Basic Dog Training Tips

All dogs need to have training as it not only allow them to understand commands, you will also be developing the bond between you and your dog.

If your require professional advice the AWL dog behaviour team run Mutts with Manners Dog Training classes every weekend. FIND OUT MORE

Starting Out

Dogs are like children; they are born without manners and only have the instinct to survive to guide them. Like children, they need to be taught how to "fit into" your home.

Basic Principles

It is up to us to provide guidance and leadership in the teaching of our dogs. Consistency and persistency are the most critical considerations. Also KEEP IT SIMPLE! For example, as dogs do not ‘understand’ English but rather respond to sounds so why use words like ‘lay down’, when ‘drop’ will achieve the same result?

Response to Training

Dogs respond quicker to rewards and kind words. This is called positive reinforcement. Food is a great reward for work well done!

Ignore Bad Behaviour

Some acts, like jumping up can be overcome by simply ignoring it. Your dog will quickly learn that this action gains no attention.


Teach your dog basic tricks, like ‘roll over’ after they have been taught the basics. Dogs are very keen to please their owners and it gives them more to do.

Repeating Commands

There is no benefit in constantly repeating commands. This will have the opposite effect and the dog will learn to ignore you.

Quick Rewards

Rewards and praise must be given quickly. Dogs have a short attention span and will not connect the praise with the act if too much time goes by between the two.

Head Harness

Head harnesses (Gentle Leader, Halti etc) are a wonderful aid to control dogs that constantly pull when out walking.


It is very important to love your dog, play with your dog, but most of all, be fair to your dog and train it.