How to Train Your Dog

January is “train your dog month” and chances are, there’s room for improvement when it comes to your dog’s behavior, listening skills and general obedience. There are some foundational training techniques it’s important for your dog to know, like how to sit or stay, as well as house training and learning crate training, if you choose the crate training route. If your pup already knows these basic skills, you can always use dog treats and the tips below to train your dog to obey other commands.

The key to successful dog training? Reinforcement with treats and praise. Our Mini Classic biscuits are a great tool to use to encourage good behavior while training your pooch. Here are three common dog-training techniques that pet owners can try.

How to House Train Your Dog

One of the best ways to potty train your dog or puppy is to use praise and small treats to reward their good behavior. You’ll want to take your puppy or dog out every two hours in the beginning and lead them to a specific spot on the leash where they can do their business. Keep treats in your pocket so you can reward your dog immediately for eliminating outside and letting them know they’re a “good boy” or “good girl” as you give them the food treat. This is one of the best ways to potty train your dog. Depending on the dog’s age, it may take some time for this dog training technique to become second nature. If and when accidents happen, try to interrupt your pup in the middle of it, say “outside” and take them out right away to their designated spot to finish.

How to Crate Train Your Dog

When you crate train your dog, you’re teaching them that they have a safe place that’s theirs to relax, sleep and stay when you’re away from home. During crate training, put the crate in a place where your family hangs out and spends time, like the living room. Encourage your dog to enter by dropping some treats outside the crate as well as inside it and praising the dog when they enter the crate. Make sure to say “crate” every time your dog goes in, to get them familiar with the word. Our Big Ol’ Bones are a great positive reinforcement treat to give your dog to get them in their crate, and for them to stay happily munching away in their crate. Eventually you might be able to get your dog to go into the crate by showing them the treat in your hand, pointing and saying “crate” and then closing the door and giving them a treat with praise.

How to Train Your Dog to Sit

This is one of the fundamental obedience techniques and one your dog will do for food, toys and praise for years to come! To train your dog to sit, stand in front of them with a treat, like our Soft & Tasty Peanut Butter and Bacon Flavored Biscuits. You can also hold it in front of their nose so they can smell it. This is called food training. Wait for them to sit and when your dog does sit, reward him or her with the treat, saying “Yes. Good girl [or boy], [dog’s name].” Walk back a few steps so she stands again and follows you. Show her the food and wait for her to sit. When she does, repeat the praise and treat. Puppies should be able to learn how to follow simple commands like “sit,” “down” and “stay” by seven to eight weeks of age. You can teach your pup those commands by using the same steps as above, filling in the new command as you go!

Show off your dog’s training for treats and tag us using @oldmotherhubbarddogsnacks.