How to Train a Dog: Tips from NYC’s Top Dog Trainers, part 4/6

By Phoebe Ryles, Epoch Times
March 23, 2013 7:18 am Last Updated: April 8, 2013 10:45 am

How to Train a Dog: Tricks of the trade from New York City’s top rated dog trainers.

New Yorkers love their dogs, but life in any major metropolis offers up some serious challenges to dog owners.  In this series The Epoch Times interviewed six of New York City’s top rated dog trainers to find out how to train a dog for happy city living.  

Each of these certified trainers has a unique approach. Some are near celebrities in their field, and others just broke out on their own, but all have great advice and long line of satisfied customers behind them. Check out the whole How to Train a Dog series here.

 Andrea Arden – Owner, Andrea Arden Dog Training

Andrea Arden has been training dogs for over 20 years.  She has taught thousands of dogs and their owners how to live better together. She has also seen the world of dog training transform from one that focused on punitive measures to what she calls “a more dog friendly approach.”

Over those 20 years Arden has never stopped perfecting her personal approach to training.  The result is training techniques that are effective and fun.  

“If the training is not fun for the owner they won’t stick with it. If it s not fun for the dog then chances are you are not going to be effective at getting your dog to change his behavior,” Arden said.

Arden encourages owners to think outside the box created by words like “dominance” and “submission”.

“We like the term ‘cooperative canine.’  You are not trying to create a submissive dog, but a dog that cooperates with what you ask them to do,” Arden said.  

Arden suggests that owners break down training their dog into two parts, the first is managing the dogs time and environment so that they cannot practice behaviors that you don’t want.

“You think, ‘I don’t like it when my dog runs to the front door and jumps on visitors.’  So you need to think that every time you let this happen your dog is practicing that behavior,” Arden said.

 “And practice makes perfect.”  

The first thing you need to do is change the environment, so Arden suggest putting them on a leash so they are unable to run to the door and jump on your guests.

The second step is to get them to practice behaviors that you do want.

“People often think training means stopping behaviors.  We think training means teaching your dog the behaviors and skills they need to handle any environment well,” Arden said.

Arden’s advice for new dog owners: think about your behavior and how it affects their behavior.

“One of the most important things that people need to be aware of is that many behavior problems are inadvertently trained by family,” she said.

“The first few times your puppy barks you can’t stop giggling because it’s so cute.  The next few times he barks you worry that something wrong and you give him that attention. Six months later you have a dog that barks all the time,” Arden said.

Everyone wants a great relationship with their dog.  According to Arden, training your dog is about building that relationship, so that at the end of the day, your dog can be your best friend.   

“Think about yourself as your dog’s guide,” Arden said, “Isn’t that the way you would want to deal with your best friend, to guide them through life?”

Andrea Arden is the author of several books including, Train Your Dog the Lazy Way. Her most recent book, Dog-Friendly Dog Training, was published in 2007. For more tips and advice Arden has a personal blog and also recommends dog training blog Dog Star Daily.

NEXT How to Train a Dog, Part 5: Ferdie Yau, Sits and Wiggle Dog Training

Check out the whole How to Train a Dog series here.