A dog is always learning, so any time he is with you is a chance to train.
Training your dog allows him to become a welcome member of the family and the community.A dog who is trained behaves well in a variety of situations giving you peace of mind when making plans. He can go on walks, he can go with you on vacations and outings and he can visit your friends.
Dog training doesn't have to be time consuming. A dog is always learning, so any time he is with you is a chance to train. You can praise and reward him when he offers acceptable behaviors, you can stop him when he begins to engage in undesired behaviors and you can incorporate basic commands into the daily routine. Asking for a sit at every meal time, asking him to go to a place or to perform a down stay while you are eating dinner or watching television and a recall (come) while you're playing in the yard with him. The dog will quickly be able to learn the behaviors that are expected of him if you use them regularly.
One of the common myths about dog training is that training the dog will break his spirit or make him sad. Like children, dogs love having a routine, they thrive on knowing what is expected from their pack leader.
Another myth is that you can't train an older dog. A dog can be trained at any age. An older dog may take a bit longer, he might have more bad habits that will take diligence to rehabilitate.
It benefits all dogs (and dog parents) if the dog knows a few basic commands. I find that the most useful commands for everyday life are:
Let's go (loose leash walking)
Out (release or give something the dog has picked up)
Leave it (prevent the dog from getting into something)
Many common behavioral problems can also be addressed with basic obedience training, such as barking, jumping, pulling, digging, and biting, just to name a few.
Training a dog should be a way of life not just an activity you do for 20 minutes a day. Remember, every minute you are with your dog child, is an opportunity to train him.