Dog Training for Beginners: How to Start Teaching Your Dog?

Posted on July 3rd, 2023.

Embarking on the journey of training your dog can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, but for beginners, it may also feel overwhelming.

Don't worry! At ET Canine Counselling, we specialize in dog training and behavior consultations, and we're here to guide you through the process. 

In this comprehensive blog post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to start teaching your dog. From setting training goals to mastering essential commands, we'll walk you through the fundamental principles of dog training. 

Let's dive in and lay the groundwork for a harmonious and well-behaved furry companion.

Essential Steps to Start Training Your Dog

When it comes to training your dog, laying a strong foundation is essential for success. In this section, we will explore the essential steps you need to take to begin training your dog effectively. These steps are designed to help you establish a positive and cooperative relationship with your furry companion right from the start. By following these guidelines, you'll be on your way to teaching your dog important skills and behaviors that will shape their behavior and enhance your bond. Let's dive in and discover the essential steps to kickstart your dog training journey.

1. Set Clear Training Goals

The first step in training your dog is setting clear training goals. Consider what specific behaviors and skills you want to teach your dog. Whether it's basic obedience commands, leash manners, or addressing specific behavioral issues, having a clear vision of what you want to achieve will guide your training efforts.

2. Create a Positive Training Environment

Creating a positive training environment is crucial for effective learning. Find a quiet and distraction-free space where you can focus on training sessions with your dog. Make sure to have plenty of treats or rewards handy, as positive reinforcement is a key aspect of training.

3. Start with Basic Commands

Begin your training journey by teaching your dog basic commands. Start with simple commands like sit, stay, and come. Break down each command into small steps and use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to reward your dog for correct responses. Consistency and repetition are key to reinforcing these commands.

4. Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful training method that focuses on rewarding desired behaviors. Whenever your dog follows a command or displays the desired behavior, provide immediate positive reinforcement, such as treats, praise, or affection. This positive association helps your dog understand what is expected of them and encourages them to repeat the behavior.

5. Be Consistent and Patient

Consistency and patience are vital when training your dog. Set aside regular training sessions and dedicate time to work with your dog consistently. Keep in mind that dogs learn at their own pace, so be patient and avoid getting frustrated. Training should be a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog.

By following these essential steps, you'll establish a solid foundation for training your dog. Remember, building a strong bond and effective communication with your dog takes time and effort. Stay consistent, be patient, and celebrate small victories along the way. Now, let's move forward and explore training techniques and commands to help you progress in your training journey.

Training Techniques for Beginners

In this section, we'll explore some fundamental training techniques that are suitable for beginners. Remember to practice patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement throughout the training process.

Basic Obedience Commands

Start with teaching basic obedience commands such as "sit," "down," "stay," and "come." Break down each command into small steps and use positive reinforcement, rewarding your dog with treats and praise for correct responses. Consistency and repetition are key to reinforcing these commands.

Leash Training

Proper leash manners are essential for safe and enjoyable walks. Teach your dog to walk calmly on a leash by rewarding loose leash walking and providing gentle corrections for pulling. Gradually increase the distractions during walks 3.2 Leash Training (continued)

Gradually increase the distractions during walks, such as passing other dogs or encountering new environments. Encourage your dog to focus on you and maintain a loose leash. Reward them for good behavior and redirect their attention if they start pulling. Consistency and patience will help your dog develop proper leash manners over time.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful training technique that rewards desired behaviors. Use treats, praise, and affection to reinforce your dog's good behavior. When your dog follows a command or displays the desired behavior, immediately provide positive reinforcement to strengthen the connection between the behavior and the reward.

Consistency and Progression

Consistency is crucial in dog training. Here are some important points to consider:

Establish a Routine

Set a consistent training routine to help your dog understand when it's time for training and what is expected of them. Training sessions should be short, frequent, and enjoyable to maintain engagement and prevent boredom.

Gradual Progression

As your dog becomes proficient in basic commands, gradually increase the difficulty of the training exercises. Introduce new commands, add distractions, and practice in different environments to generalize their training. This progressive approach will help your dog transfer their skills to real-life situations.

Patience and Positive Attitude

Training takes time and patience. Remember to stay positive and maintain a calm demeanor during training sessions. Dogs respond better to positive reinforcement and encouragement, so avoid punishment-based training methods that can damage the trust and bond between you and your dog.

The Advantages of Group Classes for Beginner Dog Training

Group puppy classes provide a supportive and structured environment for both you and your dog. Here are some key advantages:

Socialization Opportunities

Group classes offer a wonderful opportunity for your dog to socialize with other dogs and people. Interacting with different personalities and learning to navigate in a group setting helps dogs develop crucial social skills, such as proper greetings, impulse control, and sharing attention.

Distraction Training

Training your dog in a controlled group environment exposes them to various distractions. This helps them learn to focus and obey commands even when there are other dogs, people, or unfamiliar surroundings. The gradual exposure to distractions strengthens their ability to stay attentive and responsive in real-life situations.

Learning from Others

Group classes provide a platform for you to learn from other dog owners who are also in the early stages of training. You can share experiences, exchange training tips, and receive guidance from the instructor. Observing other dogs' progress and seeing how different training techniques work can be both inspiring and educational.


Embarking on the journey of training your dog is a rewarding experience. By enrolling in group classes and following the essential steps and techniques outlined in this blog post, you'll be on your way to building a strong training foundation for your furry companion.

At ET Canine Counselling, we specialize in dog training and behavior consultations. Our services, including group classes, 1-2-1 puppy training, and puppy classes, are designed to provide personalized guidance and support for beginners like you. If you're ready to start your dog training journey or have any questions, reach out to us at 07554 214458 or email [email protected]. Let us help you create a harmonious bond and a well-behaved canine companion through positive training methods.

Remember, with patience, consistency, and the right guidance, you can unlock your dog's full potential and enjoy a lifetime of happiness together. Start your dog training journey today with ET Canine Counselling.

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