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Dog Training 101

Sit. Stay. Good! Now that you know how to do it, train your dog to do it, too.
Dog Training 101 is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 263.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Course This is a very thorough course about dog training. Those who love to train will love this course. Ms Donalson builds on behaviors to get from point A to point Z, with the video 'how to' shown very clearly, and detailed steps explained in the book - the book is your cheat-sheet on what to do, how many reps, and next steps. I have trained dogs in the past by going to in person and virtual classes, but this is by far the most comprehensive training I've used. I am now training a puppy, started at 12 weeks, and by 16 weeks we are doing many basic behaviors (puppy push-ups from sit to down to sit again, touch, go to Place, touching ears, touching mouth, soft mouth when taking a treat with little puppy shark teeth, etc. A more mature dog can learn faster, they have a long attention span and more control of their body. Puppys will learn, just use short sessions and reinforce often. We are also working on basic house manners, crate training, leash walking and socialization skills. We are well on our way by using Ms Donaldson's positive reinforcement methods.
Date published: 2024-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good Bought it for my daughter with new pup… she says the trainer is excellent… she is very pleased
Date published: 2024-01-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The title is about DOGS, not PUPPIES Donaldson does not do PUPPY Training, this course is for DOGS.
Date published: 2023-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! Whenever I do courses I feel the first video is just fluff talk and I buzz right through it. This course was not that way. She had my attention on the first video! She explains a lot of logic behind dog training which I prefer. I am not one who does well with, "just do it". I like to know WHY I am doing it. This is explained very well. The second video was so helpful. My dog was taking the treat too roughly because he was just his happy Goldendoodle self and she helped me correct this problem right away. I am barely through this course and I can see happy dogs being trained well. I have done a lot of videos on dog training but this is my favorite by far. Honestly, this was well worth the money. The price cannot be beat. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2023-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Jean Donaldson rocks it! I'm a professional animal behaviorist/trainer on vacation and impulsively decided to purchase this for some fun review by one of the best experts in the field. She doesn't disappoint with this organized, in-depth course, covering basic skills with advanced explanations of everything from training mechanics (what's a prompt and how do you do it) to canine evolution, ethology and psychology (describing who dogs are biologically and psychologically), which gives beginners a well rounded knowledge base to understand their dogs better and how to teach them effectively -- all rooted in science! The price is a steal for the general dog-owning public to gain access to and benefit from Donaldson's expertise.
Date published: 2023-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating and useful course This course was extremely well done. Full of fascinating information, but also provided practical and doable training plans. Jean was an excellent presenter and clearly a great trainer. I recommend this for anyone who wants an intro to training their own dog, who is curious about dog training in general, or who just wants a better understanding of dog psychology and motivation.
Date published: 2023-06-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great videos, horrible Training Plan Appendix The videos demonstrate the training processes well. The order of the Training Plan Appendix does not match the order of the training videos. The first plan in the appendix is from lesson 15, Commando Crawl. The first video lesson is Sit From Stand which is found 24 pages later in the appendix.
Date published: 2023-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative I have only listened to the first video and can tell I will enjoy the course. Clear easy to understand instructions. Trainer easy to listen to and follow. Ready to view the rest and get started.
Date published: 2023-01-17
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Learn how to train "in" the good and train "out" the bad behaviors with guidance and insights from an award-winning trainer of dog trainers.


Jean Donaldson

Training improves your dog’s life. Regardless of age, breed, or size, training is environment enrichment for dogs.


Academy for Dog Trainers

Jean Donaldson is the founder and principal instructor of the Academy for Dog Trainers, which has trained and certified more than 700 trainers in evidence-based dog behavior, training, and private behavior counseling since 1999. Ms. Donaldson is a four-time winner of the Dog Writers Association of America’s Maxwell Medallion. Her books include The Culture Clash; Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs; Fight! A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-Dog Aggression; Dogs Are from Neptune; Oh Behave! Dogs from Pavlov to Premack to Pinker; and Train Your Dog like a Pro. Born in Montreal, Canada, Ms. Donaldson founded the Montreal Flyball Association and Renaissance Dog Training, the first positive reinforcement-based school and counseling service in the province. Her own dogs and dogs she has trained have earned numerous titles and wins in various competitive dog sports. While a student, Ms. Donaldson worked as an adoption counselor at the Montreal SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and later served on its board of directors. Before founding the Academy for Dog Trainers, Jean dealt exclusively with aggression cases for six years. She lives in Oakland, California, with her dog, Brian, adopted in 2015.

By This Expert

Dog Training 101
Dog Training 101


The Principles of Dog Training

01: The Principles of Dog Training

Get an introduction to the importance of training dogs, both for owners and the dogs themselves. Through some powerful analogies, Professor Donaldson will put you in the mindset of your dog to show you why certain training methods don’t work and others do. Learn the three key principles of dog training that will provide the foundation for every lesson moving forward. She’ll also recommend some important tools to have on hand.

33 min
Getting the Behavior: Training Mechanics

02: Getting the Behavior: Training Mechanics

Dig into the “software your dog comes bundled with” and discover how common psychological practices can help us train dogs to overcome their instinctual behaviors. Professor Donaldson defines terms you’ll be using throughout the training such as prompting, capturing, and shaping. Master the first basic obedience commands: sit and down.

33 min
Getting the Behavior: Sit and Down

03: Getting the Behavior: Sit and Down

Professor Donaldson provides alternatives for dogs who have trouble with sit and down. She then continues with fundamental obedience through recall, or coming when called, using classical—or Pavlovian—conditioning. She’ll also review the importance of choosing and using the appropriate verbal cues.

34 min
Getting the Behavior: Prompting and Premack

04: Getting the Behavior: Prompting and Premack

Get some valuable reassurance and reinforcements about continuing your training in a consistent manner as you take on the challenge of getting your dog to go down from a sit, down from a stand, sit from a down, and sit from a stand. You’ll also tackle station and watch and evolve your recall from Pavlovian (rewards) to Premack (positive reinforcement).

30 min
Getting the Behavior: Verbal Cues

05: Getting the Behavior: Verbal Cues

Reinforce the same obedience behaviors your dog has already learned but move from verbal cues to hand signals. Professor Donaldson will also introduce toggling to help your dog avoid getting stuck in a behavior pattern.

34 min
Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior

06: Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior

Professor Donaldson reveals the fascinating evolution of dogs that provides insight into why dogs do many of the things they do. This foundation gives you the background to help train, or un-train, certain actions. You’ll uncover fight/flight instincts, canine social structure, courtship and reproductive behaviors, and the characteristics and styles of dog play.

29 min
Impulse Control: Leave It, Wait, Leash Walking

07: Impulse Control: Leave It, Wait, Leash Walking

One of the best ways to curb instincts in your dog is to instill impulse control. Professor Donaldson teaches you how to teach dogs to cool their jets with sit-stay, down-stay, leave it, wait, and loose leash walking. She’ll also cover the three most important parameters in down-stay and sit-stay: distraction, distance, and duration.

32 min
Impulse Control: Increasing Generalization

08: Impulse Control: Increasing Generalization

Take your first set of impulse control trainings to the next level by adding in distractions and increasing the distance or duration. Professor Donaldson also provides some alternatives if you find the loose leash walk to be challenging.

34 min
Impulse Control: Deepening Obedience

09: Impulse Control: Deepening Obedience

Building on the previous two lessons, expand the impulse control techniques even further with more difficult distraction, distance, and duration challenges.

32 min
Impulse Control: Cold Trials and Finishing

10: Impulse Control: Cold Trials and Finishing

By now your dog is figuring out that “good things come to those who wait” and is starting to work on impulse control without being told. At this point in training, your dog has also figured out that obedience is The Strategy to get what he wants. This empowering realization means your dog understands he can take charge and control the situation to get the outcome he wants, overcoming some of the basic instincts that used to guide his behaviors.

30 min
Fear and Aggression Prevention

11: Fear and Aggression Prevention

Professor Donaldson defines fear or aggression versus just being upset and teaches you how to recognize these traits in dogs. She outlines the five mechanisms that drive fear and discusses a classification system that covers aggression to strangers, resource guarding, and intolerance of body handling, as well as suggestions for handling each behavior.

34 min
Proofing Behavior across Contexts

12: Proofing Behavior across Contexts

Start the proofing process, which means your dog will be proving he knows behaviors even in different conditions or environments. Professor Donaldson demonstrates how taking the same training regimen on the road can have different results and what to do to get over obstacles such as competing motivation, distractions, or problems with generalization.

31 min
On the Road: Training in Public Spaces

13: On the Road: Training in Public Spaces

Professor Donaldson shows various techniques out in the field as she puts the wait command to the test at a dog park. Watch and learn as she adds in distraction, distance, and duration for more of a challenge. She provides valuable tips to help transition practicing the same lessons in an unfamiliar environment.

21 min
Verbal Cues: Developing Discrimination

14: Verbal Cues: Developing Discrimination

Despite our best endeavors, dogs don’t understand our words—they guess. Learn how to overcome your dog’s attempt to guess what you want in order to get treats by recognizing and leveraging aggregate or cumulative reinforcement, recency, the order of events, or his own preferred behaviors.

32 min
Tricks: Wave, Take a Bow, Spin, Heel

15: Tricks: Wave, Take a Bow, Spin, Heel

Examine the difference between tricks and obedience. Explore why teaching tricks can be beneficial to your dog as you work through three types of trick training: non-transitive or simple actions, transitive, and behavior chains. By using the foundation of obedience training you’ve already established, you can teach old (and young) dogs new tricks.

32 min
Tricks: Distance Drop, Frisk, Sit Pretty

16: Tricks: Distance Drop, Frisk, Sit Pretty

Professor Donaldson spends an entire lecture demonstrating how to train tricks including distance drop, fugitive frisk, and sit pretty. She explains that, from here, you can string these tricks together to make a chain of tricks, or use the same principles to train your dog to do any trick he is physically capable of doing.

34 min
Building a Conditioned Emotional Response

17: Building a Conditioned Emotional Response

After a brief review of how respondent conditioning, also known as classical conditioning or Pavlovian conditioning, works, Professor Donaldson reveals tips for using this method to train your dog. She shares the rules for using conditioning and demonstrates how it works by conditioning a dog for having his teeth brushed.

31 min
Husbandry: Handling and Object Conditioning

18: Husbandry: Handling and Object Conditioning

Husbandry refers to the physical care we give our dogs such as feeding, grooming, health monitoring, medical care, and more. Professor Donaldson shows you how to use training to prep your dog for some of the aspects of care that he may not enjoy.

30 min
Husbandry: Limb Handling and Toothbrushing

19: Husbandry: Limb Handling and Toothbrushing

Professor Donaldson helps you prepare your dog for unpleasant care, such as ear drops and working with their feet. In addition to helping your dog remain calm and allowing someone to examine his sensitive areas, this sort of exercise helps your dog learn to trust you.

33 min
Puppies and Senior Dogs

20: Puppies and Senior Dogs

Contrary to the old cliché, you can teach old dogs new tricks—and new dogs old tricks. Professor Donaldson reviews the ages and stages of dog maturity and has tips for which training to start your puppies with and how to choose the right puppy socialization class. She provides insightful instructions on training older dogs as well, including how to consider any physical ailments they may have.

30 min
Housetraining, Chewing, and Digging

21: Housetraining, Chewing, and Digging

Professor Donaldson debunks a common myth about dog behavior. She discusses in depth the reasons dogs may have accidents and provides several ways to train your dog out of this behavior. She covers a number of techniques to curb common bad habits such as chewing and digging with distraction or alternatives.

34 min
Crating and Alone Training

22: Crating and Alone Training

There are many benefits to using a crate. They can aid in separation anxiety and give your dogs a place of their own to feel safe. Professor Donaldson demonstrates the benefits and reviews the options for choosing a crate and for getting your dog accustomed to one.

34 min
Managing Barking

23: Managing Barking

Did you know there are five kinds of barking? Professor Donaldson examines the various reasons dogs bark and provides suggestions to train your dog out of this behavior. She also explains why this is one of the more frustrating areas to train, but by understanding the motivation for barking and applying consistent methods, you can more effectively and efficiently learn to work with ways to stop it.

32 min
Training Challenges and Solutions

24: Training Challenges and Solutions

When it comes to training, you must define what is keeping your dog from picking up what you are teaching; defining if your dog has what problems or why problems can alleviate frustration. Professor Donaldson explains how to motivate a dog and adjust your rate of reinforcement for these and a number of other common obstacles that may stand in his way. She also provides tips for transitioning out of training mode and into integrating what your dog has learned into common behaviors.

29 min