem under control and mouthing should be discouraged. Additionally, your dog should be well toilet trained, however there still might be some accidents if they are left too long.

You should also teach your puppy to let you touch their face, inside their mouth and paws. This can help you when checking for any problems and your vet will appreciate it.

Puppies at four months will be a lot more capable and you will be able to expect more from their training. You can start to introduce more commands, but avoid making training sessions too long.

Despite their ability for more advanced training, don’t expect your dog to walk at heel or stay for long periods of time.

  • Come – Introduce distractions into your dog’s ‘come’ training routine.
  • Sit and lie down – Introduce distractions and get your dog sitting and lying down at your command
  • Stay – You are not going to ask your dog to stay, but use commands like sit and lie down to get them to.
  • Heel – Continue getting your dog to walk by your side and introduce more advanced heel training.
  • Socialisation – Continue to socialise your dog.
  • No more biting – There should be no biting or mouthing allowed.
5 – 6 months
  • Command and obedience training – Continue training for commands such as ‘sit’, ‘lie down’, ‘come’ and ‘heel’. Introduce distractions in their training routine.
After 6 Months

Once your dog has got to six months, you should have the basics fully ingrained into your dog’s mind. They should be able to carry out basic obedience commands and they should be socialised.

Now that they are six months old, you can begin to raise your expectations for their training. Your puppy should be able to sit and stay for longer periods of time, and you should begin to introduce more distractions into their training.

Puppies at this age should be perfectly capable of walking at heel for extended periods of time and they should come at your command.

Introduce any other commands you want to teach your dog, but make sure you are reinforcing the stuff you have already taught them.

Six month old dogs can cause a lot of problems as they are quite powerful and are full of energy. You may experience some challenges with your training, but you should be able to work through them.

An Excellent Dog Training Course

If you are looking for a step-by-step guide to training a dog, we can recommend the one from ‘The Online Dog Trainer’. It features videos from a professional dog trainer that covers everything you need to know about raising a puppy from eight weeks through to one-year-old.

The guide covers what you need to do at different stages of your dog’s life, so you never need to guess.

We feel this is one of the best dog training courses out there and is a great tool for new owners to learn how to train their canine. There is so much to this course, we recommend just checking it out for yourself at the link below.

The Online Dog Trainer Puppy Course

Examples of What a Puppy Can Do

While the puppies below are quite advanced for their age, it does show what can be achieved. You may not be able to advance your puppy this quickly, but it should give you some motivation.

Here’s a Lab puppy at 16 weeks old.

and this impressive little French Bulldog is only 12 weeks.

Should You Consider Puppy Training Classes?

Most pet owners can teach their dog everything they need to know. With a bit of consistency and persistence, you should able to train your dog to respond to commands predictably and reliably.

While you can teach everything yourself, some people prefer to take their dogs to puppy school. In puppy training classes, instructors can demonstrate techniques and help you through the training. They can advise you on any problems you may be facing and how to fix them.

A major benefit of puppy training classes is that they force you to train your dog. Too many people get a dog and intend to train it, but never carry on through with it.

However, we feel that the main benefit of puppy training school is that it is a great way to socialise your dog. You are in a group setting and there are plenty of other dogs around for your puppy to play with. Socialisation is incredibly important for a dog’s development and because of this we feel that training school is worth it.

If you have access to other dogs, you may find that puppy school is less beneficial for socialising. First time dog owners will get the most out of training classes.

Remember to be the Pack Leader

Puppies are hard-wired to follow the pack leader. Leaders need to be consistent and strong, however, many dog owners fail miserably at this. They are not consistent with their dogs and while they are strong leaders at work, they go soft when they are with their canines.

A puppy will sense confidence levels and they will try to take control if they do not find a suitable pack leader. When this happens to a puppy, they can begin to behave badly. They may start barking, pulling, chewing or they can develop anxiety.

Becoming your puppy’s pack leader is the most important thing you can do. You need to maintain this role throughout your entire dog’s life, not just when they are bad or when they are old enough. It starts from the moment you get them home.

Summing Up When to Train a Puppy

While there are differing opinions of when to start training a puppy, most modern trainers would agree that you should start training them as soon as you get them home.

Ultimately, it will depend on you and whether you start at eight weeks or four months, it won’t probably make much difference in the long run.

We do feel that it is important to have even the slightest amount of control over your dog, and you will want to start house training right away. Additionally, training your dog to not bite and not to snatch food is incredibly important.

Remember to never ask too much of your dog and that progress can be quite slow. Do not get frustrated and try not to compare your dog’s progress with another.

If you do start training at an early age, you will be surprised by how much your puppy can learn. Training is a great way to spend quality time with your dog and can be loads of fun.

Now Read: The Ultimate Guide To Training Your Dog To Sit

Ultimate Guide To Training Your Dog To Sit

The ‘sit’ command is probably one of the most basic commands you can teach your dog, but it is also one of the most important.

Training your dog to sit is a fairly straightforward task and is usually one of the first commands to be taught in basic obedience training. It forms the basis of many other more advanced forms of obedience training and is much more useful than party tricks like “play dead”.

Teaching the sit command to your puppy is such a valuable thing to do. The sit command will help you control your dog when you are out walking, at home and in fact, pretty much everywhere.

We are going to go further in depth into why the sit command is so important later in this article, and we are also going to give you various methods to train your dog how to sit as well.

Additionally, some of you might have already taught your dog the sit command, but are having trouble getting them to respond to it. Your dog may also only respond to the command when they feel like it as well. We are going to be helping you with this too.

This is a very detailed guide on teaching your dog how to sit, so you will want to refer back to as you work through the different stages of training.

By the end of this article, you should have all the knowledge required for sitting success, so carry on below.

Why Is Teaching Your Dog to Sit So Important?

Many new dog owners want to dive straight into training their dog cool commands like “paw”, “play dead” or “fetch”. While these commands are great to impress your friends, commands like sit, stay and look are the basis of your dog’s training.

Sitting is a natural part of your dog’s life and teaching them to do it on command can help you and your puppy progress with more difficult training. If you can teach your dog something early on, you will be more likely to try harder and more challenging commands down the track.

Teaching your dog to “sit” will form a greater bond between you and your dog, and is a great way to build trust between you two. Once you have mastered “sit”, there is a treasure chest of exciting new forms of obedience training that will open up to you.

The “sit” command is one of the most versatile and useful commands you can teach your dog, along with “stay”. If you can only ever teach your dog one command, we feel that “sit” is almost certainly the most important one.

But why is this? When taught properly, the sit command can replace the likes of “stay” or “down” when you want to control your dog. Teaching your dog, the sit command will let you control them in all sorts of situations. We have listed some of these below:

  • Control when they are off their lead – If your dog can sit reliably when they are off their lead, it can make controlling them much easier. In some cases, the “sit” command can save your dog’s life if there is a threat to them, and you can’t get to them quick enough. It also comes in handy when you want to put a lead on your dog, when there are other distractions around.
  • Waiting for dinner or a reward – Teaching your dog to sit and wait patiently for their dinner or reward is good practice, and should help to prevent them lunging at any food items in your hand.
  • When guests come – Dogs love people and they get very excited when guests come to your house. Unless your guests love to be jumped over or get a big wet, slobbery kiss, you should teach your dog to sit when guests come into the house.
  • When dealing with children – As we said above, dogs love people and they seem to love kids even more. A dog can do real damage to a child and set them up for a lifetime of dog fear, if they jump all over them. Teaching your dog to sit and remain calm when children are about will help to prevent any nasty accidents from happening.
  • When crossing the street – Making your dog sit at the lights or when you are waiting for traffic, will reduce the chance of your dog lunging into the street.
  • If your need to give way to someone – Nobody likes it when an enthusiastic dog barges their way past people when you are going up stairs of through doors. Teaching your dog to sit will let you give way to other people around you.
  • When they meet a new puppy – Meeting a new puppy is exciting business for your dog, and if you have a larger breed, they can do serious damage to young dogs. Making your dog sit when they meet a puppy can prevent any unwanted disasters from happening.

In order to control your dog in these situations, you need to teach the sit command in a way that they will not disobey you. If your dog only does it sometimes or only when they feel like it, the command you give them is pretty much useless.

Before we get into the training methods, let’s clear up a few other things first.

Common Questions About Teaching a Dog to Sit

Some of the questions below are relating to owners who have already tried to tech their dog to sit, but are having difficulty with the process or their dog’s behaviour.

Why Does My Dog Not Sit When I Tell Them to?

Many dog owners teach their dogs to sit easily, but then they find their dog starts ignoring the command. The dog knows what the ‘sit’ command means, but fail to action upon it.

You might believe this is naughty behaviour or that your dog is trying to be dominate, however, you would be wrong.

The main reason that your dog does not listen to your command is because you have not reinforced it. You need to teach your dog to ‘sit’ in all sorts of different environments with different distractions. This is something your dog will not understand automatically.

Most people teach their dog to sit in the kitchen or somewhere in the house and then assume their dog will do it in the park. Teaching your dog to sit is not that easy!

My Dog Does Not Sit When There Are Other Dogs Nearby

The majority of dogs will not sit when there are other dogs nearby. They will instead rush off and play with the other dogs, rather than listening to your command. This is because the other dogs are generally more exciting than you.

Many dog owners find this surprising. Dogs that sit while other dogs play around them are usually well trainer, or they just don’t like other dogs.

My Dog Gets Up When People Touch Them

Another common dog owners face is when their dog will not stay sitting when a person goes to touch or pat them. This can be extremely frustrating, however, it is perfectly normal.

In this ‘how to train your dog to sit’ guide, we are going to go over this, along with adding other distractions that can cause your dog to stand up.

My Dog Doesn’t Stay in The Sitting Position

This can be caused by the issues we have already discussed above, but it can also be other things as well. Generally, we want our dog to stay sitting for a period of time when we command them to.

Many owners will separate the ‘sit’ command with another command ‘stay’. While this can make your dog stay sitting, we want to take a different approach with this guide.

We want to train our dog to sit and stay there until we release them, rather than asking them to stay. It is a small difference, but quite an important one.

You need to remember that your dog doesn’t know how long they should sit and stay, so it can be quite confusing to them. You want to train your dog to wait for a release word or signal, this way they understand that they need to stay until you give the order.

At What Age Should I Teach My Dog to Sit?

When it comes to teaching your dog to sit, the earlier you start, the easier it tends to be. While the old saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is laughable, there is no doubt that puppies tend to pick up things quicker.

If you have an older dog, don’t worry. Teaching them to sit is still a relatively straight forward task, it may just take a bit longer and may require a few more treats!

Best Tips for Training a Dog to Sit

Dogs can be easily distracted and tend to have a pretty low attention span when they are exposed to repetitive tasks. Despite this, they are always eager to please their owners, which is something you can use to your advantage when you are conducting obedience training with them. Knowing your dog’s limits is incredibly important when training them and you should also start easy, and then ramp up the difficulty later.

Establish a Training Environment

Before you start barking out the “sit” command, think about the environment you are in. Dogs, especially puppies, have a limited attention span and are easily distracted. Think about this during the training process and try to find a place that is familiar to your dog.

Avoid locations that are full of distractions like toys, food, other dogs or people. It is important that your dog’s attention is solely on you and nothing else.

  • A room indoors can be a great place to train your dog. You will have more control over your dog’s activity level and can confine them in an area, so that their attention is on you.
  • Make sure you let other people on the house know that you will be training the dog, so that they avoid introducing distractions that could interfere with the lesson.

Try to avoid training outside if possible. Outdoor training sessions tend to be much less controllable, as there are so many more distractions around. Training outside also limits your ability to keep your dog in a confined place, which will make focusing more difficult for your dog. If you have to train outside, use a lead for control.

Once your dog has mastered sitting in this low-distraction area, you can move the training to a more difficult place, or even try to distract your dog on purpose. Stepping up the difficulty will help to really ingrain the “sit” command in your dog’s mind.

Think of Your Dog’s Mood

Training can be a tiring process for both you and your dog, and sometimes your dog just won’t be in the mood for it. If your dog is responsive to the training session, but starts to get distracted, take a break. Your dog may be getting bored or overwhelmed by the training.

Additionally, you may not be making the training session exciting enough for your dog. Try use higher reward treats, or find a place that is less distracting. Your training sessions may also be a bit too long as well, which can be a factor if your dog becomes distracted or bored.

How Often Should I Train My Dog to Sit Then?

Dogs tend to have short attention spans, so remember to keep your training sessions short. When it comes to deciding how long you should train for, consider your dog’s age, energy and focus levels.

For puppies that are around 12 weeks old, keep your training sessions short and regular. Around three to five minutes is ideal for puppies. Spread out two or three training sessions across the day, and try to train them when they are full of energy and not sleepy.

If your dog is a bit older, you can try longer sessions of around ten minutes; however, we still feel that shorter, more frequent sessions are the best. You can up the training frequency as well, but three sessions a day should be more than enough to teach your dog to sit.

Remember that dogs can become bored or distracted easily, so if you notice your dog is giving you less attention, end the session and try again later.

Use High Value Rewards and Praise Your Dog Often

There’s two things that dogs love more than almost anything, that’s treats and pleasing you. When training your dog, make sure you praise them often and make them feel like they have done a really good job.

Rewarding your dog with treats is another important part of training. Higher value treats like chicken or beef will make your dog even more keen to please you. If you find your dog is not interested in training, try a number of different treats and see what their reaction is.

Always remember to check that the food you are giving your dog is safe for humans. There are many food items such as grapes, onions and chocolate that is dangerous to dogs.

Check out our ‘Ultimate Food Guide for Dogs’ for more information on what dogs can eat.

Rewards don’t have to be food. You can also use toys or games; however, at this stage of training we suggest you use food. Once you start using games or toys as a reward method, you will then be committed to lengthy interruptions to the lesson.

The key with this training is to make it quick and food is almost certainly the quickest way to reward your dog.

We think these Mini Natural dog treats from Zuke’s are a great option for training dogs.

Keep Your Attitude in Check

The tone of your voice and your attitude are incredibly important when you are training your dog. You need to be firm but kind.

Never shout and end a training session if you are getting frustrated. Dogs have infinitely better hearing than humans, and shouting at them will come across as frightening and aggressive. Talk to your dog in a normal, clear tone that they can understand.

Additionally, if you are getting frustrated, your dog will be able to sense this. It will confuse them and turn the training session into a nightmare. Keeping calm will benefit both you and your dog in the long run.

Make it Positive

Training your dog to do something should be positive. It should be an enjoyable experience for both you and your dog, rather than a chore.

Always make sure you try to end your training sessions on a positive note. For example, if your dog has successfully accomplished the “sit” command, end the session. Try to make it more like a game as well, this will keep your dog interested and they will look forward to the next training session.

Sometimes you will not be able to end the training session on a positive note, this is ok, but don’t make it a habit. If you notice the training session is going bad, give the “sit” command another couple of attempts to see if you can end it on a positive note.

One other thing you can do is end the training session with a game, which can help to reinforce the positive nature of the lesson.

Decide On A Signal

Finally, for this training exercise, you will need signal to let your dog know that he did something you like.

We recommend you use the word ‘yes’.

You need to say ‘yes’ in a clear, enthusiastic manner, and you will follow this with a reward. Once your dog becomes used to the word, they will soon look for it in your training sessions. It reinforces good behaviour and will make them feel like they are pleasing you.

We will be explaining how and when to say the signal word below. If you would like to use a clicker or some sort of other signal, feel free to do so.

How to Train Your Dog to Sit – Stage One

As we have already said, training your dog should be a fun and enjoyable process for the both of you. Your dog should look forward to training sessions and should be excited to see you get the equipment you need for the lesson.

Stage one of this lesson is all about getting your dog’s behaviour correct. For some commands, getting the behaviour right is a really involved process; however, the “sit” command is much easier.

Dogs naturally sit, so they are already halfway there. What you need to teach your dog to do, is make them aware that when they sit and look at you, he is likely to get praise or a reward.

At this early stage, you will not be telling your dog to sit. The only word you will be saying is something like YES!

What we are going at this early stage is building your dog’s enthusiasm and excitement for showing you that they can sit. If you are a bit confused, don’t worry, we will be explaining it in more depth later.

What You Will Need

At this early stage, you will need a few things:

  • Food used for rewards
  • Food that is used as a lure

If you are wondering what the difference between these are, we have explained it below.

Luring Versus Rewarding Your Dog

Rewarding your dog with food is slightly different than luring them with it. A food lure is an aid that lets us move a dog into a position we want, without physically touching them.

Luring a dog with food should only be done on occasions and should not be the basis of your training. Try to never lure your dog more than three times in a row, otherwise your dog may start to become dependent on the lure.

Using a lure for an extended period of time is essentially just bribing your dog, rather than training them.

A food reward on the other hand, is given to a dog when they have completed an action that you want to ingrain into them. We want to reward a dog for an action that we want them to repeat in the future.

Always make a clear distinction between lure food and reward food. Try to not feed the lure to your dog, and you can even use different food for the reward and lure. Keep your lure in one hand and then reward your dog with the other.

Stage One – Instructions & Lesson

As we said earlier, at this stage you will not be telling your dog to sit. We will be capturing or luring a sit, then marking it, reinforcing it and then repeating the process over and over.

Most dogs will not require a lure, but have it there as a back-up so you will not have to interrupt the flow of the training. Be armed with plenty of high value treats and make sure you have decided upon a signal (we are going to use ‘yes’ for this guide).

Capturing The Sit

The first thing you need to do is watch your dog and wait for them to sit. When your dog’s bottom touches the ground, immediately say ‘yes’ and throw a treat on the ground, that is far enough away from them that they have to move to get it. When you have accomplished this, repeat the process.

If you find that your dog does not sit within a couple of minutes, move onto the next part.

Luring Your Dog to Sit

Remember when we said that you shouldn’t rely on luring your dog? Well, if your dog does not sit on their own accord, you are going to have to lure them to do it.

Put some food in your lure hand and let your dog know that you have it. Hold the food above your dog’s head, but keep it just out of their reach. Move the food backwards towards your dog’s tail.

Your dog should sit. When your dog’s bottom touches the ground, say ‘yes’. Throw a treat from your other hand, like we explained above (your dog should get up and move). Repeat this process once more and then move on.

The next step is to use no lure. Show your dog that your lure hand is completely empty and then quickly repeat the same movement you used when luring.

When your dog’s bottom touches the ground, throw another treat from your reward hand, so that your dog has top get up and move.

If you successfully accomplish this, go back to the ‘capturing the sit’ section above. The majority of dogs will start to sit very quickly and you shouldn’t need more than a couple of attempts at luring your dog.

Things to Watch Out for at Stage One

If you are having trouble with the above exercises, you may be experiencing one or more of the below problems.

Using The Signal Word at the Wrong Time

The timing of your signal (‘yes’ in this guide) is extremely important. With the ‘sit’ command, it is better to use the signal slightly too early than too late. This way you will capture your dog’s intention to sit, rather than their intention to get up and move.

While this can be difficult at the start, with a bit more practice you will get better at timing your signal.

Telling Your Dog to Sit

At this stage, we are not telling the dog to sit. Let your dog figure out for themselves that sitting will get them a reward, rather than you telling them. Do not give your dog any instructions, they only thing you should be saying is ‘yes’!

Giving your dog instructions at this point will only reduce their enjoyment of the training session. We want to keep our dog enthusiastic for training.

Rewarding Ineffectively

Giving your dog a reward for their actions is a big part of the training process. Treats are something your dog looks forward to and wants. If you use boring treats like your dog’s regular biscuits, they may not enjoy the process as much. This will lead to slower training progression.

Always make sure to use quality, high-value rewards when training your dog. If a reward isn’t working, or your dog doesn’t seem excited by it, try another one.

Never replace food rewards with praise or petting. Many experiments have shown that praise alone is entirely ineffective for training a dog and changing their behaviour. Using praise alone will not get you anywhere.

If you are training your dog after dinner, they might not be as excited for the reward you are offering. Try to train your dog when they have a bit more of an appetite.

Watch the Clock

We’ve already talked about keeping your training sessions short, but when we are in the moment, it can be difficult to keep a track on time. Set up an alarm that lets you know when to finish a training session, or keep an eye on the clock.

Another thing to remember is you may be asking your dog to sit for too long. We certainly don’t want the dog to sit and then stand up immediately, but we also don’t want to keep them waiting for too long.

Making your dog wait in the sitting position for an extended duration of time can complicate things and make your dog become more distracted.

Stage Two – Making Your Dog Sit

In this stage of the training process we are going to introduce the word ‘sit’, but not as a command. What we are doing is matching the word ‘sit’ with our dog’s action and understanding of the word. Think of this as more of a language lesson, rather than an obedience one.

Matching Words with Actions

Watch your dog, as they start to lower their bottom to the ground, say ‘sit’. When their bottom touches the ground, say ‘yes’, like we did earlier.

Throw a treat that is far enough away from your dog to make them stand up and move to reach it. Repeat the whole process between twenty to thirty times in a session, and carry it on over a couple of days. This will ingrain the word ‘sit’ with the action in your dog’s mind.

Problems You May Face at Stage Two

The introduction of the word ‘sit’ can cause some problems and you are bound to make a few mistakes at this stage of the training. Always have your lure hand ready and watch out for the following problems.

You Say Sit When Your Dog Does Not Intend To

Occasionally, you will say the word ‘sit’ when your dog does not intend to. If this happens you must immediately use the lure to move your dog into a sitting position, so that the word is associated with the action and not something else.

You will find it will take you a couple of days to reach a point where your dog loves to sit on their own accord, and where the word is completely associated with the action.

It is important that you firmly implant this connection between the word ‘sit’ and the action, before moving on to the next section.

Your Dog Decides He Doesn’t Want to Sit

You may find that your dog gets distracted halfway through the sitting motion, or the word ‘sit’ makes them stand up instead. If you find your dog is standing up halfway through the motion, you need to do a similar thing as above.

Immediately lure your dog into the sitting position, say ‘yes’, and then give them a reward. On the next attempt, try to say ‘sit’ with a bit less volume, but still audible to your dog. What we are trying to do is associate the word, and not interrupt the flow of training.

Stage Three – Giving the Command

Now that your dog associates the word ‘sit’ with the action and it is firmly ingrained in their mind, it is time to train them to respond to our command. This means that when we say ‘sit’, the dog will put their bum firmly on the ground.

Your dog should not be rolling around or doing anything else, they will just sit. We are looking for an automatic response, which shows that your dog is not thinking about anything else. Your dog should hear the word and then automatically sit in response.

If you have gone through the stages in this guide correctly, you should already have the groundwork to achieve this. At this point, you should be able to say ‘sit’ and your dog will sit.

Saying the Word

When your dog is standing, give the command to ‘sit’. When your dog’s bum touches the ground say yes and throw a reward to them. The reward needs to be thrown in a place where they will have to get up and move to.

Repeat this training exercise and every time you should be asking your dog to sit, saying the word ‘yes’, and then rewarding them. If your dog sits on their own accord, say ‘yes’ and give them a reward as well.

You may find your dog becomes distracted, or doesn’t sit on occasions. If this happens, you need to lure them into a sitting position immediately and reward them as usual.

Issues at Stage Three

At this stage of the training, most of the problems we have already covered should have already been fixed. However, you may run into the problems below.

My Dog Sits Before I Tell Them To

You may find that your dog is so excited to sit and get the reward, that they sit down before you ask them to.

If this happens you have a couple of options. One option is to back away from your dog, forcing them to walk towards you. Give them the ‘sit’ command when they are coming to you.

Another option is to lure your dog into a standing position with food. This technique can also be used to eventually train your dog to stand.

My Dog Sometimes Doesn’t Sit

If you find that your dog is failing to sit occasionally, and you need to lure them into the sit position, you may need to go back a step. Go back to stage two and make sure ‘sit’ is firmly connected to the action.

Most dogs should have no problem with stage three of this guide, but always remember to reinforce good behaviour.

Stage Four – Making Your Dog Stay and Reinforcing Good Behaviour


The last stage of this guide is about reinforcing your dog’s behaviour and making them stay in the desired position. You need to make sure your dog will listen to your command to ‘sit’ in all sorts of different places, with different distractions around them.

Before you start adding distractions, you first need to get your dog staying in the sit position for an extended duration of time. This is commonly referred to as teaching your dog to ‘stay’.

Rather than using the word ‘stay’, you should be teaching your dog to wait for your release word. We will go into more detail in a later article.

After you have taught your dog to stay for a period of time in the sitting position, you can begin to add distractions. To start with, try adding another person to the room, or another dog.

When you have progressed, you can try the using the ‘sit’ command in a more distracting place like the park, or a crowded area. If you can get your dog sitting in a very distracting environment for several minutes, you will have successfully taught your dog to sit!

Stage Five – Post Training

While getting to the point that your dog is happy to sit anywhere for an extended period of training, is excellent, you should always reinforce the behaviour. Reward your dog on occasions for behaviour that you want. However, this is not a formal training process and there is no set guide you should follow.

Once you have trained them to sit correctly, most dogs should never need more training on the command, but it is always nice to treat them once in a while.

Additional Tips & Tricks for Training Your Dog to Sit

We feel it is always a good idea to get your family involved in the training process. At the start, you may want to just train with you and your dog; however, adding other people can help reinforce your dog’s understanding.

Don’t schedule training sessions. If you are new to dog obedience training, you may believe that scheduling training sessions is the way to go. While this is ok, we feel it is unnecessary for a command like ‘sit’. You will get plenty of opportunities to train during the day as ‘sit’ is a relatively simple command.

If you progress to more advanced training, like ‘heel’ training, you may need to schedule training sessions.

If your dog doesn’t seem interested, don’t force a training session. Just like you with work or school, your dog will simply not want to train. If this is the case, don’t force your dog to train. It will lead to a frustrating and pointless lesson, that is a waste of time for both of you. Try to train your dog when they have a bit of energy and remember to always have high value rewards at the ready!

Summing Up Teaching Your Dog How to Sit

Teaching your dog to sit is undoubtedly one of the most important commands you will ever teach your dog. It forms the basis of more advanced training and will let you control your dog in all sorts of different situations.

While this guide is long, it should cover everything you need to know about making your dog sit perfectly.

Training your dog should be a fun and enjoyable process for the both of you. If you have any other tips for training dogs, feel free to leave them in the comments below and make sure you share this article with anyone you feel would benefit from it!

Now Read: How To Stop Your Dog Pulling on Their LeadHow to teach your dog to walk on a lead

How To Stop A Dog Pulling On A Lead

How to teach your dog to walk on a lead

We all envy those dog owners who walk their dogs with expert lead control. They are not being pulled around the block, tangled up or tied to something when they take their dog for a walk. When we get a dog, we imagine nice, leisurely strolls with them; however, the reality is quite different.

Walking nicely on a lead is not in a dog’s nature, and your pooch will tend to pull you in whatever direction they want. Those with bigger dogs will find it even more difficult to control their dog, as a larger canine can often overpower a human.

Dogs are inquisitive animals and until they start getting a little bit older, they can be excitable, powerful and curious animals. The combination of these things can lead to some serious lead pulling.

While it all seems like ‘doom and gloom’, lead pulling, like any undesirable behaviour can be fixed with a bit of training and patience. If your dog tugs you down the street, this article will give you all the information you need to get them under control.

Why Do Dogs Pull When Walking?

Why Do Dogs Pull On Their Lead

Dogs are pack animals and there are many times when they will try to assert themselves as the leader of the pack. While many dog owners believe that pulling while walking is caused by this quest for pack domination, the opposite is actually true.

If your canine is well behaved at home and knows they are not the pack leader of the house, they will not start trying to be the leader on walks. In facts, there is a much simpler explanation than the myth that your dog is trying to rule the house.

It’s a Big World Out There

The simple truth is that dogs love to be outside and they are overwhelmed by all the sights, smells and interesting things the world has in it. Going out for walks provides a new environment that is much more interesting than the boring kitchen or garden they spend most of their time in.

Dogs want to explore every place they can get their highly sensitive noses into. Additionally, scents will tell them about the world and who has been in that area before. They also love to leave their own scent, which means that they will go to the toilet a lot.

It doesn’t take long for your dog to get so caught up in the smells, sights, scent marking and features, that all the training you have done goes down the toilet. It can become so overwhelming for dogs that they might not even respond to some of the most basic commands.

Pulling Can Be a Reward

Letting your dog go where it wants will give them all the more reason to pull, as there are no apparent downsides to your canine companion. Some dogs even love the feeling of pulling because it gives them a bit more exercise.

Unleashing your dog may seem like a good idea, whether that is to stop them hurting themselves, or just to give you a rest; however, it is really the ultimate reward for your canine. Dogs want to be free to sniff and look at all the interesting things in the world. Removing your dog’s lead when they pull shows them that all that effort pays off.

It Could Be the Lead

Strangely, some dogs pull because of the type or length of lead that is being used. We generally use shorter leads when we walk our dogs and when the dog pulls we pull them back immediately. Sometimes having a bit more lead length to play with can help tremendously with pulling problems.

We are going to talk about lead and collar selection later in this article or you can skip ahead here.

Why Pulling Can Be Dangerous

A pulling dog can not only be annoying; they can be downright dangerous in some circumstances. Pulling dogs can run the risk of breaking away from your grip, which could put them in danger. They might also pull you over or give you an injury.

Solving the pulling problem can eliminate these risks and will let you take your dog on longer walks in different places.

So How Do I Stop My Dog from Pulling On the Leash?

How to stop dog from pulling on their lead

Training your dog can be a time consuming process, and stopping them from pulling while they are on a lead is no different. Teaching them to stop will require patience from you and it won’t be an overnight success.

Adjust Your Attitude

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself the question: “What would I like my dog to do instead?”. Rather than teaching your dog to stop pulling, think of it as teaching your dog to walk beside you nicely.

Putting On the Lead

Stopping your dog from pulling starts at the beginning: putting the lead on them.

When your dog sees a lead for the first time they do not think much of it. They might think that it is something to chew on or a toy to play with. However, they will soon make a connection between the lead and walk time, making it one of the most exciting objects to them.

If your dog goes absolutely crazy when you get out the lead or when you say the ‘walk’ word, you need to calm them down. Teaching your dog that the lead does not go on until they are waiting patiently will go a long way to helping that pulling problem.

Like other forms of training, you may need to have a few attempts before putting the lead on your dog. You will need to back off and wait if your dog starts getting excited when you try to put on their lead or attach a harness. Repeat this until your dog learns that the lead can’t go on until they are sitting and calm.

Make The Walks Short

Don’t get us wrong, we love long walks with our two Labradors; however, when you are training your dog to stop pulling it is best to keep the length of your walks to a minimum. The more time you spend with your dog pulling you along, the more likely they will develop even worse habits and the more frustrated you will become.

When walking and training your dog you need to have the right mind-set. If you become frustrated your dog will sense that and may become even more unruly. Additionally, if your dog stars to get wound up and overly excited during a long walk, they probably won’t be able to focus on your instructions.

A tip we recommend is to select a nice short route in your neighbourhood, and walk it over and over again. While there will be lots of interesting smells and sights, your dog will become less distracted if they continuously see the same thing. Short walks for training are excellent, especially if you know you will be able to take your dog on longer ones when you have got their pulling problem under control.

Get Rid of That Extra Energy

Dogs, especially certain breeds, have a ton of energy and they need to burn it off somehow. Taking your dog out for short walks may not be enough to keep them satisfied, and their excess energy may make them pull even harder than usual.

To combat this problem, you can have an extra play or exercise session before you take your dog out for their training walks. A dog that is already feeling a bit tired will be easier to control and will be less interested in pulling you down the street.

Play a game of tug-of-war or fetch to wear them down. These games will be great for wearing out your dog and they will even give you a bit of exercise.

Walk at a Good Pace

Depending on the breed of your dog, they may want to walk faster or slower. Larger breeds of dog or those with more energy will tend to walk faster and will have no problem outpacing you on a walk. If your dog is walking faster than you this will lead to more pulling, because you are not moving at a quick enough pace for them.

Walking at a faster pace has a number of benefits: your dog will be less likely to get distracted by smells or scents, they will be more interested in walking with you because you are moving at a good pace, and you will save time.

Give Them a Treat

Just like any form of training, rewarding your dog when they do something you want can help reinforce good behaviour. Dogs love treats and they will learn that being well behaved will walking will earn them a tasty reward. Make sure you use treats that are easy to carry and use extra tasty ones.

Start Them Young

Teaching puppies to walk properly is undoubtedly easier than teaching an older dog who has developed bad habits. Stopping your puppy from pulling on their lead will save the hassle of trying to do it when your dog is older and stronger.

For those with older dogs, don’t dispair. Despite what many people say, you can “teach an old dog new tricks.”

The Methods to Stop Your Dog Pulling On Their Lead

How to stop your puppy from pulling on their lead

We’ve talked about some tips that can help with your canine pulling problem, now it is time to look at some methods. These techniques below will help you teach your dog to walk without pulling on their lead.

Treat Following

The first method we are going to talk about is the ‘follow the treat’ method. This takes advantage of your dog’s love of all things tasty.

Frequent rewards will help teach your dog what behaviour you are looking for. It makes the learning process easier for them.

Put a handful of treats in your pocket or treat bag, then keep a few in your hand so you can immediately reward your dog for good behaviour. Another tip is to use special treats that they don’t usually receive. This will give them even more incentive to please you.

To train your dog with this method, begin walking with your canine and hold out your hand with the treats in front of them. Make sure your dog knows you have the treats and then every 4-5 steps, give them a reward.

If your dog starts to pull or veer off course, stop the walk immediately. Call your dog back and then make them sit, waiting for your next command. When they do this, give them some praise and resume walking. Carry on holding the treats in front of them and repeat this process until you finish the walk.

This method can take a bit of time, so that is also why we recommend that you shorten your walks.

Once you have put this method into practice for about a week or two, you can stop carrying the treats in your hand and holding them out in front of your dog. Keep the treats close by however; rewarding your dog often, but with slightly less frequency.

If you keep on doing this, you will find that your dog can walk further without tugging on their lead (remember that each dog will progress at a different rate). Over time, reduce the amount and frequency of the treats you give them. Space out the rewards over a larger distance.

In the end, the ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of rewards to just a few during a walk, or even none at all. While getting to the point where you don’t have to give any treats to your dog is excellent, we think that reinforcing the good behaviour with a few treats during a walk is always a good idea.

The Stop and Go Technique

This method is about as simple as it gets, and it essentially involves stopping when your dog starts pulling.

While that is the basis of the technique, there is actually a bit more to it. If your dog is already well trained at coming when they are called, despite distractions that surround them, this method could be the one that will solve your pulling problem.

You will need to start off with a slack lead and when your dog begins to pull, you must stop immediately and not let them pull you any further. Just a warning though, if your dog is strong it may be a little bit more difficult to conduct this technique. This is because your dog must not go any further, otherwise they will never learn.

If you do this method correctly, your dog will realise they are going nowhere and will stop walking. Tell your dog to come and then ask them to sit for you. Give them a nice tasty treat and then praise them for their good behaviour. Once you have got them sitting nicely, it is time to resume walking.

Repeat this process of stopping, getting them to sit and then rewarding them. Another tip is to reward them for good walking behaviour. If you find your dog is walking nicely beside you and is not pulling, make sure to give them a treat to reinforce this good behaviour.

Your dog will eventually learn that pulling will not get them anywhere and walking nicely beside you net them a reward.

An addition to this method is using scent or objects as a reward. Dogs love to smell or inspect interesting objects while they are out for walks. You can use this to your advantage when training your canine companion.

Once your dog starts pulling towards an object or even another dog or human, stop like we discussed before. Make sure you call them to you and then command them to sit. Offer praise, but not a treat. Once they are sitting nicely, carry on walking towards the thing they were pulling towards. Repeat this process until they are either walking nicely or you reach the item. This is their ultimate reward.

Turning When They Pull

The two methods above are considered to be positive reinforcement techniques, while this method can be considered a negative reinforcement technique. While this technique is considered to be less preferred technique to the other two, it can work. The punishment to your dog should not be severe and should not carry on for an extended amount of time.

Note: this technique should not be conducted when your dog is wearing a slip lead or head halter. It can also be a poor technique for those with stronger dogs who can pull their owners over easily.

The basic premise of this method is to give your dog a bit of a surprise when they start to pull. When your dog is about to run out of slack on their lead, give them a verbal warning like, “slow” or “easy.”

This is an initial warning and if it gets them to come back to you are slow down without pulling, that’s great. If they have responded to this warning well, give them a reward and praise as you walk.

If your dog fails to respond to this verbal warning and starts pulling, that’s when you turn around and start walking in the opposite direction. Giving a slight tug on the lead should make your dog follow the change in direction.

If your dog resists heavily and you find that yourself pulling too hard on the lead, we recommend trying a different technique. This is because you may hurt your dog or possibly even yourself.

Once your dog is walking with you in the opposite direction, praise and reward them for their good behaviour. Now that your dog is next to you, turn around and walk back in the original direction you were walking. Repeat this process as much as need be.

What this method teaches your dog is that pulling and walking too far in front of you will lead to a situation they won’t like. It diverts them from where they want to go and will take more time getting to their desired destination.

We only recommend that you this technique if the other two positive reinforcement methods above are not working for you. Check that your dog is not showing any signs of distress, fear or pain when using this method. If they are, stop using the ‘turn’ technique immediately.

Another thing to remember is that you will probably look a bit silly using this method on the street, although it probably looks better than being pulled over by your pooch.

Tugging On Their Collar

Another technique that is more of a negative reinforcement method is the “collar tug.” This technique should not be used when your dog is wearing a head halter or a slip lead. Like the previous method, we only recommend this technique if positive reinforcement methods are not working as desired.

Once again, if your dog starts approaching the end of their lead, give them a verbal warning. Praise and reward them if they respond to the warning. If they do not listen, give a sharp backwards tug to the lead. Make sure you do not pull for an extended period of time; it should be a quick tug.

Depending on the size of your dog, the strength of the tug you give will vary. You may or may not need to repeat the tug to get your dog’s attention. If your dog starts walking nicely beside you, reward and praise them.

As you can imagine, the tug technique can be unpleasant for dog. It should correct your dog’s behaviour in a couple of days, if it is going to work and you have done the technique correctly.

Those with larger or stronger breeds of dog may find that this method is entirely ineffective. This is because their neck muscles are too strong. You might also find that your dog is so determined that they do not even notice the tug you give them.

When you are conducting this technique, proceed with caution. Giving a tug that is too hard can lead to physical damage to your dog’s throat and neck. It can also hurt you if your dog continues to pull.

Heel Training For Dogs

Teaching your dog to not pull is just part of getting your dog to walk nicely. We all see those dog owners who walk with their dog right beside them and it makes us jealous.

To achieve that you need to teach your dog to not just stop pulling, but to walk to heel as well. This process can take several weeks, however, it is definitely worth the reward.

Your canine companion needs to learn where the heel position is, the cue that you give them to get in that position, and they need to learn it in all sorts of different situations. Teaching the heel technique correctly should mean your dog walks nicely beside you, even when there are distractions.

What Is the Difference Between Teaching Your Dog to Heel and Loose Lead Walking?

Loose lead walking is focused on stopping your dog from pulling on the lead itself. When you teach your dog to stop pulling, it doesn’t matter where the dog is as long as they are not pulling. They could be in front of you or next to you, so long as you have a bit of slack in the lead.

Teaching your dog to heel focuses on the position of your dog relative to you. The dog is not controlling the lead, but controlling their body position and where they are walking. If you teach your dog to walk to heel, you might not even need a lead, how great is that?

How Do I Train My Dog to Heel?

The process of training your dog to heel goes through a number of stages. By the end of these stages you should be able to walk your dog in the correct heel position. There are as follows:

  1. Establish the heel position with your dog
  2. Lean to walk at the heel position
  3. Add distractions and reinforce the heel position

Establish The Heel Position

In reality, there is no correct heel position; however, we recommend that you use your dog’s shoulder as a guideline. Aim to have their shoulder about level with your knee. Your dog’s head will be slightly in front of you.

When choosing which side you want to have your dog on, it doesn’t matter. Just pick a side and be consistent about it. We like to have our dog on the left side, however, you may find the right more comfortable.

Once you have decided upon the heel position, get your dog in this position and reward them for being there. You need to establish that this is the position that you want your dog to be in.

Remember to have a handful of treats in your pocket or treat pouch, and hold a treat in each hand. Let your dog know you have the treats and move them into the heel position by putting the treats in front of their nose.

Do this two or three times and then repeat without a treat in your hand. Show your dog that your hand is empty, and repeat the exact same movement you did when there was a reward in your hand. The hand that you used to move your dog into the heel position will be the same one you use a hand signal.

If your dog is being a bit stubborn and won’t follow your hand when there are not treats in it, try again with a reward. Repeat this process until you get your dog in the correct position without a treat.

Once your dog recognises your hand movement as the command to get into the heel position, you can begin to add a verbal cue like “heel.” After a couple of attempts, try and just say “heel” and don’t use your hand. Your dog should soon learn to move into the heel position when you use the heel command.

Walking in The Heel Position

After teaching your dog the heel position, it is time to teach them to hold this position while walking. Remember to start with small distances in an environment where they will not be distracted.

Give the heel command and instead of treating your dog immediately, take a step forward and reward them as they move to keep up with you. Once they move with you, progress to two steps and then give them another reward.

Repeat this process and carry on adding more and more steps. Reward your dog when they move with you in the correct heel position. In this early stage, avoid adding changes in direction and keep the total distance travelled to about ten steps.

When teaching your dog to walk in the heel position it is best to use short, frequent sessions as they may become bored or tired.

Direction Changes

Once you and your dog are comfortable with about ten steps in the correct heel position, add a direction change. Take a couple of steps forward and then rotate 90 degrees to the right or left.

If your dog attempts to rotate with you reward them with a treat. Set off in the new direction and repeat this process. Carry on practicing this until you can make little squares of two or three steps, or a chain of direction turns.

Making Them Stop

Walking in the heel position isn’t just about the movement process, at some point you are going to have to stop. Your dog should not leave the heel position just because you have stopped to talk to someone or need to wait to cross the road.

Holding the heel position when you are not moving is an important part of heel training. Most people tend to teach their dog to sit when they stop moving and this is a pretty good practice.

Try moving around ten steps forward and then stop. When you have stopped ask you dog to sit and reward them with a treat. Use the sit command to teach them to sit when you stop moving. Eventually they will learn that they need to sit when you stop moving.

Distraction Time

Maintaining the heel position is relatively easy in a controlled environment, but add a few distractions and it can turn into a real nightmare. You will need patience to teach your dog to ignore distractions, as it is only in their nature to investigate all the interesting things in the world.

To combat this problem, you first need to slowly change the surroundings in which you practice the heel position in. Move from inside your house to outside your house, and change to different rooms.

The first few times you take your dog out onto the roadway outside in the heel position, supply them with plenty of high value treats (roast chicken for example). This will keep their attention on you, letting you control them better.

When it comes to dealing with distractions, try to dilute the intensity of the distractions or make them less appealing to your dog. You can do this by putting more distance between you and the distraction or by making it less interesting.

During the heel training process, enlist the help of another person who can be holding a ball or toy. Initially, just get this other person to hold the item and walk past in the heel position with your dog. If you are successful, tell your helper to play with the ball or toy and then try and walk past in the heel position again.

What you are doing in this situation is increasing the distraction challenge. You are making the distraction more powerful as you and your dog progress with heel training. If your dog is starting to get too distracted, bring the distraction intensity down a level and repeat.

Another great tip is to use another dog to be the distraction. We all know how much dogs love other dogs, and if you can get your dog walking in the heel position past another dog, you know you have trained them well.

Once you have progressed to adding another dog in your heel training process, it is time to try your training on the street. Try short sections, even if it means you are walking ten meters down the road and then back. Every time you go out, try and increase the distance you are walking in the heel position.

Finding The Right Equipment for Your Dog

Best dog collars and leads

When it comes to walking equipment for dogs, there are a whole lot of options; from harnesses to collars and everything else. Anyone who has been to their local pet store or has done a quick Amazon search will know this. Selecting the right gear for your dog can be a challenge, however, it can be an important part of teaching your canine to walk properly.

The Dog Collar

There is nothing more traditional than the classic dog collar. They are simple, easy to use and generally don’t break the bank (unless you are one of those people who wants a diamond encrusted one). Collars can be left on your dog at all times and they are dead simple to use.


If you are finding difficulty walking your dog with a collar, a harness may be a good option for you. Body harnesses are slowly replacing traditional dog collars as the preferred equipment to attach a lead to.

It has been found that some dogs will respond to pressure around their neck by pulling even harder than usual. While seems strange, it is actually a natural reaction caused by a reflex called thigmotaxis.

Restraining your dog by the soft tissues of their neck has also been found to be a less than ideal method of controlling them.

Dog harnesses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and they are perfect for those with young or old dogs. We feel they are a better method of restraint than a traditional collar, especially for those dogs who have not learned that pulling is bad.

For those who are looking to reduce pulling with a harness, the double attachment variety, where a lead can be attached at both the chest and the back of the dog, will help.

Head Collar

In most instances, head collars work by turning your dog’s head to the side when they try to pull. This can make even the strongest dog manageably and is an effective way of reducing your dog’s pulling problem.

While they can be effective, there are some serious drawbacks to head collars. Many dogs will find them uncomfortable and some may even find them distressing to weak. Rather than teaching the dog to walk at heel correctly, the head collar will restrain them in that position.

We personally do not recommend head collars, and suggest that you use either a traditional collar or harness. Additionally, you should teach your dog not to pull and the heel position, rather than physically restraining them.

If you are going to use a head collar, only use it on essential journeys only. Never rely on them to control your dog and don’t use them on a daily basis.

Choosing a Good Dog Lead

A good lead is an essential part of walking your dog properly (if you aren’t using the heel position). Rather than choosing one based on colour or the pretty pictures on it, choose a lead that is sturdy. A weak lead can snap, letting your dog escape.

Select a lead that is anywhere from 1.2m to 2m. A lead in this length range will let your dog have a bit of freedom, but will be short enough for you to maintain good control over your dog.

As we wrote earlier in this article, a lead that is too short can make a dog pull more. A little bit more freedom may solve your pulling problem in some situations.

When your dog has learned not to pull, you can try extend the length of the lead, or if you have trained them to heel you might not need a lead at all.

Check out Lovemydog for a great guide on sizes for dog collars and leads. 

Things to Watch Out for

Walking Dog on lead training

When it comes to training dogs, pain-inflicting devices are used all too much. No decent dog owner wants to cause harm to their dog and as we wrote earlier, negative reinforcement training techniques should be used with caution.

Using training methods that cause pain to your dog or are negative reinforcement all the time is not acceptable. It is difficult to measure the amount of force that is being applied to a dog with these methods, and it can harm your dog.

Here at Dogopedia, we feel that training your dog should be a positive experience for both you and your canine. Positive reinforcement training methods will almost always work, and negative reinforcement should only be used very rarely.

Wrapping Up

Pulling on a lead is a bad habit that many dogs seem to develop. This is because they are inadvertently rewarded for it, or they are never taught that it is a bad thing and their owner just lets them do it.

There is no ‘easy fix’ to the pulling problem, however, the methods we have outlined in this article should help you. Remember that you need to be patient and the training process will only bring you and your dog closer together.

Dogs are strong and energetic animals. They love to go out and explore the world, so don’t let pulling get in the way of that!

Now Read: How To Stop Your Dog Jumping Up On People

Why Do Dogs Eat Poo – Stop Your Dog Eating Poo Now!

Dogs can have some disgusting habits, from drinking out of the toilet to licking other dog’s bums, but nothing can top when they decide to chomp down on a nice poo. While it’s incredibly gross to humans, coprophagia (eating poo) is actually a very common habit of many dogs. It is such a problem for some dog owners that it is a common reason for people to re-home their dog or even attempt euthanasia.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poo?

There’s a whole host of different reasons for dogs to eat poo and we are going to explain them below, however, it really boils down to two reasons – behavioural and physiologic issues. If your dog has a penchant for dining on faeces, don’t despair. While the poo eating problem hasn’t been researched extensively, there are ways to discourage your dog from eating poo.

How Common Is Dog Poo Eating?

We wrote above that poo eating is a common occurrence for dogs, but what are the numbers? In 2012 researches led by Dr.Benjamin Hart, from the University of California presented a study at the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior annual conference, that found that:

  • 24 percent of the dogs in the study were found to be poo eaters
  • 16 percent of dogs were classed as “serious” faeces diners, which means that they partook in the activity five times or more.

It was concluded by Dr. Hart that, “Eating of fresh stools is a reflection of an innate predisposition of ancestral canids living in nature that protects pack members from intestinal parasites present in faeces that could occasionally be dropped in the den/rest area. The only way that wild canids can remove faeces before infective larvae hatch is by consuming them.”

Dr. Hart’s study consisted of a couple of different surveys that were sent to about 3,000 dog owners. While humans find it utterly disgusting to eat poo, it’s not really a bad thing to do from a dog’s point of view. Canines have evolved as scavengers, eating anything they find on the ground and eating poo is one of several survival behaviours that they have developed to cope with starvation.

Facts About Dogs Who Eat Poo

Coprophagia is generally considered a normal process or habit for puppies who are starting to explore the world around them. While most will be happy with a sniff, some will develop the habit of eating poo. Here are some facts about poo eating dogs:

  • Dogs typically eat hard poos and will not usually eat soft, poorly formed poos or diarrhoea.
  • Poo eating dogs are no harder to train then other canines.
  • They are usually greedy dogs who love to steal food.
  • Female dogs are more likely to be poo eaters, while healthy males have the lowest chance of developing the habit.
  • 85 percent of poo eaters will only eat another dogs poo, not their own.
  • 92 percent of dogs will only eat poo that is one to two days old.

Reasons Your Dog Eats Poo

11 Behavioural Reasons for Dog Poo Eating

First we are going to start with the behavioural reasons of why dogs eat poo. If your dog seems to be in healthy condition, consider the following:

Attention Seeking

Dogs love to crave attention, whether it is good or bad. If your dog is feeling like they are being ignored they may try and get themselves into trouble, because then they will have our attention. Sneaking into the garden and munching down on a nice poo lets them get an afternoon snack, while receiving our attention. If you notice your dog eating poo, try to not make a big deal out of it.


If you keep your dog alone during the day or night, it may be the reason why your dog likes to feed on faeces. Various studies have shown that dogs who are kept alone in basements, outside or kennels are much more likely to eat poo than those who live close to their owners.

They See Another Dog Doing It

Younger dogs may develop the habit after observing another dog doing it.


Dogs who are kept alone all day with not much to do may develop a new habit to keep themselves entertained. If there is poo within your dog’s reach and you typically leave your dog alone during the day, make sure you clean up the faeces before you head out.


Interestingly, dogs who have received harsh punishment or housetraining methods for pooing in the house can develop a poo eating habit. This is because they associate poo with being told off, so they try to hide the evidence by eating it.


There is a time when dogs will eat poo and it is actually a very natural thing to do. Female dogs will clean up after their puppies to keep the environment they are in clean. This can last a number of weeks and puppies may also engage in this behaviour as well. This poo cleaning process can be carried over to other dogs.

They Are a Puppy

Puppies love to explore their surroundings and part of this is eating or smelling everything within reach of them. Many puppies may decide to have a nibble of poo as part of them exploring the world. Puppies will usually grow out of this habit, however it can be carried over to adult life.

Association with Real Food

If you feed your dog close to where they go to the toilet it may be a reason for their faeces eating habit. Dogs may make an association between the smell of real food with those of poo.

Living with an Elderly or Sick Dog

Healthy, younger dogs may develop poo eating habits when there is a sick or elderly dog in the household. This is especially the case if the dog suffers from faecal incontinence. It is believed that this may be related to the instinct of dogs to protect the pack from predators.

Smelling It On Their Mum

In some cases, dogs may get confused by smelling faecal odours on their mum’s breath after she has cleaned up their mess. Additionally, mum dogs may also regurgitate their dinner that may be mixed with a little bit of puppy poo. This can cause the puppy to develop the habit as well.

They Are Scavengers

Dogs are scavengers and they are attracted to a whole host of different scents. They do not find faeces disgusting and if the right opportunity presents itself, they may just take a bite. Additionally, if your dog is feeling hungry, a quick nibble on a poo can fill their stomach.

8 Medical Reasons for Dog Poo Eating

Now that we’ve gone through the behavioural reasons for why your dog may be eating poo. It is now time to talk about the possible medical reasons for the habit.


Parasites can take a number of different forms, however, they all have one thing in common; at some point the parasites inside your dog will begin to impact your dog’s health and comfort. Intestinal parasites can soak up all the important nutrients your dog needs from their food. This will in turn make them hungry, which could be a reason for the faecal feasting.


If your dog has been on a case of steroids, they may begin to develop the habit of eating poop. This is because some steroids can increase their appetite

Enzyme Deficiencies

Digestive enzymes are a key part of your dog’s digestive process, and without them they cannot fully absorb their food. In the wild, dogs get all the essential digestive enzymes they need from their prey. Domestic dogs are a little bit different however.

Most domesticated dogs are fed highly processed, kibble-rich diets. Sometimes these processed foods can be lacking in these digestive enzymes, which can cause your dog to develop a number of health issues. Due to the lack of nutrients being absorbed, your dog will begin to try and find them in different places, and that includes in poo. Faeces still contains nutrients, so dogs only see it as a good thing.

Certain Conditions

Anything from thyroid issues to diabetes and Cushing’s Disease (CD) may cause an increase in appetite in your dog. This increased desire for food can cause them to find food in all sorts of world places, including faeces.

Pancreatic Insufficiency

Also known as Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), this condition is where your dog fails to create, or creates very little digestive enzymes in the pancreas. A lack of these digestive enzymes will mean your dog will not be able to absorb the required nutrients and they will starve. Symptoms of this condition can include weight loss, diarrhoea, and of course, poo eating.

Malabsorption Conditions

Any other conditions not on this list that may lead to inadequate nutrient absorption can make your dog develop a poo eating habit. Your dog may even begin to eat other animals faeces, along with their own, to get the nutrients they desire. Different animals have different amounts of nutrients in their faeces, so you may be able to use this to determine which condition your dog has.

Other Deficiencies

A lack of hydrochloric acid that is brought on through old age or a bad diet can lead to poor digestion. This itself can then lead inadequate nutrient absorption, which may mean your dog turns to faeces to find the nutrients they need. The digestive process uses hydrochloric acid to break down protein. Trace mineral deficiencies are linked to stool eating, as well as consuming of other even more unsuitable substances like plastic.

Lack of Food

Your dog’s poo eating escapades may be simply down to a lack of food. If your dog is on a healthy, whole diet and is losing weight, it may be time to feed them more. Also make sure you keep to a regular feeding schedule, as a hungry dog may start to scavenge for other sources of food. If believe this is the case, it may be worth talking to your vet or checking the recommend food amounts for your size and breed of dog.

So How Do I Stop My Dog from Eating Poo?


We’ve now run you through some of the many possible causes of your pup’s fondness for faeces, now we are going to give you some ideas on how to fix it.

Keep Your Dog Mentally Engaged and Happy

Bored dogs can get themselves into all sorts of trouble, and that includes poo eating. Make sure you take them out for regular walks, play plenty of games like fetch or tug, and give them some attention. Also make sure they have plenty of toys to play with during the day and maybe even leave the radio on for them if you plan to be out a long time. Agility training is another great way to stimulate your dog’s mind.

Keep Their Area Clean

Just like you should ‘flush it down, if it’s brown’, you should pick up your dog’s poo immediately after they have done the deed. Don’t give your pup the opportunity to sample the delicious looking turd. Additionally, if you have any other pets make sure you clean up after them and if you’re a cat owner keep their litter tray out of reach from your dog as well. By keeping their area spotless, your dog won’t have the chance of munching on any poops.

Supplement with Dog Vitamins

Seeing as some dogs eat faeces due to them missing out on important vitamins and minerals, a supplement may be what is needed. Vitamin-B deficiency, in particular, has been linked with the habit. Talk to your vet about what vitamin supplement will be right for your dog and remember that all dogs will have slightly different requirements when it comes to supplements.

 Enzyme Supplementation for Dogs

As we have already talked about earlier in this article, the modern canine diet is a bit different to that of their ancestors. Modern food is higher in carbohydrates and lower in meat-based fats and proteins. Try supplementing papain or some probiotics into your dog’s diet; however, you may need to mix it up with some other food items.

Feed Your Dog Some Raw Food

Raw food contains those digestive enzymes your dog needs to help the digestive process. Make sure your dog gets their protein and raw food from a variety of places. A great place source of digestive enzymes is green tripe.

Give Them Some Kelp or Apple Cider Vinegar

If your dog is suffering from a lack of trace minerals, you can add some kelp. Additionally, if your dog has a hydrochloric acid deficiency, a little bit of apple cider vinegar might do the trick (1 tsp per 11.3kg or 25 pounds in their food). This may help your dog’s digestive system mimic the missing acid and help their body compensate for the deficiency.

Make The Poo Taste Bad

As a human I can’t imagine any taste worse than that of poo; however, dogs are different. One way to stop dogs eating poo is to spray or place a certain substance on the faeces that makes it unappealing for them. Many of these products will include ingredients like chamomile, pepper derivatives, yucca, garlic, parsley and monosodium glutamate. While this method may work for you, a study at the University of California, Davis found that they typically only work two percent of the time.

Check for Parasites

Make sure you check your dog’s stools for any signs of parasites regularly.

Work On Your Training

A big part of dog ownership is being able to train your dog. The “leave it” and “come” commands are especially usually for those with a poo eating problem. Teach your dog to come after they have done a number two, rather than reaching straight for that fresh poo. A tasty treat will be more to your dog’s liking than faeces, so make sure you use them when training your dog.

Avoid Punishment

A study that involved 1,500 dog owners that was conducted at the University of California, Davis found that punishment was an entirely ineffective form of training. It is best to just flat out ignore your dog when they are eating poo, rather than punishing them.

Wrapping Up the Dog Poo Eating Problem

What you would think is a simple problem is clearly a bit more complicated than first seems. Your dog poo eating problem can be caused by a whole host of medical and behavioural reasons. We’ve tried to give you a good rundown of what problems may be causing your dog’s poo eating habits, and some potentially solutions. As always, if you are unsure take a trip to the vets, especially if it is medically related.

Tell us in the comments below if you have had any other successful methods to stop this dog poo eating problem.

Now Read: How To Stop Dog Jumping Up On People

How To Stop Dog Jumping Up On People

Your dog jumping up on people is a sure-fire way to tell that they are the pack leader. If your dog jumps on you, guests to your house or just people on the street they are showing that they are in charge. Asserting their dominance by jumping up is very common for dogs, but what can you do about it?

Why Is My Dog Jumping?

As dog owners we often come home to jumpy, barking dogs who seem to be very happy to see us. They run around and bounce off the walls because we are home. Our natural reaction to this is that they are happy to see us, but are they?

Your dog is typically doing this not out of sheer joy to see you, but often excess energy and that they want to show you who is boss. Jumping can also be associated with dogs who suffer from separation anxiety, which means that they are certainly not happy and are more nervous or frustrated.

A dog with excess energy or anxiety will often show this through their body, much like a human who paces or fidgets. Responding to jumping with affection and praise will send mixed signals to your dog and can make them constantly anxious.

Affection is a reward to dogs and it doesn’t matter what state of mind the dog is in. If we give dogs affection for bad things or when they are feeling anxious they will do that bad thing again to get more affection.

Giving affection to a frightened dog teaches them to be frightened and giving it to an excited dog will teach them to be excited. This carries on for anything from aggressive behaviour to jumping up on people, so remember that misbehaviour plus a reward will teach the dog to misbehave.

Why Jumping Is A Bad Thing

We’ve already told you that a jumping dog is really a misbehaving dog, even if you think they are happy to see you. It is also reinforcing bad habits and can be a sign of mental problems with your dog, but what are reasons make jumping bad.

Take a German Shepherd puppy for example. When the Shepherd puppy is young and small it seems very cute when they jump up at you, but a 50kg fully grown Shepherd can knock you over and be potentially dangerous. Your dog jumping will not only effect you, but also guests coming to your house and even people when you go to the dog park or beach. Getting your dog to stop jumping up at people is an important part of being a responsible dog owner.

So How Can I Stop My Dog From Jumping Up At People?

Now that we have explained the reasons why your dog jumps up at people and why it is a bad thing, now it is time to tell you how to stop it from happening.

Be The Pack Leader

Dogs are pack animals and without a clear pack leader they will try to fill that role. This can be disastrous for you as the owner and will lead to bad behaviour like jumping up at people. It is important that you show that you are in charge and you do that by projecting a calm-assertive energy.

Know When To Give Affection

Showering your dog with attention as soon as you walk in the door can be a critical mistake when dealing with a jumping or overly excited dog. Remember that dogs are not humans and the nicest thing you can do to them is treat them like a dog. Giving a human child attention as soon as you walk through the door can be wonderful, however dogs are different.

We want our dog to be calm and submissive, because that is when they are most receptive to our commands. Rewarding a dog when they are excited will teach them to be excited, so we want to avoid that. The only time you should be rewarding your dog with affection is when they are in a calm and submissive state.

Another thing to remember is that if you reward a dog when they are not in a calm submissive state, they see us as not calm and submissive. A dog that sees their owner as overly excited will typically not follow their commands. This is the quickest way to produce an excited and unruly dog that will try to be the pack leader.

While we are saying that you need to control your dog’s excitement, there is a time and a place to encourage it. Rather than rewarding your dog with excited affection when you come home, you should be rewarding them when you are doing things like playing fetch with them in the park or doing agility training. Your dog’s excitement is there, but you are rewarding it for doing a job for you, with an end goal of using up all of that energy.

Think Like Your Dog’s Mum

A tip to controlling the sort of excited behaviour that causes jumping is to think like your dog’s mum. Your dog’s mum is the ultimate pack leader and will not tolerate any silly dominant behaviour from her pups. If she notices an action she doesn’t like from her dogs, she will stop it by moving the puppy away in a calm and assertive manner. From this the puppy learns that there are boundaries they cannot cross and solidifies them as below their mum in the pack. You need to do this when dealing with your dog!

Be The Pack Leader At All Times

It’s no use just being the pack leader sometimes, you need to be the leader at all times. An inconsistent owner will cause confusion and anxiety in their dog. Remember that animal pack leaders are the leader at all times and so should you be!

Tell Your Dog To Sit

When you or guests come into the house tell your dog to sit. You can even do this if your dog has a jumping problem when you take it out for walks and they want to jump over passers-by. When your dog respects you they will follow your command and remember they must follow your order.

Start Them Young            

Remember that it is easier to prevent a problem than curing one. You can avert dog jumping when they are just a puppy. Puppy jumping is incredibly common, however you can stop this by using the no talk, no touch, no eye contact rule when you greet your puppy. Stopping your puppy from jumping early will make it a whole lot easier than trying to do it when they are older.

Now Read: Ten Of The Best Dog Toys for Tough Chewers