Tips for Training Large Dogs

February is Dog Training Education Month. While proper training is important for all pups, it’s particularly crucial for big dogs. You don’t want a Saint Bernard jumping on you at the door! A local Anderson, IN vet discusses training larger dogs below.

Start Early

Training is one thing you definitely don’t want to delay. Fido’s petucation should start the day you bring him home. It’s much easier to instill good habits in a puppy than to try and correct bad manners in an adult dog … especially when that dog is, well, huge!

Be Positive

We always advise focusing on the positive, but this is extra important with big dogs, as many of them are just more responsive to rewards than they are to punishment. Plus, if you reprimand Fido, it could create tension between you. That’s the last thing you want with a large pup!


To reward your canine buddy for doing well, offer him an extra yummy treat. Cut up pieces of hot dogs are good options. You can also use deli meat, pieces of kibble, or shredded chicken. It’s also important to offer Fido lots of praise and forehead pets!


The five most important commands that any dog should know are Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. Work on one of these at a time. You’ll also need to teach Fido not to jump on people, and to tolerate being bathed and having his paws and teeth handled.

Breaking Bad Habits

With big dogs, it can be tricky trying to correct bad habits, such as pulling on the leash. The key is to figure out what your canine pal is getting out of his misbehavior. Remove the reward, if possible. If not, reward him for behaving properly instead. Ask your vet for more information.


Work with your furry pal at least once a day, even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes. You can work this training into playtime or cuddle time to make it more fun for Fido.

Seek Help If Needed

If you aren’t making progress, don’t hesitate to seek help. It’s much better to invest time and money in getting Fido professionally trained than to risk incidents and injuries down the road. Better safe than sorry! 

Do you have questions about caring for a large dog? Contact us, your Anderson, IN veterinary clinic, anytime!

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