Your first dog training lesson

As a teacher carrying the designation dog trainer, I am going to teach you the first steps in training your dog. Start out by observing what your dog  likes to do;  and later,  learn to communicate with your dog by using your emotions, facial gestures, and touch. Let’s begin by collecting data. Keep an inventory of what your dog enjoys doing.  Use this information as a potential sack of rewards. The more things that your dog likes to do, the better your chance is of having a healthy problem-free dog. Next,  learn signs and gestures that make your dog happy.  The wag of your dog’s tail indicates that you are communicating correctly.  The more fun you can create for your dog,  the easier it will be to train your dog.


As someone known as dog trainer, I can tell you that there are many different methods of training your dog.  You can teach a dog through fear or fun. The older method of dog training was about hurting the dog and expecting the dog to learn by trying to avoid painful situations. I call this older method, pain based dog training. The  newer dog training system that I teach is known as positive reinforcement dog training.   In positive reinforcement dog training,  the dog learns through situations that are fun and stimulating.  We play games with the dog.  We encourage the dog to think things thru.   We give dogs choices and  we reward the dog for desired behavior .  This process is known as “shaping.”  Rewards are more than just giving treats to a dog. It is about our interaction with our pet. Know what  your dog likes to do and use this information to reward desired behavior.

Positive dog training: first understand what your dog likes

Does your dog like food?  Does your dog like to play fetch?  Does your dog like to go for rides in the car?   This is what you have to explore.   Take your dog to new places and see which places she likes.  All dogs enjoy going for walks in nature (i.e.  trails and parks).  Try to compile a list of five to ten items or experiences that your dog really likes. More is better.  As you become attuned to your dog’s preferences,  your dog will become more compliant with you;  seeing you as more than a disciplinarian but now as the gateway to rewards.   Often times, a person seeks the services of a dog trainer Oahu to solve a problem. Some of these problems result from the dog not having enough enjoyable activities. A well trained dog has several activities that she likes to do with the owner and other activities that she enjoys doing by herself. The long term philosophy of preventing problem behaviors:  allow your dog to have a good time in numerous ways.

Dog trainer Oahu

Expose your dog to lots of places. Take your dog to the beach. See if she likes it.

Pet your dog in different areas of her body and observe where she likes to be touched.  Don’t just pat your dog on the head.  Does you dog  like being pet on the stomach?  The chest?  The side – over its ribs?    Employ numerous (and pleasurable) ways of stroking your dog.  Many dogs like to be scratched in addition to patting.  If your dog pulls away from you while you are petting her,  this signals that she doesn’t like the way you are petting. As a dog trainer, I suggest you to find  three different ways you can get your dog to wag her tail by your touch  (pet/stroke/scratch/ or pat).

Now talk to your dog.  Without touching your dog,   get your dog to wag her tail,  just by the tone of your voice.  What you say to your dog is unimportant,  but the tone you use should be goofy and playful.  Praise your dog,  speak in funny gibberish and notice which voice tones makes your dog wag her tail.  Try to get three distinct voice tones that will make your dog wag her tail.  Your success will improve if your tone is fun and goofy.  Your success will decrease if you are serious and controlling.

Do the same thing with facial expressions.  Without touching the dog,  make funny faces and silly noises that lead your dog to wag her tail. This activity is similar to trying to make a baby laugh. Make funny noises. Be goofy. Being playful is essential in connecting with your dog. A dog will listen to an owner that is more skillful at connecting with fun and excitement.

While seeking a dog trainer, it is also important is to find out what your dog likes to do.  Increase the things that your dog likes to do.   And get your dog to wag her tail by you employing touch,  vocal sounds,  and facial expressions.  As you proceed through this process,  your dog will become more alert to your behavior.  Positive reinforcement dog training is way more than feeding your dog treats when she does the desired behavior. It’s about learning how to connect with your dog. It’s about taking your dog to good places. And it’s about training your dog to high value toys. When you control the fun, your dog will listen to you more. Your dog will associate you with good times and thereby you become someone worth listening to.

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