What are good commands to teach a dog?

We recommend teaching your dog to sit, down, stay, wait, come, place, out and leave it. Another important skill is loose leash walking, however, we don’t teach a command for this. These are functional commands and behaviors that can elevate your relationship with your dog by using positive reinforcement techniques! If you are interested in high-level obedience training for your pup, reach out to our Kansas City team to determine which training program best suits your needs!

What is positive reinforcement dog training?

Positive reinforcement is a method used in dog training that involves applying or adding something positive (i.e. food, praise, toys, or anything the animal finds rewarding) to increase the likelihood that the desired behavior will occur in the future. Here at Beyond the Dog, our methods are grounded in positive reinforcement training. We do not use any harmful techniques or devices at any time. Want to learn more about our training philosophies? Watch “Our Dog Training Philosophy” video created by our CFO, Sean Savage!

How do I stop my dog from barking?

The first step in addressing your dog’s barking behavior is to determine the “Why?”. While we can’t speak to what your dog is thinking or feeling, we can utilize behavior science to help us understand the motivation behind your dog’s behavior. For example, if your dog barks or lunges while on a leash, most likely the person and/or dog continue to walk by. This is what we call removal behavior. The action of barking or lunging resulted in the removal of the stimulus, in this case, a person and/or dog. Therefore, your dog is more likely to engage in the behavior in the future as it “worked” last time. To address this behavior we draw from two types of learning, operant, and classical conditioning. To learn more, read “What is Behavior Modification with Dogs?” for an introduction to behavior analysis and “How Can I Help My Reactive Dog?” for more details on treating reactive behavior.

How do I train my puppy to stop jumping up on people?

Jumping is a typical problem behavior we work on with many of our clients. Jumping is an attention-maintained behavior, meaning in most cases they jump on people to access attention (see “What is Behavior Modification with Dogs?” for additional information!). To combat jumping, we use an auto-sit or automatic sit. The goal is to first teach the behavior we want to see (e.g. sitting) using positive reinforcement techniques. Our CFO, Sean Savage explains how to address jumping in more detail, in our Bringing Puppy Home video series!

What is the difference between a dog behaviorist and a trainer?

When choosing a dog trainer it can be hard to know where to start or what type of trainer you need. With a multitude of options, the best place to start is to determine your training goals. Are you looking for puppy training, obedience training, training a specific skill or wanting to address behavior concerns? You might be interested in a combination of these! Professional dog trainers typically focus on puppy and obedience training or training specific skills; however, some trainers may have knowledge of learning theory, but it is not a requirement of certification. Behaviorists and behavior consultants can do obedience training, as well as focus on any behavior concerns you may face as a dog owner. We strongly encourage you to read “How to Choose the Right Dog Trainer For You: What Do the Credentials Mean?” to help you decide who to hire.