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How to Teach Kids to Train a Dog

Boy in preschool attending dog obedience classes with his pet.

So, your child is asking for a puppy. What better way to learn responsibility than by training a pup? Training is more than teaching tricks. It’s also about teaching your dog how to behave in social situations and around people.   

Before you jump in willy-nilly, it’s important to first understand that there are two parts to every training session: Formal (structured) and informal (unstructured). Formal sessions involve teaching a specific behavior, such as sit, stay or come.

Informal sessions involve reinforcing good behaviors in everyday life by paying attention to how your dog interacts with people and other animals.

To help your child learn how to train a dog, start by talking about the basics. Here’s what you need to know before getting started:

Why Teach Your Kids How to Train a Puppy

There are a myriad of reasons why teaching your child to train a puppy can be beneficial. Training is an important part of pet care, and it will help keep everyone safe, including the dog. Teaching your child to train a puppy will also help build their confidence and encourage responsibility.

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It’s important to remember that training sessions should always be positive and fun for both the trainer and the pup. Positive reinforcement is key – praising the dog for good behaviors, rewarding with treats or a toy, and reinforcing a desired behavior.

6 Benefits of Teaching Your Kids to Train a Dog

Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits to teaching your kids how to train a dog:

1. Builds Confidence

Family enjoying themselves outside with a basketball and a dog.

One of the primary reasons to help a child take responsibility for a pet is that it builds confidence. Knowing that your child is capable of taking care of an animal responsibly, and training the dog well, can help build self-esteem and a strong sense of responsibility in them.

There are numerous skills associated with successfully training a dog that can help boost the confidence of your child. From teaching basic commands to more complex tasks, such as agility training, your child will learn that they are capable of achieving great things and creating positive results.

2. Teaches Patience

In addition to building confidence in children, teaching them how to train a dog can also help with fostering patience. Training any animal requires patience and understanding; otherwise, the process will not be successful.

By teaching your child how to take their time when training a dog and that he or she must build a relationship of trust with the animal before expecting results, they will develop an understanding of how important it is to be patient when dealing with animals.

To develop trust with a dog, your child needs to be able to read his or her body language and understand the signals a dog is giving off. By teaching your kids about canine communication, you can help them learn how important it is to be patient when training a dog.

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3. Enhances Bonding

On a warm spring evening, a boy walking a dog sits on the grass and the dog complies with his command to give a paw.

Training a pet together with your child can also be great for enhancing the bond between them. Taking time together to train a dog can help build a level of understanding and trust that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.

When working through training techniques, your child will also start to understand how important consistency is when dealing with animals. By sticking to a routine and making sure to have fun during the process, your child will learn how to bond and build a strong relationship with the pet.

4. Enhances Problem-Solving Skills

Another benefit of teaching a child how to train a dog is that it can help them develop problem-solving skills. Training an animal requires knowledge of the behaviors and personalities associated with different breeds, as well as understanding how to correct unwanted behaviors effectively.

It also requires patience and understanding, as it can take time to get a pet used to new behaviors.

By teaching your child how to be aware of the dog’s needs and respond accordingly, they will start to understand that there are multiple solutions to any problem. This knowledge can help them become better problem solvers in other areas of their life, too.

For instance, if your dog keeps having accidents inside the house, your child will need to understand why this is happening and find a solution that works for both the dog and them.

Training a pet can also help children become better communicators, as they need to be able to explain tasks clearly and effectively in order for the dog to understand.

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5. Improves Social Skills

Outside, a lovely woman is seen with a young daughter and a dog.

Finally, teaching your children how to train a dog can help improve their social skills. When interacting with a pet, it is important to be able to understand and read its body language, as this helps create trust between the owner and the animal.

By teaching your child how to interpret these signals, they will also develop an understanding of how to read the body language of other people. This will help them become better communicators, as they will be able to understand what someone is trying to say without having to hear it directly.

Moreover, interacting with a pet can also be good for teaching children empathy and understanding toward others. By observing the behavior of an animal and responding to it in a way that is respectful and compassionate, your child will learn how important it is to treat others with kindness and respect.

6. Teaches Responsibility

Training a pet also teaches your kids about being responsible for another life. This can help to encourage empathy, as they will understand the importance of taking care of another creature.

Moreover, by teaching your child how to be consistent and patient when training their pet, they will start to understand how important it is to stay focused on a task until it has been completed. This will help them develop good habits that can be applied in other areas of their life, such as schoolwork and other projects.

Finally, by teaching them how to properly care for a pet, you can also help your child learn the importance of being responsible with money and resources. For example, they will need to understand that they cannot just buy whatever their pet wants without considering the consequences.

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This will help them understand the importance of budgeting and spending money wisely.

Overall, teaching a child to train a pet can be an extremely beneficial experience. Not only does it provide them with fun activities that they can do together, but it also teaches important life skills such as problem-solving, communication, empathy, and responsibility.

By taking the time to teach your child how to train a dog, you can help them become better and more successful people.

The Top X Supplies You Need to Successfully Train a Dog

Cute little girl at home with a puppy.

Before getting into the tips, we first need to discuss the supplies you should have on hand to successfully train a dog. Here are some of the top 10 must-have items for training your pet:

  1. A comfortable harness or collar
  2. Treats specifically for training
  3. Clicker, verbal cue words or phrases, whistle
  4. Leash
  5. Toys and interactive puzzle games
  6. Chew toys
  7. Training mat or platform
  8. Deterrent spray for chewing/barking
  9. A quiet area for training
  10. A comfortable bed for your pet to rest in when they’re not being trained

Having all of the above supplies on hand will make the training process much easier and more effective for both you and your pet. You can also look into purchasing additional items, such as agility equipment or a carrier, to help with transportation.

You need a harness to train your dog because it will provide more control over the animal. Unlike a collar, a harness attaches around the body of the dog and distributes the pressure equally, making it less likely for them to choke. This makes it ideal for leash training and other activities where you need more control over your pet.

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You’ll also want to get a variety of treats specifically for training. Treats are a great way to reward your pet for completing a task. Make sure you get treats that are small and easy to eat, as this will make it easier for them to associate the treat with the behavior they’re being rewarded for.

The clicker, verbal cue words or phrases, and whistle will all be important tools for teaching commands and cues to your pet. The clicker is useful because it helps mark the behavior you want them to do, while verbal words or phrases will help you establish a connection between the sound and the action.

Lastly, a whistle can be used as an indicator of long-distance commands such as “come” or “stay.”

You’ll also want to get a variety of toys and interactive puzzle games, as these are great for keeping your pet entertained while they learn. Chew toys will also be useful in helping them understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate chewing behaviors.

Training mats or platforms can be used to help teach your pet to stay in one spot. This is important for when you need them to remain still during certain activities such as grooming or training exercises.

Lastly, a deterrent spray can be used to help stop your pet from engaging in chewing or barking behaviors that are inappropriate. This type of spray will also make it easier to train them to stay in one spot or move away from furniture that they may otherwise chew on.

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By having all of the supplies above, you will be able to provide your pet with the training they need in order to become a well-behaved and obedient dog. Now that you have an idea of what items are important for training your pet let’s get into the tips for teaching your child how to train a dog.

How to Teach Your Elementary-School-Aged Child How to Train a Dog

Cute Girl Enjoys Playing on the Backyard Lawn with a Happy Golden Retriever Dog.

Now let’s take a look at some of the best practices for training a dog.

1. Preparing to Train

Before you can begin training your puppy, there are a few things you need to do first:

  • Establish the house rules. Be sure to let everyone in the family know what is expected of them and how they should behave around the dog.
  • Get your supplies. Make sure you have all the necessary items for training, such as a collar, leash, treats, and toys.
  • Choose a spot in your house where your child can practice with their pet. This should be an area that is quiet and free from distractions.
  • Set up a schedule for your training sessions. This will help keep you and your child on track and ensure that they get the most out of each session.

Once you’ve done all these things, you can start teaching your child how to train their dog.

2. Teaching the Basics

Jack Russell terrier is being trained by curly

Before you can move onto more advanced training techniques, it’s important that your child learns the basics. For example, they’ll need to understand how to use commands like “sit” and “stay” in order for their pet to respond properly.

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When teaching these commands, have your child start off with one command at a time. Let them practice it for a few minutes each day until the dog begins to understand what’s being asked of them.

Also, be sure to reward your pup when they do something correctly. This can help reinforce the behavior and make sure that they remember it in the future.

Finally, it’s important that your child is patient and consistent when training their pet. They should never yell at the dog or try to force them into doing something they don’t want to do.

By taking these steps into account, your child will become a more effective trainer and get better results from their pup.

3. Teaching Tricks

Once your child has learned the basics, they can start to teach their dog some fun tricks. This is a great way to bond with their pet and keep them entertained.

When teaching tricks, make sure that you break each one down into small, achievable steps. This will help your child understand the process and stay motivated.

Also, be sure to use plenty of positive reinforcement when rewarding your pup for a job well done. This will help them remember what they have learned and make it easier for them to repeat the behavior.

Once your child has mastered some basic tricks, you can start teaching more advanced ones. For example, they can learn how to fetch, play hide and seek, or even do agility courses.

By taking the time to teach your child these important skills, you’ll be helping them become a better trainer and form a strong bond with their pet.

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4. Setting Boundaries

At a metropolitan park, a cheerful boy in casual attire is training a small dog.

Finally, it’s important to set some limits for your child and their pup. This will help them understand the importance of safety and respect.

For example, you can teach your child that they should never approach a strange dog without permission from the owner. You can also explain why it’s dangerous to let the dog roam free in public places.

5. Set realistic goals

Before you start training, make sure you sit down and establish some realistic goals with your child. This will give them something to aim for and make it easier to track their progress.

6. Break down lessons into small steps

Training a pup can be overwhelming for some kids, so breaking the lesson down into smaller, manageable steps can make it much easier for them. Starting with simple commands and slowly adding more complex ones is a great way to do this.

By helping your child understand these boundaries, you’ll be teaching them to be responsible and show respect for their pet.

Top 3 Skills a Child Can Teach a Dog

Little girl and dog in a forest in the fall.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to teaching kids how to train a dog is that the end goal should be a safe, well-behaved, and happy pup. A few key skills can help ensure these outcomes for both the child and the dog.

1. Crate Training

Teaching your child how to crate-train a dog is a great way to help them understand the importance of structure and routine. Crate training will also acclimatize the pup to staying in one place so that it isn’t running around, knocking things over, and making a mess.

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For younger kids, this is especially important since they might not be able to keep up with an energetic canine.

When it comes to crate training, the key is consistency. Your child should create a routine that includes regular potty breaks and scheduled playtime outside of the crate. It’s also important to make sure the pup has enough toys and chews to keep them entertained while they are in their space.

Additionally, your child should positively reinforce the pup when they enter and exit the crate, as this will teach them that it is a safe place.

2. Potty Training

Potty training is an essential skill for any responsible pet parent—but it’s especially important that children learn how to potty train their dogs correctly. Otherwise, accidents and messes will be a regular part of the household.

Potty training should start with consistency—teach your child to take the pup for potty breaks at regular intervals and reward them for using the area designated for their business. Additionally, make sure to clean up any accidents immediately after they occur.

This will help teach the pup that they should use their designated area instead of any other space.

It’s also important to be patient when potty training, as this will help ensure the pup learns quickly and effectively. Additionally, maintaining a consistent schedule for mealtimes and playtime will help reinforce these positive habits.

3. Basic Commands

Positive girl plays with her golden retriever while training it in the living room at home.

Basic commands are an important part of any pet’s training. These commands help establish structure between the pup and its handler, as well as set expectations for behavior. Teaching your child how to train their dog these basic commands—such as “sit,” “come,” and “stay”—it will help them to establish clear expectations for their pup and instill a sense of obedience.

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When it comes to teaching basic commands, the key is consistency. Be sure your child takes their pup through the same routine every time they practice—say the command, show them what you want them to do, and reward them when they obey.

Positive reinforcement is key here—treats, praise, and even a few extra minutes of playtime should be used to reward good behavior.

These are just some of the basic skills your child will need to properly train their pup. With consistency and patience, they’ll be able to teach their canine friend everything they need to know in order to be a happy, well-behaved pet.

Top 3 Tricks a Child Can Teach a Dog

Once your child and puppy have mastered the basics, it’s time to move on to more advanced training. Tricks are a great way for your child to bond with their pup and show off their new skills. Here are some tricks your child can teach their pup:

1. High-Five or Shake

Fox terrier puppy being trained by girl child in bright kids room.

This classic trick is simple yet effective—teaching your pup to give you a high-five or shake is the perfect way to show off their obedience. To teach this trick, start by having your child hold out their hand in a “high-five” position.

Then, encourage the pup to “touch” it. Once they do so, reward them with praise and a treat. With repetition and patience, the pup will quickly learn that they should touch their handler’s hand when given this command.

2. Roll Over

This is a more advanced trick, but it’s one of the most impressive ones! To teach this trick, start by having your child lie down on the floor and encourage the pup to come over. Then, have them say “roll over” and guide the pup through the motions with their hands.

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As soon as they complete the task, reward them with a treat and praise. With enough practice, your child will be able to teach their pup this fun trick!

3. To Fetch

This is a great trick to teach your pup—fetching helps them get physical exercise while also reinforcing their obedience. To start, have your child toss a ball or toy and then command the pup to “fetch” it. When they bring the object back, reward them with praise and a treat.

With enough practice, they’ll quickly learn that when you say “fetch,” it means they should bring the object back to their handler.

These are just a few of the tricks your child can teach their pup. With the right training and a bit of patience, your child will be able to show off their pet’s impressive tricks in no time!

Common Mistakes Children Make While Training a Dog

A child lying on the grass playing with a black and white dog while attempting to steal its disk.

Teaching a dog is a challenging but rewarding task. But it’s important to remember that there are some common mistakes that children tend to make when training a pup. Here are a few of the most common ones:

1. Not being consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to teaching any pet—it helps them learn quickly and effectively. If you’re inconsistent with commands, rewards, and punishments, then it can be easy for a pup to become confused. Make sure you’re consistent with your instructions so that the dog knows what behavior is expected of them.

2. Not using positive reinforcement

Treating your dog well when they do something correctly is a great way to reward and encourage them to keep doing it. Instead of punishing the pup for a mistake, reward them for a job well done with treats and verbal praise. This will boost their confidence and help them learn faster.

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3. Not providing enough exercise

Exercise is vital for any dog—it helps keep them healthy and happy, as well as provides an outlet for their energy. If a pup isn’t getting enough exercise, then they can become restless and easily distracted during training sessions. Make sure your pup is getting enough playtime and physical activity every day.

4. Not setting boundaries

It’s important to set clear boundaries with your pup from the start. This means teaching them what’s acceptable behavior and what isn’t. Make sure you are consistent in setting limits, as this will prevent them from developing bad habits or becoming aggressive.

5. Not being patient

Training a pup takes time and patience—it can take months for them to learn basic commands. If you’re too quick to give up and get frustrated, then the pup won’t learn as quickly. Don’t be hard on yourself or your pup—take it one step at a time, and they’ll eventually catch on.

Strategies for Helping Kids Who Struggle With Training a Dog

Playing with an autonomous tennis ball launcher, a happy youngster and his dog.

Maybe your child has tried everything and is still struggling with training a pup. If this is the case, then there are some strategies you can use to help them out. Here are a few:

1. Take frequent breaks

Have your child take breaks when they feel overwhelmed. Training sessions should be fun and rewarding—not stressful or overwhelming. Taking a break can give both you and your pup some time to regroup and refresh.

2. Try different methods

There are many different ways to train a pup, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods. Maybe your child responds better to clicker training than verbal commands—it could make the process much easier for them.

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3. Involve other family members

Training a pup is a team effort—invite other family members to join in on the lessons. This can help take some of the pressure off your child and make it more fun for everyone involved.

4. Seek professional help

If all else fails, don’t hesitate to seek out professional help. A professional dog trainer can provide helpful advice and support to make the training process easier.

Final Thoughts

By following these tips, you and your child will have a much better chance of successfully teaching their pup. With patience, dedication, and consistency, they’ll be able to train their pup in no time!

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