Getting Started

Training your dog starts with you. When you know “how to be” with your dog, your day-to-day life together will go more smoothly, and training will progress more quickly.

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Teach a Place

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Targeting: An Essential Building Block for Many Skills

A fundamental skill your dog needs is targeting, or focusing on a particular object. Once you teach a target, you can ask the dog to follow it, pick it up, sit on it, and many other things. Targeting is thus a building block for many different skills and tricks you can teach.

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Socialize Your Dog

The best thing you can do for your dog—starting as young as possible—is to socialize her to a wide variety of experiences. The goal is to teach your dog to be comfortable in all the potentially stressful situations she might encounter.

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Stop Bad Behavior

There’s one good way to stop your dog from doing things you don’t want him to do: Give him something better to do instead, and reward him for doing it, as explained in our page on Teach Yes, Not No.

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Training Your Dog, Kindergarten to College

No matter what you’re trying to train your dog to do (or not do), the key to success is to start slowly and work gradually. It’s like grades in school.

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