Canine expert answers four of your most commonly asked training questions — and number one is a game changer!

A mixed breed dog listens to the commands of a dog trainer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Let's face it — training your dog isn't always a walk in the park! Whether it's learning how to stop a dog pulling on a leash or figuring out how to calm a reactive dog, training can be challenging for those of us who aren't professionally qualified.

That's why it's such a help when expert trainers are so willing to share their favorite trips and tricks, which is exactly what Julianna DeWillems has done in a recent video shared to Instagram. 

Read on to find out her answers to four of the most commonly asked dog training questions...

1. How long should training sessions be? "5-10 minutes a day, a few times a week is plenty, or even less than that can make an impact if that's all the time you have," DeWillems says in an answer that really surprised us. For those of you who thought that training your dog was going to take hours every day, this response will likely come as a huge relief!

2. What behaviors should I work on in a training session? According to DeWillems, when training your canine companion you want to focus on any behaviors you want your dog to respond to in your day-to-day life together, as well as anything you enjoy doing with your pup. So, for example, if you enjoy your daily cup of coffee at your favorite cafe, you'll want to ensure you regularly train your fur friend in that environment. 

3. How do I make sure my dog is enjoying training? "Rewarding frequently, making sure it's easy for your dog to be successful and keeping a positive attitude can help your dog really love training with you," explains DeWillems. Check out our guide to the best dog treats for some tasty training tidbits your pup is sure to go nuts for. 

4. Should I be worried about using too many treats? Although many pet parents worry about over-treating their dog, DeWillems says that using a lot of treats in training is one way to improve your dog's enthusiasm. "You want to make sure you're using small treats to avoid overfeeding," she advises. 

"Remember, training is about building a partnership with your dog, strengthening your bond and creating two-way communication," DeWillems concludes.

However, that doesn't mean you have to do it all alone. For 1:1 support with helping your dog learn the ropes of what's expected of them, we recommend reaching out to a professional trainer. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.