Recipe of the Day: How to Train Your Dog


  • Patience
  • A sense of humor
  • An embarrassing praise voice
  • Bag of dog treats or good tug toy


  1. Attitude: Smile, take a deep breath and relax. It’s dog training, not rocket science.
  2. Envision: Envision the behavior you would like to teach your dog.
  3. Prompt or Capture: Get the dog to perform the behavior you want. You could catch him doing the behavior all on his own, you could lure it (HYPERLINK to what is luring), or you could ask him for it if he knows the cue and will respond.
  4. Mark: Mark the exact moment the dog does the behavior by performing your “Marker Sound” — saying “Yes!” or clicking your clicker (HYPER- what is a clicker)
  5. Praise and Treat: Immediately follow the marker sound with praise and simultaneously a yummy treat
  6. Position: Remember to reward your dog while he is in the position (i.e. sit or down) so he learns that good stuff happens when he does that behavior
  7. Repetition: Training only sticks when you practice with repetition and consistency. The rules must be fair and clear for the dog to learn!
  8. Check In: Make sure your dog is looking relaxed and happy. Training should be fun for both ends of the leash. If your dog looks stressed, bored or worried- change an ingredient. Learning can not take place when an animal doesn’t feel safe!

Lets put the recipe into action

Example 1: Turn jumping for petting into sitting for petting

Old Behavior: Dog jumps up on you for attention

Envision: Dog sits for petting

Prompt or Capture: Ask your dog to sit before he jumps up for attention. If he doesn’t know sit, use a treat to lure him into the position (Link: On how to teach your dog to sit coming soon)

Mark: When his bottom touches the floor say YES or Click

Praise and Treat: Say Brilliant or Good Job as you deliver a tasty treat

Position: Remember to mark, praise and feed your dog when their bottom is on the floor and they are in the sit position

Repetition: Practice sitting for petting at least 10 times per day. While you are teaching a new skill to want to avoid letting the dog practice the wrong behavior.

Check in: How was that for your dog? Do they look bright eyed, enthusiastic and up for more?


Example 2: Lying down on cue

Old Behavior: Your dog doesn’t know how to lie down on cue.

Envision: You say “Down” and your dog puts his belly on the floor

Prompt or Capture: If your dog doesn’t know how to lie down you could lure it or capture it. If you want to capture it, try this:

  • Get some tasty treats prepared and keep them in your pocket
  • Observe your dog
  • When your dog lies down all on their own –the dog bed, the sofa – say “Yes!” or Click
  • Feed a treat
  • Praise your dog and tell them they are brilliant
  • Your dog will start to offer this behavior more often because it makes cookies rain from the sky

Mark: Once your dog starts to offer the behavior more frequently, you can start to label it by saying “Down” in a clear happy tone just before your dog is about to lie down on his or her own. You should then mark the moment their belly hits the floor

Praise and Treat: Say Brilliant or Good Job as you deliver a tasty treat

Position: Remember to mark, praise and feed your dog when their belly is on the floor and they are in the down position

Repetition: Try to capture your dog lying down on their own at least 5 times per day for the first 5 days of training

Check in: What does your dogs body language look like when you praise and treat? Happy and loose or tense and worried?




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