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Helpful Hints For New Dog Owners

Updated on May 15, 2012

Rocks, grass, and people are thrown in to the air as Spike bounds across the park trailing a purposeless leash. Tracy, since purchasing the new puppy, has successfully managed to train her dog to... be distracted and chase anything that moves. She makes a mental note to schedule some obedience school classes for the mongrel as she charges after it.

If Tracy only knew of the four simple steps it takes to train a dog, she would not have to be tramping after Spike.

Grab the Canine’s Attention

“Get near your dog and say his/her name in an upbeat & happy voice like you would be calling him if you want him to look at you,” says Megan Miller, a dog trainer of Puppergarten dog training school.

Miller says, it’s important to have your dog associate its name with a command and that potty training and trick teaching will be ten times easier this way. She advises to make your pup speak every time that he or she wants something, like if they want to go outside.

“When he goes woof give him a treat and let him outside,” says Nanci Takash, the training director of the Mercer County dog training club.

Establish a Pattern

After your dog can speak and let you know what they want, it’s important to create a routine the puppy can follow. This helps provide stability in the home and lets the dog know when he can expect to go out on a walk or eat.

“Routine is absolutely necessary,” said Takash. “This way the dog doesn’t go all bananas on you when you leave to go to work or leave the house.”

Give Your Pup a Gold Star

Rewards are essential in your pooch’s beginning routine and will establish when the dog does something good and treats are helpful in accomplishing this task, according to Miller.

“Give the dog a real high-powered treat, like a small piece of ham or salami, to tell him he did something good,” says Takash.

This treat lets the puppy know he has done something right and enforces good behavior. The dog will be more likely to do the same kind of good behavior again, said Takash.

Diminish Bad Behavior

Scolding is also important. Do this in a loud demanding voice when the rules are not followed. This lets your dog know when they have done something wrong. The trick to this is to scold it in a positive manner so that the puppy won’t be afraid of you.

“I change the infliction of my voice, point my finger, and use short to the point words to get my message across,” says Steve Madley, a successful new pet owner.


Any new pet owner can be a victorious pet trainer, even Tracy and her dog Spike, if they keep these four easy steps in mind.

“Some dogs take patience and time, but no dog is untrainable,” says famous dog whisperer Cesar Millan, a dog behavior specialist.


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    • Kimberly Turner profile image

      Kimberly Quevedo 6 years ago from New Jersey

      Benjimester-- I love dogs.. and its really important to be able to be authoritative with them so they don't destroy everything and are nice! Thank you for your comments!

    • Benjimester profile image

      Benji Mester 6 years ago from San Diego, California

      I wish I was a new dog owner :( Haven't had a dog in years. I like the trick about making them speak. That's a really good idea to teach them how to use the bark in a productive manner.