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5 Essential Dog Training Tips

By David Loneragan | Dated May 25, 2015

Dog training is a huge part of owning a dog – a trained dog is a pleasure to be with and quickly becomes a valuable member of the family! Dogs do not naturally ‘know’ how to behave in a way that is acceptable in our society, so we must teach them. It is a skill that both owner and dog learn together. Our dogs are keen to please us – so if they are not doing as you ask, you may not be using language and commands they understand. Once trained, walking and playing with a dog that is controlled can provide us with a lot of enjoyment.

When should I start training my dog?

Training your dog should begin as soon as they arrive, whether it be a puppy or an adult dog. You must decide the ground rules beforehand and stick to them. It is much better to prevent behaviour problems than to have to deal with them later on. For puppies, you should attend a puppy socialisation class taught by experienced, qualified trainers. Puppies are socialised which is very important for their development and owners are taught basic dog training tips. For a dog of any age it can be very helpful to join a training class for guidance, support and socialisation.

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Training your dog should begin as soon as they arrive.

What is the most important training?

Some basic skills that teach your dog appropriate behaviours are:

  1. House training: Dogs who do not learn where to toilet may find themselves relegated to the backyard! Being consistent and regular with this is the key
  2. Socialisation with dogs and people: Best done in a park and regularly from an early age
  3. Walk nicely on a lead: A dog that learns to walk nicely on a lead is easier to exercise and makes walks more enjoyable
  4. Come when called: This enables your dog to safely run free at the off leash park
  5. Teach your dog to “Leave it”: Important at meal time and with bones so you can take something away from them without any aggression. It teaches your dog that you are the boss
  6. Sit, stay, down: Very important for road safety

What is the best training method?

Reward-Based Positive Reinforcement Training is the best way to train a dog. When they associate their good behaviour with praise and a reward they are more likely to keep doing it. The reward must occur immediately after the event (within a few seconds), as they only associate the behaviour and the reward if it is immediate. The reward can be praise, such as saying ‘Good Dog’, offering a food treat or their favourite toy. Positive training is more fun for both of you and strengthens your bond. Therefore you must ignore any unwanted behaviour, such as jumping up or barking excessively. Your dog learns that unwanted behaviour does not give them any attention.

How long will the training take?

For dogs of all ages, each training session should be no longer than 10–15 minutes per day. Always start off in a quiet area with no distractions. Once your dog is performing the task reliably, you try it in a ‘real’ situation. Dogs can be trained to perform almost any task if you use clear commands and a suitable reward. Training should be continued throughout their life so it is reinforced. To modify existing problem behaviour, you should first rule out a medical problem with your vet.

Should I be the only trainer in my household?

It is vital to the success of your dog’s training, that everyone in the household is involved. If everyone is consistent with training your dog will learn much more quickly. Consistency is the key to your success. You also need to have realistic expectations of your dog. Training takes time and it must be reinforced constantly. Especially if you are removing “normal” dog behaviour such as barking, digging and jumping that your dog has practised for a long time. It is never too late to change their behaviour but the longer it has been there the longer it will take to remove.

Written by David Loneragan

David grew up and still lives locally and has worked at Gordon Vet since 1985. His love of animals and interest in all things veterinary started when he was a young boy spending time with his own pets and working on a country farm. David’s post-graduate studies have been in the fields of medical problems of dogs and cats and diagnostic ultrasound and radiology. In addition, he is interested in dermatology, cardiology and ophthalmology.

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Gordon Vet Hospital
4.8
Based on 112 reviews
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Michelle Keir
Michelle Keir
08:30 01 Sep 20
Great service my dog loves going there! The staff are very caring and the vets very knowledgeable and do not over service.
Ayanthi Gooneratne
Ayanthi Gooneratne
06:22 24 Aug 20
The Vets are fantastic and so are the support staff. My dogs have been with Gorden Vets for over 10 years.
Steve Walker
Steve Walker
11:33 11 Aug 20
Helen was great. Took great care of our dog.
Eve Barratt
Eve Barratt
01:17 04 Aug 20
I took our little girl Coco for her very first vet visit yesterday. Dr Helen gave Coco a thoroughly check-up and provided me with useful information as the first time puppy owner. Coco is now enrolled in the puppy school and will return back for her 2nd vaccine in a couple of week!
Claire Turner
Claire Turner
05:21 19 Jul 20
Care & attention for your furry friends second to none.
Kimba
Kimba
02:50 09 Jul 20
Dr David and the team have provided real care, support and expertise for our furry family members over 25 years. They've also readily taken in injured wildlife. A great team of Vets and nurses - thanks for all you do!
Jayna Hirani
Jayna Hirani
03:43 09 Apr 20
Quality care and advice at every visit. The staff are friendly and informative and genuinely care about your pets. I am 100% confident that my cat and dog always receive the best pet healthcare and as pet parents that's all we want.
Marianne Broeng
Marianne Broeng
23:23 28 Jan 20
Gordon Vet has looked after my golden retriever since she was 9 weeks. Everyone has been amazing and caring with lots of experience. I have been able to ask any questions and always been welcome. Even one day when she stepped on a bee in the evening, they stayed open until we got there and helped her get it out. Thanks to all the staff :-)
Lizzie Wei
Lizzie Wei
00:56 18 Jan 20
We just moved to Gordon couple month ago and need to get my cat vaccinated. We found this hospital through google and I need to say they provide excellent service and very professional! The doctor really knows cat. Highly recommended!
Lara Bisley
Lara Bisley
08:15 27 Nov 19
Exceptional veterinary hospital. I have been taking my dog here for many years and although I now live in the Eastern Suburbs, I still drive across town to see the Vets at Gordon. The staff are highly skilled, compassionate, friendly and helpful. My 9 year old dog has had 2 knee operations (1 on each knee!) and the outcome of these surgeries far exceeded my expectations. I have been incredibly impressed with the care provided during all of our visits. I would highly recommend Gordon Vet Hospital.
Eugenie Goodyer
Eugenie Goodyer
23:22 21 Oct 19
Very friendly staff. Wonderful care for all our animals A++
Jennie Keogh
Jennie Keogh
06:36 21 Oct 19
Fantastic and friendly staff who you can tell really care about your pet. Their follow up service is also very reassuring. I also board my cat with Gordon Vet and I feel very comfortable to know he's in safe and caring hands. I'm so glad I found this clinic.
Newsha Amiri
Newsha Amiri
20:24 03 Oct 19
We took our dog there and Dr. David take care of his skin issues. he was so caring and professional.
Luxe Sydney Mum
Luxe Sydney Mum
06:37 02 Sep 19
Compassionate, caring and highly skilled veterinary surgeons who treat their patients and owners with respect. The nursing and administration staff are efficient and remember their patients by name which is a lovely touch. A lovely vet practice which despite our Golden Retriever Finn’s complex medical history, is always welcoming to him and he never displays any signs of anxiety when attending. Dr Helen is lovely and a firm favourite of ours!
Lihong Xing
Lihong Xing
05:00 05 Nov 18
Highly recommend Dr David, Scott, Helen, and Catherine, I've taken my cat to see all the doctors here.
Jeremy Tarbox
Jeremy Tarbox
22:55 10 Sep 18
We found a stray, agitated dog in front of our house last night. We phoned but got no help from the Council ranger who gave two options: tie him up in front yard overnight or "let him loose, he'll find his own way home" :( So we phoned Gordon Vet: they stayed open a few minutes so we could run him up and he could have a bed and dinner. Thank you Gordon Vet Hospital, hope he gets home soon!!! :)
Vishal Kapoor
Vishal Kapoor
01:52 04 Sep 18
Really amazing staff members. Their systems and processes are also very
Gerry Stevens
Gerry Stevens
11:01 14 Jul 18
Good competant vet. Did what I needed. Staff friendly. Cat's well.
Arezu A
Arezu A
03:20 15 Feb 18
Absolutely love the service here. I switched from other Vets to this Vet as the staff here are quite attentive and really care about your furry baby! I have basically seen most of the Dr's here and all of them so far have been fantastic, friendly and fun to speak with! Easy to locate and enough parking available! 5 Stars indeed!
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