Dog training is an area that seems to cause stress for a lot of dog owners, but it really doesn’t have to. Approached with the right attitude and tools, training your dog can be some of the most fun and entertaining time you get to spend together and it’s a great way to bond.

Why is training necessary?

We’ve all seen and heard them – dogs hurtling down the street dragging their flustered owners behind them, or barking uncontrollably through the night. These animals aren’t badly behaved by nature – they just need some simple guidelines in place to understand what is and isn’t acceptable.

Basic training teaches your dog manners and reinforces your position as both the carer and voice of authority. It’s important that training begins early in your dog’s life to establish boundaries and good behaviours early on.

Sadly, many dogs are surrendered to shelters or abandoned by their owners simply because they haven’t been trained property and are deemed as ‘problem dogs’ with unsociable behaviours when with a little guidance and training early on this often could have been prevented.

Behavioural and obedience training

Behavioural training focuses on forming good habits, preventing bad habits and teaching your pet how to interact with other dogs. Obedience training teaches your dog basic commands like ‘stay’, ‘sit’, ‘come’ or ‘heel’. The two key ingredients for any successful training program are clear, repeated commands and, of course, rewards for good behaviour.

If you feel that your own training attempts aren’t getting the results they should, you might want to try joining a class (also a great way for your dog to socialise). You could enlist the help of a training professional for one-on-one training if you think your dog has particular obedience/behavioural problems or you could try a dog training manual.

Product Tip: Medibank’s Gold Paw cover pays Routine Care benefits towards obedience training and behavioural therapy. Find out more

Leash Training

This may come as a surprise to some, but when you are walking your dog on a leash they’re actually supposed to walk along beside you, not out in front of you leading the way! A short leash is a good place to start. If your dog does start to tug on the leash and move ahead, stop walking and wait for your dog to either stop or sit. Praise your dog then take a couple of small steps backwards and wait for them to move back towards you. Repeat this process as you need to.

General training tips

  • Focus on the fun element and try not to get impatient or raise your voice. Keep it measured at all times and firm.
  • Be consistent with your own ‘in-house’ rules.
  • Never use negative reinforcement.
  • Reward your dog with treats or cuddles when they respond correctly to your command.

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The information provided is general information only and is not a substitute for professional veterinary medical advice. Medibank Private does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information, representations or advice contained. To the extent permitted by law, Medibank Private accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by readers of this website as a result of or in connection with the information contained on this website (whether by way of negligence or otherwise).

Terms, conditions and waiting periods apply. *Medibank Pet Insurance is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ACN 090 584 473; AFSL 241436) (Hollard), is promoted by Medibank Private Limited (ACN 080 890 259; AR 286089) (Medibank) and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ACN 075 949 923; AFSL 420183) (PetSure). Medibank acts as an authorised representative of PetSure. Medibank will receive a commission which is a percentage of the premium paid to Hollard and PetSure may receive a portion of the underwriting profit, if any - ask PetSure for more details. Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Consequently, before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain and consider the product disclosure statement (PDS) in deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold, Medibank Pet Insurance. PetSure can be contacted by telephone: 132 331 or by mail: Locked Bag 9021, Castle Hill, NSW 1765.