Dog training tips and activities: what to do and what not to do.

Dog training tips: one of the most important exercises to teach your dog is to retrieve. Retrieve is the fetch game; its when you throw a ball, your dog runs to get it, brings it back to you, and willingly returns it to you – as if saying: “that was fun, let’s do it again!”  Tip two for dog training: one of the worst things to teach your new dog or puppy in the early stage of development is tug of war. Tug of war is when you take a rope (or toy),  your dog bites one end of the rope; and the owner and dog play a pulling game: a tug of war against one another other. Retrieve teaches your dog to share. Tug of war teaches your dog to work against the owner.  As a beginning exercise, retrieve may not be simple to learn, but all dogs can learn how to retrieve. Another important tip for dog training: tug of war is very easy to teach your dog, and if tug of war is one of the first games that you teach your canine, you are increasing the chance of creating behavioral problems in your dog or puppy.

Dog training is about learning how to influence canine behavior.

The retrieve game is important on many levels. It provides exercise for your dog. It’s a bonding activity between you and your dog. And retrieve teaches your dog the act of sharing. The owner and dog are doing a shared activity. The dog is having fun in a controlled situation. Retrieve teaches the dog to cooperate with the owner, while still having fun with the owner. Playing proper games with a dog is how a dog learns good manners. Retrieve helps the dog to become more mature. With maturity comes improved behavior and cooperation.

Conversely, tug of war teaches a dog to become selfish. The dog pulls against you. And gains pleasure by competing against you. Tug of war teaches a dog to gain pleasure from the “me” perspective, retrieve teaches a dog to gain pleasure from an “us” perspective. Dog training is a worthwhile endeavor because the pet owner learns how to develop good dog behavior for the lifetime of their pet.

Some dogs play tug of war with the leash while taking a walk with their owner.  How did this problem start? Did someone teach the dog to play tug of war? Most likely, someone in the family has taught the dog to do tug of war. Now the dog is just extending the same tug of war game to the walk and the leash. When you tell the dog to stop playing tug of war, very commonly the dog doesn’t listen. Why? Because the tug of war game encourages the dog not to listen. The tug of war games teaches the dog to do what he wants; not what the owner wants. This example of a dog playing tug of war with the leash while on a walk is what can happen if someone teaches a dog the wrong activities in the development stage. When seeking a dog trainer, part of the job is to erase past mistakes. A dog playing tug of war with the leash while walking is correctable by a good dog trainer.

Only teach a dog tug of war as the last part of dog training obedience lessons, not the first activity between the owner and pet.  Playing tug of war too early messes up the retrieve exercise; and it negatively affects dog behavior. A dog that is taught retrieve after tug, will likely do a poor fetch. He will chase the ball, pick it up, maybe even come close to you. But when it comes to handing it over… no way!  He dances close to you and when you reach to grab the ball, He dashes away. Or He holds the toy so tightly in his mouth that you have to pry it out.  Your dog is doing exactly what you taught her to do. He is being selfish, not listening, and doing what he wants. He is having fun at your expense, rather than having fun with you as a shared activity. These types of problems can be corrected. A dog trainer fixes unwanted behaviors.


Dog training Tips

Dog training tips and activities: a retriever breed may by easier to teach  fetch, but dogs of all breeds are able to learn to retrieve.


All pet owners who are interested in dog training  should be learning how to do the retrieve game with their dog. If the dog doesn’t take to retrieve automatically, then it is recommended to contact a dog training professional to learn this essential activity. When you teach a dog to play tug of war too soon, you encourage him to have fun by being selfish. Behavioral problems such as playing tug of war with the leash; fighting with other dogs; barking; destroying furniture; leash lunging, and not listening all have a component of the dog being overly selfish. Practicing the retrieve game is one way to help bring cooperation between the owner and dog. Whether it is intentional or unintended, dog behavior is a consequence of the games that are done between the owner and the dog. Learn to play the “right” games with your pet to bring about a well trained dog.