Many times, I hear, “my dog works great as long as I have treats” or “my dog knows when I have treats and will not work with the same enthusiasm.”

One of my SECRETS, and a skill that is a must for all trainers, is the ability to play one on one with your dog.  Play in this context means, interacting with your dog WITHOUT any toys or treats present.

The one-on-one connection and fun are one of the best ways to reward your dog.  Examples can be anything from petting and praising your dog, or running around laughing, or using transition games that your dog loves, or clapping your hands and praising your dog, or getting down on the floor and rolling around with your dog.  Hahahaha.  Actually, I do get on the ground to play with my puppies, not so much with my older dogs, BUT I do often interact with my older dogs, so they are used to having fun with me without toys or treats present.  Use one or any combination.  Have FUN with your dog!

The key to having a dog that will work for you, and not the reward, is as simple as playing with your dog!

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Training your dog can be very rewarding yet still an incredibly frustrating experience. 

It is especially difficult if you have no past experience in dog training.

If you are having trouble in your quest to have a well-trained dog, this article will give you five tips to help you train your pet.

1. Begin training your dog as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more fixed your dog’s bad habits become.

2. Pay attention to when your dog has to go to the bathroom. They usually have to go within minutes of eating, waking or playing. Take them outside and praise them when they go potty outside.

3. Crate train. Use your crate in a place you can put your dog for times you can’t watch him. Give a great bone for your dog to chew while he is in the crate to keep him busy and happy.

4. Socialize your new puppy as much as possible. Introduce them to new environments and people so that they will be a well-adjusted adult.

5. Never train your dog when you are upset. If you need a smile, try training a trick. You will be surprised at how it will turn around your day!

Of course there is much more to training your pet than this but these five tips will get you well on your way to having a well-trained dog.