Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

How to Train a Dog at Home

HOME » CLASSROOM » DIY CIRCUS » HOW TO TRAIN A DOG AT HOME


Training dogs like Luciano takes patience and good rapport with our canine companions. In this how-to-at-home, students can learn to teach their dogs simple tricks by observing and rewarding their behavior. Remember, you should only try to train your own pet, never a strange dog!

Watch the Video

How to Train a Dog at Home

Luciano Anastasini shows you how to teach your dog a few new tricks.


Materials Needed

  • Dog(s)
  • Dog treats or bits of hot dog
  • Space for trainer and dog to train

Steps

  1. Play with your dog, paying attention to the things it likes to do naturally. Maybe it likes to stand on it’s hind-legs, or jump, or run around in circles.
  2. Make sure the dog knows its name. It won’t understand your words, but it will understand the tone of your voice. Speak gently and use positive encouragement and reinforcement. You don’t want your dog to be scared of you.
  3. Use treats to entice the dog to do the trick you want. For example, to have the dog dance on its hind-legs, hold the treat just out of reach and circle it around so that the dog turns around. Say “dance” or some other verbal cue. Cue the dog back down and then give it the treat. Be consistent with verbal cues.
  4. Practice, practice, practice! Repeat the same tricks every day for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Gradually increase the difficulty of the trick required before you reward your dog.

Suggested Activities

  1. If you have more than one dog, try to train each one to do a trick. Time the tricks so that they seem like part of the same act.
  2. Film your dog doing tricks with a video camera and post it to YouTube or family shared web site to share with your friends and family. Find videos of other dogs doing tricks to get ideas.
  3. Ask an adult to help you make props like hoops and barrels to do tricks with your dog.