10 Simple Training Tips

Training your dog can get tough for the first few weeks. If your dog isn’t used to being trained everyday, then they may not want to cooperate. It is important in the first month that you make training fun and simple for your dog. That is why I have compiled a list of training tips to make training simpler for you and your dog.

    1. Make training times quick – Dogs have a short attention span, and puppies even shorter. If you just do one step a day with your training, your dog or puppy will learn more than if you try to teach them all in the one day. if you notice your puppy not listening or not cooperating, it is best to end the training session there and then, and come back tomorrow.
    2. Be Patient – Your dog or puppy won’t learn a new skill over night. It may take him a week to learn a skill, and in that week you must be patient with him, otherwise he won’t enjoy training sessions and won’t want to cooperate.
    3. Always reward when your dog does something right – If you don’t reward him for doing something right every time for the first few steps, then he won’t think that he is doing the right thing everytime, and may start doing the wrong thing.
    4. Praise your dog with words, treats and pats – If you just use food to reward your dog he may get sick of it and not cooperate as well as he would if you vary his rewards.
    5. Teach your dog the skills one step at a time – don’t rush the tricks, if you do your dog won’t learn them as well, and you may have to reteach them again.
    6. Make training part of your dogs daily routine – If you make training part of your dog’s daily routine, he wil get used to it in a few weeks. However, don’t put training time and play time together. If you play after training time your dog will want to get training over and done with so he can play or go for a walk. If you put training after playtime your dog will most likely be worn out and not cooperate with you.
    7. Make your voice firm but not angry – If your dog is slightly defiant, you need to let him know who’s boss. make you voice firmer when giving him commands, but try not to sound angry.
    8. Never reward your dog if he does the wrong move – For example, if you are teaching him to lay down and he only goes into a ‘Bow’ position, don’t reward him because he will believe this is the right thing to do. Simple correct the move with a simple and firm ‘No’ and try again.
    9. Use a leash if you dog tends to wonder – If your dog doesn’t want to stay with you during your first few training times then put him on a leash and hold it securly in your hand.
    10. Have Fun – Training is important, but enjoying the time you have with your dog everyday is important too. Don’t just think of training as a chore, but an enjoyable experience with your canine companion.

    The Importance of Exercise In Your Dog’s Life

    Like us, dogs need plenty of exercise everyday. It is very important that they get this exercise for the same reasons that we need ours.

    However, when you do exercise your dog don’t over exhaust him. If he starts breathing hard give him a rest or stop the exercise. You must always have water available to him. If you take him for a walk outside your yard, take either a bowl you can fill with water or pour some water from a drink bottle for him to have. If your dog gets dehydrated this can be a serious problem.

    Never feed your dog after or before you exercise him. Dogs can have problems with their stomachs if they eat near exercise.

    But the main part of exercise is having fun with your dog. If you take your dog walking you and he will have much more fun doing exercise together. If you want tips on teaching your dog to walk on the leash, please see my article on Leash Lessons.

    Good Luck!

    Rachel and the Dogs

Learn how to leash train puppys


When is the right moment for you to start leash training puppies? There is no right and wrong timing for you, but the sooner you leash training puppies the sooner you will be able to control your puppy’s behavior especially when you want to bring him for a walk outside. Keep in mind that training a puppy on leash might not be very easy, but with patience you can definitely achieve the best results. Also, remember that puppies may usually feel afraid of new things including a new leash, so you must be very patient.

When leash training puppies, what is the best leash to purchase? When leash training puppies, a good choice is a collar that is lightweight and does not choke your pet. Make sure that you buy a collar that allows you to insert your puppy’s ID tag along. When putting the collar on for the first time, your puppy might not be happy with it at all. Therefore, don’t put it on too tightly so that he can move around comfortably. Anyway, this is the right way of putting on a collar – you don’t want your puppy to be chocked! Your puppy might try a lot of things like rolling over and shaking his head so that the collar comes off. Don’t discourage him by laughing or scolding – slowly your puppy will get accustomed to it and he will be fine.

When leash training puppies, don’t forget to reward your pet when he is no longer trying to shake off his collar. Give him a treat and after that you can try attaching the leash. Leave him with the leash so that he can get accustomed to the feeling of having a leash attached to his collar. Don’t do this too long – five or ten minutes is enough and you can take off the leash. Treat him again to show that he is doing the right thing.

Different Types of Dog Training


There are more than just one type of dog training. In fact, there are several. Depending on what stage your dog is at, depends on what you should train him.

The first is the most important lesson that every dog should be taught. It is Basic Dog Training, a lesson which covers the most important commands of Sit, Lay Down, Wait and Come. Before you train your dog anything else, they must learn the basic training.

After you teach your dog the Basic Training, you should teach him to walk on a leash. Even if you don’t take your dog walking, he should still be taught this incase you are taking him anywhere he might need to be on a leash. For example if you take him to the vet, you need to be able to control him and if he can’t walk on a leash, it will make it harder for you and him.

The next is Secondary Dog Training. This is tricks such as shake, that you can use to entertain guests when they come to lunch, or just to give your dog extra stimulation. Along with this, you should teach your dog some games to play with you such as fetch. This can be used as a reward instead of always giving him food.

Agility training comes in about here. This is teaching jumps, obstacle causes and to follow your lead or commands in an order. Agility is easier for smaller dogs, but bigger dog can also learn the agility tricks.

The last is Advanced Dog Training. These tricks can only be taught once the other lessons (apart from agility) are perfected. These tricks progress other tricks that have already been taught, or introduce a harder skill that takes alot of patience in order to teach.

Just remember to have patience teaching your dog, and don’t rush the tricks. If you rush the tricks then your dog can’t learn them as well, and you will have to go back to them again anyway.

Good luck with your training!

Rachel and the Dogs

Secondary Dog Training


After your dog has learnt the Basic Dog Obedience, he can learn the secondary training. These tricks include shake, rollover, walk backwards, bow and spin. Each of these tricks are taught using the basic dog training, so your dog must learn them tricks first, after all, he can’t rollover from a stand.


Shake is a relatively easy trick to teach. Your dog will give you his paw on command as if shaking hands with you. Your dog needs to be in a sitting position for this trick.

  1. Start by picking your dog’s paw up off the ground, shaking it, and rewarding him.
  2. Continue to do this until your dog understands that this is what you want him to do. Then, start adding the command ‘Shake’ when you pick up his paw.
  3. Continue until your dog can perform this trick on cue with both verbal and non-verbal commands.


This is a very entertaining party trick to teach your dog. First, get your dog in a down/drop position.

  1. Using either food or a favourite toy, move it slowly behind his back, guiding him to roll toward it.
  2. Once he has done so, reward. Continue to do this until he understands, then, add in the command ‘Rollover’ or just ‘Over’ as you do the motion.
  3. Once your dog understands the command, try doing this trick standing, without the hand signal. If this doesn’t work, lean closer to your dog and add the hand signal, but be more vage with it. Don’t use the toy or food, just losely move your hand in an arc over the dogs head as if showing him where to roll.
  4. This trick will progress over time if you keep doing it, and it will get easier for him to roll. Depending on the dogs size and breed, it will either be easy for him to roll straight away, or take him a while to get used to the motion.


This trick can easily be confused with ‘Down/Drop’. That is why I recommend you use the ‘Drop’ command instead of the ‘Down’ command because the dog can easily get confused with the words. To teach this trick, your dog must be in a standing position.

  1. Hold the food in your fingertips, and slowly bring it down until your dog is in a bow position. If he doesn’t go into a bow position, gently push on his shoulders. As soon as he goes into a bow position, reward. If he lay’s down do not reward him, just try again.
  2. Continue doing this until your dog knows what he is supposed to do.
  3. Now add in the command ‘Wait’ as your dog goes into the bow position. Then command ‘Bow’ before releasing and rewarding your dog.
  4. Continue this and gradually move further away as you give the command and eventually your dog will be able to bow from any distance.

Walk Backwards

This trick is a fun trick to teach as, your dog can walk backwards, and forewards, backwards and forewards, on your command. You will need your dog in a standing position for this trick.

  1. First, grab handful of treats, and hide them in your hand (treats are best for this trick). Next, gently push into your dogs snout, making him walk backwards.
  2. This time, add the command ’Back’ right from the first backwards step. Repeat the command several times as your dog walks backwards. Reward.
  3. As you progress, push your dog further and further back, walking with him, then reward after you have stopped pushing and said the command. Continue to say back as you walk with your dog, but only about three times, with pauses.
  4. You will have to continue this for quite a while, unless your dog is a fast learner like my dog Sasha is, but eventually your dog will understand the command, and be able to walk backwards away from you, whilst your are standing in the one place.


This trick may make your dog dizzy, so don’t over do it! You will need to get your dog in a standing position for this trick.

  1. Hold some treats in your hand, so your dog knows they’re there, but keep them hidden. Then, hold them near your dogs snout and slowly move your hand around in a circle. If your dog doesn’t follow your hand, use some encouragement, like shaking your hand or saying ‘Come’ as you move your hand in a circle.
  2. Once your dog has done one revolution stop and reward.
  3. After a you have done this a few times, start giving the command ‘Spin’ after your dog has done one revolution, before rewarding.
  4. Once your dog understands the command, gradually stop doing the hand signals. Eventually your dog will be able to do a full revolution on command, with or without hand signals.

Through the Legs

This trick is fairly easy to teach, as the dog just has to walk through your legs once they are spread apart, either from behind or infront.

From Behind

  1. Tell him to ‘Sit’ and then ‘Wait’. Stand a few feet infront of him and folding the food between your legs say ‘Come’. Your dog may be reluctant to go through your legs, and he may need a bit of incouragment. An easy way to encourage him is to hold the treats at his nose and slowly lead him through your legs. Reward.
  2. Once your dog understands what you are teaching him, use the command ‘Through’ or ‘Under’. Try to stop using the hand signal and only using the verbal command.

From Infront

  1. To teach him to walk through from the front, do this in reverse. Stand infront of your dog and hold the food behind you so that your dog can see it through your spread legs. Command ‘Come’ and reward. If he is reluctant encourage him the same way as in the reverse of this trick.
  2. Once your dog understands what you are teaching him, use the command ‘Through’ or ‘Under’. Try to stop using the hand signal and only using the verbal command.

These tricks are Secondary Dog Training. Once you have taught these tricks, have a bit of fun with them, and try doing them in sequence, and put on a show for guests. But just remember to praise your dog, and have fun. Or try these Party Tricks which involve a bit of Secondary and Advanced dog training, as well as a small part of agility. They are fun tricks to teach and will entertain any guests.

All the best with your training,

Rachel and the Dogs

Advanced Dog Training


These are the some of the hardest tricks either to teach, or for your dog to learn. Most of these tricks are progressed on from Secondary Dog Training so it is important that your dog can perform these tricks before learning the advanced. Advanced tricks include wave, play dead, weave walking, beg and more. Before you teach your dog these tricks, it is important that he can perform the secondary and basic tricks on command.

  • Wave
    Wave can take alot of time to teach. If your dog understands the non-verbal command for shake (simply putting your hand out to take his paw) it makes teaching this trick a little less confusing for your dog.

    1. Either command ‘Shake’ or put your hand out to your dog, but don’t grab it. Let your dog’s paw reach out and go back to the ground. This is the ‘Wave’ motion. Reward after he has done so.
    2. Repeat doing this twice in a row before reward the next time, and then three times in a row a few times after that. Try to get your dog to wave at least four times in a row on a single command.
    3. After you have done this four or five times, start adding in the command ‘Wave’ as you finish the motion. Always reward after you have given the command.

    This trick may take a while to teach, but eventually your dog will be able to wave goodbye to guests on command.


    Once you have taught your dog to beg, he can say please for his food. You will need to get your dog in a sitting position for this trick.

    1. Hold some tricks in your finger tips, so your dog can see them, and put them above his head making him look up. Jiggle your hand in an encouraging way to try to make him take his front paws off the ground. If he does so, reward.
    2. If he is reluctant to take his paws off the ground, you will have to help him, by asking for his paw, and if he can shake both paws ask  for both, otherwise pick up his other paw and put him in a beg position. After holding him there for a few seconds, command ‘Beg’ and reward before letting him go.
    3. Keep doing this until your dog needs less incouragment to go up on his hind legs, and gradully stop doing the hand signals. This trick may take longer to teach but continue on with the exercise, and your dog will get it eventually.

    Play Dead

    This trick is just an extension from rollover. Warm up with a few ‘rollovers’ before doing this trick.

    1. With either treats or a favourite toy, hold it above them and slowly make your dog rollover, but stop him by putting your hand on his belly and commanding ‘Wait’, once he is laying on his back.
    2. Keep him in this position for a few seconds, then command ‘Dead Dog’ or ‘Play Dead’ and reward.
    3. Continue with this until you can do it from a standing positon, and make your dog stay in this position for about 5 seconds after he is completely still. This is a very entertaining party trick, that can be part of a small act with other tricks.

    Weave Walking

    This trick is a progression from ‘Through the Legs’. Your dog will walk through the gap between your legs as you walk, several times. Before you begin, hold some treats in your hand and practice the ‘Through the Legs’ trick.

    1. Put one foot infront of the other with a wide enough gap that your dog can walk through.
    2. Command ‘Through’ or ‘Under’ and lead your dog through your legs. This may be a little confusing for your dog because he will be used to going through your legs from the front or back, or he might get it straight away. You may need to encourage him.
    3. Once he has done so, reward. Now with him standing on the other side of your body, put your other leg foreword and using the same process lead him through the gap. Reward.
    4. For this trick, you can either use the same command as you use for ‘Through the Legs’ or you could use the command ‘Weave’. Although if you have taught, or are teaching your dog ‘Wave’ then they may get the commands confused. You could also use the opposite command to what you use for ‘Through the Legs’, for example if you use ‘Through’, use ‘Under’ for ‘Weave Walking’ instead.

    Whichever command you use, begin to use it after you have done the first exercise about four times. The trick ‘Weave Walking’ would usually consist of four ‘Weaves’ however it doesn’t matter how many you do. Gradually stop doing the hand signal and only work using the verbal command.

    Half Turn

    This can be a progression from ‘Spin’ although it is only a half revolution.

    1. First, stand with your dog infront of you and hold some treats to his snout. Then slowly move them behind him encouraging him to follow. When he has done the half revolution, reward.
    2. Repeat this a few times so that he vaguely knows what you want him to do. Now add in the command ‘Turn’ or ‘Half’ after your dog has completed the half turn. Reward.

    Progress this trick and slowly take the hand movement away. Try to only do this trick using a verbal command. It may take a while for your dog to work out that you don’t want him to do a full revolution.

    Back Through the Legs

    This trick is a progression from ‘Walking Backwards’. With your dog standing infront of you facing the same way you are, he walks bacwards between your open legs. However this trick is harder to teach because it is unnatural for your dog to be facing away from you, and it is important that he does.

    1. Start by holding some treats to your dogs snout with him standing in front of you facing the same way you are.
    2. Then spread your legs apart and gently push into his snout forcing him to walk backwards. Make him walk backs until his is completely on the other side of your body. Reward.
    3. Continue this process several times and then add in the command ‘Back’. Using the same command for this as ‘Walking Backwards’ won’t confuse your dog as much as changing it will. It is still walking backwards exept in a different direction.
    4. Gradually take away the hand movement and only use the verbal command. Eventually your dog will get used to the motion. This can be a fun trick to perform with your dog and is entertaining to watch. Something that will amaze anyone.

    Fun Idea – You can put ‘Walking Backwords’, ‘Half Turn’ and ‘Back Through the Legs’ together and make an entertaining performance with heel work to music. You can include tricks such as ‘Spin’, ‘Weave Walking’ and ‘Rollover’ as well. Use your imagination!

    Figure Eight

    This trick is also a progression form ‘Through the Legs’. Your dog weaves around and through your legs in a figure-8 motion.

    1. With your dog standing at your side, lead him through your legs from the front to the back.
    2. Then lead him to the other side of your body.
    3. Next, lead him through your open legs from to front to the back.
    4. Now repeat this step several times before adding in the commands ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ for the leg that he is going around. Gradually stop using the hand movement and only work using the verbal command.

    This is also a great trick to do in a heelwork performance.

    Good luck with your training!

    Rachel and the Dogs

A Guide to Basic Dog Obedience Training

obedience training dogs

All dogs should be taught the basic four lessons in obedience. My SDWC exercise system (Sit, Down, Wait, Come) is an exercise where the dog can learn all four tricks and perform them one after another. These tricks will enable you to teach more advanced tricks which include these as a starting point.

  • In this video I will take you through a step-by-step process of teaching your dog these four important skills. Just click on the play button below to watch this video

    You will need food that your dog likes, an open area, and no other distractions. It is also important to make training times fun for your dog, so he will enjoy them, making him more interested in what you are teaching him.

    Rewards can vary from food, pats or a through of the toy, but I would recommend food. Something that your dog doesn’t get everyday is the best to use, like cheese, but maybe mix it in with some dry food.


    1. Start by getting your dogs attention by giving him a few treats so he knows you have them. Hold them firm in your hand and lift it above his head out of his reach. This should tilt him backwards in to a sitting position.
    2. Command ‘Sit’ and reward. If he doesn’t sit, gently push on his back until he does, then command ‘Sit’ and reward.
    3. Repeat until he can do this without the hand movement and when he is not sitting in front of you. For example, use this command when visitors are nearby and practice this trick where there is distractions.


    For this trick, you can either use the command ‘Drop’ or ‘Down’. If you plan to teach your dog to ‘Bow’ then it is best to use the command ‘Drop’ otherwise he may get confused.

    1. With your dog sitting, or standing in front of you, hold the treats firm in your hand and lower it to the ground and towards you, so he has to move down and forward. This should force him to go into a ’Down’ position to get the treats from your hands.
    2. From a sitting position, he should go into a down, but in a standing position he might go into a ‘Bow’ position. Don’t reward him until he is in a proper down position.
    3. You may have to push gently on his back to encourage him to do so. If you reward him for only going half way, he will often ’Cheat’ to get a reward. Command ‘Drop’ or ‘Down’ and reward when he is in a proper ‘Down’ position.

    Practice this and he will soon get it. Teach him to go into a ‘Down’ position both sitting and standing, and practice this trick in a place that may have distractions.


    ‘Wait’ is a very important part of obedience. Getting your dog to wait allows you to have a bit of peace when wanting to sit alone, or when hanging the washing out. He will sit or lay down somewhere, and won’t move until you release him.

    1. Sit or lay your dog down in front of you and fold the food in view but not so he can get to it. Command ‘Wait’ and make your dog be still for only a few seconds, and then reward.
    2. You can also use a hand signal. Hold you hand up in a way that you would signify ‘Stop’.
    3. Repeat several times so that he understands what you want him to do. Once this is successful, walk a few steps backwards once you have commanded ‘Wait’. This may take longer to teach than other tricks, but it is very important to teach.

    Progress this trick so your dog will wait anywhere, any distance and you dog will be one of the most obedient dogs on the block.


    ‘Come’ is a very easy trick to teach your dog.

    1. Show your dog you have food and throw a piece a few metres in front of you so your dog has to go get it. Once he has found it, call his name and he should come back to you, wanting more food. Reward and repeat.
    2. This time, command your dog to ‘Wait’ and then take a few steps backwards and call his name. If he doesn’t come, try again or click your fingers. Reward and Repeat.
    3. The next time you do this, add in the command ‘Come’ after calling his name. Practice as much as you can, even out in the yard. Command ‘Come’ randomly when playing, but always reward once he has come to you. Always make it rewarding for your dog to come to you so that he will always come when he’s called, knowing that it is fun or rewarding.

    Use this command when out on walks aswell, because it will teach him that he has to come to you where ever you are and whenever he is called.


    Once your dog knows the basic obedience tricks, you can try the SDWC exercise. First command your dog to ‘Sit’, then to lay ‘Down’ or ‘Drop’. Command ‘Wait and take a few steps backwards, and then ‘Come’ after a few seconds. After he has come to you, reward him and repeat.

    Dogs love to make their masters happy, so they are always looking for things to do to please them. That is why SDWC is a good exercise to do with your dog, because if he does it right and you praise him, he will enjoy training more.

    You may have to reward after every command at first, but aim to do five rounds of SDWC before rewarding him.

    All the best with your training,

    Rachel and the Dogs