Top 10 Dog Training Tips

There is a lot more to dog training than meets the eye! It takes consistency, patience and a little bit of know-how to fully get to grips with. Lucky for us, equipped with these handy tips from Dusty Dingo Dog Training, the options of what you can teach your dog are endless! 

1. Research

Before you even get a dog, it's very important to learn what kind of dog will best suit your lifestyle. Consider their grooming needs, do you want to brush them every 3-4 days alongside groomer visits every 4-6 weeks? Are you happy to get up early every morning, no matter what the weather is like, to make sure your dog gets the physical exercise they need? Consider their natural breeding instincts, a lot of dogs come from herding, working or hunting backgrounds where their instincts have been bred into them for thousands of years.

Unsure on what breed would suit your family? Have a chat to trainers and ask what they think. Trainers work with many different breeds of dogs and have an understanding on what traits are common in those breeds. Trainers can also help you find reputable breeders to make sure you get a healthy and confident puppy.

2. Socialization

This is absolutely key to raising your new puppy and will help mould them into the dog you would like, or the dog you may not like! Socialization is the natural exposure to whatever your dog may come across in their lifetime and begins right from the moment they are born. We want our puppies to experience a variety of things and learn that everything is okay. We can do this via classical conditioning where we play a fireworks sound on our phone, once it bangs, we give our dog a treat, wait a few seconds then play the sound again. The same could work for the vacuum cleaner or other household noises. For more details and in depth help on this, contact a local trainer to help you.

3. Follow a Lure

This is the beginning to training your dog. The majority of what you are going to want to teach your dog will involve you luring your dog with a treat in your hand. This is super easy to teach, hold a few treats in your hand, take them up to your dog's nose and reward when they sniff them. Continue to work on this so when you slowly move your hand away from them, they follow it, reward when they get to your hand.

4. Use Enrichment Toys

Nowadays there is a huge range of enrichment toys that your dogs can lick, chew, chase and play with. These are often toys that you put dog safe food in, on or around. They slow your dog's eating but is also a bit of a puzzle for them or your dog might have to “hunt” for their food. My go to is a snuffle mat, I use Orijen Original kibble by sprinkling it in the tassels of the mat and let my dog sniff out their meals. This not only helps them calm down by taking slow deep breaths but gets them to use their incredible nose!

5. Teach Calm

Did you know you can teach your dog to be calm. Some dogs are naturally good at lazing about and cuddling on the couch, usually the lapdogs love this kind of thing. However, for the other dogs that are a bit more active you can begin helping them learn how to be calm by teaching them to lay on a mat or spend time in a crate comfortably. This is super handy to teach every dog so they can settle in lots of different environments and around lots of different situations. To begin you can start by teaching them to lay down on a mat inside and reward them for staying on the mat. Over time and with consistency and repetitions your dog will learn that being on the mat means they should rest and be calm so will begin to do this automatically.

6. Teach Tricks

Teaching tricks is so much fun for both you and your dog. It gets them working hard with their brain to learn what you are teaching and it can be very rewarding for us when they get it correct. There are endless amounts of tricks to teach and even titles you can work towards with your dog! I love using the Orijen Freeze-dried treats for trick training as they are easy to break up to reward in small amounts. Plus, you have a cool party trick to show off to your friends and family!

7. Crate Train Your Dog

Throughout your dog's life they are probably going to have to spend some time in a confined area like a crate. It is important to teach them to be comfortable in the smaller space so they don’t become stressed in emergency situations such as at the vet, travelling in a crate, at the groomers and more. These situations can be stressful enough for our dogs - if they aren’t used to being in a crate, it can be even worse for them.

8. Use a Long Line

Having your dog on leash is super handy and extremely important at times. Long lines are great for when you have to keep your dog on leash but want a little extra space, or if your dog doesn’t have a very good recall. You can give your dog a little extra freedom and allow them to wander around with the feeling of being off lead but you still have full control in all situations. Personally, I use long lines with all the dogs I train with when we are working on a reliable recall, it can be such a great tool.

9. Feed a good quality food

Just like when we eat junk food we can feel a bit, well, horrible. Our diet affects our mental and physical health and it's important to get it right! This is the same with our dogs. If they eat low quality food, they may become hyper or unwell. When we feed a high-quality food, like Orijen and Acana, we help our dogs feel their best, inside and out.

10. Have fun with your dog

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves us more than he loves himself.” This quote is one that has stayed with me (Dusty Dingo Dog Training) for years, it's so true and it's why I love dogs. It's important that we have fun with our dogs, enjoy the time we have with them and play with them. We don’t know how long they will be with us so it is really important to have as much fun as you can. So, what are you still doing here? Go and play with your dog! The trainer said so!

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