Dog Obedience Training Basics

Basic dog obedience training is helpful for virtually every pet. Obedience training can help to curb misbehaviors like chewing on furniture, biting, aggression, urinating indoors, rough playing and more. It can also help to encourage good behaviors in dogs. While there are a number of different types of dog obedience training methods, there are usually only a few standard commands that most people hope to encourage their dogs to perform. Read on for a brief guide to some of the basics of dog obedience training.

Pack Mentality

If you're going to convince your dog to pay attention to you and to follow your commands, you'll need to first convince him that you are, in fact, the one in charge. This requires a firm understanding of how the canine social system works. It is the same for all dogs regardless of breed or gender, but some dogs are more inclined to obey pack dynamics than others. The canine social system is based on a strict hierarchy called a pack. Dogs that are dominant have full control over those that are subordinate.

The key to having your pet obey your commands is by establishing dominance early on. There are a number of ways to do this, but the most common are keeping eye contact with your pet, holding him on his back to expose his stomach and staying higher than him in terms of height.

Timing of Admonishments

When you've established your dominance, you can then begin to discourage negative behaviors and to encourage positive ones. When you reprimand your pet for doing something that he shouldn't be doing, it's crucial that you understand the timing component to this type of training. Dogs have a short attention span and will likely forget anything that happened even a moment before if they aren't caught in the act itself. Therefore, you must reprimand your pet while he is engaging in whatever misbehavior you're hoping to eliminate.


The best way to encourage good behavior in through dog obedience training is to reward your pet. There are a number of different ways to do this. The most popular are generally verbal praise delivered in a calm, soothing tone, patting the dog or food treats. If you choose to use food treats to help encourage this positive behavior, be careful that you don't give your pet so many that he comes to depend upon them. It's not unheard of for some dogs to grow so reliant on treats that they will refuse to perform any commands unless they can see or smell a treat nearby. Additionally, giving your pet too many treats can contribute to an overall gain in weight, which can be bad for his health.

For more information about dog obedience training, it's good to speak with a veterinarian and also with a pet trainer in your area. Social training classes are a good supplement to your at home training.