Dog training tips; the benefits of early intervention and socialisation

Written by Glenn Cooke, Chief Training Officer at Canine Evolution and Pet Resorts Australia

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Glenn Cooke shares his expert dog training tips with Animal Friendly Life readers.

With more than three decades of experience providing exceptional training to dogs and their handlers and his trailblazing approach, Glenn is a leader in the pet and training industry.

Placing a strong emphasis on the handler, Glenn demonstrates that optimal results are achieved through empowering the human component of the handler-dog relationship.

He offers readers his expert insights and tips for building a strong bond between handlers and their canine companions.

Essential dog training tips – the benefits of early intervention and socialisation

It means a holistic exposure to diverse experiences, unfamiliar faces, varied animals, and multiple environments.

Glenn Cooke

The early days of a dog’s life play an enormous role in determining their lifelong behaviours.

In our modern society where dogs are increasingly regarded as family members, we want them to fit seamlessly into our everyday lives.

We want our dogs to be comfortable, sociable, and adaptable in every situation.

Whether it’s a quiet evening at home, a bustling community event, or a casual stroll through a park.

But for this vision to happen, early intervention and comprehensive socialisation cannot just be optional dog training tips– they are absolute necessities.

These tools help pave the way for our dogs to lead fulfilling lives, while enhancing ours also.

I want all pet owners to know that investing time, patience, and effort into dog training early on will set up for many wonderful memories in the years ahead.

White snow dog during training shaking hand Animal Friendly Life
Early intervention and a focus on training the handler are two of Glenn’s top dog training tips (image unsplash)

Early intervention

Imagine a young puppy witnessing the dazzling and booming fireworks for the very first time.

The sudden cacophony of sounds paired with the bright and unpredictable flashes can be profoundly unsettling to their unaccustomed senses.

Without a proper and timely response to this initial discomfort, the dog may etch these stimuli as triggers for fear.

This could potentially cause events like New Year’s Eve or party nights to become traumatic rather than joyous.

This is a prime example of why early intervention isn’t just preferable, it’s vital.

Early intervention aims to ensure that transient fears are caught and dealt with early, before they become permanent phobias.

Socialisation and habituation

brown and white puppy on beach with orange tennis ball.
Focusing on socialisation and getting used to different environments at an early age help ensure a well-trained adult dog (image unsplash)

When we talk about early and meticulous socialisation, it goes beyond familiarising dogs with a few friends and family.

It means a holistic exposure to diverse experiences, unfamiliar faces, varied animals, and multiple environments.

Habituation, on the other hand, is the process where our dogs get accustomed to the daily ebb and flow of life.

This includes adjusting to new surroundings, machinery, appliances, and more.

It doesn’t just prepare a dog for household life but also readies them for the vast, unpredictable world outside.

In the absence of this rigorous initiation, dogs might manifest behavioural anomalies – from undue aggression to excessive shyness.

And remember, a well-socialised dog doesn’t just benefit its immediate family, but the entire community.

Tips for addressing behavioural challenges – Glenn’s four-pronged approach

Start training early: Obedience and socialisation classes are not just for the dog; they’re equally educational for the owner. Such programs should be a rite of passage for every puppy-parent duo.

Recognise their needs: A dog isn’t just content with food and shelter. Ensure they receive a balance of physical activities and cognitive challenges. This not only keeps them engaged but also wards off potential behavioural pitfalls.

Consistency matters: Dogs thrive on predictability. All family members should align their training approach, ensuring that commands, rewards, and discipline is consistent.

Seek expert guidance: For persistent behavioural concerns, don’t hesitate to consult a seasoned canine professional. Remember, popular influencers might not always have the practical expertise you need.

Glenn Cooke training black dog; he tells our readers his top dog training tips
Glenn Cooke is a leader in the pet and dog training industry (image supplied)

How to know if nuisance behaviours are symptoms of a deeper issue

One must always strive to discern the reasons behind disruptive canine behaviours.

Often, these behaviours are manifestations of underlying issues like boredom, anxiety, or a vacuum of structured training and guidance.

Consider a dog incessantly barking when left on their own – it could be a stark manifestation of separation anxiety.

Similarly, a dog engaging in relentless digging might be signaling a desperate need for intellectual or physical challenges.

It’s pivotal to understand that these behaviours aren’t about defiance or a naturally ‘bad dog’.

They are, in many cases, silent pleas for understanding, attention, and timely intervention.

Responding solely to the overt behaviour, without delving into its root, might just be a patchwork solution, leading to more problems down the road.


Glenn Cooke

Glenn has earned a reputation as a leader in the pet and training industry because of his extensive expertise. His roles span from managing large training facilities to serving on influential pet and canine training boards and co-hosting one of the world’s most successful training podcasts. Glenn’s approach to training places a strong emphasis on the handler, recognising that optimal results are achieved through empowering the human component of the handler-dog relationship. He employs highly motivating techniques that not only deliver results, but also strengthen the bond between handler and dog. As the overseer of several premier dog boarding and training facilities in Sydney and now in Queensland, Glenn boasts an unparalleled wealth of experience in every aspect of professional pet care and training. His credentials are impeccable, holding a cert IV in TAE and active mentoring for the National Dog Trainers Federation. In this role, he trains and lectures the next generation of dog trainers, ensuring that the industry continues to advance and improve. With a track record of solving even the most challenging problem behaviours, Glenn is the go-to expert for dog owners seeking to make their beloved pet a well-behaved and cherished member of the family. He is constantly striving to stay ahead of the curve, always seeking to expand his knowledge and incorporate the latest and most innovative training methodologies.