10 Top Dog Training Tips You Can Use Every Day

Golden Retriever on the porch

I just heard the cue “Go to Bed” and this is where I ended up. It sure wasn’t easy to jump over that squishy thing on the floor.

Who has time for daily dog training?

Between work, keeping up with your home, volunteer work, school, raising kids, and everything else that you do, there just isn’t much free time to do training. Right?

Wrong. You just need to squeeze short training sessions into your every day activities. Here’s how.

Top Dog Training Tips

Keep training treats in every room you spend time in—the bedroom, where you watch television, the kitchen, even the bathroom.

Jot down three behaviors you want to teach your dog. Attach the list to the treat container you put in the room.

If treats don’t motivate your dog, put other motivators around the house—tennis balls, tug toys, a leash for an impromptu walk.

Remember that you might be what motivates your dog the most. Honey will give a high-five for butt scratches.

Build training into other activities. You don’t want your dog to learn to sit only when you’re standing in front of him. You want him to learn to sit when you’re already sitting, lying down, putting laundry away, or in the shower.

Take training outdoors. What good does it do if your dog has a rock solid down stay in the living room, but you most need him to listen to you in a crowded parking lot? Practice your list of behaviors when going for a ride or on a walk.

Use other people. Eventually, you want your dog to offer a behavior no matter what is going on around you. Joggers are great distractions because they won’t interrupt your training session but are stimulating to many dogs.

Train the behavior before you need it. Don’t wait until your dog is encrusted in mud to train her to jump in the tub. Start doing it when you have no intention of giving her a bath.

Catch your dog in the act of doing something and put the behavior on cue. He sits on the rug when you’re in the kitchen? Say “yes” as his butt hits the ground and toss him a treat or bring out that ball. You’ll find him sitting on that rug (and not underfoot) while you’re cooking after a few repetitions.

Ignore the behaviors you don’t want while rewarding those that you do. If you pay no mind to the dog dancing around your ankles while you’re making dinner but reward the dog who is sitting still out-of-the-way, you’ll have a very well-behaved dog in no time.

Golden Retriever in her new dog bed.

Oh, you meant to “go to bed” in this thing. I can do that. (Thank you Dr. V. for the wonderful PetDreams bed we won over at Pawcurious.)

Bonus Tip: Ignore the advice of any idiot on the internet if it doesn’t work for you. Pay attention to what’s a good fit for your dog and don’t listen to anyone else.

I started this list for myself. Honey has benefitted so much from the regular training we’re doing to help Chérie gain confidence. I needed a reminder that would stick with me after Chérie finds her forever home.

What do you do to make dog training opportunities throughout the day?

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  1. Great post Pamela! I need to find glass jars with lids that I can place high up. As soon as I reach in the pantry for my treat jar, Delilah sits. She knows what’s coming, but you are wise to incorporate training into every day activities. I am slowly learning this! Thanks for the tips!

  2. I can just see it now . . . treats in every room? Cali would wander from room to room performing her series of “tricks” in the hope of getting a treat!! She would be exhausted!! (it’s only because her entire world revolves around FOOD and TREATS now!!) It IS an excellent way to add training into your day!

    P.S. I love the color coordinated bed, but Honey looks pretty comfy on the bench!! :)

  3. Only another dog person would understand why I have a box of dog biscuits in my bathroom. To others I don’t even try to explain.

  4. Bravo!

    It’s amazing how fast Silas learned that sitting on the rug=treats, begging does not. I think in one pizza night (cheese!) he was pretty good, and by the second one I had to hand him a crumble I dropped, because he didn’t want to get off the mat for it.

  5. Great post! Nanook needs to do the transition between doing tricks with me standing in front of him , to doing them when asked wherever I am I think

  6. The captions are great!
    Great tips, you just reminded me that I seriously have to work harder at things like this. And why is it that the dog we’ve had for 9 years behaves worse than the one we’ve had for 3 months???!

  7. I needed this reminder! I tend to think I have to “schedule” in some training time with Rita. Good to remember I can sneak training in whenever/wherever. Now if I can just use this same technique on the hubster….

  8. Training treats in every room…yes! I have to do that! Nice post!

  9. We make it into games. A lot of training happens here at dinner time and before bed treat time, too! Nobody gets something for free here, it has to be worked for. :p

  10. Really, really great advice Pamela. I often will mix training in with making breakfast in the morning. It’s how Jasper learned turn, bow, and through. It’s how Lady and Daisy learned sit, down, stand and watch me. Just recently I found my clicker so I have been using it outside with the dogs. Just taught Jasper the beginnings of crawl tonight!

    Like Carrie, we work for our treats here.

  11. What a fantastic list!

    I do “need” to teach Elka more tricks. She enjoys it, and I like expanding her repertoire for show-off time!

  12. I love the picture of Honey in the little Petdreams bed! Treats in every room is a great idea. This just reminded me of a moment last weekend: I was at a party and there was a bag of chicken jerky treats and I saw a man offer one to his daughter. She refused then I witnessed him put it in his mouth and start taking a bite right before someone told him it was a dog treat. Bummer I wanted to see if he thought it was any good.

    Sorry back to training…when we first start working with our puppies at around 7 weeks we tell our puppy raisers to keep training sessions short because young pups have the attention span of a gnat. A good way to train your pup is to work on basic obedience skills during commercial breaks. Your training sessions will only last about 2-3 minutes which will keep your pup interested. Of course if you’re working with an older dog you can work on obedience for much longer periods of time.

  13. Great post Pamela. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  14. Yep, yep, training is a 24/7 thing in our house. I try to see every moment I can as a training opportunity. The cat is on the floor playing with his toy? Shiva gets rewarded for looking at me instead of bugging him. A dog barks outside and Shiva stays quiet? She gets rewarded. I do it so much now that my hand just reaches for the treats on intinct!

  15. Awesome ideas. I need to be better about incorporating training more regularly throughout the day, for sure.

    Also, love the captions. :)

  16. Super post! Very good, Honey, you look wonderful in that dog bed. I have several new Beagles and was just thinking I need to train them to a mat so I can safely work and not worry about them being around, oh, say, computer cords, etc. I also train in a group – I’ll just have kibble in my hand and as each dog gives me a sit, they are rewarded – butt must hit the ground. This helps me get in small training sessions because yes, my two puppies have attentions spans of a gnat but they are sitting and it helps the other dogs realize, oh, not every treat is for me.
    How to safely put a jar in every room….

  17. Great list of ways to make daily training easier. As far as this, “if you pay no mind to the dog dancing around your ankles while you’re making dinner but reward the dog who is sitting still out-of-the-way, you’ll have a very well-behaved dog in no time.” I think that is a wonderful way to use two dogs to help train one another – which seems to be something you have been getting very skilled in since you started fostering Cherie. :-)


  1. […] 10 Top Dog Training Tips You Can Use Every Day. Great, practical reminders from Pamela to improve our day-to-day training regimens. I particularly liked her reminders to incorporate training elements (treats, rewards, other motivators) around the house, so you can’t help but train throughout the day. (Something Wagging This Way Comes) […]