If you want to train a dog properly, here are some tips and advice from retired K-9 unit Officer Ken Greenleaf:
- Dogs should be crate-trained from the time you get them. If a dog has to be confined due to an injury or operation, it has a safe haven, the place where it sleeps and retreats to during the day. "Dogs love their crates," Greenleaf said.
- In all but difficult circumstances, train a dog with toys and praise rather than food.
- Don't feed dogs human food (an occasional raw carrot is okay); only quality dry food. "Dogs are monogamous eaters and should remain on one diet," Greenleaf said.
- No treats, except one or two dog biscuits.
- As a rule, put a biscuit in the dog's dish rather than dispensing it by hand. A dog needs a specific eating area.
- Do not use a retractable lead (leash) in the city; it is too dangerous. Dogs might not be seen by drivers backing out of driveways, for example.
- If not in a crate, dogs must always be supervised.
- Don't over talk to dogs; it just confuses them. Give the dog a meaning, a direction or praise for a specific action. More simply, talk to your kids—not your dog.
- If you go out at night, put the dog in its crate and don't offend it with kisses and goodbyes. It confuses the dog.
- A dog should not chase after cats, dogs or mailmen or bark unnecessarily. Leash train them that way from the start.
- Correct a dog's misbehavior (peeing on the carpet, chewing slippers) ONLY if you catch it in the act.
- Dogs should obey your every command.
- Dogs want direction; they "die for it," Greenleaf said.
- Although dogs can't reason, they can read your emotions.
- Dogs are not humans, so don’t treat them as if they are.