Who is “man’s best friend?” My wife says it’s the couch, a pizza and ESPN, but that is because she grew up with four brothers. However, we all know man’s best friend is his dog. I love my dog. I love dogs. They provide comfort, support, undying love, and someone to bounce all those brilliant ideas off that are going to make you a millionaire someday. I cannot imagine life without my dog.

When I picked Axel up and brought him home, he was a puppy. I was advised to train him well and not to make him a guard or an attack dog. Actually, training your dog makes him happier, healthier, and much more stable. Who knew?

With that in mind, I embarked on the journey of training this little puppy. Diving in head first, I bought books, acquired videos, reading articles , and even talked with professional trainers about the matter. Over time, I gleaned a lot of helpful information. I learned about commonly encountered behavioral problems, and some not so common as well. I absorbed facts about proper diet, exercise, and training techniques. Because of my interest and commitment to his best interest, my dog is well behaved, happy, social, and understands a point spread better than any other dog traveling in the car pool lane.

While I was going through the process of learning how to train my puppy, I noticed one thing; trainers are really, really, serious about their craft, but will my lack of seriousness result in a poorly trained dog? The informality of my approach has resulted in a fabulous companion that clumsily bumps around the house, and chews on this and that in pure puppy form. Whether he’s curled up snoozing or striking an adorable pose, the real joy comes simply from his mere presence, and of these joys, the laughter that he incites is at the very top of the list.

Keeping laughter and light heartedness in mind as a dog owner in training, is of the utmost importance because sometimes training can be very difficult on you and your pal. Sometimes your dog will push your patience to the limits. Remember to try and never let your dog know that you are at your limits. You are given the awesome responsibility at the time of acquisition, to be the pack leader and ultimately your dog’s sensei.

I kept that in mind when I sat down to put this rewards based training blog together. What I hope you will find inside here is a complete, concise training guide, the information of which is culled from trainers, training manuals and years of experience with a wonderful dog. Though this guide approaches training as a serious endeavor, your dog will teach you that it will not always be serious, and nor should you. I have attempted to infuse his playful spirit throughout this instructional. I hope that those light moments within this reading will help you get through the tougher times, like the chewing of your cell phone, the pooping on your socks and those mysterious expenses charged to your credit card. “Could it be that only Axel is able to run a credit card via telephone?”

A dog can be a loyal and longtime friend, worthy of your commitment and care. Your dog can give your life so much richness, and in return, asks very little. If you train your dog well, he or she will be happier, and as science has proven, so will you. If you keep a sense of humor alive during training, the outcomes will be the best for both of you. I hope you find this guide informative, easy to follow and fun. Enjoy.