top of page


Picture of a husky during a training session.

Training your dog can be an arduous task, especially if you don’t have experience. There are five basic principles that dog trainers follow to modify a dog’s behaviour. You can apply these principles when you train your canine companion. Here are the five basic dog training rules you should follow.

1. Timing is everything Timing is crucial to get your dog to associate your commands with rewards. Experts say you have 1.3 seconds for a dog to connect behaviours with consequences. If your dog misbehaves, you must reprimand it immediately to ensure it understands why its actions made you angry. The same goes for positive behaviours. If you reward your dog directly after following your command, it will associate the behaviour with the reward. 2. Consistency is key You must be consistent when rewarding your dog for good behaviour, no matter how inconvenient. Consequently, while you’re cooking, hosting guests or getting ready for work, you must stop what you’re doing and focus on your dog for a few seconds. Dogs need at least 30 consecutive days of repeated behaviour to instill new habits. Missing opportunities to create good habits will only delay the training process. 3. Motivation moves Motivating your dog with tangible, physical rewards is better than rewarding your dog with verbal accolades. For instance, giving your dog tasty treats, belly rubs, or cuddles are some of the most effective methods of reinforcing positive behaviours. 4. Direction drives learning If your dog doesn’t understand your commands, it likely needs more physical guidance from you. For example, if you want your dog to sit, push its rear end down or pull up on its collar while saying the command. You can also try holding a treat directly above its nose. Dogs respond better to physical direction than they do verbal commands. 5. Set triggers for your pet Set expectations for your dog’s behaviour in specific situations. For example, humans are conditioned to act differently in libraries than at sporting events. Your dog won’t immediately understand that it needs to behave differently in the dog park than during a family dinner. Therefore, you need to condition your dog to act appropriately in different situations. Dog toys and supplies in Toronto If you live in Scarborough or the surrounding area, Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital is your go-to veterinary clinic. Our compassionate team cares about your dog’s health and well-being. That’s why we provide preventative care and comprehensive nutrition services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or shop our online store for all your pet needs.

bottom of page