How do I Get my Dog to…

Have you ever wondered just what us professional trainers are doing that gets dogs to listen, cooperate, and have excellent doggy manners? This article is all about answering the most common canine questions we receive with simple yet powerful dog training solutions.

How do I Get my Dog to Stop Jumping up on People?

There’s a saying I love to share with people who are working on their dog’s polite greeting skills and this is, ”you get what you pet.” If you pay attention to your dog when they are super excited, then you are training them that being excitable is a great way to get what they want. And an excited dog is 1000 times more likely to jump, bark, and even nip when greeting. Rather than just focusing on what your dog’s body is doing (jumping up,) the best training helps your dog get into the right mental state so they are prepared to make good choices. If you want your dog to stop jumping up, ignore them until they are calm and reward them with CALM attention, praise, or treats when they make good choices.

How do I Get my Dog to Come When I Call?

It’s always important to consider your dog’s point of view. If come= giving up a wrapper they pulled out of the trash can, leaving the park, or having to do something they just don’t like, it’s going to be a real struggle to convince your dog to follow the command. But what if 90% of the time come means getting to go for a walk, eat a meal, play fetch, or do something else your dog loves? If your dog believes come = amazing stuff, they’ll consistently return to you when you ask. Try spending the next 2 weeks giving your dog their favorite rewards when they respond to the come command and you’ll be amazed at how quickly almost every dog will come racing over to you.

How do I Get my Dog to Stop Pulling on Leash?

Pulling on leash may sound like a simple problem to solve, but in reality, this skill often requires a good amount of practice for many dogs. It’s an exciting world out there and most dog’s natural pace is faster than our human preferred speed of walking. So what can you do to teach your dog not to drag you around on leash?

  1. Practice leash walking where it’s easy like inside the house and yard. It’s too distracting for many dogs to try and learn leash manners when they are out and about in the world. By giving your dog the opportunity to practice in a quiet and easy environment, they can develop positive leash habits.
  2. Reward when the leash is loose. Carry around some treats and use both praise and food as a reward for your dog staying close enough to keep the leash loose.
  3. Don’t let your dog pull you on the leash to reach things they really want like rushing through the door, greeting strangers, or hopping into the car. If pulling = getting amazing stuff, your dog will keep it up.

How do I Get my Dog to Stay?

Teaching a dog to stay is all about starting easy and building. The biggest mistake I see people make is simply going too fast. Start by teaching your dog to stay for 1 second, then 5 seconds, then 10 seconds, and so on. Make sure to reward your dog’s efforts with CALM praise and treats. Also, remember to keep your dog’s leash on so that you have the ability to keep your dog from running off and self-rewarding if they break their stay command. Lastly, for your dog to comply with a stay command, you must have a signal to your dog that the stay is now over (otherwise how are they supposed to know when the stay ends?). Pick a word and hand signal that will let your dog now, ok now you can get up from the stay position and use it each and every time.

How do I Get my Dog to Stop Barking?

Dogs bark for a lot of different reasons. The first step of getting a dog to stop excessive barking is to figure out why it’s happening. Is your dog barking to get your attention? Barking at squirrels in the backyard? Barking at sounds from the neighbors? Barking because they are anxious or scared? When you figure out why your dog is barking, you can start to address the root issues. In all cases of barking, you can work on increasing your dog’s access to mental and physical exercise, rewarding quiet moments, and teaching your dog a shhhh command. In many cases, barking is a symptom of a deeper issue that may warrant a call to a dog trainer for help.

How do I get my Dog to Listen to me?

The way you get your dog to listen to you is to “listen” to them! By listening to your dog, we mean watching their body language and behavior to figure out what they are thinking and feeling. How does your dog tell you that they are confused by what you are asking of them, bored by your commands, or unable to follow your instructions due to stress or shyness? If you don’t know how to listen to your dog, don’t expect them to listen to you. Once you have made it a priority to see the world from your dog’s point of view, you’ll be prepared to utilize training that is all about being clear and consistent, paying your dog for their efforts, and building to more difficult distractions as your dog is successful. One of the BEST things you can do is hand feed your dog one meal a day playing fun games, teaching tricks, and working on their commands. Just investing 15 minutes a day to hand feed your dog can be all the difference between a dog who enjoys cooperating with you versus a dog who won’t listen and struggles to behave.