USA Service Dog Registration
Call Now 760-283-7783
USSDR Blog Banner

Three Things To Train Your Dog to do That Will Make Your Life Easier

Three Things To Train Your Dog to do That Will Make Your Life Easier

Scott 20 August 8, 2023
blog title

There’s a lot to love about being a dog owner. Cuddles on the couch, time spent playing with the best dog toys, and long walks in nature to name but a few.  However, while there are plenty of perks that come with having a canine companion in the family, being a pet parent has its fair share of challenges too!  Whether it’s figuring out how to stop a dog from jumping up or trying to steer clear of the most common loose leash walking mistakes, there’s always another useful behavior or skill that we’re trying to teach our dogs.

1-Mastering Recall:

Training your dog to come when called is one of the most important things you can do to keep them safe and in control. Not only is it a critical safety skill for your pet, but it is also a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. However, many dog owners struggle with this important training technique. If you’re one of those dog owners, don’t worry – you’re not alone! Recall training is one of the most crucial aspects of dog training. It refers to the ability to call your dog back to you when you give a specific command, typically their name followed by “come” or “here.” This simple command can have a significant impact on the safety and well-being of your dog, as well as your peace of mind as a pet owner.

The importance of recall training cannot be emphasized enough. Imagine being in a situation where your dog is about to run into a busy street or encounter a potentially dangerous situation. Having a reliable recall command can be a lifesaver, allowing you to regain control and keep your furry friend safe.  Additionally, recall training fosters a strong bond between you and your dog. It builds trust and establishes you as the leader, reinforcing the idea that coming back to you is always a positive and rewarding experience. This not only enhances your relationship but also makes it easier to manage your dog in various situations, whether it’s at the park, during walks, or at home.

Practicing recall exercises in various environments and distractions is crucial for training your dog to come when called. It’s not enough for your dog to respond to your command in the comfort of your own home or in a quiet park. You want your dog to have a reliable recall no matter where you are, whether it’s a crowded street, a bustling park, or even a chaotic dog park.  Start by gradually introducing distractions during your training sessions. Begin in a controlled environment with minimal distractions and gradually increase the level of difficulty. For example, you can practice recall exercises in your backyard with a few toys scattered around. Once your dog consistently responds to your command in this setting, move to a slightly busier area, such as a local park.

As you progress, intentionally expose your dog to different distractions such as other dogs, squirrels, or interesting smells. This will help your dog learn to focus on you and your command, even when there are tempting distractions nearby. Use high-value treats or rewards that your dog finds irresistible to reinforce the desired behavior.  Remember to always keep the training sessions positive and rewarding. If your dog gets distracted or doesn’t respond immediately, avoid punishment or negative reinforcement. Instead, redirect their attention back to you and reward them when they come. Consistency and patience are key in mastering recall in different environments.

Additionally, consider enrolling in a group obedience class or working with a professional dog trainer who can provide guidance and support in practicing recall exercises in various settings. They can simulate real-life scenarios and help you fine-tune your training techniques.  By regularly practicing recall exercises in different environments and distractions, you will significantly improve your dog’s responsiveness and ensure their safety in any situation. The effort and dedication you put into this training will pay off as you enjoy the peace of mind of having a dog that reliably comes when called.

2-Teach To Settle:

If you have a dog that gets too excited, it can be difficult to get them to settle down when you want them to. This is where teaching your dog to settle comes in handy. When your dog learns to settle on command, you can help them find the harmony they need to thrive in your home. In this blog post, we will explore different techniques and methods that you can use to teach your dog to settle. We will cover everything from creating a comfortable environment to using rewards and positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. So, if you’re ready to find harmony with your furry friend, let’s dive in!

Teaching your dog to settle is an essential skill that every dog owner should prioritize. In our fast-paced lives, finding moments of peace and tranquility is crucial not just for us humans, but also for our furry companions. A settled dog is a content dog, and a content dog leads to a harmonious and balanced household.

When a dog knows how to settle, it means they can relax and remain calm in various situations, whether it’s during mealtime, while you’re working from home, or when guests come over. This skill is particularly useful in managing your dog’s energy levels and preventing behavioral issues that can arise from restlessness or anxiety.  Creating a designated calm area for your dog is an essential step in teaching them to settle. Just like humans, dogs need a space where they can retreat and relax, free from distractions or excessive stimulation. This calm area should be a safe and comfortable space that your dog associates with relaxation and tranquility.

Start by choosing a location in your home that is quiet and away from high traffic areas. It could be a corner of a room, a specific room, or even a crate if your dog is crate-trained. Ensure that the area is well-ventilated and has a comfortable bed or blanket for your dog to lie on.  Next, introduce your dog to this calm area and associate positive experiences with it. You can start by placing treats or toys in this area to encourage your dog to explore and spend time there. Use a calm and soothing tone of voice when guiding them to this space, reinforcing the idea that it is a peaceful and relaxing spot.

Consider using visual cues to further establish this designated calm area. For example, you can place a specific mat or rug in the area and teach your dog to associate that with relaxation. Use consistent commands like “settle” or “relax” while your dog is in this space, and reward them with treats or praise for calm behavior.

  • Choose a designated settling area
    Select a specific area in your home where you want your dog to settle. It could be a cozy corner with a comfortable bed or a designated mat. This area should be associated with relaxation and calmness.
  • Introduce the settle cue
    Choose a verbal cue, such as “settle” or “relax,” to associate with the desired behavior. Use a calm and soothing tone when giving the cue to create a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Reward calm behavior
    When your dog voluntarily settles in the designated area or shows signs of calmness, such as lying down or relaxing, reinforce the behavior with positive reinforcement. Reward your dog with treats, praise, or gentle strokes to reinforce the idea that settling leads to positive outcomes.
  • Gradually increase duration
    Start with short durations and gradually increase the time your dog is required to settle. Begin with just a few seconds and gradually extend it to a few minutes. This gradual progression will help your dog build patience and learn to settle for longer periods.
  • Use a release cue
    To let your dog know the settling time is over, introduce a release cue. This can be a word like “okay” or a specific hand signal. Use the release cue consistently so that your dog understands when it’s time to get up and resume regular activities.
  • Practice in various environments
    Once your dog has grasped the settle cue in a controlled environment, gradually introduce distractions and practice in different settings. This will help your dog generalize the behavior and settle even in stimulating or unfamiliar environments.
    During training sessions, it is important to remain patient and calm. Dogs can sense your energy, so if you become frustrated or impatient, they may become anxious or confused. Take deep breaths and approach the training with a positive mindset.

Consistency is key when teaching your dog to settle. Establishing a routine and sticking to it will help your dog understand what is expected of them. Use the same commands and gestures each time you want them to settle, and reinforce the behavior with rewards and praise.

3- Teach Leave It

As a dog owner, you know that sometimes your furry companion can be a little too curious for their own good. Whether it’s trying to eat something off the ground or getting too close to a dangerous object, it’s important for your dog’s safety that they understand the “leave it” command. Teaching your dog to “leave it” can also help prevent them from destroying your belongings or getting into things they shouldn’t.  We’ll cover everything from the basics of the command to advanced techniques that will help your dog master it in no time. So grab some treats and get ready to train your furry friend!
Teaching the dog the meaning of “Leave It”

The “Leave It” command is an essential tool in a dog owner’s arsenal, as it helps to prevent unwanted behaviors and keep your furry friend safe. To begin teaching your dog the meaning of “Leave It,” follow these simple steps:

  • Start with a treat: Hold a treat in your closed fist, making sure your dog can smell it. This will pique their interest and grab their attention.
  • Present the closed fist: Extend your closed fist towards your dog, allowing them to investigate. As they inevitably start sniffing and licking your fist in an attempt to get to the treat, say “Leave It” firmly but calmly.
  • Wait for a response: Your dog may continue to try to get the treat from your closed fist at first. Be patient and wait for them to back off, even if it’s just a momentary pause or hesitation.
  • Reward the right behavior: The moment your dog takes a step back or stops trying to get the treat, praise them enthusiastically and reward them with a different treat from your other hand. This reinforces the positive behavior of leaving the initial treat alone.
  • Repeat and reinforce: Repeat this exercise several times, gradually increasing the duration of your dog’s “Leave It” behavior before rewarding them. You can also introduce the verbal cue earlier, saying “Leave It” before presenting the closed fist.
  • Gradually remove the closed fist: Once your dog consistently understands that “Leave It” means to leave the treat alone, you can start phasing out the closed fist. Begin by presenting the treat in an open hand, and if your dog makes a move to take it, use the “Leave It” command and wait for the appropriate response before rewarding.

Remember, consistency and patience are key when teaching your dog any new command. Practice the “Leave It” exercise regularly and in various environments to ensure that your dog retains the command and can apply it in different situations. With time and practice, your dog will master the “Leave It” command, making walks and interactions with other dogs and tempting items much more manageable.

20 Replies to “Three Things To Train Your Dog to do That Will Make Your Life Easier”

  1. My 4 yr old blk shepard has mastered the leave command but reinforcement is needed along the way. Great suggestions I found here.

  2. My dogs name is Opie and he has been trained by professional trainer and he is very obedient to me . I looked at the training methods and they are very good ,thank you . I have his card for a support dog

  3. Oh my goodness. This was awesome. I can’t wait to try these with my dog. He already knows the leave it but needs to work on the other 2. I am so frustrated because my dog pulls me a lot when I walk him. I wish I knew how to make him stop pulling on the leash.

    1. I have a large 85# German shepherd, who just pulled me (clipping lead to harness lower front, and or collar still didn’t help). What did!
      “A head harness”!! It’s like a halter for a horse – and not a muzzle. It’s very comfortable, and has made world difference!!

      1. I recommend the head harness to anyone that is struggling with a pulling dog, especially large breeds that can over power its handler.

  4. Thank you so much for your information, I believe my girl and I might do this. I have severe anxiety with ptsd, normally when I leave home. My maltipoo is 2yrs and since I got her I can pretty much go and do what I want. She’s not doing so well on a leash, but we work at it every day. I’m 66yrs and became disabled 01/02/2013, I was the aid on a special needs school bus when hit in the rear which threw me forward and then backwards.

  5. Great instructions indeed. A good and quality relationship with your dog starts with obedience. . Otherwise it’s like having an unruly child and can be very tiring.

  6. I can use settle to calm her. It isn’t hard as she only wants to please. We got her at the dog pound 5 years ago and they thought she was around 2 and possibly escaped from a puppy mill. She likes to run and chase leaves , she does have toys but if I take it away and throw it, she just looks at me like “Why did you do that “. She’ll throw a toy herself and get it a couple times then just takes it to her safe place and lies down. She is the best dog we have ever had. My psychiatrist has always encouraged me to get a dog 🐕 trained and she is my emotional support dog for sure.

  7. Very good information. My dog is older and used to obey very easily, but lately he will not stop & stay or come back to me when called if he finds a very interesting distraction. I’m going to start work on all 3 of these tomorrow. Hopefully they work & peace will return to our loving relationship. Thank you!!

  8. Would u happen to have any techniques on a 3 1/2 yr oldpyrador that has NEVER been left alone. Luckily for her I am usually always home or she would.go with me.since she is my service dog whome I trained myself. Our only issue is I worry in case of emergency she couldn’t cope. She self mutilate. Chews or pulls off her dew claws or nails like at the vet when crated waiting to be fixed. If something happened I need medical treatment I have ni idea what to do or who would keep her. She is very good girl, loyal, well trained and obeys ME BUT that’s our one issue? Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi April, it sounds like she has anxiety issues. Have you tried crating her when you leave, crating is much more comforting to many dogs and relieves anxiety.

  9. I absolutely agree with these three key training tips for a smoother life with our furry companions! Mastering recall is an absolute necessity – it’s not just about safety, but also deepening the bond between you and your dog. The settling command is also invaluable, especially for those hyperactive moments. Creating a calming space and using positive reinforcement can truly make a difference. Lastly, loose leash walking transforms walks into enjoyable experiences for both you and your dog. It’s all about consistent training and patience. Thanks for sharing these insights – they’re truly a game-changer for every dog owner seeking a harmonious life with their canine friend! 🐶🐾

  10. My dog constantly stops and refused to walk. It doesn’t matter where we are. She will even lay down . I like to walk but not like this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *