Dog training,Puppy training,Puppy Class,Behavior Problem,Obedience
Is the dog you love driving you crazy? Call today, we can help! Customized training for your dog since 2003, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Is the dog you love driving you crazy?  Call today, we can help! Customized training for your dog since 2003, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Training Tips

All good dog trainers have a few foundational secrets to success, and I'd like to share some of them with you.  These tend to apply to any dog at any age, so putting them in place right away will help you begin to change your dog's behavior.  Now, you may want to click on the links above for more SPECIFIC training tips you could use, but here is a Top Ten:


  1. Set your dog up for success, not failure.  Exercise is often overlooked as a key behavior-changing tactic.  By exercise, I mean physical and mental.  Let your dog enjoy a minimum of a 15 minute walk, twice a day even.  Engage them in learning activities and games.
  2. Stop talking so much.  I know, it's hard, you're only human, and that's what we humans do.   However, the less you talk, the more your dog will listen.  Dogs are keen observers - take a tip from them and become an astute observer of your dog.  Give only praise or corrective feedback on what you see.
  3. Did I mention exercise?  Yes, BUT... you can have too much of a good thing!  Make sure your dog or pup is getting enough down time in their crate or kennel.  Overstimulated dogs often don't know how to settle down.
  4. Voice tone:  a powerful tool.  Listen to your voice tone and make sure it matches what you are trying to convey.  For example, screaming 'Sadie, DOWN! NOOO!" could likely involve you sounding high pitched and excited (a praise tone), and even touching the dog.  What you mean is NO, but what the dog heard is YES YES YES, do it again please!
  5. Attention:  what you pet is what you get.  Generally, anytime you are talking to, looking at or touching your dog you are sending messages of approval for their current behavior. 
  6. Experience is the best teacher.  Practice makes perfect.  Don't worry, be happy.  OK, maybe that last one isn't too helpful, but my point is:  What ever activities the dog practices, become routine or habit.  Try to keep your dog's opportunities to learn the 'wrong' things to a bare minimum... fill their time with 'right' things to do, and you won't have to worry, you can be happy!
  7. Train your dog.  A trained dog is a happy dog.
  8. Who eats first?  Who sleeps in the bed?  SHOCKER:  who cares?  As long as your dog is not showing defiance or aggression to anyone, it's unlikely to be a problem if you like to let your dog in bed (as long as they'll get off when told).  I would suggest you don't feed your dog from the table though, or you'll soon have a drooling, staring dinner partner.
  9. Be cool.  When you leave home, or arrive home, do not make any big fuss over your dog, it will stress them out and could also lead to separation anxiety.
  10. Relax.  Dogs can sense your tension or uneasiness about a situation; and they will tend to blame the environment on your tension and become tense themselves.  Dogs don't know you're really just worried about them being 'overly friendly/aggressive' to Fifi on your walk.  Which goes back to Number 7.  I can help you all relax.


OK, so, there are a few relationship style training tips that will position you as the benevolent leader and teacher for your dog. 

Check out the link below on how to Become Leader of the Pack.  Make sure the family is consistently on the same page with this checklist.  Print it out and put it on your fridge! 

Leader of the Pack

Dog Training, LLC

Michelle Bowersox

IACP Professional Member

Licensed, Insured


Serving Staunton, Waynesboro, Stuarts Draft, Verona, Augusta County and other areas of VA


Give us a call...

...let's talk dog!

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