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Our Advice for a Great Family Dog

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A great family dog is a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t happen by accident.

Think about it; if you were thrown into a new home with a bunch of new people, you’d act strangely too. Training a good family dog is all about patience and a soft, slow approach which brings your new family member into the fold one step at a time.

Take a look at a few extra expert tips, to ensure your new dog fits in quickly with your family.

Welcome the Newest Member of the Family

Your dog is the newest member of the family after all, so let them know how much they’re loved. Make training your dog an activity for the whole family; not only will all of you have a great time in a warm family environment, but this will give your dog the opportunity it needs to get to know each of you. Your dog needs to develop bonds with each member of your family equally, and forging these bonds as soon as possible is advised.

The Power of Positivity

Sometimes it can be a frustrating process, but staying positive while you train your dog is vital. Your pet simply will not respond well to an angry tone or aggressive body language, and a policy of action and reward is far more effective. Hand out a treat whenever your dog makes the right move, respond with warmth and kindness, and you will achieve a great result faster.


Dogs have a high capacity for learning and responding to cues, but this does not come naturally. Instead, dogs learn by associating the sound of your voice when you speak a certain word, with the emotion triggered by what happens next.

When teaching basic signals like “sit” or “lie down”, it is important to ensure that your pooch associates each command with a positive emotion, such as the satisfaction of a tasty treat or the happiness of some fun play with a favourite toy. This way, you are getting your dog onside and using their natural instinct to eat and play to your advantage.

Be a Guiding Hand

Training your pet might not always be smooth sailing, so you’re going to have to be prepared to persevere and try different tactics to get the results you and your pet need. This includes physically guiding your pet into the right actions and movements, using treats, toys and gentle encouragement to work alongside your training.

Read more about our expert tips and tricks on Bupa Pet Insurance’s latest post.

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Justin Jordan Trainer

Justin Jordan

Master Trainer

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