Being a veterinary nurse, I get asked many questions about a variety of different things. In this blog I will be focusing on dog training.

I know too well, as I have done it before, we all do the right thing and take our dogs to puppy school with the best intentions of continuing training at the end of the course.

Life gets in the way and all of a sudden we forget about things we learned and the training stops.

Firstly, here are 10 tips to remember..

1. The earlier the better

2. Training should ALWAYS be a positive, rewarding experience

3. Don’t keep repeating the command if he / she has no intention of obeying as in future, he will ignore both the command, and you!

4. Have you got his / her attention? Try clapping and changing your tone of voice. You need to be more exciting than the distraction.

5. Ensure the training session does not go for too long.  Puppies and dogs attention span is short, so stop and try again later.

6. Train your puppy in lots of different places and at a variety of times

7. Remember your voice tones. There are 3 different tones which the dog needs to be able to tell apart.

– Command tone; Should be a normal speaking voice with a slight authorative tone.

– Praise tone; Should be a happy and elated tone. *praise should be given immediately after the animal has perfomed the request.

– Reprimand tone; should be a deep growling tone of “NO” or “ARH”.

8. NEVER call your dog to you for discipline. This may cause your dog to distrust you.

9. To modify existing problem behaviours, have your dog checked by a vet to rule out any underlying medical problems and then seek  the help of a qualified trainer who uses reward – based training techniques.

10. Training is FOREVER.

Here is a list of questions that myself and the other nurses here at Whitehorse get asked regarding dog training..


Puppies in particular, can get over excited very easily. This exercise should help your puppy relax and teach him / her to accept restraint without conflict.

  •    Kneel on the floor with the puppy sitting in between your legs facing outwards
  •    Place the palm of your right hand on the dogs chest and left hand under the jaw.
  •    Massage slowly with your fingertips whilst talking softly to your puppy.
  •    If you wish, you can repeat the word CALM to your pet.
  •    Avoid stroking vigorously as this will excited your dog.
  •    If he / she struggles, hold more firmly untill they relax and accepts the constraint
  •    and continue the calming exercise.


-When walking your dog on the lead, it should be slack and you should be relaxed.

– Hold the lead in ONE hand only. If he / she is pulling, stop, or change direction without saying anything, so the dog has to catch up with you.

– PRAISE when the lead becomes slack again.

– Your dog will soon learn that continually stopping or changing direction is not much fun, and should begin to walk nicely for you.

– Remember, DO NOT jerk the lead as this will only cause your dog to pull harder.


Most puppies can be toilet trained by 12-14 weeks of age. Success depends on your commitment and consistency. NEVER punish the puppy for going in the wrong place.

Take your beloved pooch out to the right place at these times:

– After a meal or sleep

– When you leave AND arrive home

-When your see your dog circling and sniffing

– Make it the first thing you do in the morning and last thing at night

– Allow ample time (10-15) minutes for your dog to do its business and PRAISE him / her when they have finished.

Sometimes after doing the right thing as described above, once let back inside the dog soils almost straight away. This could indicate that your dog is more relaxed inside than outside. The easiest way to overcome this problem is to take him/her back outside as soon as they cross through the doorway.

If your dog is older than 12 months and is constantly having accidents inside the house, you need to see one of our vets as there could be an underlying contition.


All puppies will ‘playbite’ and ‘mouth’ owners and family. Although this is normal for puppies to do with their littermates, toys and also how they communicate, it should be discouraged as soon as it starts because they must learn that biting humans is NOT acceptable.

When puppies are playing together, and one yelps due to being bitten, all of the others stop and learn not to do it again. You need to do the same thing.

Avoid pushing your pup away with your hands as he / she will think you are just playing. Instead, give out a yelp or walk away.

I hope this has helped answer some of your questions and given you valuable information. If you have any further questions or queries regarding your dogs and these behaviours, please do not hesitate to contact us on 9878 3033.