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  • Liz MacHaffie

Top Training Tips

Updated: Oct 18


We want you to be super successful in your training! Here are the things we think are the keys to being the BEST trainer you can be for your dog.

1. Keep it short and sweet.

Keep training sessions to 10-15 minutes at most. Most dogs do well with just a few minutes for each behavior. End before you or your dog get bored. (Pro tip: Set a timer on your phone to help you focus on training and not worry about the time!)

2. Build on success.

If your dog is an A student, you can make the task harder! If your dog makes a mistake twice in a row, make the next repetition easier.

3. Throw in easy ones!

It’s no fun if things just get harder and harder! Throw in some easy repetitions to keep your dog motivated and interested. Working on “stay” at 30 feet? Sometimes just go 5 feet or 15 feet!

3. Train indoors first, then out!

Train each new behavior inside when it’s quiet, then in your backyard, then on walks, then in public or with guests over! Adding new environments and distractions makes things harder, so start easy.

4. Reward your dog often!

Want to maximize your dog’s willingness to listen? Provide treats, play, toys, freedom, or anything else your dog likes in exchange for good work. (It’s okay if sometimes you don’t have a reward better than praise, but most dogs need a regular paycheck, just like people!)


5. Reward your dog well!

Don’t pay your dog in gold when copper will do! Use low to moderate value treats for easier behaviors. This means your high value treats stay valuable when you’re in public or distractions.

6. Practice regularly.

Practice makes progress! Regular, quality practice is key to changing your dog’s behavior. Aim for several sessions a week. Lack of practice, or just a few, scattered practices are more likely to frustrate you both and hinder your potential progress.

7. Ask for help when you’re stuck.

If things are going right, or if you’re stumped on something, let us know. We’re here to help you and your dog be successful! Our most successful clients are the ones who ask us questions and send us videos for feedback.


Want a printable version of this for your fridge? Great! Here's one :)


Top Tips for Training Success
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