train your dog

How To Train Your Dog To Listen with 5 Simple Rules

Posted by Feng Jiang on

When you first bring your puppy home, they might follow you anywhere. Over time though, they will become more confident and comfortable in their environment. This is a very impressionable time for your puppy and you need to be giving them good information. Happy & Polly will give five tips for keeping focus and listening skills from your puppy to keep them safe and maintain your sanity.

I. Using Your Crate Correctly

A dog crate is a great way to keep a puppy safe when you aren't able to supervise them. It's also a really important way to give them a consistent location that's just their own. What's important is having a plan for when your puppy comes out and also to instill some listening skills.

The plan doesn't need to be complicated but be impactful for your puppy. Every time your puppy comes out of their crate, you're there to train them. You're there to entertain them, to engage with them.

It's time to take your puppy out of the crate, you pop them out, you immediately go and take them to potty. It will help you to avoid them having an accident indoors or outdoors. But once they've done that, you bring them back inside or anywhere and do things like playing with them. You're exercising their brain a little bit at the end of your training session.

dog crate

And keep in mind some potty times to avoid accidents:

  1. coming out of crate
  2. play sessions
  3. after a meal
  4. before going back into crate

So after you finished this short training session, make sure you take your puppy back to have to go potty and then they can go back into their kennel.

You also need to have a sense of control during training. So you will need to buy the best retractable dog leash with several considerations in mind. Choose the one that fits your dog’s size and weight and comfortable enough in normal use, not too loose or too tight, but firm enough to restrain the pet during training.

best retractable dog leash

If you're a good multitasker, check off the list, potty training, crate training, play exercise, some skills training. But more importantly, you've just set your puppy up to listen. This is the first way to start thinking about how you're going to take advantage of your puppy's time out of their crate and how you're going to teach them that.

II. Random reinforcement

When you're a puppy owner, you need to be ready to reward your puppy all of the time. The other thing that you can do is to use some of their breakfast to start their day off with a training session. Your puppy's food can now come through you if they offer a little bit of effort. Putting in a little bit of work gets them something great is a really important skill or a mindset.

Maybe in different locations around your home, you can put little tiny piles up at a location where you can get at them quickly in your home so that if your puppy makes a great choice, you're able to quickly reward them. You also need to have a variety of treats. Keep your puppy attentive at this point in their training and at this level of understanding for them might mean that you need to switch your treats up a little bit.

Having treats available is so important for you to be able to yes. Then step over and reward that puppy. You really want them, because, in this instance, they might not even know exactly what they're being rewarded for, but you're reinforcing some of the good stuff. You're capturing these moments when your puppy makes a great choice and you are letting them know that that's exactly what you want.

You want them to be looking for more of these opportunities and by reinforcing some of these great choices, you're much more likely to get them to make those same choices. They’re more likely to do it again.

III. How you’re rewarding

Now this has everything to do with how you reward your dog. We from the very beginning will reward our puppies for looking at us. We'll capture that moment that they look at us. But what's really important is how we reward them.

reward a dog

When you're rewarding your puppy and they're in a stationary position like maybe a sit could be a stand, and you catch them looking at you, I want you to yes. And then reward in a direct line from your face to theirs. Make very clear that when your puppy is checking in with you, especially early on that they'll get something great for that.

Now, this doesn't just apply to how you're rewarding when your puppy is looking at you. There's actually some positional things that you can do. Change this skill up for even more value, some ways to reward your puppy to really reinforce that you are where the good things come from that will make them be more attentive and will make them listen.

This is a really great way to work on exercises like handling. It's a really great way to teach your puppy that taking their color is a really valuable thing, but it's also really great for getting that puppy to know that getting close to you where you can easily take them up is a rewarding place to be.

IV. Say what you mean and mean what you say

One sure-fire way to teach your puppy that you're not worth listening to is allowing them to fail over and over again. Being a great leader means sending your puppy up to be successful, but also showing them how to be right if they aren't successful training through those moments.

train a dog

Let's talk about non-confrontational ways that you can teach your dog that you're a good leader and to listen to you without you having to be a big meanie. So first things first is to say what you mean and mean when you say so when you ask your dog to do a behavior and they deliberately ignore you, it's really important that you follow through.

So if you ask your dog to sit for example, and they're too busy sniffing the floor or barking at you know, a distraction, all you need to do is repeat, sit in the same, you know, the kind and neutral voice you did the first time and then follow through by helping them to move into position. So my follow-through needs to be really calm and collected so the dog's not getting worried or stressed. They basically just learn.

V. How to train when you aren’t training

Sometimes you'll want your puppy to just be a puppy and don't want to worry about what skill you should be teaching or training. It's an important part of the bonding process and as well as the leadership process. But there are some really common mistakes that people make.

You can think about your puppy being in one of three modes at any given time. They're either training, they're being entertained, or they're resting in their crate. Now any time that your puppy is out of their crate, you want to be invested in either training them or entertaining them, but that doesn't mean that your puppy can just wander around freely. You're really closely paying attention to what they're doing because you really want them to learn that you are someone who's worth giving to and worth listening to.

These are the times when your puppy can make the biggest mistakes. If you're really focused in, you're either training, entertaining, or they're resting in their crate, it's going to set you up and set your puppy up to be more successful.

You can start to integrate these short training sessions as well as like bonding time into your daily routine. What I want you to really think about, especially if you're struggling with attention and listening, is what does your puppy find rewarding? And I want them to think and feel that you are the most rewarding thing in their world.

Hope this can help you train your dog well. If you enjoyed it and would like to see more news, do not hesitate to visit Happy & Polly website on

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