Dog Training Common Sense Tips

Dog Training: Common Sense Tips

Dog training your dog should include good ol’ common sense. You could say they go together like peanut butter and jelly.

I do find that when working on dog training, some folks don’t think about some of what I consider common sense or “no-brainer” things when it comes to dog training their dog. I’ve got lots of “hind sight” that should count for something.

Dog Training Common Sense Tips


So, let’s take a look in my rear view mirror at what I’ve learned that’s worked for so many years.

Jim’s common sense tips

Ready? Ok then, let’s take a look at my tips you might not have thought of when you train your dog because they’re easy and, they do just make good common sense.

  • The first tip is “always work and train your dog on leash – even in the house.” You would be absolutely amazed at the difference in your dog’s response to you if you just pick up the leash and hold your end of it as you do your basic training. Even for behavior modification around the house, I’ve learned over time that dogs that are attached to a leash (as opposed to being unattached) are more compliant and responsible
  • Remember that it takes about 4-6 weeks of daily training for dogs to learn a new behavior and commit it to permanent memory AND do it around distractions that are relevant to you. That’s a lot of work.
  • Practice what you need your dog to know how to do around distractions that are relevant to your personal situation. If you don’t do it this way then your dog will NOT know how to behave in those situations. And, if you expect that level of response, but you’ve not taught him in the right situations, neither you nor your dog will be a happy camper. Especially your dog, if you are constantly correcting him.
  • When using food treats for training, systematically wean your dog off the treats so that he performs flawlessly for you around distractions without food.
  • Be consistent in your training. Remember, it’s not how long you train at each interval as much as it is being consistent with your training each and every day.
  • Teach your dog to respect your personal boundaries. He should never come into your personal space unless invited. If you dog learns that then no one gets jumped on by your dog. Dogs judge relationships based on who can control their personal space.
  • Develop a good habit of rewarding your dog’s good behavior. For example, no one seems to remember to reward a quiet dog but instead, they step right up with verbal corrections when he barks.
    • If you see your dog being quiet, praise and treat him. You’ll be surprised at the mileage you’ll get out of that simple tip. If you like him lying on the floor across the room from you, praise/treat that behavior. The more he’s rewarded for that behavior, the more of that behavior he will give you. Use his kibble as his treats. Kick the value of the treat up as you add distractions.
    • Make a list of all the things your dog could possibly want and assign a value to it. An example would be performing a sit, down and stay for his meals. A sit may also be good for going out to go potty as well as coming back inside.

Now, you might say, “I know that stuff already!”

If you do already know this stuff, then I’ve got some questions for you: Do you practice this stuff? And, do you practice this stuff consistently every day?

Most dog owners are looking for fast results – and tend to think that just because their dog can sit or down, he’s good to go around distractions. But he won’t be. It takes many months of consistent practice to get your dog good around your typical distractions.

So come on. Get off the couch, turn off the TV, turn on your common sense and let’s train!

I’m always curious about your input – it’s important to me.  

We’re always learning and there’s a bunch of you out there we are grateful to be able to serve and learn from.  

I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinions on this.  I’m here to help.

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, serving 8700+ clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog. 

His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your dog understands what you expect of him, you empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.

3 replies
  1. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Carol, glad you like our articles. I’m happy to do some tele-coaching with you on the dog training that you need. Just email the office and Leila can get that set up for you

  2. Carol
    Carol says:

    Hi Jim!

    Thank you for all your help. I am a better pack leader because of it!

    I have a couple of questions. One you discussed in the Common Sense Tips:
    “Teach your dog to respect your personal boundaries. He should never come into your personal space unless invited. If you dog learns that then no one gets jumped on by your dog. Dogs judge relationships based on who can control their personal space.”
    How do I do this? With a ‘down’ and ‘stay’ command?

    My next question is what’s the best way to teach a ‘stay’? Do I start with short periods and slowly graduate to longer ones? We are having trouble with this one.

    My dog is a 2 year old Corgi and she learns quickly so I know I am the one who needs the training.

    Again, thanks for your help.

  3. Pat
    Pat says:

    I never understood about the distraction thing till I read your articles. Just makes sense but never clicked for me. Thanks for the education, you always have great stuff on here. Keep up the good work

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