Scruffy is your best poochie pal, but he may get up to some shenanigans frowned upon by the rest of the family. Our dogs our like our kids, and just like kids they can benefit from a bit of training. If you’re not sure where to start schooling your canine in obedience, check out these top 5 expert-recommended tricks!

  1. Active listening goes two ways.

When your dog is whining, barking more than usual, or otherwise acting weird when it comes to new activities, chances are they are trying to let you know they feel uncomfortable. Just like we can get anxiety over trying something new, your dog can feel apprehensive too. 

Respect their feelings and don’t push things too hard. Showing a bit of patience will help them ease into training better. They will also be more eager to try in the future because they trust you to pay attention to their needs.

  1. Your dog doesn’t speak English.

Just yelling “no” over and over isn’t going to accomplish much. To get your dog to understand what you mean, you need to show them what you want them to do. 

Accompany the “no” command by removing whatever they are doing wrong, or moving them from the object they shouldn’t be messing with. Likewise, if you want them to “fetch”, accompany the command by running with them to the toy and picking it up.

  1. Be consistent, understanding, and generous.

Pick a rule and stick to it. Don’t let Fido sometimes chew on your old newspapers but get angry when he chews up the new ones. He doesn’t know the difference. When your new puppy has an accident on the floor, don’t respond with anger. This will only create anxiety about his bodily functions. When your dog does something right, reward their good behaviour with lots of encouragement and the occasional treat.

  1. Remember that dogs have a short attention span.

Most dogs only remember new tricks for about 2 minutes. Puppies have even shorter attention spans. It will take a lot of repetition before they learn new rules and tricks. 

When your dog forgets how to roll over 10 minutes after getting it right, don’t respond with frustration. Simply keep trying and be encouraging. Eventually, they will remember “if I do this, my owner is happy” not “my owner gets mad at me for no reason”.