Russell’s rules of dog training

Written By: Jim russell - Feb• 18•14

There are a few important rules you should adhere to in training any dog.  I make all my new students aware that following these simple techniques will increase their trainings effectiveness.

* Be consistent. When training the dog you must not allow it to get away with any bad behavior once you have given a correction for it. No means no.

* Always be sure you are giving clear verbal and visual commands so the dog can understand what you want from him.

* Practice only one concept in a single training session. You can do more once the dog has moved beyond basic obedience.

* When the dog does something correctly you should praise it immediately.  This way the dog will associate obeying your commands with pleasant results. This will make the dog a willing student, eager to earn further praise.

* When the dog disobeys you there must be an instant reprimand and correction. It must be within seconds of the behavior so the dog can grasp the connection.

* Not only what command you give is important but also how you give it. Give all commands in a clear firm tone, give all reprimands in a sharp one, and all praise in a friendly tone.

* Watch your dog closely during its training process. You should not begin a new lesson until the dog has mastered the current one.

* Work with your dog every day. You can do as little as ten minutes if that’s all you have. The idea is to get you use to training whenever possible. The dog will need lots of your time to become proficient and you need to make that time if your serious about having an obedient animal.

* If your feeling irritable, skip the training for the day, or if you become angry during the training session, stop the lesson. It is counterproductive to yell at the dog in anger. It will only come to fear you, and fear makes a poor basis for successful training.

* Always address your dog by its name, and use that name at every possible opportunity. If you call it by several nicknames the dog will be confused and may not respond when you really need him to.

* The leader of the pack is the strongest and most experienced animal. You must present yourself as “leader of the pack”, and turn the dog’s innate behavior patterns to your own advantage.

A well trained animal is a pleasure to have, and only if it is well trained can you depend on it in any and all circumstances. If your dog obeys your every spoken command, there is much less chance that it will run out into traffic and be injured.

Here is a list of things you can do to increase the enjoyment you get from your k9 and make a strong bond between you and your dog.


You should walk your dog daily as this will create a bond between you both.


Your dog needs playtime and you can easily turn playtime into a training session without the dog even knowing he is being trained.


Make it a habit that you are the one feeding your dog. The dog must know you control when and what it eats, this will give you “Leader of the pack” status.

Control the toys

The dog should only get to see any toys when you allow it and you should take them away when you want. The dog should not have constant access to the toy as it is your toy and he gets to play with it only when you say so. this gives you alpha dog status. Most people will crumble and not have the heart to take the toy away when the dog gives them the sad eyes. You on the other hand will not fall for the dog’s tricks at being in control of you.

Environment control

The dog is not allowed on the furniture at any time. The person who controls the house sits on the furniture and if the dog gets the couch then you just gave up your control of the house.

Always remember that no matter how many people try to tell you differently, the dog is not your equal. Your dog is not a member of your family, it is your pet and you are its master. The dog has many abilities that you as an enlightened trainer can exploit for your benefit and for the benefit of your family. You can have a dog, or you can have an amazing dog, all it takes is a little effort on your part.























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