The Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Training

Providing your dog with at least some training is the best and most loving thing you can do for him. Training your dog ensures that he’s safe and welcome everywhere he goes and that he’s easy to live with.

When beginning obedience training, you need to keep in mind a few do’s and don’ts, and you should start with a few basic exercises, including sitting and laying down on command. Training him to respond to the Come and Sit-Stay commands also is extremely helpful.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Training

Yes, dog training is based on common sense. However, you do need to keep in mind a few specific guidelines — the do’s and don’ts — to make sure that you’re successful and fostering a healthy relationship with your dog. The list of do’s and don’ts of dog training below are here to help get you started.


  • Do be nice to your dog every time he comes to you (even if he’s just coming back from an unexpected romp around the neighborhood).
  • Do get into the habit of giving a command only once. If your dog doesn’t respond to a command you already taught him, reinforce the command by helping him respond correctly.
  • Do use your dog’s name to get his attention and then tell him what you want him to do.
  • Do eliminate the word “no” from your training vocabulary; it’s used too often and meaningless.
  • Do use a normal tone of voice when you give a command. Being loud doesn’t help him understand.
  • Do be consistent in your actions and expectations.
  • Do provide an outlet for your dog’s energies.
  • Do keep your dog mentally stimulated by training him.
  • Do understand that your dog is a social animal. Train him so he can be a part of the family.
  • Do socialize your dog with people and other dogs.
  • Do become your dog’s teacher.
  • Do make learning fun for your dog.
  • Do consistently reward with praise the correct behaviors.
  • Do spend plenty of time with your dog and give him lots of exercise.
  • Do keep trying, and your dog will reward you by learning.
  • Do get outside help if you get stuck.


  • Don’t do anything your dog perceives as unpleasant when he comes to you.
  • Don’t nag your dog by repeating commands; nagging teaches him to ignore you.
  • Don’t use your dog’s name and then expect him to read your mind as to what you want.
  • Don’t expect your dog to know what the word “no” means.
  • Don’t yell at your dog. He’s not deaf. Raising your voice doesn’t improve his understanding.
  • Don’t confuse your dog with unrealistic expectations.
  • Don’t try to suppress behaviors that need an outlet.
  • Don’t let your dog stagnate.
  • Don’t lock up your dog or put him out because you haven’t trained him to behave.
  • Don’t isolate your dog — he’s a social animal.
  • Don’t expect your dog to obey a command you haven’t taught him.
  • Don’t get too serious in your training; keep things fun.
  • Don’t reward undesired behaviors.
  • Don’t make your dog neurotic by neglecting him.
  • Don’t give up when the going gets tough; keep trying.
  • Don’t blame the dog; you are his teacher.

H/T: dummies

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