There are nearly as many ways to train your dog as there are breeds of dogs, and not all methods are effective for all dog breeds.
We'll present a few of the ones that work the best for us, with all breeds, and hopefully you haven't seen too many of these before.
You Must Be The Alpha Dog First and foremost with any training situation, you must be in control.
Dogs are well known for being pack animals, and some breeds just don't do well alone.
For example, a beagle should never be a singular pet.
Another dog in the home, even a different breed, will help you immensely with your Beagle.
A Beagle is a very stubborn breed of dog, and when anyone says they have a mind of their own, they are understating the situation.
When you bring a dog into your home it becomes part of your pack.
If you are not the alpha dog, your dog may take that position, and if that happens you don't have much of a chance with training them.
Particularly with a stubborn breed, you really must be the alpha dog in your pack.
You may see tests of dominance over time, but if you respond well to them, you will maintain control and your dog will fit right into your family.
Kindness Works Wonders, Abuse is Counterproductive The old saw that you have to "teach 'em who's boss" though rough handling bordering on abuse is one of the most counter productive things that can happen in your relationship with your dog.
You can truly work wonders with your dog, by always treating him in a kind and patient manner.
I know this can be a tough assignment sometimes, but in the end, you'll end up with a better, more well trained and obedient dog for it.
When training your dog, think of the process from his perspective.
He does something and you say something he doesn't yet understand, and suddenly, he gets scolded or slapped.
He doesn't necessarily connect something he just did with the scolding, just that you are mad at him.
He may strike back in fear or out of territorial instinct, neither of which are good for you or him.
Dogs live incredibly in the moment, and it takes a very close relationship between an action and a praise or correction to be effective in training.
Using kindness when he does something correctly, such as a click on a clicker, followed by a reward will cause him to associate the click with praise or a treat.
Once this is established it is possible to move more quickly with training because you can click immediately when he does what you want, and give him the treat later when you click again.
Withholding the click and treat or verbal praise will rapidly become more than enough when he doesn't do something you want, there is no need to mistreat him to get the point across.
Of course, I've already mentioned a Clicker when training your dog.
You should at least consider the use of one, as it will make it easier for you to train your dog.
There are other articles that detail the specifics of using a clicker that I won't repeat in this article.
Make a Home Within Your Home for Your Dog Because dogs descended from wild animals, they still have some of the traits of their ancestors.
One of these is the need for a smallish space they can protect, like a den.
In the wild, they will seek out or dig a space just big enough to walk into and turn around as their den.
This is their safe haven and is easily defended from a single point.
In our modern environment, the best equivalent is a Crate, often called an Airline Crate because they are appropriate for transporting your dog.
If you do take your dog on car or truck trips, it is important they are in a crate for their and your own safety.
A crate trained dog will not have any major problem with this, as you are essentially moving their home along with you.
Crate training is easy to do and will help you have a well adjusted, calm pet.
Adjust For The Breed Of Your Dog Aside from the obvious changes because of size differences, many people just don't adjust to the differences in the training methods required for different breeds of dogs.
While no dog is really stupid, there are dogs that appear less intelligent than others.
This is primarily due to their focus.
Each breed has a different focus, and realizing what you are dealing with will help you with training them.
For example, sporting or hunting dogs have been bred to track animals or find game, but without killing it.
For this breed, fetch is a natural, but not so much for a hound, which has a different agenda.
A hound (like a beagle or basset hound) is nose-centric, and nearly everything in their world seems viewed in relation to how it smells.
Working dogs like great danes, dobies or rottweilers need a lot of exercise to be happy.
Terriers were bred to hunt down and kill small vermin like mice, rats, moles and groundhogs.
As you might imagine, the approach to training a terrier would be quite different from a beagle.
Toy varieties were bred to be pets, so should be more companionable, but you still cannot let them take over, no matter how cute they are.
Breeds have tendencies, but the breed does not make the dog.
Be aware of the breed of your dog and the tendencies of the breed, but don't forget your dog is an individual and may not act anything like the typical traits for the breed.
There is almost no end to the variety of tips you may use to help train your dog.
I hope some of the tips in this article have been helpful for you.
We'll explore these and others in more detail in subject specific articles down the road.
See you there!