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How to Train Your Dog: A Beginner’s Guide to Effective Training

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by admin

Training your dog can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry companion. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about effectively training your dog, using positive reinforcement as the foundation. We’ll cover everything from basic obedience commands to more advanced tricks, making sure your dog is well-behaved, happy, and a joy to be around.

To train your dog effectively, focus on positive reinforcement. Reward your dog with treats, praise, or play for good behavior. Keep training sessions brief and enjoyable. Conclude each session with something positive to keep your dog engaged.

Key Takeaways:

  • Positive Reinforcement: A Cornerstone in Training

  • Positive Reinforcement: The Key to Desired Behaviors

  • Concise, Engaging Sessions: Boosting Focus and Motivation

  • Positive Closure: Reinforcing Training Success

What Are the 5 Golden Rules of Dog Training?

How I Train My Dog: Mastering the 5 Golden Rules

Training a dog is a rewarding experience that strengthens the bond between you and your canine companion. Here are the five golden rules of dog training I’ve learned and implemented over time:

  1. Positive Reinforcement: Reward your dog generously with treats, praise, or play for desired behaviors. This reinforces positive actions and makes training a fun and motivating experience for your dog.

  2. Short Sessions: Keep training sessions brief (5-15 minutes) to maintain your dog’s attention and prevent boredom. The optimal duration depends on your dog’s age, energy level, and attention span.

  3. Consistency: Set a consistent schedule and training plan for your dog. Train daily, even in short intervals, to establish a reliable routine that your dog can follow. Consistency is key for effective training.

  4. Clarity: Be clear and concise with your commands. Use short, unambiguous words or gestures that your dog can easily understand. Avoid using confusing terms or altering commands once established.

  5. Patience and Understanding: Training a dog requires patience and understanding. Punishing or getting frustrated with your dog will only damage your relationship. Instead, approach training with a positive mindset and be willing to take the time to understand and work with your dog’s individual needs.

By following these golden rules, I’ve successfully trained my dog in various areas, including obedience, socialization, and housebreaking. Implementing these principles has transformed my dog into a well-behaved and happy companion.

Remember, consistency and positive reinforcement are the foundation of successful dog training. By approaching the process with patience, clarity, and consistency, you can build a strong bond with your furry friend and enjoy the lifelong rewards of a well-trained dog.

Socialization and Interactions

How to Train My Dog: Socialization and Interactions

Socialization is crucial for dogs to learn appropriate behaviors around people, animals, and environments. Here are some effective methods to train your dog for optimal socialization:

Introduce Gradually to New Environments

Start exposing your dog to new environments in a controlled setting. This could involve taking them to a quiet park or attending social events with friendly dogs. Gradually increase the exposure to more challenging environments as your dog becomes more comfortable.

Reward Desired Behaviors with Positive Reinforcement

Reinforce desired behaviors, such as calm interactions and friendly greetings, with treats, praise, or petting. This positive reinforcement encourages your dog to repeat the behavior and develop positive associations with social situations.

Supervised Playdates for Social Development

Controlled playdates with compatible dogs offer opportunities for your dog to socialize and learn appropriate play styles. Supervise these interactions to prevent any conflicts and intervene if necessary.

Leash Training for Controlled Interactions

Teach your dog proper leash etiquette and expose them to various stimuli encountered on walks. This helps them learn to interact calmly with strangers, other dogs, and distractions.

Respect Body Language to Avoid Aggression

Pay attention to your dog’s body language for signs of distress or aggression. If they show any signs of discomfort, intervene and remove them from the situation to prevent potential incidents.

Avoid Punishment and Foster Trust

Physical or emotional punishment can damage your dog’s trust and hinder socialization efforts. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and praise to build a strong bond and encourage desired behaviors.

Consistency and Patience for Optimal Results

Regularly practice socialization exercises and be patient with your dog as they learn to navigate social situations. Consistency is key to reinforcing appropriate behaviors and building confidence in your dog.

Seek Professional Guidance if Necessary

If you’re facing challenges in socializing your dog or persistent behavioral issues arise, it’s recommended to consult a certified dog trainer or veterinary behaviorist for guidance and support.

Professional Guidance if Needed

How I Train My Dog: Professional Guidance When You Need It

Training your dog can be a rewarding experience that strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. However, to ensure successful training that meets your dog’s individual needs, seeking professional guidance can be invaluable.

When Professional Guidance is Needed

Consider consulting a veterinarian or dog trainer when:

  • Your dog exhibits behavioral issues such as aggression, anxiety, or excessive barking.

  • You face challenges with specific training techniques or commands.

  • Your dog has a specific training goal, such as service animal certification.

  • You have a new dog and want to establish a solid foundation of training.

Benefits of Professional Guidance

  • Tailored Training Plan: Professionals can assess your situation and develop a customized training plan that caters to your dog’s unique temperament and learning style.

  • Expert Knowledge: With extensive experience in the field, professionals can provide valuable insights and effective techniques for improving your dog’s behavior.

  • Behavior Modification: They can assist in identifying the root causes of behavioral problems and develop strategies to modify them.

  • Improved Communication: Professionals can help you bridge the communication gap with your dog and establish clear expectations for desired behaviors.

Finding the Right Professional

Look for professionals who:

  • Have positive reviews and recommendations.

  • Are certified by reputable organizations.

  • Use positive reinforcement and humane training methods.

  • Offer a personalized approach to training your dog.

  • Are patient, understanding, and supportive.

Remember that professional guidance can be invaluable for ensuring successful training and fostering a harmonious relationship with your dog. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance when needed, as it can enhance your dog’s happiness and well-being for years to come.

Patience and Perseverance

Patience and Perseverance: How I Train My Dog

Training a dog effectively requires an abundance of patience and perseverance. By incorporating these virtues into your training approach, you can foster a harmonious and successful relationship with your canine companion.

Establish a Strong Foundation

Start training only when your dog is calm and receptive. Avoid sessions when they’re tired, hungry, or experiencing extreme emotions. Begin with simple commands and gradually increase their complexity. Maintaining consistent routines and training methods will help your dog understand expectations clearly.

Break Down Complex Commands

When introducing new commands, break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. For instance, to teach “sit,” start by having your dog focus on a treat and gradually lower it towards their hindquarters until they automatically sit. Reward desired behaviors immediately with treats or praise.

Keep Sessions Short and Enjoyable

Training sessions should be brief and engaging, typically lasting only 5-15 minutes. Each session should end on a positive note, leaving your dog eager for more. Avoid overwhelming them with too many commands in one sitting.

Reward and Reward

Positive reinforcement plays a vital role in training your dog. Reward desired behaviors promptly and consistently using treats, praise, or toys. When your dog makes a mistake, remain patient and calmly guide them towards the correct action.

Embrace the Journey

Training your dog is a gradual process that requires patience and perseverance. Avoid rushing the process and focus on steady, consistent progress. By investing time and effort, you’ll foster a strong bond with your furry friend based on trust, understanding, and mutual respect.

Consistency in Training

Consistency in Dog Training: How I Train My Dog

Effective dog training hinges on consistency. Dogs learn best when cues and expectations are clear and consistent. Here’s how I approach dog training:

1. Establish a Clear Routine: Dogs thrive on a predictable routine. Establish regular feeding, training, and exercise times. This helps them develop a sense of security and know what to expect.

2. Use Consistent Cues: The words or gestures used to communicate commands should always be the same. Avoid using multiple cues for the same command, as this can confuse your dog. For example, always use “sit” to instruct your dog to sit and “stay” to keep it in place.

3. Everyone in the Family on Board: All family members should use the same commands and training methods. If one person says “sit” and another says “down,” your dog will become confused. Consider posting a list of cues in a visible location to ensure everyone is consistent.

4. Reward Good Behavior Promptly: Dogs learn by association. When your dog performs a desired behavior, reward it immediately with praise, treats, or play. Positive reinforcement helps reinforce desired behaviors and motivates your dog to repeat them.

5. Avoid Punishment: Punishment can damage your bond with your dog and make it fearful or reactive. Instead, focus on rewarding good behavior and ignoring or redirecting undesirable behavior.

6. Practice Daily: Regular practice is crucial for effective training. Engage in short, focused training sessions (around 5-15 minutes) and make them a positive experience for your dog.

7. End on a Positive Note: Always end training sessions with a positive interaction. Whether it’s a game of fetch or a relaxing cuddle, finishing on a high note ensures your dog associates training with something enjoyable.

Remember, consistency is the key to successful dog training. By following these principles, you can effectively train your dog and build a strong bond based on clear communication and shared understanding.

Incorporate Fun Activities

Incorporate Fun Activities into Your Dog Training Journey

How I Train My Dog: Engage Your Pet with Enjoyable Activities

Training your dog doesn’t have to be a chore. Incorporate fun activities to make the experience rewarding for both you and your furry companion. Here’s how:

Use High-Value Treats: Find treats that your dog loves and use them to reward desired behaviors. Vary the treats to keep your dog motivated.

Incorporate Playtime: Interweave training sessions with playtime to keep your dog engaged. Use fetch, tug-of-war, or chase to reinforce commands.

Turn Training into a Game: Use games such as hide-and-seek or obstacle courses to make training interactive and enjoyable. Reward your dog for finding objects or completing the course.

Involve Your Dog in Daily Activities: Teach your dog to turn off lights, close doors, or pick up toys. These practical tasks provide mental stimulation and reinforce obedience.

Make Training Sessions Short: Keep training sessions to 5-15 minutes to avoid boredom and maximize focus. Start with a few simple commands and gradually increase the complexity.

End on a Positive Note: Always end training sessions on a positive note, rewarding your dog for good behavior. This will create a positive association with training and make future sessions enjoyable.

By incorporating fun activities into your dog’s training routine, you can:

  • Maintain your dog’s attention and engagement

  • Make training more enjoyable for both you and your pet

  • Strengthen the bond between you and your dog

  • Provide mental stimulation and exercise

  • Create a positive and rewarding training experience

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

How I Train My Dog: A Comprehensive Guide to Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Mental stimulation is just as important for dogs as physical exercise. In fact, cognitive enrichment can wear out a dog as much as a run in the park. Just like solving a crossword puzzle or sudoku keeps our minds sharp, training sessions and brain games provide mental stimulation for dogs.

Here are some tips on how I train my dog:

  • Use positive reinforcement. Rewarding desired behaviors with treats, praise, or play encourages repetition and helps the dog learn what you want them to do.

  • Keep training sessions short. Dogs have short attention spans, so it’s best to keep training sessions to 5-15 minutes. This will help them stay engaged and focused.

  • Control socialization. It’s important to introduce your dog to new people and animals, but do so in a controlled environment. This will help them learn how to behave appropriately in social situations.

  • Establish structured leash walks. Leash training is an essential part of dog ownership. It teaches your dog to walk calmly on a leash, even in distracting environments.

  • Be patient and consistent. Training takes time and patience. Be consistent with your commands and expectations, and always end training sessions on a positive note.

In addition to training, there are a number of other ways to provide mental stimulation for your dog. Here are a few ideas:

  • Puzzle toys. Puzzle toys are a great way to challenge your dog’s mind. They can be filled with treats or kibble, and they require dogs to use their problem-solving skills to get the food out.

  • Hide-and-seek. Playing hide-and-seek is a great way to get your dog moving and using their brains.

  • Training games. There are a number of training games that you can play with your dog to help them learn new skills and improve their problem-solving abilities.

By providing your dog with both physical and mental stimulation, you can help them stay happy, healthy, and well-behaved.

How Do I Train My Dog Myself?

How to Train My Dog: A Comprehensive Guide for Effective Self-Training

Training your dog yourself can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By understanding the principles of dog training and implementing proven techniques, you can establish a strong bond with your furry companion while instilling desired behaviors. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you train your dog yourself:

Positive Reinforcement: A Cornerstone of Dog Training

Positive reinforcement is a crucial element in effectively training your dog. It involves rewarding desired behaviors with treats, praise, or play. When your dog exhibits the desired behavior, immediately reward them. This positive reinforcement will motivate them to repeat the behavior in the future. Remember to avoid using punishment or negative techniques, as these can damage your relationship with your dog.

Short and Engaging Training Sessions

Keep training sessions short (5-15 minutes) to maintain your dog’s engagement. Start with simple commands and gradually increase the difficulty as your dog progresses. This approach ensures your dog doesn’t get overwhelmed or distracted.

Indoor Training: Eliminating Distractions

Begin training your dog indoors, where there are fewer distractions. This will help them focus on the task at hand and learn more effectively. Once your dog has mastered the basics indoors, gradually introduce them to outdoor training in controlled environments.

Identifying Triggers and Body Language

Understanding your dog’s triggers and body language is essential for effective training. Observe your dog’s reactions to different stimuli to identify what may be causing undesired behaviors. By learning to read their cues, you can preempt certain behaviors and redirect them appropriately.

Reward-Based Homemade Activities

In addition to traditional training techniques, incorporate reward-based homemade activities to strengthen the bond between you and your dog. This can include playing fetch, teaching them tricks, or creating obstacle courses. Engage in these activities without competition or stress, fostering a positive and enjoyable training experience.

Additional Tips for Effective Dog Training

  • Controlled Socialization: Gradually expose your dog to other people, animals, and environments in a safe and supervised manner. This will help them develop confidence and social skills.

  • Leash Training: Train your dog to walk on a leash without pulling or lunging. This is crucial for responsible dog ownership and maintaining control in various social situations.

  • Patience and Consistency: Approach training with patience and end on a positive note. Consistency is key in reinforcing desired behaviors. Avoid rushing the process and be persistent in your training efforts.

By implementing these strategies and adhering to the essential principles of dog training, you can effectively train your dog yourself, forging a strong bond built on mutual respect, trust, and obedience. Remember, training your dog should be a collaborative effort, enjoyable for both you and your furry companion.

Troubleshooting and Relearning

How I Train My Dog: Troubleshooting and Relearning

Every dog owner wants their furry companion to be well-behaved and obedient. But sometimes, even the most well-trained dogs can develop problem behaviors. That’s where troubleshooting and relearning come in.


  • Identify the Trigger: The first step in troubleshooting is to identify the trigger for your dog’s unwanted behavior. Could it be fear, anxiety, excitement, or something else?

  • Rule Out Medical Issues: Physical pain or health problems can often lead to behavioral issues. Always consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

  • Seek Professional Help: If you can’t identify or resolve the root cause of your dog’s behavior on your own, consider seeking help from a certified dog trainer or animal behaviorist. They can provide professional guidance and customized training solutions.


  • Start Small: Break down the target behavior into smaller, more manageable steps. This will make it easier for your dog to learn and succeed.

  • Positive Reinforcement: Reward your dog for every small success they make towards the desired behavior. Positive reinforcement helps build motivation and confidence.

  • Consistency: Be consistent with your training methods and expectations. Dogs thrive on routine and clear boundaries.

  • Patience and Motivation: Training takes time and effort. Be patient with your dog and stay motivated throughout the relearning process.

Valuable Tips:

  • Observe Your Dog’s Body Language: Learning to read your dog’s body language will help you anticipate and prevent unwanted behaviors.

  • Keep Training Sessions Short: Limit training sessions to 5-15 minutes to maintain your dog’s focus and engagement.

  • Incorporate Leash Training: Establishing proper leash etiquette will improve your dog’s behavior in public settings.

  • Practice Controlled Socialization: Gradually expose your dog to different social situations in a controlled and safe manner.

Remember, “how I train my dog” is not just about teaching tricks or commands. It’s about creating a strong bond with your furry companion, fostering good behavior, and resolving any challenges that may arise along the way. By following these troubleshooting and relearning techniques, you can effectively address your dog’s behavioral concerns and strengthen your relationship.

Reward-Based Motivation

How I Train My Dog with Reward-Based Motivation

Training a dog can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially when you use positive reinforcement. This approach relies on rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, or other motivators, to encourage your dog to repeat desired actions.

Step 1: Choose the Right Rewards

The most effective rewards are those that your dog finds highly motivating. Common options include:

  • Food treats: Use high-value treats that your dog loves, such as chicken, cheese, or beef.

  • Verbal praise: “Good dog!” and “Well done!” are powerful rewards that can strengthen your bond with your furry friend.

  • Physical affection: Dogs enjoy petting, belly rubs, and other forms of physical affection.

Step 2: Identify Target Behaviors

Before you start training, decide which behaviors you want your dog to learn. Focus on basic obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.”

Step 3: Use Consistent Commands

Use the same verbal cues and hand gestures each time you train a specific behavior. Consistency helps your dog understand what you expect of them.

Step 4: Reward Immediately

When your dog performs the desired behavior, reward them immediately. This reinforces the connection between their actions and the positive outcome.

Step 5: Break Down Commands

If your dog is struggling with a command, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, to train “come,” start by having your dog walk a short distance towards you.

Step 6: Train in Short Sessions

Keep training sessions short and focused, no more than 10-15 minutes at a time. This helps prevent your dog from getting bored or overwhelmed.

Step 7: Make It Fun

Training should be enjoyable for both you and your dog. Use toys, games, and activities to keep your dog engaged and motivated.

Step 8: Practice Regularly

Consistency is key to successful dog training. Practice the commands regularly, both indoors and outdoors.

Step 9: Be Patient

Training a dog takes time and patience. Avoid getting frustrated and remember to reward your dog for even the smallest improvements.

Remember, positive reinforcement is about building a strong bond with your dog and encouraging them to learn through positive experiences. By following these steps, you can effectively train your dog with reward-based motivation and enjoy a happy and well-behaved companion.

What Is the Best Method to Train a Dog?

How I Train My Dog: Unlocking the Best Training Method for Your Furry Friend

Training your dog is an essential part of responsible pet ownership, and there are various methods to choose from. Finding the best method for your dog depends on their individual personality, learning style, and behavioral goals.

My personal approach to dog training involves a combination of positive reinforcement, clicker training, and target training. Positive reinforcement, a proven and effective method, involves rewarding your dog for desired behaviors with treats, praise, or playtime. This encourages them to repeat these actions to earn the reward. Additionally, I use a clicker to mark the exact moment my dog performs a desired behavior. The distinctive sound of the clicker provides immediate and consistent feedback, reinforcing the connection between the behavior and the reward.

Target training, another valuable technique, teaches your dog to touch a specific object, such as a target stick or a piece of paper, with their nose. This action then serves as a cue for other behaviors. By breaking down complex behaviors into smaller steps, target training makes it easier for your dog to understand and follow commands.

Consistency and timing are crucial to successful dog training. I ensure to give clear commands, use consistent hand signals, and provide prompt rewards to reinforce desired behaviors. By maintaining consistency, my dog develops confidence in knowing what is expected of them and learns to obey commands more effectively. I strictly avoid punishment, as it can damage the bond between us and hinder training progress.

Positive verbal cues, such as “good dog” or “well done,” are incorporated into my training routine. These affirmations encourage my dog and provide positive reinforcement. Additionally, I incorporate playtime and games into training sessions, making the experience enjoyable for both of us. My dog is highly motivated by interactive play, and the rewards of playtime help strengthen our connection.

By combining these methods tailored to my dog’s learning style and preferences, I have witnessed remarkable results in their training. They are eager to please, respond well to positive reinforcement, and have developed into well-behaved and obedient companions. Remember, dog training is an ongoing process, and finding the best method for your dog requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.

What Are the 7 Basics of Dog Training?

How I Train My Dog: Mastering the Basics for a Well-behaved Canine

Training your dog is a rewarding experience that can bring years of joy and companionship. By understanding the fundamentals of dog training, you can effectively train your pet and foster a strong bond.

1. Consistency: The Bedrock of Dog Training

Consistency is key to successful dog training. This means applying the same rules and expectations every time. Consistency provides a predictable environment for your dog, helping them understand what is expected of them.

2. Patience: A Virtue for Dog Owners

Dogs learn at different paces and with varying temperaments. Some may grasp commands quickly, while others need more time and repetition. Patience is essential for dog training, allowing you to adjust your methods as needed.

3. Training Time: Valuing Your Dog’s Time

Dogs value time spent with their owners. Incorporating training sessions into your daily routine not only enhances your bond but also provides valuable learning opportunities for your dog.

4. Repetition: Reinforcement for Desirable Behavior

Dogs learn by repetition. When a dog responds correctly to a command, reward them with a treat, praise, or a fun activity. This positive reinforcement helps reinforce desirable behavior and motivates your dog to repeat it.

5. Clicker Training: Marking Success

Clicker training is a highly effective method to mark specific moments of correct behavior. The “clicker” emits a unique sound, becoming a signal for your dog that they have done something right.

6. Target Training: Specifying Desired Behaviors

Target training sets up a specific object or behavior as a focus for your dog. This can be a physical object (e.g., a mat, a chair) or an action (e.g., sit, stay). By teaching your dog to target the object or behavior, you establish clear communication and boundaries.

7. Command Training: Establishing Communication

Command training focuses on teaching your dog to respond to specific words or gestures. Start with the essential commands like “Sit,” “Stay,” and “Come.” By consistently using the same commands and rewarding desired responses, you build a reliable method of communication with your dog.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Positive Reinforcement Techniques: The Key to Effective Dog Training

When it comes to training your furry friend, positive reinforcement is the key. By rewarding your dog for good behavior, you can create a strong bond and make learning enjoyable for both of you.

Rewarding your dog immediately after completing a desired behavior is crucial. This helps your dog understand the connection between their actions and the positive outcome. Be consistent with your rewards, offering treats, praise, or a game of fetch every time your dog behaves how you want them to.

Using positive reinforcement is a great way to:

  • Train your dog basic commands like sit, stay, and come.

  • Address issues like barking, jumping, or chewing.

  • Strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

  • Make training a fun and rewarding experience.

Here are some tips for effective positive reinforcement training:

  • Make the reward valuable. Choose treats that your dog enjoys and only offer them during training sessions.

  • Use a variety of rewards. Keep your dog engaged by switching up treats, praise, and games.

  • Be consistent. Reward your dog every time they exhibit the desired behavior.

  • Avoid punishment. Punishment can damage your bond with your dog and make them hesitant to learn.

  • Be patient. Learning takes time, so don’t get discouraged if your dog doesn’t master a new command right away.

By implementing these positive reinforcement techniques, you’ll create a well-behaved and happy dog that enjoys training sessions. So, how do you train your dog using positive reinforcement? Start by choosing a specific behavior you want your dog to perform, such as sitting or staying. When your dog performs the desired action, immediately reward them with a treat or praise. Repeat this process consistently, and your dog will soon associate the behavior with the positive outcome and be more likely to repeat it.

Establish Basic Commands

How I Train My Dog: A Comprehensive Guide to Establishing Basic Commands

Training your dog is a crucial aspect of fostering a healthy and mutually rewarding relationship. By establishing basic commands, you can effectively communicate with your furry companion and create a harmonious household. In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the essential steps and techniques to train your dog effectively.

1. Start with Clear Commands:

Choose short, clear commands such as “Sit,” “Stay,” and “Come.” Consistency is key; use the same commands repeatedly to avoid confusion.

2. Treat-Based Training:

Positive reinforcement is crucial. Offer treats as rewards for desired behaviors. Gradually phase out treats as your dog masters the commands.

3. Patience and Repetition:

Training takes time and patience. Repeat commands consistently and avoid punishing your dog for mistakes. Patience and a gentle approach are essential for successful training.

4. Short Training Sessions:

Keep training sessions short and focused, especially in the beginning. Avoid overwhelming your dog with lengthy sessions.

5. Associate Commands with Actions:

When giving a command, pair it with a physical gesture or hand signal. This helps your dog associate the verbal cue with the desired action.

6. Choose a Dedicated Training Space:

A specific training space reduces distractions and helps your dog focus. Create a consistent environment for your training sessions.

7. Start with Easy Commands:

Begin with simple commands like “Sit” and “Stay.” Gradually introduce more challenging commands as your dog progresses.

8. Gradual Introduction of Distractions:

Once your dog masters commands in a controlled environment, gradually introduce distractions to test their comprehension and obedience.

9. Real-World Situations:

Apply trained commands in real-world situations, such as during walks or at the park. This reinforces their learning and improves their obedience outside of the training space.

10. Patience and Consistency:

Remember that training is an ongoing process. Patience and consistency are essential to establish a strong foundation of basic commands and foster a harmonious relationship with your dog.