There are a lot of different ways to train your dog. You may choose to sign up for a dog training class, hire a professional dog trainer for private lessons, or even send your dog to board with a trainer. However, plenty of people successfully train their dogs on their own. It's a great way to save money on training costs, and a wonderful way to bond with your dog.
Start by finding an AKC Club near you that offers training classes. Ask if you can observe a class before committing to make sure it’s the right one for you. Learn more about different types of classes here. To get the most benefit, you must plan on practicing at home as well. But don’t worry: Your at-home sessions don’t have to be very time-consuming and practice sessions should be kept short.
Once you’ve taken some classes and your dog has mastered the necessary skills, you might decide to compete. There are three main levels of progression in competition: Novice, Open and Utility; with other steps in between to help build on the required skills. Find an event near you and then submit an official AKC entry form to the trial secretary or superintendent in charge of accepting the entries for the trial.
Choose a designated area for your puppy to "go" before bringing him home. This spot might be somewhere in the backyard, next to a structure that provides shelter from wind, or some other suitable place in the garden. Wherever it is, have a firm commitment to it before getting the puppy. You don't want to create inconsistent messages by shifting his toilet around the yard while you make up your mind.