Six Training Tips from a Dog’s Perspective


To celebrate National Dog Training Month, Mr. N would like to offer some training tips from his perspective.

Dog Training Tips

1. Reward generously and often. And with a wide variety of rewards: cheese, tripe, fuzzy toys, getting to chase a squirrel! Don’t forget jackpots for a job well done. Squirrels, cats, other dogs are really, really hard to ignore.

2. Even if you make a mistake, the dog still gets rewarded. It’s not the dog’s fault. If you click the clicker at the wrong time, the dog gets a treat. If a visiting child picks up the clicker and clicks ten times, ten treats!

3. Dogs forget things too. You should reinforce good behavior occasionally even for things they already know.

4. Recall time should be a party! Bacon  hors-d’oeuvres, meatballs, and lots of noise/praise and excitement. Think of all the other things dogs could be doing. Digging holes, chasing squirrels, peeing over another dog’s mark. Are you more fun than dirt?

5. It’s easier to avoid temptation than to resist temptation. It’s easier to pick up things you don’t want to get chewed and not leave food on the counter than deal with the aftermath.

6. Training should be fun for everyone. Dogs have a sense of humor too! Do you look forward to training sessions or dread them?

What would your dog offer as a training tip?

Welcome to First Monday’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Cascadian NomadsTenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days. Please share your responsible pet owner positive pet training tips by linking a blog post or leaving a comment below. Any positive reinforcement training posts or comments are also always welcome. The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop goes all week long. Our next hop will begin Monday, Feb 1st and continues for a week.


Mr. N demonstrating his posing and stay skills. He got tripe for sitting in the snow.




51 Responses

  1. cupcakepetrillo

    January 4, 2016 11:48 am

    You said it all, Mr. N. Treats, meatballs, cheese, TEN TREATS! Oh yeah! I also like lots of petting and cuddles and chances to lick Mom's teeth. Learning is fun. Plus I think you're very brave sitting in the snow. There aren't enough treats in the world for me to do that. I pretend, but I don't let the snow touch my butt.

    Love and licks,

  2. Talent Hounds

    January 4, 2016 6:39 pm

    "Bacon hors-d'oeuvres, meatballs, and lots of noise/praise and excitement"…recall time sounds like my kind of party!
    Great tips, there are so many factors that go into having a successful and FUN training session and you really covered them well in this post.

  3. Bethany Clochard

    January 4, 2016 7:30 pm

    Number 3 is our favorite! I hear from people all the time that their dogs never retain training or are dumb. But with a little understanding and consistent positive reinforcement, trainer and trainee can remember stuff better. Thanks for all the great tips Mr. N and enjoy all those treats, you lucky smart dog!

  4. Kari Neumeyer

    January 4, 2016 7:59 pm

    All very good tips. My motto with Leo is "There's no such thing as too much cheese." If I run out of cheese on a walk and we encounter a bicycle, things can go south. Better to pack more than I think I'll need.

  5. Janet Keefe

    January 4, 2016 8:08 pm

    Those are great tips, Mr. N! We try to always remember to keep training fun, and to use a variety of rewards. If something isn't working, we try a different way or maybe just set it aside to try again another time. That way no one gets too frustrated. Luke would also like to add that consistency is important…the one area where I tend to fall short!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  6. Forest Poodles

    January 5, 2016 12:02 am

    Great tips! It's funny that we should write similar posts but still bring up different points! That's one reason why I enjoy being a part of these blog hops – the sharing of information with likeminded people!

  7. Mary @ DogTrainingology

    January 6, 2016 5:29 pm

    I really love your first tip — "Reward generously and often."

    I think this is really difficult for some people, depending on their background and depending on how they have been taught in the past that training "should" work.

    With the group dog training classes that I teach, I find some people really have trouble rewarding generously or, sometimes, even rewarding at all. They expect too much and have the mindset that the dog should just do it. It can take awhile for them to loosen up and learn a new mindset about training.

    But, the dog is learning and he doesn't know yet what to do, so generous rewards go a really long way toward making the dog feel successful, building confidence, and making him want to do more behaviors for you!

    Great post. 🙂

    • Tenacious Little Terrier

      January 8, 2016 12:20 am

      Thanks! I've seen that happen too. Mr. N scoffs at the notion that he should be willing to work for praise and approval alone lol. He is very biddable for a terrier but he also believes strongly in being rewarded appropriately for good work.

  8. Carma Poodale Allen

    January 7, 2016 1:59 am

    Some of these are great tips. I wish ma believed in the endless treats but she says if I eat too many treats , I don't eat my dinner. If I don't eat my dinner, I don't get any treats.
    Why can't treats be dinner!?!?!?!

  9. nalathewonderdog

    January 7, 2016 4:01 am

    Awesome tips, Mr. N! Nala agrees with all of those, too–as do I! Rewarding generously and often has paid off in spades for us–and honestly, I think it's why I have no trouble fading lures, getting Nala to work for treats that are in another room, and really changing her opinion about the things we've done DS/CC to.

    Nala's additional tip is to find ways to be as clear as you possibly can! Think about what your body is doing, and try to be consistent! Use props! Do whatever you need to to help a puppy out, especially when you're first teaching behaviors, and only change one thing at a time when proofing, especially at first. Or else you will get whined and danced and sharked at.

  10. Lara Elizabeth

    January 7, 2016 5:20 am

    Adorable picture of Mr. N. and the snowman, and a collection of really wonderfully concise training tips. Ruby would add that it's important to time training sessions appropriately, making to sure she has a chance to blow off some steam through play or exercise beforehand. Similarly, training sessions at naptime are not ideal either.

  11. Daily Dog Tag

    January 7, 2016 10:18 pm

    My dogs love treats! Theo enjoys a good game of tug too, but I have a hard time figuring out how to use that as a reward for a behavior. I need more training so I can be a better trainer for them!

  12. MattieDog

    January 8, 2016 3:49 am

    Treat even if a mistake happens – that is good info to share with everyone! Us dogs, alls we do is try to please so sometimes we just get mixed up or you get mixed up or we both get mixed up – but don't mix up da treats!

  13. KB Bear

    January 10, 2016 4:45 am

    Great tips!!! My dogs would offer up the tip that all training should be fun and games! I have one formerly terribly fearful dog who will shut down if I get too serious about training. It's been quite a lesson for me to learn!

    Thanks for the great tips!

  14. Golden Daily Scoop

    August 26, 2017 11:07 am

    We have constant trainging sessins with Bruin since he is leash reactive. Your post reminded me of our clicker training with Miley and Maggie, perhaps I will pull it out for Bruin and see how he does! Mr. N looks like he does a fabulous job with sit and stay! 🙂

  15. Bryn Nowell

    August 28, 2017 12:37 pm

    What a great post and reminder for us humans to consider the dog’s perspective! Sometimes we forget that our dogs can’t read our minds, and get frustrated when they don’t do what we expect them to, if it wasn’t effectively communicated. It doesn’t work for significant others, and it doesn’t work for pets.

    Thanks for this reminder and for the great photos!


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