The Well Behaved Pet

Your dog instinctively seeks a master, just like wild canines must have a pack leader. If you show the patience and firmness needed for the correct training, your dog will let you be the boss. Start by shaping his behavior when he’s a puppy. The time to start serious training is when your dog can concentrate more.

Be consistent:

If possible, the same person from the family should be the trainer. Be consistent in your commands, voice inflections, rewards or corrections, and signals.

It’s all in the timing:

Dogs equate rewards or corrections with those actions happening at the time. To discourage a behavior, correct the dog immediately after the action. If you wait too long, your dog won’t understand why you are upset with him and you will only cause frustration and confusion.

Reward you dog frequently:

Food treats are the most effective training reinforcements; when you first start training, reward good behavior often. As your dog becomes more proficient, you can taper off on the food treats and use other types of positive reinforcement such as toys or praise.

Praising and reprimanding your dog:

It is more important how you praise your dog that what you actually say; when praising your pet, use a happy, lighthearted tone of voice. For corrections, use a sharp verbal reprimand.

Never use physical force:

A dog learns from the anticipation of reward, not from the fear of correction. Do not use a rolled-up newspaper or any sort of physical blows to correct your dog; you’ll only succeed in making him afraid of you and less likely to learn. Vocal corrections, usually sharp and quick, are the most effective method of correction.

Keep training sessions short:

Puppies have a short attention span; therefore ideally, training sessions should last 15-20 minutes a day. Try to practice in an area that’s free of distractions.

Be patient:

Don’t expect every training session to be successful; remember, repetition and consistency are the cornerstones to canine learning. If you maintain your patience, are firm and consistent, and use praise coupled with sharp verbal commands, your dog will do his absolute best to please you.

Have fun:

Schedule a play time after every training session to show your dog your approval and that you appreciate his hard work. This will help to develop a trusting relationship, which is the foundation for successful training.

Helpful Hints


Avoid getting your pet into the habit of begging by always placing treats in the food bowl. This helps to reinforce in their minds that any food they receive will be found in that place.

Riding in the Car:

Start off with short trips and gradually work up to longer ones. This will also relieve some of the anxiety pets feel on the way to the veterinarian’s office by teaching them that car rides don’t always mean a trip to the doctor. Note: It is especially a good idea, with very young animals, to plan the ride a few hours after their last meal to avoid stomach upset. Young animals should not spend long amounts of time outside until they are fully vaccinated.


Pets should not be given any type of cloth toys, articles of clothing or shoes to play with.
It is very difficult for animals to distinguish between these “toys” and actual articles of the family’s.
Never play aggressive or “equal basis” games with your pet, especially a dominant puppy.
Even during play times, it should be made clear to your pet that you are the pack leader at all times. IT is possible to have lots of fun with your pet without losing your image of the authority figure. Avoid playing fighting, tug-of-war, etc.
To help your pet adjust to his or her crate, use a specific blanket to play with your pet on, and then use it as their blanket in the crate. This will help them to associate good feelings and pleasant activities with the crate.