Do you want your dog to behave better? Looking for some new dog training tips? You’re in the right place.
Training a new dog, whether a puppy or older dog, takes patience, time, and of course, some old-fashioned know how. We asked Zak George, YouTube’s #1 dog trainer, for 7 dog training tips that will help your dog become a well-behaved pup in no time.
Here is a full breakdown of 7 effective dog training tips from Zak George.
7 Dog Training Tips from YouTube’s #1 Dog Trainer, Zak George
1. Consistency Gets Results
Like most things in life, putting in half effort will get you half the results. Many people want a “quick-fix” for their dog’s behavioral issues, but that just isn’t how it works!
Dog training is literally helping to retrain a dog’s mind to perform tasks a certain way, and that surely isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s important to set realistic expectations for how often and how long you will be able to train your dog.
And remember, most training skills and behaviors take 6-12 months for a dog to fully grasp in a variety of situations. So, don’t worry if your pup takes a long time to learn good leash behavior, for example, because every dog learns at a different pace.
Bottom line, consistency wins the race in dog training.
2. Perform a Sit-Stay for 5-10 Seconds at Every Door Leading Out of Your Home
One thing I often hear from dog parents is how frustrating it is when they try to leave their house and their dog attempts to barge out behind them. Not only is this frustrating, but it also presents potential dangers if you live near a busy street, school, or in an area with lots of other dogs or cats.
The most effective way to combat this negative behavior is to have your dog perform a ‘sit-stay’ each time you take your dog through a door that leads outside the house. Whether the front, back or garage door, having your dog sit and stay for 5-10 seconds when you open the door will help your dog understand that going outside is a privilege and must be ‘allowed’ by you.
Trust me, this one will take some practice and consistency, but if you stick with it you will have much less stressful experiences opening your door.
3. Attach Your Dog To Yourself Whenever at Home
Okay, before you second guess this one, let me explain!
When you attach your dog to yourself whenever at home, a couple things happen. First, your dog will not be able to get into destructive or negative behaviors like chewing, going potty in the house, any other type of unwanted behavior if they are in your sight. Think about most of the times your little pup got into troublesome situations, they probably weren’t within eyesight, right?
Secondly, having your dog attached to you while at home helps your dog become used to being by your side and looking for direction from you. This will pay huge dividends in your leash training. It will also help your dog’s ability to give you their attention, no matter the circumstances.
Obviously, this dog training tip isn’t applicable all the time, but whenever possible and especially at a young age, keep your pup attached to you when at home.
4. Create a Dog Training Schedule
This tip goes hand in hand with maintaining consistency. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found I’m the most productive on a daily basis when I have a schedule and stick to it. The same goes for training my dogs.
Pick a time each day, whatever works best for you, and block it out of your schedule. Put that in your phone calendar, physical calendar, palm pilot (do those exist still?), or where ever you schedule out your day. Commit to yourself that you will train your dog for that allotted time.
With that being said, be sure to pick a realistic amount of time you can train. If you have to start small with 10-15 minutes per day, great! Again, staying on a consistent schedule is much more important than doing marathon training sessions once a month.
PRO TIP: Have a friend, spouse, partner, etc. that you can share your schedule with and be accountable to.
5. Control Your Dog’s Environment When Training
This dog training tip is much easier said than done, but let me tell you, it will work wonders in the beginning stages of training your dog. In the beginning weeks and months of training your dog, working on new behaviors in a calm, quiet, and distraction-free environment will help your pup focus on you and in turn, learn new behaviors quicker.
I prefer to do training sessions in an open area of my home. Being inside makes limiting distractions 100 times easier.
As your pup progresses with new skills, you can then start introducing new elements like other people, dogs, and noises as distractions in their environment. Just remember to keep things as simple and distraction-free for your dog as possible in the beginning.
6. Wean Off Treats Over Time
“My dog will only listen to me if I have treats in hand.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that exact sentence from frustrated doggy parents.
Well, luckily there is a way to combat that problem. Once your dog has started to get the hang of a specific behavior, let’s say “sit” as an example, it’s important to start keeping your dog guessing about getting treats.
Let’s say for example Buddy is about 8/10 capable of doing sit. At this time, I would start giving Buddy a treat every other sit, or even less. When you do this, you keep Buddy guessing (and interested in you) as to whether or not a treat will be coming.
Over time, Buddy will learn to do the sit no matter what, even when treats aren’t present.
So remember, mix it up and keep your pup guessing as to whether or not they’ll be getting a treat when a behavior is performed.
7. The Most Important Dog Training Tip, LOVE Your Dog!
Seriously, I think this is my most underrated dog training tip! You have to love your dog if you want to develop a relationship in which they respond to your training. This is why I’m such a firm believer in positive-reinforcement dog training, and not using force or scare tactics with dogs.
Training a dog is so much about creating a stronger and deeper bond and connection. As the amount of love between dog and dog parent increases, trust follows, and obedience often does as well.
So, love your pup and make every single training session an enjoyable experience!
Dog Training Tips Recap
Hopefully, these 7 dog training tips will help your pup get that much closer to obedience. Remember, it all takes time and nothing worth having comes easy…
Be sure to check out Zak George’s YouTube channel where he puts out high-quality dog training tips on a regular basis. We’ve also partnered with Zak George to create a 100% free and effective online training class, 30 Day Perfect Pup. Sign up here for free.
Training a puppy? Do you need help with a name for your new pup? We’ve got the boy and girl names covered! Feeling overwhelmed not knowing exactly what toys, food, or leashes he or she needs? Check out our printable puppy checklist, complete with 21 must-have items.