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Obedience is the cornerstone of successful training when it comes to large dogs. In order to establish a strong foundation of obedience and ensure a well-behaved furry companion, it is crucial to follow a structured and purposeful approach. In this top 10 list, we will probe into key tips and steps that are crucial for effectively training large dogs, helping you establish a harmonious relationship built on trust and respect.

Key Takeaways:

  • Start early: Training large dogs should begin from a young age to establish good behavior patterns.
  • Consistency is key: Maintain a consistent training routine to reinforce obedience and prevent confusion.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Reward good behavior with treats or praise to encourage obedience and build a strong bond with your dog.

Assess Dog’s Behavior

Observe natural tendencies

Assuming you’ve recently brought home a large dog or planning to, it’s crucial to observe their natural tendencies. Take note of how they react to various stimuli, their energy levels, and how they interact with people and other animals. Understanding your dog’s natural behavior will help tailor your training approach to their specific needs.

Identify potential issues

To effectively train large dogs, you must identify potential behavior issues early on. Look out for signs of aggression, fearfulness, separation anxiety, or excessive barking. These behaviors can escalate if not addressed promptly. It’s crucial to tackle these issues head-on to prevent them from becoming more challenging to manage as your dog grows in size and strength.

Plus, seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist if you encounter behavior problems that you’re unsure how to handle. They can provide you with valuable insights and techniques to address specific issues effectively.

Choose Suitable Training Space

Secure, distraction-free area

While training your large dog, it’s crucial to choose a secure, distraction-free area. This will help your dog stay focused and make the training process more effective. Look for a space away from loud noises, other animals, or busy streets to ensure your dog can concentrate on learning.

Adequate room for exercises

When opting for a training area for your large dog, make sure there is enough room for exercises and activities. A spacious area will allow your dog to move around freely and practice obedience commands without feeling confined. It’s important for large dogs to have space to stretch, run, and play during training sessions.

You can set up obstacles like cones or agility equipment in the training space to provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog. This will keep them engaged and motivated during training sessions, leading to better results in obedience and behavior.

Establish Training Routine

Fixed schedule

To effectively train large dogs, it is crucial to establish a fixed training schedule. Dogs thrive on routine and consistency, so setting specific times for training sessions each day can help them understand what is expected of them. By sticking to a schedule, you can make training a part of your dog’s daily routine, which will lead to better results.

Consistent commands

To ensure effective obedience training, it is necessary to use consistent commands with your large dog. Avoid confusing your pet by using different words or phrases for the same commands. For example, if you use “sit” as the command for your dog to sit, do not switch to saying “down” or “take a seat.” Consistency is key to helping your dog understand and respond to your commands promptly.

Training large dogs requires patience, consistency, and dedication. By establishing a fixed training schedule and using consistent commands, you can set a solid foundation for obedience training. Remember to stay positive and reward good behavior to reinforce training efforts effectively.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Reward good behavior

With large dogs, it is crucial to reward good behavior consistently. Positive reinforcement, such as treats, praise, or playtime, reinforces the behavior you want to see more of. Whenever your dog follows a command or behaves well, make sure to show your appreciation immediately. This will help them understand what is expected of them and encourage them to repeat the behavior.

Avoid punishment

Positive reinforcement is key when training large dogs, and it is important to avoid using punishment as a training method. Punishment can lead to fear, anxiety, and even aggression in dogs, especially larger breeds. Instead of using punishment, focus on redirecting unwanted behaviors and rewarding the good ones. This will create a positive and trust-based relationship between you and your dog.

Good training methods build a strong bond between you and your dog and foster a positive learning environment. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement will help you train your large dog effectively and create a happy, obedient companion.

Teach Basic Commands

After establishing a bond with your large dog, it’s crucial to start their training journey by teaching them basic commands. These commands form the foundation for further obedience training and help create a strong communication channel between you and your furry companion.

Start with ‘sit’

While teaching your large dog the ‘sit’ command, use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and verbal praise to encourage the desired behavior. Start by holding a treat close to their nose and slowly lifting it upwards, guiding them into a sitting position. Once they sit, reward them immediately with the treat and praise. Consistency is key in reinforcing this command, so practice it regularly in short training sessions.

Progress to ‘stay’

Clearly, moving on to the ‘stay’ command builds on the foundation set with ‘sit’. Once your dog has mastered sitting on command, introduce the ‘stay’ command by asking them to remain in the sitting position for an extended period. Start by commanding ‘sit’, then take a step back and hold your hand up with the palm facing them while saying ‘stay’. Gradually increase the distance and duration as your dog becomes more comfortable with the command.

Progress your training further by incorporating distractions while practicing the ‘stay’ command. This will help your large dog understand the importance of staying put even in stimulating environments, ensuring their obedience in various situations.

Implement Leash Training

Introduce leash slowly

For successful leash training with large dogs, it is important to introduce the leash gradually. Begin by allowing your dog to get accustomed to wearing the leash around the house without any tension. Next, attach the leash for short periods during indoor playtime to familiarize your pet with the feeling of being connected to you.

Practice walking techniques

For effective leash training, practice walking techniques with your large dog in a controlled environment such as a backyard or a quiet park. Start with short walks to get your pet used to walking beside you and responding to your commands. Use treats and positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior while walking on the leash.

Practice walking techniques involve maintaining a steady pace, keeping the leash loose but under control, and using verbal cues to guide your dog’s movements. Consistency is key in reinforcing the desired behavior during leash training sessions. Gradually increase the duration and distance of walks to build your dog’s obedience and leash manners over time.

Address Jumping Up

Discourage with commands

Address the problem of your large dog jumping up by using firm and consistent commands like “Off” or “No.” Be sure to use a stern tone and avoid shouting. Repeat the command as necessary until your dog understands that this behavior is unacceptable.

Reinforce positive alternatives

Clearly communicate to your dog what behavior is expected by reinforcing positive alternatives to jumping up. Teach your dog to sit or offer a toy instead of jumping. Consistently reward and praise your dog when they exhibit the desired behavior.

This will help your dog understand what is expected of them and provide a more desirable outlet for their energy. By consistently reinforcing positive alternatives, you are helping to shape your dog’s behavior in a positive way.

Socialize Your Dog

Introduce to Other Animals

Unlike small dogs, large breeds can be more intimidating to other animals if not properly socialized. When introducing your large dog to other animals, proceed with caution and patience. Clearly observe their body language and be prepared to intervene if necessary.

Expose to Various People

Clearly, exposing your large dog to various people is imperative for their social development. This includes individuals of different ages, genders, and ethnicities. By positively exposing your dog to a variety of people, you can help prevent fear or aggression towards strangers.

Expose your dog to different environments such as parks, busy streets, and pet-friendly stores. This exposure will help your dog become accustomed to various stimuli and build their confidence in new situations.

Gradually Extend Training

Increase complexity

Extend the duration of your training sessions gradually to keep your large dog engaged and focused. Start with basic commands like sit and stay, then progress to more challenging tasks such as heel and come. Introduce distractions like toys or other animals to test your dog’s obedience in different environments.

Expand training areas

Assuming your dog is comfortable with basic commands at home, it’s time to broaden the training scope. Expand your training sessions to outdoor spaces like parks or quiet streets to expose your dog to various stimuli. This helps your dog generalize commands and behave appropriately in different settings.

Increase the level of difficulty by practicing commands in places with more distractions. Make sure to maintain control and keep your dog focused on you, rewarding good behavior consistently.

Stay Patient and Consistent

Maintain calm demeanor

An necessary part of training large dogs is to maintain a calm demeanor. Dogs are incredibly perceptive creatures and can pick up on your emotions. If you remain calm and composed, it will help your dog feel at ease during the training process. This will create a positive environment for learning and obedience.

Praise incremental progress

Now, it’s crucial to praise your large dog for making incremental progress. Dogs thrive on positive reinforcement, so praising them for small achievements will motivate them to continue learning and obeying commands. Whether it’s mastering a new trick or showing improvement in obedience, make sure to acknowledge and reward their efforts.

With consistent praise for incremental progress, your large dog will be encouraged to push themselves further in their training. Remember to use treats, toys, or verbal praise to reinforce good behavior and let your furry friend know when they are on the right track. This positive reinforcement will strengthen the bond between you and your dog, making training a rewarding experience for both of you.

Final Words

On the whole, training large dogs requires consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. By following the 10 key tips for obedience outlined in this guide, you can establish a strong bond with your furry companion and ensure a well-behaved and happy pet. Remember to keep training sessions short, reward good behavior, and set clear expectations for your dog. With dedication and a positive attitude, you can successfully train your large dog and enjoy a harmonious relationship for years to come.


Q: What are the key tips for training large dogs?

A: When training large dogs for obedience, it is important to establish yourself as the pack leader, be consistent with commands, use positive reinforcement, and provide plenty of mental and physical exercise.

Q: How can I establish myself as the pack leader during training?

A: To establish yourself as the pack leader, set clear boundaries and rules, consistently enforce them, and use confident body language. Dogs respond well to calm and assertive leadership.

Q: Why is positive reinforcement important in training large dogs?

A: Positive reinforcement, such as treats, praise, and rewards, helps motivate large dogs to obey commands and reinforces good behavior. This method creates a positive learning experience for the dog.