Training a difficult dog

Dog Training

Wouldn't we all love to have a well-behaved dog at our side? Training your dog to obey your commands is a simple process, although it can be a long process that requires a huge amount of patience, if you want it done right. Here are a few tips that should put you on the road to success in training your pet.

Dog Training

Eye contact

When giving a command to your dog, be sure to make eye contact with him. This shows your pet that you are the "leader" of the pack. It is important for your dog to understand this, as dogs instinctively follow and obey the leader of their packs.

After you have established eye contact, call your pet by name and then give the command in a deep, firm voice. Do not yell, as that only frightens the animal. Also, keep your commands to one or two words. Dogs only understand a few human words. Spewing out a long sentence only confuses your pet. After giving the command, follow through by showing the dog exactly what you want him to do, while repeating the command.

For example, to get your dog to sit:

  1. Look him in the eye.
  2. Call him by name and say the command: Rover Sit!
  3. Hold his collar under his chin and push down on his rump with your other hand to get him to sit. Repeat the command as you do this.
  4. Give the dog a piece of a dog biscuit as a reward and praise him.

Giving your dog a reward, even though you had to physically show him how to sit, is important. The dog feels as if he's done something to please you and will be more willing to cooperate as you continue your instruction. Break your dog biscuits into small pieces however, you don't want to over feed your pet by giving him full dog treats.

Don't forget to praise the dog whenever he follows through on your commands without your prompting him with your hand. However, keep your praise light and quick..."good dog" or "good boy" said in an uplifting tone. No more than this, otherwise the dog may think it's play time and you'll have lost your willing pupil.

Repetition and patience
Now, the real fun starts -- repetition and patience. Continue to repeat this command and exercise for about 10 minutes.

Don't continue any longer than 10 to 15 minutes. Like all "children" pets get tired and bored doing the same thing over and over. Set aside a certain time of the day for training each day and repeat the process until the dog will sit on command. As you continue this each day, reduce the treats you give as well, giving a treat say every second time he obeys the command, so on and so forth, until he sits without expecting a treat.

Now, move onto the next command you want your dog to learn. Remember to only do one command at a time until your dog learns it, before moving on to the next. And also remember not to yell or hit your pet. Frustration and anger will get you no where. Patience, repetition, praise and love is what your dog needs, and you will soon have a dog that obeys you with little problems.


Comments on "Training a difficult dog"

genevieve April 05, 2014 | 11:54 AM

Hi just got a 3 yr old rotie girl from rotie recue she is very loving girl iam going to bring her to school to get some manners she is a smart dog she knows were to make and obeys me to sit loves kids and everyone in my family but iam 64 yrs old and cant walk her she see another dog i would go down my friend thats 70 yrs old couldnt hold her so i need training school for her i start 15th of april what can u tell me to help me . thank you genevieve

Fay March 06, 2014 | 2:09 AM

I am at my wits end. We have a nearly 10 month old Cavoodle. She is a very sweet dog but there are a few behaviours that I had hoped she would grow out of that she still hasn't and now we have our first baby on the way, due August and I cannot control her. We walk approximately 40 mins most afternoons (after work day) so she is well exercised. She jumps at me like on a springboard when I first walk through the garage door of an afternoon. How do I stop this? Same if we have visitors or if I have food she wants. She is outside during the day but we let her in after her walk and dinner of a night because otherwise we wouldn't be spending much time with her. But of a weekend we leave her out and she rarely moves off the back step all day, so I guess this is what she does most other days. If we go outside she is more than happy to explore, without us by her side but as soon as we go back inside she either whimpers at the door or back to sleeping on the step. How do I get her to entertain herself for at least some of the time? Of a night when inside, she is not supposed to get on the lounge but soon as I sit to relax for the night she jumps at me and is on the lounge constantly (despite our attempts to keep her off). How do I stop this? We cannot let her off lead Outside a fenced yard because she will not respond to us calling her back. When we call her it's like it flicks a switch and makes her go crazy, doing laps around the street, the only way to get a response from that point is to shake a bag of treats. Tonight she had me in tears because of how uncontrollable she is. I had her inside whilst I tried to watch tv, she jumped on the lounge and would not get off. As soon as I moved closer to put her off she went mad in the lounge room, running circles all around the house, growling, nipping at me as she passed me and included a jump on the lounge through each lap. I have out her outside now but this is a nightly occurrence and I can't take the stress with baby on the way. I want to be able to make it through the night without constantly telling her 'no'. Please help. :( I feel like such a failure despite my efforts to do it all by the book.

Denise February 26, 2014 | 5:56 AM

I recently adopted a 4 month old maltipoo n Gabi is 8 lbs. I have at home to older cats Max 10 n Tiger 8. How do I get the Cats from running away into the basement n my puppy from barking at them? Please give some direction Thank you!

kristine February 22, 2014 | 7:23 PM

please help I have a german shepherd puppy about 5 months old he constantly pees in his crate im trying to housebreak him and its very difficult. I will put him outside he will run around come in the house and pee in the corner or in his crate I am consistant to a schedujle and hes still not learning please please help email me on what I can do so I wont have to give him up thank you kristine

mary February 21, 2014 | 5:42 PM

Hello Ceasar; I am shocked n excited to have find this site! I viewed your videos! Nuetuered . **Our biggest concern is AT NIGHT! He becomes a wolf,barks at us...while calm an asleep when we passed by, he stares, snarles n skins his teeth at us! in the morning he is calm again. He is extremely patience, and has good enough space outside house. likes his 4x6 dog house, but we bring him inside, as he somtimes disturbs the neighbors. He is 60lbs 2yr, 'Siberian Husky' all white biscuit color; bought from breeder. Later he appears to be mix wt American Eskie, bcus of his frisky standup tail,long fluffy hair and face/body features. He's housetrained; however I never leave him unleashed when I am out of the house. (1) difficult to take for walks, pulls, continuous, usin chainchoker. (2) When another Dog comes in sight *begins pulling!jumping up trying to nip at me when redirecting;to avoid other dog becmes vicious at me. I had few trainers, one tried jabbin him, but he reacts. I tried using recommended back-halter, strong his nipping is quite intimidating, he bears his teeth, growls. 2) He goes everyday to unleached dogpark, and sometimes on treadmill. Good with other dogs, and never aggressive. Few hrs he stays front porch, 15ft long leashed. sometimes barks at other dogs n peeps, bring him inside. At boarding school does well;he also tries to be boss. (3) He leads at the dogpark and becomes the life of the park,(others comment). He is very friendly with peeps n dogs alike, and plays well with us outside and during the daytime. I am now frustrated and have given up but my husband who was initially afraid has become attach to him, but still afraid of him, when he is 'moody'! Can u please HELP?! Thank you kindly ps. we thgt of sending *dog to your school>>crak a smile... blss day.

Paddy Luck (Mrs) February 05, 2014 | 2:01 PM

Hi There - I have a cross Borebull/Mastiff, who is almost 9 months old now, he has lots of exercise with 3 other dogs on the property and can come and go as he wishes (We rent a cottage on the property)the problem is that he will not listen when called, it is so bad that when he is called he looks at me and goes in the opposite direction or else he barks at everybody and will not stop when called, calling only makes it worse because he then does a charge full stop thing at people - If we put a collar on him it is almost as if we are punishing him and he does anything to get it off and chews it up, I no longer know what to do as we had him at a dog training school but we were asked to leave as he would not listen to anything and disrupted the other dogs buy barking and making a horrid loud whoooo noise- HELP PLEASE, PLEASE

Margaret January 09, 2014 | 1:24 AM

We have a beautiful pitbull.We had him sence he 3 months old. But we have 2 major problems with him. 1. we cant get brake him from jumping on our visitors when they come over to visit.He gets so hyperactive an anixous 2. We have tried everything to break our dog from peeing on our furniture.. And i dont mean him lefting his leg. He gets up on couch and pees and he does the same thing with my bed. he well get on my bed pees. Im not rich please help

Phil Dana December 14, 2013 | 5:48 PM

First Timer... We adopted a dog from a local shelter. When we met him he was just delightful !! He got along with our other dog, also a rescue but from Puerto Rico. As far as we know... the new dog, he looks like a papillon, came to us via a kill shelter in California, and another in Atlanta. He has two "Home Again" chips and that is where they came from. When I walk him he looks and acts fine... until, 1) someone tries to pat him, he bears his teeth, growls, and will nip. My wife's cousin and her husband came over last night and he latterly attacked them both !! This is NOT good and I can't allow it to continue. 2) If he see's another dog, big or small, he looks like the Tasmanian devil, but he calms right down if I let him meet the other dog. We have had him about 3 months, I sent him to school and he was a gentleman... Good with the other dogs, and never became aggressive with the ten people who work there. When we first got him it was obvious that someone had spent some time training him. He is very obedient to me... The Alfa?? But he answers to my wife about 50% of the time. He snuggles up to me at night as well. My wife tells me that he spends a lot of his time under the couch when I am not home. Our vet said we could and should return him to the shelter, just North of Boston, MA, or we could put him down... First of all, I would NEVER just put him down!! My wife and I have grown to love him and we have no intentions of "sending him back". I need your help... I don't know what to do... Will you help us out.... PLEASE !!

kaye graham November 16, 2013 | 4:22 PM

I have a 9 month old maltese poodle. Who won't come when called , I got him when he was7 months and have had him 2months. When I take him off lease outside then I can't catch him, and won' t listen when you say come.I always had labs and had no problems with them. Don't want to give him away but can't have a dog that won't listen. Help

aryan September 04, 2013 | 10:40 AM

hi we have a 2 year old golden labrador. adopted him at age 1 from a family who was moving abroad. he has not been neutralised.initially he was fine except few troubles like chewing slippers and cushions. we all are out of the house in daytime except the maid who stays in the house.he cannot stay alone even for one minute and follows us wherever we go. in the night its become a big issue to put him near the main gate and stairs where there is enough place for him to be but he shouts and cries and scratches the door and we have no choice to let him in and he sleeps in the the middle of the night he urinates all over the wooden floor of our room and I have to get up and clean again at 4 he wakes us up and we have to take him for a walk. we take him for a walk in the morning again and evening and night...son plays with him with ball twice. we are very tired and are unable to handle his behavior. please suggest a way out of this behavior or reason.or else we will have to again send him for adoption

Bruce July 24, 2013 | 4:34 PM

hi Cesar-I have I lab of 1.5 years of age. She has learned basic commands but still gets over excited at times with and without exercise and jumps on people a lot and pulls on walks constantly. If u have any suggestions I would very much appreciate it my wife and I have two small children that we don't want to see get hurt when she gets to exited.

Jenny July 16, 2013 | 2:35 PM

Hi, I've been walking a 2 year old staffordshire terrier , who has had very little training. I started walking her, as she had pulled her elderly owner over and broke her arm. She pulls like anything and I've been using the stop and wait for her to come to me tactic, which works most of the time but she does sometimes sniff around or only come part of the way back. She has got better at not pulling, but i'm not sure i'm using the right tactic which may be making me less consistent. I've tried the 180 and that worked initially but she has now started jumping up and trying to nip when we change direction. How do I tackle this? She quite strong and this nipping thing is quite intimidating... She also doesn't seem to be interested in food or toys but is a very sniffy dog, can i use this to train her?

coralee July 14, 2013 | 10:32 PM

Hi Ceasar, I have a 2 year old german shepherd/huskie cross...some issues we are having with Max are him jumping up especially when the kids are outside running and playing, he does not come when we call him and he pulls when we go for walks. When he jumps up we turn our backs on him however this does not always work when the kids do it he still thinks they are playing and will jump on their back. He has scratched and nipped I know that I am not always patient with him. Do you have any suggestions to help our family work through these issues??

Mark Peterson July 07, 2013 | 6:27 PM

Hi Cesar: Hope you can help.. I adopted a 7 1/2 yr old golden retriever "stud" that has been pretty much kenneled his whole life. He is very sweet and smart, but after two days we are pulling and pushing him to get him out of the crate, which he feels secure. Treats, begging, and coaxing dont seem to work to get him out of the crate for walks. Plus it has been over 48 hrs and he wont pee? How long can a dog hold it? Any suggestions? I dont know what to do, as i have raised numerous dogs and never had this kind of a problem. Mark

dee June 17, 2013 | 8:29 AM

hi cesar i have a 10 wk old staffie x collie puppy he thinks its ok to nip and pull on clothes, he wont even stop when we say ouch he just trys to nip a bit harder, i would really like to stop him as i dont want to get rid of him if he can be trained to stop niping any help u can give me would be appreciated

Tom May 28, 2013 | 2:34 PM

my girl friend's dog goes to the bathroom all over the house..she's 5 years old and my girlfriend has had the dog for 3 years...can you please give me advise on how to train it.It's a small white long haired mixed breed.

Loren May 22, 2013 | 8:10 AM

hi cesar, i was wondering if you could help. i have a lab puppy she's a 10 months old i've had her for bout month an half an been training her to sit but she gets excited after bout 2 mins of being out there. she jumps an doesnt listen to "sit" command

Angel May 21, 2013 | 5:57 PM

Hey Cesar, I've got some major issues with my 4 little ankle biters, lol. My alpha dog (the bully) has an issue with attacking my other dogs or other dogs to i guess show her domiancne. How do I stop this behavior? Its bad cause she grabs the other dogs throughts and won't let go. She's a mini pincher, never would have thought a little dog could be so aggresive. I've tried to disipline her and she'll show me her teeth and bite me. I don't know what to do. I also have a mini poodle/bischeon mix that is very needy, with heart conditions too. He is high maintenance and when I try to disipline him he'll attempt to bite me, and has twice in the past. The other two dogs really aren't too bad, for the most part. But since I brought the mini pincher back into the picture (she stayed with my mom for almost a year because I was only allowed 2 dogs at my apartment) there has been a consistance problem with dog fights and the biggest issue of the dogs peeing and pooping in the house when I'm gone at work. There all older dogs so going in the house, in my opinion is no excuse. I can't kennel them while I'm gone otherwise they howl and bark and disturb my other neighbors. Plus I feel bad leaving them kenneled for 8-9 hours a day. I cannot allow anyone into my home because of my profession to take the dogs out. Its not always been a problem, and I believe they can hold it that long fine. What do you think Cesar? I could really use your help and I love my dogs. I've been told several times to give up my pets, but I wouldn't do that EVER! They are my babies! I love them so much, I could never do that to them! Thanks for all your help. Angel

colleen May 15, 2013 | 3:46 PM

My dog is 10yrs. old, he used to be mymothers dog. He is driving me insane. He wasn't 6 walks a day, he is always under my feet, he never leaves me alone.I sometimes just want to give him up, but I cant seem to do that I love him. I have to work, and I work hard at a cleaning company. I am tiredwhen I get home, and all he wants to do is walk!!!!!!!What can I do????

Karen Menning May 11, 2013 | 6:27 PM

My grandson adopted a Sabrina husky from the human society. He was abused by previous owner. What is the best way to train him from biting? When we first got him he did not do this. But now he does, he don't bite hard enough to break the skin just enough that you feel it. We have tried everything from clickers to holding his snot shut and looking him in the eyes and telling him no. Nothing they suggest around here works.

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