You may already know that I am a dog lover. We have 3 dogs that I love dearly and two of them I have trained myself. When I adopted my first dog Oscar about 10 years ago I paid quite a bit of money for a dog trainer.
Yes, I did the majority of the practice with him but we were also meeting with a trainer a few nights a week as well. Last year when we adopted Sadie and Rudy I knew I was going to need to train them without any help.
This was due to a couple of reasons. First, we live in a very rural area so traveling to meet with a trainer regularly meant driving about 50 miles one way. Then there was the expense. The training was going to cost me several hundred dollars to train the two of them due to their breed and size.
Did you know that some dog trainers charge based on breed and size? Yeah, I didn’t either!
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I do think dog trainers are highly valuable if you have the money to spend on them. However, if you do not have the money to do that you can still (and should still) train your dog yourself.
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DIY Dog Training: How to Train Your Dog For Free
I am a firm believer that all dogs, no matter how big or small, should be trained in basic obedience. They should sit, stay and come on command reliably and have good leash manners for their safety and the safety of others.
Once they are pretty reliable with those commands you can move on to more advanced commands if you want.
These training techniques are mostly based on positive reinforcement. There is a couple of books I recommend that aren’t totally based on positive reinforcement based but I will speak to these in a moment.
Free Dog Training Resources
I like to see dog training techniques in action before I use them so YouTube comes in really handy for this. I am linking you to some of my favorite dog training resources on YouTube!
Zac George’s Training Revolution is my favorite channel for all things dog training.
Training Positive is another favorite channel.
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The Public Library
I love libraries and if you are trying to learn something new AND save a bit of money you should love libraries too!
My two favorite books about dog training are “The Art of Training A Puppy” and “How to be Your Dogs Best Friend” both are by the Monks of New Skete. There were a few things that I didn’t totally agree with in these books so I just took the advice that aligned with my personal principles about dog training as scrapped the rest. I do that with parenting books too.
You may even be able to find DVDs on dog training at your library as well. Also, don’t forget about the interlibrary loan system if you can’t find what you are looking for.
Helpful tips for dog training
-Always exercise your dog before a training session.
– When you start teaching a new command do so in a distraction-free area
– Keep training sessions short and practice several times a day.
I tried to keep this one short and sweet! I used the techniques above with both a puppy and a full grown dog with great success! Are you training a new puppy or a full grown dog? What are you finding the most challenging? Let me know in the comments below.