I want to train my dog

Check the articles in this section to find out how to train your dog some simple obedience the Dogs Trust Dog School way! All of the training described in these articles are reward based, so you can be sure they will help build a positive bond with your dog as well as teach him or her some important skills. Feel inspired or need more help? Then sign up to come along to your nearest Dog School classes!

Teach your dog to know his or her name

If our furry friends will respond to their names it means we can help to keep them safe when life becomes dangerous – a vehicle suddenly driving around a park for example, or a broken bottle. We can also help to keep other people safe – when they’re having a picnic for example and we need our dog to look at us instead of at the pork-pies on offer! Being responsive to their name means our dogs can have greater freedom in life and helps them to develop a meaningful bond with us, as well as helping us dog-owners be socially responsible within our local communities.

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Teaching your dog to come back when you call

Most dogs really benefit from a good run off-lead in a safe place at least once a day to help them stay happy and fit. However, it’s an owner’s legal responsibility to ensure that their dog is under control at all times in a public place – so being able to get your dog to come back to you when you call him is a very important. It also makes walks much more relaxing if you can be confident that your dog will come back straight away if you see a potential hazard. Teaching a recall is very simple – but the key to success is to start in an environment where there are no distractions, so it is easy for your dog to learn that coming back to you is the best possible thing to do. Once established, practicing the recall in progressively more distracting environments will make sure that your dog comes back whatever else is going on!

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Teaching your dog to walk on a loose lead

Having a dog which walks calmly next to you on a loose lead makes going out for walks a much more relaxed and enjoyable experience! It is also much better for our dogs to learn to walk on a loose lead - pulling on the lead can be uncomfortable and even sometimes cause damage to the throat. When teaching dogs to walk on a loose lead, needs to be built up slowly - starting when your dog is not excited or distracted and building up gradually over time. Read more to find out the stages for training a dog to walk calmly on the lead.

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Teaching your dog to sit

Learning to sit is often the first thing a new puppy learns - so it is really important to get it right! The technique is the same for adult dogs or puppies: encouraging them to sit using a food reward, and giving the reward just as their bottom hits the floor! As the dog learns the behaviour, the food 'lure' is no longer needed and the dog associates the action with the word "Sit". Read more to find out the details of each step in training, and see our super cute puppy model learn to sit for the first time!

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Why don't we use any aversive training methods?

One of the key principles of training at Dogs Trust - both in Dog School and our re-homing centres is that we use reward based methods to train all our dogs. Research has shown that using reward based methods are effective, and less likely to be associated with problem behaviours. This approach also means that dogs have better welfare, enjoy their training and form a better bond with owners or carers - so why would we do anything else? Read more to find out in more detail why we don't use aversive methods of training at Dogs Trust

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