Puppy Potty Training Methods

Puppy Potty Training Methods

Happy Dog

Puppy potty training is probably one of the most difficult aspects of dog ownership.  If not properly trained, the dog is more capable of being disobedient or even aggressive to an extent.  There are various methods that you can use to potty train a puppy.  The following methods are the most common.

Crate training

Crate training is one of the most effective potty training methods described by trainers and owners alike.  The methods simply involves the confinement of the puppy within a small crate with the aim of teaching him to hold urine till he is released from the crate.  Many animals want nothing to do with their excrement, therefore the puppy would rather wait than have to deal with his own waste.  When buying the crate ensure that it is small enough that the dog can lie in it comfortably, but not big enough that he can create a mess in the corner then separate himself from the mess.

However, you need to remember not to leave the puppy in the crate for too long.  Recommended time for a 1 month old puppy is 1 hour, a 2 month old puppy is 2 hours and so on.  For the best results, reward the puppy after an outdoor potty.

Potty pads

Potty pads are less of a common potty training method.  However, they can be used intelligently to train puppies without necessarily using crates.  Train the puppy to do his business on the potty pad and the potty pad only.  You should place a dog bed and several toys in a confined area of the house then lay the potty pad a few meters away.  If you catch the puppy before the act, place him on the Pad.  Every time he does the right thing reward him through praise or using a treat.

Puppy Potty Training Using A Dog Door

If you train the puppy to use the dog door will save you the trouble of having to take him out every time he wants to relieve himself.  For this method, lay out the play area close to the door.  Show the puppy repeatedly the door’s location by taking him in and out several times over several days.  Once he has known that the door is available and uses it without prompting, show the puppy where he should potty.  Reward the puppy every time he does the right thing by using praise or treats.

Potty Training Do nots

Even though your first instinct is to negatively punish the puppy when he makes a mistake, you must never do this.  Young puppies are more likely going to be scared by you since they don’t understand the meaning of disapproval.

Potty Training Dos

Positive reinforcement has better results when doing potty training.  Reward the puppy using praise, clicks, or treats for every task completed successfully.  You always have to keep in mind that puppies are unique and training methods will vary for each one.   The best way to get help with the potty training is getting the right training aids such as DVDs, books, magazines or Blog Posts like this one.

The Secrets To Training Any Dog

The Secrets To Training Any Dog

There is a secret to training any dog.  In fact I have never seen a dog that could not be trained. However I have seen dog owners that never took the time to train their dog and then wonder why their pet is out of control.

Okay, here is the secret… desire, consistency and 15 minutes a day.  Yes it is just that simple.

Let’s start off with desire.  To get a trained dog you must have a desire for a trained dog.  If you don’t have the desire or see a real need for a nicely trained dog then it just won’t happen.  Look around at family, friends and neighbors I’m sure that somebody you know has a real nicely trained dog.  Are you envious?  Don’t be, instead simply decide that you want the same with your dog and go for it.  A well-trained dog can go places with you and make you proud of the fact that it is so well-behaved.

Next we are going to talk about consistency.  It is a must.  For example you can’t allow your dog to jump on you today and then tomorrow scold it when it does the same thing.  Plainly stated, consistency is something that you have to be vigilant about.  When you are with your dog shoot for 100% good behavior.  Your dog will learn that behaving and acting properly is something that is always a must.

Okay, the last secret is 15 minutes a day.  If you will train with your dog only 15 minutes a day you can have the best trained and well-mannered dog in the neighborhood.  Yes, it only takes 15 minutes a day, how easy is that.

I think a lot of people feel that dog training requires hours of vigorous work but that simply is not true.  Hire a local trainer to guide you through the exercises and it will even be easier, plus you will be amazed at your progress.  Keep in mind that every 15 minute session should have a goal.  For example today we are going to make our sit-stay a little better.  You are going to work on all your exercises however the one that you are really shooting for today is a longer more reliable sit-stay.

I have one more little secret to share with you that will make that dog of yours even better.  Train in multiple places.  Yes, when you start training you probably will start in the house.  When the dog is doing well in the house then you move outside to the driveway.  When that is working well you move to the park and then at your vets office.  I think you get the idea, your dog needs to perform wherever it goes so train in those places.

I hope that learning these simple secrets will make you want to get out there and have fun training the best dog in the neighborhood, your dog.

The Correct Way To Walk Your Dog

The Correct Way To Walk Your Dog

One thing that dog owners complain most about is the fact that their dog is dragging them down the street when they go for a walk.  It’s not only uncomfortable but it can actually be dangerous.  Over the years I’ve seen people with hurt arms and shoulders as well as people who have been knocked to the ground.

Now if you have a 3 pound Chihuahua that you take for walks this article probably doesn’t have anything for you.  However if you have a larger dog that is dragging you and making your walks uncomfortable then this article is for you.

Let’s start off by saying that you need to start training your dog when it’s young and teach it to walk at your side on a loose leash.  If you allow your dog to be out in front of you and pulling you down the street when it’s young it will want to keep doing that same thing as it gets older.  So teaching your dog the right way to walk on leash from the beginning is very important.

Let’s start off by talking about your leash.  I always tell my clients if you have one of those retractable leashes go get it and let’s throw it in the trash can.  In fact I just spoke to a lady today whose dog got loose from her on a busy street because it broke the retractable leash.  So go out and get yourself a good leash.  Ideally you’d like a 6 foot leather leash because once it’s broken in a leather leash is nice on your hands compared to the nylon leashes for example.  If you have a leash it’s made of chain that’s something else for the trash can.  Chain leashes can really hurt your hands and be very uncomfortable.

So let’s talk about where and how your dog should be walking.  Your dog should be walking on your left-hand side and its legs should roughly lined up with your legs and there should be a small amount of slack in the leash so that it’s not pulling you.  A dog that walks in front of his master is a dog who thinks he’s in charge.  In order for you to be the alpha and the pack leader your dog should be walking on your side and not pulling.

So how do you keep your dog from pulling?  There are a bunch of different apparatus including special collars and harnesses that are supposed to keep your dog from pulling.  However I say to heck with those contraptions and teach your dog to walk nicely at your side.

Working with a good obedience trainer is an easy way to teach your dog to walk without pulling.  So give your trainer a call and get him out there to help you train your dog to walk on a nice loose leash.

How to Calm Your Hyper Dog

How to Calm Your Hyper Dog

All dogs have different dispositions and some are more hyper than others.  A hyper dog can be a challenge for their owner.  A hyper dog’s behavior can range from excited to frantic.  This can cause a disruption in the home, when you go for walks and when you encounter other people and animals.

When dealing with your hyper dog you need to remain calm.  Dogs can sense when you’re frustrated or angry.  They know when you’re nervous or excited.  Any of these emotions can be a trigger, making your dog more hyper.  Projecting a sense of calm, can help to calm your hyper dog.

Here are some other ways to calm your dog and relieve some of its energy:

“Dogs Need Mental Stimulation”

Find ways to redirect your dog’s energy.  Some people have found that toys and exercise can help calm a dog.  Long walks can help relieve built up energy and help a dog calm down.  Agility training has also been known to help stimulate a dog and calm hyperactive behavior.  These are all activities that provide mental and physical stimulation.

Obedience training also provides mental stimulation, while teaching your dog proper behavior.  Not only will this training help calm your dog, it will also help you learn how to be calm around your dog.  When you learn how to be calm, you can teach this technique to your family and friends.

“Get Everyone To Help”

A common problem people have when trying to calm their dogs is other people causing the dog to become hyper.  If there are people who spend a fair amount of time with your pet, you should get them to help.  If someone is always excitable or angry or frustrated around your dog, they can erase all of the hard work you’ve done in seconds if you don’t take control.

Make sure everyone you know, understands your dog needs a calm environment.  Then work on teaching your pet how to interact with others.  If your dog is used to running into the room and jumping on your neighbors or nipping at your kids, then you have to train them not to do that.  This training will help the dog be calm, because it will, in time, learn what is expected of them.

“Make Sure Your Dog Gets Regular Exercise”

While all of the training and playing may help to calm your dog.  It won’t help if your dog is not getting regular daily exercise.  It’s important to take your dog for long walks and allow them to burn off that excess energy.  Dogs need more than a few minutes out to get the exercise they need.

You can supplement your walk with trips to places where your dog can run off-leash.  Regardless of the type of exercise, the most important thing is consistency.  Walking, hiking, skating and even biking are possible while walking your dog.  These activities give you and dog a chance to bond, while both of you get a great workout.  And best of all when you’re done and go home, you’ll have a calmer dog.

The 3 Steps Of Good Dog Training

The 3 Steps Of Good Dog Training

Dog training consists of three basic steps. If done properly and in the correct sequence, you will have a happy, well-trained dog. The three steps are: teaching your dog, correcting him, and proofing his training so that he is able to perform in any environment.

Step 1: The Teaching Phase.

During this first phase, you are teaching the dog what a command means and what he is supposed to do. This step can be used whether you are teaching your dog to Sit or something much more advanced. You have to teach the dog before you can move on to do anything else. It’s important to make teaching as much fun for your dog as possible during this step and the steps that follow. Dogs learn best when you keep things fun. If your dog thinks training is like a game, he will have a good attitude and enjoy learning.

Step 2: The Correction Phase.

During this phase you know that the dog knows the exercise but he refuses to do it. When this happens you give a verbal and/or small leash correction. The dog learns to do what you ask every time. Although you are correcting your dog, you should still keep this phase fun. Maintain a positive attitude toward your dog. Do not train your dog when you’re angry or upset.

Step 3: The Proofing Phase.

When your dog is doing everything well you start increasing the distractions present so that he learns to perform in any environment. This means that you can add sounds, things moving, additional people in the room and even take him to new places to practice the exercises. Proofing helps to make your dog perfect at performing the exercises and he learns to ignore the distractions. Take your time. It is more important to get things right than to rush your dog’s training. It can take a long time to proof some commands so that your dog performs them reliably. During this phase you will most likely be working without the leash so plan to work in enclosed areas at first until you are sure that your dog can be trusted in open areas.

By taking the required time to work on each step you will have a dog that not only works well in your living room without any distractions, but also outside around other people and distractions. The secret is to take the time to accomplish each step properly and make it fun.

Teach Your Dog To Ring A Bell For House Training

Teach Your Dog To Ring A Bell For House Training

Teaching your dog to ring a bell to let you know when it needs to go outside to do its business is really pretty easy.  I have found that it usually takes somewhere between 4 to 8 weeks for the dog to catch on to the process.  About 85% of the dogs catch on and are willing to do it while about 5% of the dogs actually get scared by the bell.  Usually these are the very small dogs.

The process is simple but you must be consistent.  We start by getting an appropriate bell.  I no longer suggest using the jingle bell because they have a small hole in the bell that can actually catch the dog’s toenail.  Instead I prefer a small cowbell or even a small desktop bell like you would see at a hotel on the counter to call the desk clerk.  These desktop bells are available at Staples office supply/Office Supplies or any hobby or craft shop.

With the cowbell simply hang it from the door low enough that your dog can hit it easily with it’s paw.  The desk top model can simply be placed on the floor next to the door.

You attach your dog’s leash to his collar and walk it to the door and simply lift his paw and hit the bell.  As soon as the bell rings immediately open the door.  Your dog will learn that ringing the bell makes the door open.

Like I mentioned earlier it will take a few weeks for your dog to catch on so you will need to continue helping until your dog figures it out.   When it does catch on I think you will agree with me that it is very exciting.  Yes, now you will have a dog that can ring the bell and get your attention when it needs to do it’s business.

Occasionally I will have a client that tells me that their dog sometimes rings the bell when it only wants to go outside but really does not need to do its business.  No problem, open the door and let it out for some fresh air.  I think you will find that it is just another step in creating some good communication between you and your dog.

Remember consistency is important in teaching this exercise and also make sure that the dogs paw hits the bell not your hand.  Have fun and I hope you enjoy the experience.

Teach Your Dog To Always Come When Called

Teach Your Dog To Always Come When Called

Teaching your dog to come when you call it is very important and in fact it could be a life-saving exercise.  Teaching this command should start early when the dog is a young puppy and before it learns that it doesn’t have to come.

Most people get in the habit of taking their puppy outside to do its business without a leash.  That works fine when the puppy is very young but as it starts getting older it realizes that there’s a big world out there that’s worth exploring and guess what, you can’t catch him.

So one of the very first things you should do with your puppy is getting it used to a collar and leash.  When you take your puppy outside to do its business, always do it with the collar and leash.  This way your puppy learns to come when you call it because you can actually pull it in with the leash and it learns it can’t runaway.  So that becomes its habit.

One thing to keep in mind is that your puppy needs a reason to come when you call it.  There are actually three different things that your puppy would probably love when it comes.  It can be lots of praise, a toy, and even a treat will work as a reward.

Even though I’m not a treat trainer I love using treats to teach a dog to come when it’s called.  Basically what you’re going to do is use the dog’s name and the command come, simply Fido come.  When he comes to you he has to sit and then he is rewarded with a treat.  Make that treat something special that really motivates him to come when you call him.

I’ve had clients use everything from small pieces of steak, string beans out of a can, small pieces of chicken and even tiny pieces of cheese.  You simply need to find out what treat turns your dog on and which treat is most desirable to him.

You can make this a game for the entire family.  Family members can position themselves in different rooms and take turns calling the dog.  Once this exercise is working well in the house then you can move it to the fenced in backyard.  Again family members position themselves in different corners of the yard and call the dog and give him his reward when he comes.

What you are doing is creating a real strong habit.  So that when he hears his name and the command come, he knows that there’s always something good in it for him.  So the question is how many times do we do this?  There isn’t a true answer; you may need to do it hundreds or even thousands of times to create the really strong habit.

When your dog is doing this really well then you can start rewarding him sometimes with his treat and other times with physical praise.  If you’ve laid the proper groundwork and done the exercise enough times it should now be a habit and your dog should come when it’s called.

One golden rule; never punish a dog that finally comes to you, it will teach him not to come.

Stop Your Puppy From Chewing

Stop Your Puppy From Chewing

Does your puppy chew a little too much?  It is important to train your puppy to stop chewing on everything in the house.  With these tips you can successfully get your dog to stop chewing on everything he sees.

Crate training your puppy is a fantastic way to house train your dog and an added bonus to the house training is the fact that if the pup is in the crate it can’t chew on the dining room table legs.  If you can do the necessary things to get your dog thru those chewing months then maybe you will never suffer the agony of the shredded couch.

Another very simple but effective method of keeping your dog from chewing is to always keep it with you, let me explain that better.  What I’m talking about is when your dog isn’t in the crate keep it attached to you.   Simply attach a leash to the collar and then attach the leash to your belt so wherever you go the puppy comes with you and won’t have a chance to chew on anything that’s inappropriate.

Of course you can do everything possible to divert your puppy’s behavior to chew on the proper things by making sure he has safe chew toys.   When I say safe I mean don’t give your puppy things to chew that could create a choking problem.  My favorite toy for a dog is a Kong.  These strong rubber toys can be filled with treats or peanut butter and become a great baby sitter for your pup.

Use a spray that your puppy doesn’t like the taste of on items you do not want him/her to chew on.  Yes, this really works.  Using a good bitter apple product can help with the chewing problem by making things taste badly.  The product that I really like and have great results with is Grannicks Bitter Apple.

Consistency is important.  You can’t let your new dog chew on some old tennis shoes and then be upset when it destroys a new pair of Nike’s.  No chewing means no chewing on anything unless it belongs to the pup and it is made to be chewed.

Chewing is normal for a puppy, but getting him to chew on the correct items is important. If you are having problems with your puppy chewing on your things, try the tips in this article.



Do You Know Who Is The Worlds Greatest Trainer?

Do You Know Who Is The Worlds Greatest Trainer?

Yes a dog is the “Worlds Greatest Trainer”.  A dog can take a loving owner and have him or her trained in no time.  Let me give you just a few examples.

You go for a walk and the dog all of a sudden simply sits and will not move.  So you pick it up and carry it back home.  It just taught you what to do when it doesn’t want to walk anymore or maybe just doesn’t want to walk in that direction.

Here is another example.  You want your dog to go into a crate easily so you use a treat to bribe the dog.  Now when you tell it to go to its crate it simply sits in place until you get a treat out of the treat jar and then it eagerly runs to the crate.  Yep it taught you no treat, no crate.

You get the idea.  Dogs are the Worlds Greatest Human Trainers while us dog owners struggle to be simply good dog trainers.

What I am trying to tell you in this article is don’t let your dog train you, train your dog.  Every dog owner I mention this to laughs when I tell them that their dog is a better human trainer than they are a dog trainer.  Don’t let it happen to you.

I mentioned earlier that training should be fun for you and your dog.  That is really important.  Too many people make it a chore rather than making it an opportunity to spend time with your dog and teach it something that will be a valuable asset in the future.

Make it a goal to get your dog just a TINY bit better with each training session.  If you will simply spend 15 minutes a day training your dog and do it in 6 different places you will have the best dog in the neighborhood.

Go have some training fun with your dog today.

Stop Your Dog From Jumping On You The Easy Way!

Stop Your Dog From Jumping On You The Easy Way

This is probably one of the most asked behavior problems.  The good thing is that it can easily be fixed with very little effort in less than 24 hours.  Let me tell you how and then go give it a try.

I have seen so many different methods used to stop a dog from jumping over my years as a trainer.  Most of them I didn’t care for.  Most of them took a long time to start working and a bunch of them did not work at all.

The technique that I am going to show you has never failed, never!  I have taught this method to young children and to 87-year-old women that were tired of being jumped on and knocked down on a regular basis.

Start off with a small spray bottle that has an adjustable nozzle so you can create a straight stream like a water pistol.  Fill the bottle with plain cool water.  Now let the dog in or release it from its crate.  As the dog comes to you and starts to jump simply give the “NO JUMP” command and spray it in the face 2 times.

Most dogs will hate this technique and that’s good because that is what we want.  We want the dog to dislike the water bottle so much that it will not jump.  The great part of this entire method is that it is so easy, doesn’t hurt the dog and works so quickly.

If you will keep a bottle with you for a few days you will see that the dog has stopped jumping.  Do I have to keep a bottle with me forever you ask?  Absolutely not after a few days or maybe even a couple of weeks the jumping will be gone.  We just used this technique to do some behavior modification and solve the jumping problem the easy way.  Try it you will love it.

By the way the water bottle can be used for other bad behaviors as well.  It is very effective for barking, counter surfing and it works well when the dog shows aggression while you are on a walk.

Please realize that the water bottle trick is simply a way to quickly control a bad habit but it should never be considered a complete training program.  Take the time to train your dog properly so that you have a best friend that you can enjoy for a long time.

Should My Dog Always Be In Training Mode?

Should My Dog Always Be In Training Mode?

This is a really good question that I’m asked quite often, not only from my obedience training customers but also from my students at K9 – University.  And the answer is really pretty simple.  In the beginning we are shooting for perfection because we want the dog to learn good habits.  So it’s probably always best to have the dog in training mode when it is on leash.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about when it comes to going for walks and the heeling command.  Let’s say you’re working on the heel exercise and you’re going to take a walk through the neighborhood.  Perhaps you will be gone for 30 minutes or so and heeling is brand-new to your dog.  I always tell people to start off at your driveway with your dog in the heeling position and heel for one or two driveways, do an automatic sit and then give your dog the release command.

Then allow your dog to go one or two more driveways in a walking position like you have been doing in the past.  Then stop, get back into the heel position for another one or two driveways, automatic sit and then the release command again.

In a couple of days you’ll then do two or three driveways, automatic sit, release word and then regular walking for one or two driveways.

In a couple more days three or four driveways, automatic sit, release word and then regular walking for one driveway.

In a couple more days heel for five driveways, automatic sit, release word and then regular walking for one driveway.

You see what I’m doing here were developing a habit for the dog to be walking in the heel position.  I am allowing him some free time walking in between the heeling so that he isn’t always in the heel position in the beginning.  After a while when you give the dog it’s release word it will start to be in the heel position automatically because that’s become it’s habit.

The same goes for the other exercises.  If you like you can keep a short leash on your dog in the house so at any time you can reach over grab the leash and put your dog in the sit position or the down position and it learns that it has to obey when you give a command.

One of the most important things you can do when you are training a dog ( or raising a kid ) is to be consistent in your training.  You can’t expect them to do it this time and let them slide next time.  In the beginning there has to always be consistency.

But, keep in mind that there will be a time for the dog to be a dog ( or the kids to be kids ) out in the backyard when you’re playing, throwing the ball, or just plain rough housing.