Five Training Tips For First-Time Dog Owners

Here at the Dog Blog today we have some nice tips from Dan. Enjoy this guest post folks!

The decision to welcome a dog into your family is a long-term commitment that can be both highly rewarding and demanding. First-time dog owners should follow these basic five tips to help train their new pet and lay the foundation for a long, happy relationship with their four-legged friend.

1) Be Consistent

Before you even bring your new pooch home, think about what kinds of rules you will have for your dog. If you have a spouse, kids or housemates, include them in this exercise. In order for your dog to learn and understand the rules of your home, it is important that everyone who is in the dog’s life also understands what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable from your four-legged friend.

For example, if you decide that Fido should not be allowed on the sofa, then stick to this rule. Allowing the dog on the sofa sometimes and then scolding him for getting on the furniture at other times will simply cause him to become confused and anxious.

One of the best rules to have is not to feed your dog from the table, not only is this unhygienic but is not good for your dog as it leads to them putting on weight and picking up bad traits such as whining and pleading for attention, not a wanted trait if you invite guests over for dinner!

2) Stick To A Schedule

Animals, like many people, are generally calmer, happier and better behaved when they have a regular daily routine. Although dogs cannot actually tell time per se, when their owners stick to a fairly regular schedule for feedings and walks, the dog will reward the owner by displaying better behaviour because the dog has a strong sense of what to expect and when to expect it.

3) Enroll In Obedience Training

Even the most well-mannered dog can benefit from obedience training, where new and experienced owners learn simple techniques to control their dog. Along with helping owners learn obedience commands, these classes provide both the human and the dog a great opportunity to interact with other dogs and their masters. Well taught lesson installed in a dog at a young age usually last them a lifetime, so it is important to make use of the early time you have with a dog.

4) Firm but fair

Learn to control your pet using a leash, collar and voice commands only. Hitting a dog with your hand or an object will only make your dog fearful and distrustful of all humans, something which is very difficult to reverse in an animal. At a young age, humans like dogs are very impressionable and so the use of violence towards the dog will only need to negative character traits as the dog gets older. If the dog does something wrong then make sure you let them know straight away that what they did was wrong. Never punish a dog retrospectively, Dogs have no concept of time, they only live in the moment so shouting at your dog after he has committed the crime will only leave you dog confused and scared.

5) Spend time with your Dog

Spend time with your dog, especially if he or she is a puppy. Remember that this is a strange and scary situation for the dog, to be taken from its Mother and the place it knew as its home, into a new place with new smells and on its own. Your dog therefore needs lots of love and attention to start off with to ensure that it settles into its new home well.

Make sure you introduce your dog to other dogs and all other members of your family quickly. If you know of a friend that has a dog that is well mannered ask if you can go on a walk together so that your dog will get used to other dogs and not become aggressive or scared when they meet dogs outside in the future. If you have young family members, especially babies or toddlers then you should always supervise the dog around them, sometimes a dog can get carried away and become too rough, so it is important that you can quickly step in and tell the dog or the child off if the situation arises.

Overall you should just aim to have fun, after all that’s probably one of the main reason you got a dog in the first place, if you treat your dog with respect and authority, love and attention then you should both have a happy life together.

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11 Responses to “Five Training Tips For First-Time Dog Owners”

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  1. James Watts says:

    I’d recommend that the majority of training should be done during the socialisation period as dogs are exceptionally receptive during this time (the first 4-16 weeks of life). It can be a good time to expose them to a variety of scenarios as well (in a positive manner) so that they cope better with these situations as an adult!

  2. 47 says:

    These are good tips. I’d also add that introducing your dog to new surfaces at a young age can go a long way to helping your dog have a happy life. Dogs should be introduced to carpet, tile, grass, and gravel at the very least. I can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve seen who won’t walk on tile or other hard surfaces. It might be cute in a puppy, but not in a 40+ pound dog!

  3. Three Dog Blogger says:


    Good addition, thanks for the extra input.

  4. Eric Sawyer says:

    Very good article, well written and informative! I would say that these tips are essential to the early development of your canine companion. One thing I would warn against is giving the pup authority, allow them to make their own decisions, but keep a strong hand so they know who the alpha is 🙂 but great article

  5. Lindsay says:

    Yes, those tips are so important. I do a lot of pet sitting at my house and the dogs are usually pretty frantic and hyper the first few hours or the first day or so. But once they settle into the routine of my house they are different dogs. I love how dogs are so adaptable. But we need to do our part by sticking to a consistent routine and being consistent and fair with rules.

    And of course providing lots of structured exercise to burn off all that energy!

  6. Three Dog Blogger says:

    Lindsay, thanks for dropping by. Exercise is the main thing for our three. Without plenty of it trying to control them is so much harder. But tired Dogs, ah, that makes for a happy owner!

  7. Lawrence says:

    Very good tips, very helpful, thanks so much.
    I also recommend that you train your dog in various different places. If you keep your dogs in a certain place like your home, he will not be able to adjust to the environment and new people. Take him to the park or through the neighborhood. This will help your dog associate with other dogs and people.

  8. Gryphon says:

    Thanks for the informative post. We’d just like to re-emphasize that dogs are not children although they may act like them at times. Dogs’ basic instincts are very different and it’s very important to understand this. Lots of books around that detail this well. In order for them to be happy, secure and emotionally well balanced they must be able to relate your environment and behavior to their “pack” instincts and expectations. Again, understanding this and implementing this approach will ensure that you have an incredible experience with your companion.

  9. Carl Sanchez says:

    Thank you so much for this info. this can go well with taking care of my dogs.

  10. Great tips on how to train your dog! It’s worth mentioning that there are many items that you can use to help train your dog such as training collars, but it’s preferable to train a puppy while it’s young. Even an old dog can learn new tricks but not as easily!

  11. These are some excellent tips for newbies in the dog world. In my mind, the most important tip is sticking to a schedule. This will lead to a happy dog and is essential in potty training.