Training Tips Every Dog Owner Needs to Know



This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Kevin Davies


1) Teach a Dog to Come

The come command is something that every dog should be able to respond to quickly. Think about it! If a dog is running off and he readily obeys the come command, he will instantly return to his owner. It isn’t difficult to teach a dog to come and in all honesty, any pet owner that can spare ten minutes each day can do it. All it takes is some dedication and a few good items.

What You Need to Teach a Dog to Come

  • Choker collar
  • 20′ long training lead
  • Lots of tasty tidbits for rewards

The Process

Fill a zippy bag with the tasty tidbits and place it in your right front pocket or a fanny pack. Put the choker collar on your dog and attach the long, training lead. Bring your canine companion outside and let him play for a few minutes. Be sure that he relieves himself before you begin the training session.

Kneel down on the ground and say your dog’s name followed by the command come. Bring your right arm up from your side and swing it toward your heart. It will almost look like you are readying yourself to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Bring your left arm up and slowly but firmly draw your dog toward you. Reel the lead in until the dog is directly in front of you. Praise him and give him one of the tasty tidbits.

Continue this exercise for the remainder of the ten minutes. Make sure that the lesson ends on a high note with the dog having done a good job. Keep repeating this process every day until your dog masters the command. In a week or two, you will see that it’s easy to teach a dog to come to you when you call him.

2) Teach Your Dog to Crawl – For many dogs, the trick can be mastered in a day

It’s fun to teach your dog new parlor tricks, and this is true with teaching your dog to crawl. For many dogs, the trick can be mastered in a day, while others might require a few dog training lessons. It all depends upon the dog’s desire and ability to learn, but nearly any dog can be taught to crawl.

What You Need to Teach Your Dog to Crawl

The Process

Put your dog in the Down position and sit down on the floor to the side of his front paws. Take one of the treats and hold it below his nose. Give the command Crawl. Slowly move your hand and let the dog follow it with his nose. Keep your free hand on his back to prevent him from trying to stand. The dog should begin to crawl forward.

If the dog does stand up, place him back in the Down position. Start the lesson all over again. Be sure that you are using something that is very tempting as some dogs just won’t crawl for an average treat. A piece of boiled chicken will usually do the trick.

You’ll need to keep practicing this trick with your dog. After time, you will be able to eliminate drawing the treat across the floor and the dog will crawl on command.

3) Teaching a Dog the Speak Command

It’s really cool when a dog can learn to speak on command. There are so many pet owners who think that this is one of the hardest tricks to teach. Nothing is further from the truth. It’s pretty easy once you learn the way professional dog trainers teach a dog the Speak command.

What You Need for Teaching a Dog the Speak Command

  • The dog’s barking trigger
  • Another person
  • Tasty treats

The Process

Before you can teach a dog the Speak command, you must know exactly what triggers the dog to bark. Most dogs have something that they will always bark at. For most of mine, it is simply the doorbell so we will use that as an example.

You’ll need to place your dog on a sit stay in a room where the doorbell can be heard. Have someone ring the doorbell. As soon as the bell begins to ring, give the dog the Speak command. When he starts to bark, praise him and give him the treat.

This process will take a fair amount of time. For most owners, it can take a month before the dog will Speak without having the sensitivity noise activated. Keep working on it and eventually, your dog will obey the Speak command.

4) The Stop Command

Few people understand the value of the stop command in dog training. Teaching your dog to stop on command can help prevent a boatload of problems. There aren’t many dog trainers who teach this command either. The funny thing is that it’s a pretty easy command for dogs to master quickly.

What You Will Need:

  • A choke collar
  • Small tasty treats
  • The smallest room in your house

The Process

Place the choker collar on your dog and bring him into the small room with you. Be sure to have the tasty treats inside of your pocket. Let him relax and walk about the room. After a few minutes, he will probably begin to walk toward you. When this happens and he gets within about four feet of you, you must give him the stop command. Step forward and put both hands in front of his shoulders while saying “stop” in a firm voice. Once he has stopped, praise him and give him a treat.

You’ll need to repeat this process several times. A good rule of thumb is to work on new commands for only fifteen minutes per session. If you have the time, you can have several sessions daily. The more often you train, the quicker your dog will master the stop command.

Uses for the Stop Command

The stop command has many uses. After doing the shopping at the grocery store and you are carrying the bags in, you can use the stop command to keep your dog from running through the door. If there are little ones in the home, the stop command can prevent your dog from knocking them over. For those who have dogs that have bolting tendencies, the stop command can keep the dog from getting lost or hit by a car. This is an essential command that your dog will easily master.

5) Teaching Your Dog Not to Jump on People

Teaching your dog not to jump on people is an essential to him being a safe member of the household as well as the neighborhood. A dog that jumps can knock over a child, make a person drop what their carrying or push an elderly person to the ground. All of these things can result in lawsuits, especially if there is an injury involved. Teaching your dog not to jump on people will make him a better canine citizen within your community.

What You Need for Teaching Your Dog Not to Jump on People:

  1. 1. A choke collar
  2. 2. A strong and sturdy human decoy
  3. 3. A leash
  4. 4. Small tasty meat tidbits

The Process

Before you start teaching your dog not to jump on people, you must understand that this will take time. It isn’t a lesson that is learned overnight. As a dog owner, you must be vigilant in disallowing your dog to jump up on others. Get ready; it’s going to be a bumpy lesson!

Place the choke collar on your dog and attach the leash. Let him wander about the house wearing them however; you should ensure that no one else is in the main part of your home. People can trip over the leash so have other family members either leave the house or go into a room with the door closed.

Your human decoy should be somewhere outside of the front door. The dog should not have seen the person for at least fifteen minutes. Dogs have short memories and the person should be missed before beginning the lesson for teaching your dog not to jump on people.

The person outside should enter the house the way he normally does; whether or not he rings the bell is up to you. Be sure to hold the leash when you know that the person will be entering the home. When the dog tries to jump on the person, use a quick downward jerk on the leash and place your hand on the dog’s shoulders. Apply gentle but firm pressure. This will prevent him from lifting his front legs into the air. When the dog greets the decoy without jumping, praise him and give him the tasty treat.

The whole process will need to be repeated often. Once the dog stops jumping on people with his leash on, you’ll need to continue the lessons for teaching your dog not to jump on people off leash. You might need to continue to apply pressure to the dog’s shoulders for a while but eventually, he will catch on. Teaching your dog not to jump on people is a process that takes time. Be patient and he will finally get that this is an unacceptable behavior.

6) Teach Your Dog to Get Out of Your Way

Everybody’s dogs want to be as close to their humans as they possibly can be. This is a good thing because it shows that he loves his people. Unfortunately, when a dog gets underfoot, accidents can happen. It’s safer if the dog knows how to get out of your way on command.

Teaching your dog to get out of the way is different from other dog training lessons. Generally, a lesson is repetitively over a matter of fifteen minutes or so. With the “Excuse Me” command, you can only teach when the dog is actually underfoot. Don’t encourage the dog to get underfoot. It would be counterproductive.

What You Need to Teach Your Dog to Get Out of Your Way

The Process

It’s necessary for you to keep yummy treats in your pocket anytime you are at home. Since you never know when he’ll get underfoot, you must always be prepared. The need to go get a treat can eliminate the chance for a quick lesson.

When your dog gets in your way, keep walking but shuffle your feet. Shuffling will help prevent a fall as well as stepping on the dog’s paws. Swing your arm from in front of your body off to the right side and very clearly say “Excuse Me”. Once the dog is out of your way, praise him an d give him the treat.

You need to do this every time your pooch is in your way. It will take some time but he will eventually catch on. Teaching your dog to get out of the way isn’t difficult. It just takes a lot of time.

This article is written by Kevin Davies at for Pet Guardian Angels of America