People always comment about what a good dog Kirby is. The reason is he's been well trained from the start. I've always used lots of treats and a clicker during short 15 minute sessions. He thinks we're playing a game but he's always learning. Repetition is key as is always ending on a good note meaning he was successful at what was asked of him. If he's learning a new trick where he's getting it wrong I ask a trick he knows and end the session.
He's never pushed to learn something new when he's tired. He gladly poses for pictures wearing just about anything I want him to wear. He lets me know if he doesn't want to participate and we stop. Usually fifteen minutes later he's ready to co-operate. If I ask him to do something fearful such as when he learned to walk a teeter totter then we take it slow one step at a time. He's not forced so he has the time he needs to discover it won't hurt him.
The most important lesson I had to teach him was that he could trust me knowing I have his best interest at heart. He's very proud when he pleases me but he always KNOWS it's ok if he gets it wrong.
Training a dog does not require yelling, hitting, or any other form of bullying. What it does require is patience, gentle firmness, and a whole lotta love. Dogs want to please so make training a fun game with treats and lot's of "good boy" accolades.
Dogs are smart and learn fast but only if they understand what you want from them. If you find your pup is making mistakes or just not getting it then stop and take a good look at what you're doing. Are you being clear? Are you being consistent? Are you asking too much all at once? Make the necessary corrections on your end and soon you'll have the best dog on the block.