Usually, trainers use oneverbal and one visual cue (like a hand signal) when training a behavior. Decide on your cues early and be consistent.
It’s recommended that you start training a new behavior by only using the visual cue. Don’t add the verbal cue until your dog is consistently offering the correct behavior. When you’re ready to introduce this, make sure to add a pause between the verbal cue and the hand signal: verbal cue → wait a half second → visual cue.
Keep it short and sweet
If your dog isn’t used to regular training, start with very short sessions (~3-5 minutes). It’s generally better to do three 5-minute sessions throughout the day than one 15-minute session.
Watch your dog for signs of frustration (itching, yawning, talking, getting distracted, goofing off, rapidly trying various behaviors). If you notice any of these, it’s a sign your dog is confused or just mentally over it. Wrap up your session and/or check out
If you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a deep breath and remember: the most important thing is that your and your dog have fun.
Break any behavior into baby steps. Don’t move on to the next step until your dog is performing the previous step with 95% accuracy. If your dog is struggling after moving to the next step, back it up to the step before, then try again later.
Be clear, calm, and patient
Try not to give your dog too many cues at once. Give your dog a clear cue, then wait. Be patient. Give your dog time to think. After several seconds, or if your dog has become distracted, try again.
End on a successful note
Always end your session on a positive note. When you’re ready to wrap up, ask your dog to perform a behavior or step that’s easy for them then give them some good treats and praise.