Dog Training Plan Before You Start Training Your Dog

Creating a dog training plan for the targeted training of your dog is an important topic. There is so much to learn and often you don’t even know where to start. What is really important on a daily basis? What should my dog be able to do? How to prepare him for dog sports?

If you look at the world of dogs, you will see those with a lot of ambition training their dogs to do new things every day. Or those who go to dog school sporadically and want to learn the basics. For us, there is a wide margin between these extremes.

In the following article we will discuss the most important questions related to the beginning of dog training. Our attached training plan is mainly about the basics of everyday life and preparation for agility training – but can and should be adjusted or expanded as desired.

Basic Questions to Ask Before Creating Dog Training Plan

  • What is really important?
  • What are my goals and what are my priorities?
  • Shouldn’t the dog first get to know life and just be allowed to do what a young dog likes to do? Explore the world and experience adventures with your master/mistress…. of course!  Nevertheless, it is also important to specifically train different situations for socialization or the bond between you and your dog.
  • Would you like to do dog sports with your dog later?
  • Is it still important to you to have a dog that fits well into your life and that can accompany you everywhere? Then train on it first and practice different situations in everyday life before you start with dog sports or another hobby.

Structuring Your Goals Before Creating Dog Training Plan

It is good to define which goals fit the different phases of dog life. For example, isn’t it more important to build a good relationship and trust with my dog? What is the best way to motivate my dog? What does he enjoy? How does he learn well? So, get a good base first before you go in-depth.

When, what and how do I train? And how often and for how long?

Missing a bit of structure? You don’t have any experience yet? Then get in touch with other dog owners, do some research and make a rough plan.

This is also about the question of what is suitable for puppies or young dogs. Whether it is beneficial to practice tricks that put a strain on the joints with a 5-month-old dog every day is an open question. It always depends on the age at which you start a certain exercise and how you implement it. Especially how often and for how long. We think it makes sense, for example, to show dogs from an early age.  And one or two exercises of a maximum of 5 minutes 2-3 times a week are sufficient for this.

Better late than early?

That is the question. We don’t like either one. Too early but also too late. The opposite of too early and inconsiderate training is often this: the dog is thrown into a full course at 12 months and learns the material without any real basis. Consequence: no real feeling for devices, e.g. not good balance on deck or swing. Poor and unhealthy jumping technique, for example because the height of the bars was raised too soon, etc.

But you shouldn’t generalize about that either, of course you can build up an older dog with a good base.

What is correct then?

As you may have already guessed, there is no such thing as a 100% “right”. Each dog owner must decide for himself what risk he takes. Every dog is different. Every human being too, because not everyone has good grounded knowledge. Which in turn can quickly lead to unconscious errors and thus an unhealthy structure. So it depends on many factors. We think a good balance between early and late and a lot and a little is good. And what can often help is a small structure. Yes, we admit it – we love structures. They are simply an excellent guide.

General Dog Training Tips for Beginners

Set goals, but don’t stubbornly pursue them. The main goal of your dog training should be that you bond with your dog, gain his trust and enjoy training with YOU. Being too ambitious can do more harm to your relationship with the dog than good.

Your dog needs to be able to calm down and also come out of work mode. Often an exercise is performed much better when your pup/dog is not hyper or excited.

Several small training units are better than large and long ones. Many dogs, especially beginners, do not show they are overwhelmed or exhausted in a longer training unit. They do not show it so as not to disappoint their owner. Here you should approach a new exercise sensibly and rather implement several small units of exercise throughout the day than one very large and long unit.

Train only if YOU are also motivated. As a dog owner, the basic requirement for good intensive training is patience and balance. This is also transferred to your training partner. If you don’t feel like working out at all, if you have to force yourself to do it, or if you generally have a lot of other things “on your plate”, then leave the training for today.

Variations and Variety in Dog Training

Your training with the dog can be perfectly integrated into your daily routine thanks to the small training units. Additionally, you need to make sure that you don’t always perform the same training processes and places with your dog long term. This can make training boring and monotonous.

Here we would like to emphasize the keyword generalization in dog training again in order to offer your dog training some variety. The most important thing is that you both have fun and enjoy the time together. Possible exercises that you can perform with your dog in relation to the basics of daily dog ​​life can be found in the said area.

We recommend emphasizing the absolute basics: like bonding and keeping your dog focused, plus positive handling and the right play to increase motivation. You can of course set your own personal goals and preferences for your dog.

Orientation Aid: Rough Dog Training Plan  

In the following we have prepared a guide for you that shows you what a young dog should be able to do first and how you can prepare him for canine sport agility. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to stick with it 100%. The dog training plan is just an overview. So here are some ideas on how to set up the dog training plan.

Dog Training Plan

Goal: To develop a harmonious connection, courage, concentration and motivation, at the same time physical training for better body awareness, it is only later that the actual agility begins.

  • 2nd – 6th month: Focus on the absolute basics for everyday life with your dog.
  • Months 6-8: Focus on your dog’s overall body awareness, little basics for agility training.
  • 8th – 12th month: Fitness training and agility basics without equipment with a stronger focus on future agility training.
  • From the 12th month: All exercises for everyday life and for agility training are developed and specifically trained. From one year the dog can also work on the equipment and in the agility course.

Note: The exercises of the respective age phases complement each other, of course you don’t stop at the daily training after the 6th month. If the dog cannot do something later, it should be trained in it first before starting something new.

2nd – 6th month

Goal: To mainly focus on daily life and other situations. It is more important that the dog can learn the basics first so that he can participate in my life as relaxed as possible.

Learning basics for everyday life: including walking on a leash, waiting, limits in daily life and in the pack, impulse control, rest, not eating out, being alone, excursions, stop command, letting yourself be touched, concentration.

Socialization: including practicing neutrality with strangers/dogs and new situations (city, office, vet, vacation).

Development of a frustration tolerance: including tours, encounters with strange dogs/people, encounters with wild animals, field rest/dog training tournaments, walks with strange dogs, etc.

Physical training suitable for puppies: including different surfaces, walking slowly up stairs, swimming, small trick, high five, running backwards, turning left and right.

Motivation: including playing properly, giving away toys, catching games, dead prey, racing.


6th – 8th month

Goal: In addition to the daily training of the previous months, physical training for better body awareness is also important. For agility, there are some small bases that can also be trained without equipment.

Fitness training: including running backwards, stretching, pivoting, balance work, target work.

Agility basics: including starting position, front, ground work (e.g. slow tap in the flat, circle work),

8th – 12th month

Although you can place more value on the basics of agility, you can include small exercises for fitness.

Fitness training: including rabbit, sprinting, preparation for jump training, combination of tricks (e.g. circle backwards).

Agility basics: including ground work (building jump commands), target work for running contacts, minimal handling training (understanding changes and body language).

From the 12th month

Fitness training: all previous exercises and other combinations and modifications, additional regular endurance and strength training (canicross, bikejoring, swimming)

Agility basics: training the jump commands on the device (first the outrigger, then with the pole), setting up the various other devices (bridge, seesaw, slalom, etc.), device focus, handling training with the first sequences and later in the course


If you start training your dog early, the problem often arises that the dog slips faster in a certain expectation and cannot really relax. Of course, it is up to each dog owner to decide for themselves how important it is for the dog to be able to wait and see. It becomes a problem for us when we see that one of our dogs is stressed and having a hard time calming down, even though he looks like he needs it. A good boxing workout can help here.

Staying calm at home has become one of the most important lessons for us, as dogs like Border Collies in particular need to practice this very specifically. You should only start with the right sport when you are sure that a “kill switch” really works.


What is all this for?

Of course, it always depends on how committed you are and what the dog likes. With this article we only want to give you a little orientation if you still lack an overview of the world of dog training. It doesn’t matter if you just want to train the basics for everyday life or if you also want to set the first basics for agility. A little plan for better structuring your goals never hurts.

Why do I need a dog training plan?

A structure is for illustrative purposes only. This does not mean that you have to do these things exactly during the period. And of course, you can always adjust the plan based on your dog’s current condition and strengths and weaknesses. If something is particularly difficult for your dog, it will be practiced more intensively. In this way, his weaknesses become his strengths.

Does a dog training plan replace the dog school?

Certainly, a plan does not replace training with a good trainer at the dog park. Good online courses also provide a great opportunity to learn in a structured way, get feedback from a trainer, and face your own mistakes over and over again. We have already had good experiences with on-the-job dog training training in combination with a good online course for building a young dog.

Are online courses a good dog training option?

There are now many online courses. There are courses for puppies and also for adult dogs. These serve to lay the foundation for everyday life, motivation, commitment and focus. It is not primarily about the fact that the dog should later necessarily be used in dog sports. They are also very suitable for non-athletes.

On the other hand, renowned athletes also offer online courses for the basics of agility, which are aimed at young dogs or adult dogs. Many courses are also offered on running, manipulation, etc.

Nevertheless, it is absolutely necessary to pay attention to the quality of the online training. Factors can be: reviews of other participants, price, with/without training feedback, duration of access to learning materials, etc.

Puppy Classes vs Online Classes

For many, a good puppy school certainly makes sense. However, we strongly recommend that you pay close attention to the selection of the puppy course. Go to different dog schools without a dog first and examine them closely. Decision criteria are, for example, group size (less is more), plenty of exercise (not just games), selection of suitable dogs for free play, several attentive trainers, integration of old dogs confident in free play, trainer flexibility.

We have experienced that you can train in a much more targeted way, especially with online courses, and that the bond with the dog is enormously strengthened. Of course, social behavior with other dogs is not practiced in an online course.

error: Content is protected !!
Enable registration in settings - general