We Thought Our Puppy Training Would Go Quickly!

We Thought Our Puppy Training Would Go Quickly

After their first series of puppy lessons most new puppy owners are surprised at the amount of time it takes for puppy training. Why would they think such a thing?

Maybe it’s because when I go into their homes to train, and the puppy training is relatively easy for me, they think it will be as easy for them. They expect they will be able to accomplish what I can accomplish with a puppy on the first lesson” (sit, down, come and go to their place).

This incorrect assumption sets up new puppy owners into thinking the puppy training progress will be fast for them also. This is actually beyond what is the norm for most owners and their puppy.

Most owners stumble over and get hung up on the behavior part of puppy training, you know the housetraining, biting and the jumping.

So maybe it’s time for a reality check.

Reality Check

The reality is that there is a lot of repetitive training and redirecting to the appropriate behavior needed at this point.

For example, “Don’t bite me, instead, chew this! Don’t jump. Sit!”

How puppy owners accomplish this without stressing the puppy is important. If not done correctly, these out of reach expectations, can put a lot of pressure on a little puppy that is in a new environment, filled mixed signals and rules that are way different from those when he lived with his mom and litter mates.

Puppy training will move quickly using food treats because puppies and dogs will work for food. It will take far longer to teach that same excited puppy to sit instead of jump around distractions like other family members (especially kids) or house guests.

Here are some things that further complicate new puppy training

We Thought Our Puppy Training Would Go Quickly!

Puppies are so darn cute new puppy owners tend to cut their puppies a lot of “cute slack.” They think it is cute when puppies jump and because puppies are so cute they tend to get picked up and held a lot. Puppies get lots of free love and affection.

Many puppy owners get on the floor and wrestle with their puppy and cuddle on the floor with their puppy for 30 minutes or longer frequently each night. And many new puppy owners rarely crate their puppy except at night or if they have to leave the house.

It seems to go against their nurturing nature to do otherwise. It seems grossly unfair to set rules and require little cute puppies to adhere to the rigors of a structured lifestyle.

For gosh sakes, it’s just a puppy. There’s always time later for training, right?

Now don’t get me wrong. I love to love on a cute puppy as much as the next person.

However, puppies are learning even when you are not formally teaching or training with them.

The very day you bring your new puppy home he begins to learn what works and doesn’t work for him, not you.

From your puppy’s point of view

From your puppy’s point of view, jumping gets him picked up, carried and/or hugged. The more he’s hugged on and loved, the less he is crated.

Biting and running gets your attention and puppies do love attention.

See how your puppy is learning even when you are not teaching or training.

“We thought our puppy training would go fast.” It might have, but not if you have to undo all the learned behavior you created. Here’s what I mean by that.

Time flies when you’re having fun but seems to drag on forever when you want to fix it

More time out of the crate than in the crate early on in the formative weeks and months of a puppy could mean that he may not like confinement now. He prefers to be with you.

Now you get barking and whining in the crate. He’s learning even when you’re not training.

Not crating your puppy more often early on could significantly delay house training as you find pee/poop accidents to clean up. He learns to go where ever he wants when he gets the urge simply because it works for him. Again, he’s learning even when you’re not training.

All the wrestling on the floor creates an excited puppy which promotes puppy mouthing and biting as an acceptable way to play with humans. And again, he’s learning even when you’re not training.

The more all of these behaviors work for your puppy, the stronger all of the behaviors become. The stronger they become, the longer it will take to make them go away.

A balance in training

So is there a happy medium?

Where can you strike a reasonable balance between your natural nurturing needs and the structure of training your puppy desperately needs?

The happy medium is with obedience training. Teaching your puppy to sit for the things he wants. The happy medium comes in the form of things “earned” like love and affection but all in “moderation.” The key, at least for a while is moderation.

The happy medium is also with structure from day one. Set structure and rules for your puppy on day one with regards to sitting instead of jumping, adequate crate time and appropriate play habits – all in moderation.

Begin working the sit command in everything you do with your new puppy. Sit before going into his crate and before he comes out of his crate. Sit to begin playing with you and sit also ends the game of play as well.

Use appropriate obedience commands (especially the sit) where ever you can think to apply it. He should sit to go out to go potty and to come back inside. You will be absolutely amazed at the difference in your puppy if you set these expectations. He will feel less stressed because he now knows what is expected of him every day.

As you begin your obedience training process, keep a few simple things in mind.

Understanding the training process

Just because you teach your puppy his basic obedience commands doesn’t mean he’s “really got it.” Here’s why. If he won’t sit you need him to sit, like around family and friends, then it’s not working for you and that’s not practical. So here’s how it goes. 

• First a puppy has to learn a command like sit.
• Once a puppy learns a command, you have to train him around friends and family members.
• Once a puppy learns a command around friends and family members, you have to train him around more and more distractions.

It usually takes daily obedience training (2 to 3 minutes in length) for 4-6 weeks with distractions around which you need to get good reliable compliance from your puppy.

But remember, he’s just a puppy so don’t push too hard.

Remember also, when training your puppy, always make the wrong thing difficult (not impossible) and the right thing easy.

Let me say that again. Make the wrong thing difficult (not impossible and the right thing easy. It gives your puppy the opportunity to make the mistake in order to learn his lesson.

He learns by instinct, trial and error and training.

Other considerations

I hope I haven’t painted an impossible scenario for your puppy training. While it may seem like a lot to remember and do, just remember, you do have a lifetime with your puppy for training. So here are a few other considerations to keep in mind as you continue on with your puppy’s training.

• Learn the value of being in the process. That’s where the learning takes place. That’s where your puppy will learn the value of your relationship from day one. So do not necessarily focus only on the outcome.

• Puppy training should always be kept age-appropriate. That includes keeping puppy lessons upbeat, happy and very short. Always stop on a high note. That means get a quick “Sit!” and end the lesson with praise.

• Remember, puppies learn fast but reliability will only come with maturity and experience. Don’t push it.

• Setting rules, boundaries and expectations for your puppy the day he arrives is critical to having a puppy that will listen to you.

• Always have realistic goals and always keep your emotions in check.

And then there’s adolescence and beyond

The information I’ve discussed about puppy training is important. If done properly, it will better prepare you and your puppy for missing the next stage of mischief, canine adolescence.

Who knows, if you heed my advice, adolescence may come and “be gone without notice” and in the “blink of an eye” you are admiring your well-mannered adult dog. Isn’t that what you really want?

Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you.  I’d really be pleased if you would come over to my Facebook page to let me know how this article impacted you and the way it made you think about puppy training.  Are you looking at it a little differently?  Remember:  

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, serving 8700+ clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog. 

His Nose to Tail Puppy Training is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him because you know how to teach him.  You empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.  The result – one awesome puppy and one happy family.

Come join other dog and puppy owners in the following locations where we discuss practical and easy solutions to dog and puppy training:

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Puppy Play Should be Playful not Painful

It goes without saying that when you get your cute new puppy, engaging in puppy play should be playful, not painful. But that’s not always the case.

Many new puppy owners and their children are sorely disappointed when their new puppy begins to literally bite the hand that feeds it.

Recently a new puppy owner contacted me with concerns about her 14 week old puppy:

“My 14 week old Jack Russell is really nipping. I have tried the redirecting to a toy, “yelping,” ignoring and again redirecting to a toy…nothing seems to work. He just hangs on and growls.”

Puppy Play Should be Playful not Painful

At 16 weeks, he was still biting her and at other family members when they pick him up. She was frustrated. We talked about the amount of time it would take and the importance of regular daily play exercises.

Additionally we discussed not picking him up as that may tend to put him in the defense mode of “flight/fight” and since he couldn’t take flight, he resorted to biting.

Biting does tend to throw everyone into a panic wondering why “their” puppy is biting so much and so hard when they try to play and pet their new puppy! They automatically jump to the conclusion they have a puppy that is aggressive!

The reality is, a puppy’s world pretty much consists of eating and sleeping and spending a lot of time playing – which includes using their mouths on you. That’s how his life was with his litter mates and it’s an activity carried over to you and your family from his schooling in the litter.

If you have a new puppy that is biting in puppy play, and you are wondering why, let’s take a look at the benefits of play as seen through the eyes of your puppy. This will help you not be so concerned.

You will see why your puppy instinctively carries out his biting in play with you as he did his litter mates.

Here are some puppy benefits of playing

Playing allows your puppy to compare himself with his litter mates – size himself up. Who’s stronger? Who can take control of things?

Playing allows your puppy to work on bite inhibition and bond with his litter mates who can take those razor-sharp teeth much better than our pound of flesh!

Playing is a stress-reliever for your puppy – after which he can relax and sleep – waking up just in time to eat again.

Playing also gives your puppy a chance to hone his skills to stay alive or hunt and kill his next meal. Thank goodness food is in the pantry now and he’s in a safe home, so those skills are no longer needed. But the instincts are still there and instincts drive his play.

Now let’s look at types of play

You can break puppy play down into two types of play: Playing with objects (articles of play like tug toys, chew bones, balls, etc.) and physical play with his littermates or you.

While puppies need to play with you nicely, he probably won’t at first. Take the time to condition your puppy to playing with stuffies or other toys when you first bring him home. These will be great redirects when he gets mouthy with you.

The more “play toy” conditioning your puppy received in the litter starting at about 4 weeks of age, the more he will naturally gravitate to the toys in your home. If he missed that in the litter, keep up the conditioning, it’s not too late – especially if you start right when you bring him home.

Rules for play with your puppy

If your puppy never gets to bite your hand, how will he ever learn how hard is too hard or never bite at all? And of course it would make good sense that the “test hand” be yours and not your children’s. Most puppies learn this lesson quickly.

Teach him biting hurts. Play with your puppy and if he bites, then “yelp” and redirect to a sit, praise and treat. You want to make sure he knows that you are in control of the play session.

When teaching your puppy not to bite, do it gradually. Work on achieving softer bites first, then just mouthing and finally no bites at all.

One more lesson is to teach your puppy is to respond to the word “Off!” which means stop what you’re doing. This way you have a correction word to use so that you can redirect his activity to a toy or chew bone.

Another activity that tends to provoke some puppies to bite is being picked up. I mentioned that earlier. If this is the case with your pup, then refrain from picking him up.

Instead, gradually desensitize him to being picked up. Simply associate food treats with picking him up briefly and then back on the floor he goes. Try and extend the handling time gradually using food treats.

Begin teaching your puppy obedience training. Sits and downs are great “redirects” if you can’t get your hands on a toy.

Don’t expect things to change overnight. It will get better, I promise. You just have to persevere and be consistent with your feedback to your puppy. What you do today will shape the future behavior of your puppy as an adolescent and adult dog. Make it a good experience.

I’m always curious about your input – it’s important to me.  

We’re always learning and there’s a bunch of you out there we are grateful to be able to serve and learn from.  

I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinions on this.  I’m here to help.

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, serving 8700+ clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog. 

Your puppy comes to you as a blank slate.   How you fill in those blanks gives you a great puppy or a puppy with problems.  His Nose to Tail Puppy Training  is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him, you empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.

Train Your Puppy Before He Grows Up!

A whole lot more benefits come your way if you train your puppy “before he grows up” than if you wait. If there’s one thing that I know from all my years of training dogs it is that dogs are learning even if you are not teaching which is why the following is important to know:

Your puppy will form life-long behaviors (good or bad – your choice) within the first 2 weeks to 4 months of his life with you.

A big problem is that puppies are so cute they are hard to resist and we ignore behavior we’re not crazy about. When we bring them home we just want to love on them and we let them get away with everything. New puppy owners find it difficult to set boundaries and place restrictions on their new puppy often times thinking, “he’ll out grow it.”

Many, maybe even you, tend to take a “wait and see” attitude thinking training will be easy I’ll start tomorrow. After all, how hard can it be to raise a puppy? It’s just a puppy! Well….that cuteness doesn’t last forever. It has a limited “shelf life” as my wife likes to say! That new puppy will eventually grow up and develop bad habits – habits that will be harder to change as an older puppy or dog. Days quickly turn into weeks and months.

That’s right about when people give up and many times wind up dropping their “new puppy” or teenage dog off at the shelter. Let’s not let this happen to you okay?

 

Train Your Puppy Before He Grows Up

Trial and error or training?

Because all puppies and dogs do what works, they can learn either by trial and error – figuring things out as they go along or they can learn by being trained.

A good example of trial and error is jumping. It’s hard to resist a jumping puppy – so you pet, cuddle or pick him up and it begins to get him the attention he wants. That’s the “trial and error” part working for the puppy.

Every day you and/or the kids reinforce the jumping, it is fast becoming a permanent behavior and much harder to control when your puppy becomes a larger adult dog.

Training on the other hand would work like this. If you take the time to train a sit every time your puppy approached, that too could work for the puppy. And, if you worked it right, you could say you’d be applying “reverse psychology.”

Your puppy may start to think that every time he sits, he gets something from a human. He’s starts thinking, “These humans are easy to train! If I want to go outside, I sit and they open the door. If I want my dinner, I sit and they give me food. Wow! This is cool.

I can get what I want by training my humans!”

Like our family, friends and others we meet

Although it a great start, there’s more to puppy training than teaching a sit. Always being on alert and micro-managing a biting puppy around your family or friends should not be what you have to think about all the time.

Start the day you get your new puppy. There will be many opportunities for your new puppy to willingly accept pets, hugs and belly rubs.

So that your puppy conforms to “your” personal need of close contact, you should immediately begin to socialize him to children and adults alike. There can never be too much socialization.

Remember, the window of socialization closes somewhere between 3 ½ to 5 months of age. Plan to map out a strategy to achieve maximum socialization by 5 months of age. A good rule of thumb is: 90 kids and adults in 90 days. Sounds like a lot but trust me, it’s well worth it.

Now, I probably don’t have to remind you that puppies naturally play with their teeth so you should also teach your age-appropriate children how to play with your puppy.

Instead of playing chase and activating his prey drive (run, chase and bite) teach them to play a game of fetch or hide and seek – all with rules. Teach your children that their puppy should always sit to start the game. If your puppy gets mouthy, simply end the game and crate your puppy. It’s that simple.

Confidence in being alone

Puppies are “pack animals” and that is probably the one trait that closely resembles our family orientation. Puppies don’t naturally like being by themselves.

While he may adapt to the crate when you are gone, he may not like being in the crate when you are home. So an important part of raising your puppy is to teach and condition him that being alone is okay – even when you are home. In fact, humans may not be at their disposal 24/7.

Condition your puppy to being “okay” by himself by randomly crating him for varying lengths of time when you are home – nights and weekends. When we were training our lab, Sammy, we would crate him in a bedroom, shut the door and let him stay there for 30 minutes, an hour or sometimes we stretched it to two hours. We also downplayed our leaving and coming back home. It’s important to build on the amount of time you leave your puppy in the crate. He did great and he has never had a problem being alone.

The most important message is that we always came back and let them out. One other note – never let your new puppy out of the crate when he is whining or barking. Once your new puppy is quiet, then let him out of the crate.

Setting your puppy up to succeed will provide you a lifetime of enjoyment with your pup. Don’t let your puppy learn by trial and error on his own. It will be far better to start setting rules to follow and boundaries to respect when your puppy first comes home. Obedience training in a fun way with treats (as long as you wean him off the treats) is a good way to train and it will be easier for the kids as well (all age-appropriate of course.)

If done correctly dog behavior problems will be avoided. This will assure him the family is the provider of all good things in life he wants. All he has to do is sit! How easy is that!

I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinions on this. How long will you wait to train your puppy? – I’m here to help.

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, serving 8700+ clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog. 

His Nose to Tail Puppy Training is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him because you know how to teach him.  You empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.  The result – one awesome puppy and one happy family.

If Your Puppy Could Talk, What Would He Tell You He Needs?

“If your puppy could talk, what would he tell you he needs?” is the question I ask many new puppy owners. I like to see how the answers differ.

Puppies need love and affection they say. And most do say love and affection first. Others may follow up with some things they would want me to hear like obedience training or food and water and to know they are in a safe place.

Well, truth be told he needs all of those things – many he needs in moderation and some he needs a lot of – and it may not be in the order you think. Let’s explore what your puppy would need – if he could talk.

 

 

If your puppy could talk, these are some great puppy skills he would want you to have so that you could best interact with him in the early stages of his life with you.

He would tell you that he needs to have the highest level of comfort and trust in you, but at the same time respect you, be obedient and be a good listener to you.

When you give him these things, he will be able to build on this relationship with you and/or your family as a puppy, then young dog and finally into the years ahead as an adult dog.

Even if you are experienced with puppies, perhaps you will find something new here that will fill in the gaps with your current information. If you are just beginning with your first new puppy, I hope you find this informative, positive and practical.

 

Here are three very important areas of your puppy relationship on which you should work

 

• Bonding with your puppy to build trust
• New puppy needs
• Puppy control

Let’s take a look at each one of these “relationship areas” and see exactly what it takes to build on your successes with your new puppy.

 

Bonding with your puppy to build trust

 

Love your new puppy. This is an important part of his new puppy care. Spend his first critical days with you giving your puppy lots of love and affection. Do not be harsh with him in any way.

His house training program must be put into effect on day one but be gentle with him – no hard corrections – that would keep him from bonding with you. Let him sniff around and get to know the house – wherever he’s allowed to go be sure to closely monitor him so he has no accidents.

He learns on a physical level so how you use your body language, eye contact and tone of voice is going to be critically important.

Show him your affection with your touch (body language.) he loves physical contact so you can begin with a favorite of new puppies – belly rubs! Using your hands to gently pet and give soothing belly rubs is a good way to express how you feel towards him. Cuddle and hug him and avoid any interactions that could cause him to be aggressive or bite.

Speaking in a calm soothing voice lets him know you appreciate what he has done because of the warm sincere praise (tone of voice.) This voice inflection will create calm in him. Your calm tone of voice helps you bond with your puppy. Anger, yelling and screaming causes him to become stressed and anxious, creating an unstable environment.

Make sure you give – and get attention (eye contact) as you communicate physically and verbally to your puppy. All of this will begin to create “calm expectations” with your dog as you build a lasting trust in the relationship with your dog.

If there is more than one family member, spread the puppy love around. Everyone should work on bonding with him.

While love and affection is very important, your new puppy will need more than that. He’s going to need a “roadmap” to help him navigate the treacherous roads of house training, chewing, jumping and puppy biting as he learns to live in a human world. This roadmap will help him to avoid the pitfalls and the potholes of life. You want his – and your experience to be a great one.

Your new puppy needs


What he needs the second he walks into your home is the roadmap I spoke of before and it should take the shape of rules, boundaries and expectations.  Your new puppy should know to:

• Always follow your rules
• Always respect your boundaries and, he should
• Have expectations of what to do and when to do it

Puppy control in your home

He will explore with his ears, nose and especially his mouth. The rule is if he can get it into his mouth, he will eat it. It’s that simple.

Taking advantage of crates, gates and exercise pens is a logical and sensible way to safely control your puppy when you can’t eyes-on, hands-on supervise him. When he is out of the crate, simply put him on a leash to control where you want him to be.

CAUTION: Do not tether your puppy near by with the leash while you are busy working. He could chew through the leash and pee/poop when you are not looking. Worse yet get his leash caught on something and choke.

Having your puppy on a leash helps him to make the right decisions and also allows you to:

• Minimize jumping
• Limit where he goes and,
• Keep him from chasing and biting the kids.
• Keep him under control and “in the classroom” while working on daily obedience training 

Finally

The bottom line is that routine and consistent control of your puppy can keep him safe and it will also lower his and your stress. Now that’s a win-win situation that will cause him to say, “Yes, this is what I need to succeed!”

“Sharing is Caring”  What Do You Think?  Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue by HERE

 

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, serving 8,500+ clients,  has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

His Nose to Tail Puppy Training is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him because you know how to teach him.  You empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.  The result – one awesome puppy and one happy family.

 

Puppy Training

Puppy Training: From Chaos to Calm

When I do puppy training I don’t expect to find a family in total chaos. But this puppy family was different. The proud but frustrated owners of Maddie, the French Bull Dog puppy were stressed beyond belief in their puppy training efforts.

Their troubles, on our lesson day, started right before I arrived. As I walked down the 4th floor hallway of the condo making my way to their unit, I could hear screaming, “Help me clean up this mess, the trainer is almost here!”

By that time it was too late. I was knocking on the door. As I entered, the all too familiar “puppy poop” stink hit me. I sat down looking at their small condo littered with pee-pads and exclaimed, “At least I don’t have to wonder where we start our lesson!”

Puppy Training

John and Mary, a young couple in their late 20’s had both grown up with family pets in their respective homes. But their recollection was of older, laid back dogs that just sat around the family room and fireplace. The dogs were just there. They were great dogs – in fact – perfect dogs.

As kids, they had not given much thought to how the dogs got that way. Was it puppy training by their parents, or did they just come that way. I assured them, “Most likely not the latter. It probably took as much work for your moms and dads as you two are going to learn here with Maddie but I’m here to help you along the way. “

I find that many new puppy owners think, “It wasn’t a problem for mom and dad when I grew up so, how much trouble can it be?” For some it’s a rude awakening – trouble from day one with their puppy training and there are those that really luck out and get a problem-free puppy right from the get-go. John and Mary were just getting through the rude awakening part.

By the time we got through the first lesson, John and Mary had a plan for everything: puppy potty training, nutrition, how best to prepare her food to maximize nutrition and to help with potty training success, obedience training that was age appropriate, the importance of sticking to schedules and routines and – we replaced all the pee pads with ONE”grass potty pad with a tray.”

Our first lesson was on a Friday and by Monday morning Maddie was hitting the grass 90% of the time. They gated her in the kitchen during the work day – grass potty at one end, bed, bone and Kong at the other and just a little water in her bowl.  

What also helped them to help Maddie succeed were the following potty guidelines:

Develop a reward history for going on her grass potty: Praise and treat on the spot.
Catch mistakes before they happen: Keeping her on a leash when out of her space and with them in the house.
Secure Maddie: Put her in her space when you cannot supervise her.

 

Once potty training was under control, Maddie learned her obedience commands and John and Mary learned how to use the commands to teach her “give before she receives” (sit for food, toys, affection, etc.) so that they always stayed in control of the relationship which we call the Ground Rules for Great Dogs.  I also recommended that John and Mary keep up Maddie’s obedience  training by doing 3 short training sessions daily but only for two minutes. This gave Maddie a sense of working for them instead of John and Mary following Maddie’s lead by giving in to her nudging for affection or anything else she wanted.

I told them, “Puppies have a lot of love to give – and maybe you get a lot of frustration and hard work along the way. It winds up being very rewarding in the end with many years of good times and memories. Good dogs just don’t come that way. You have to earn it to enjoy it. Just ask your mom and dad!

What Do You Think?  Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue by commenting below and remember “Sharing is Caring.

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

 

His Nose to Tail Puppy Training is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him because you know how to teach him.  You empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.  The result – one awesome puppy and one happy family.

 

Crate Training A Puppy

Puppy Training: Stressing Stay-at-Home Moms

“Training our new puppy makes me feel hopelessly stressed.” These exact feelings were expressed to me with three different stay-at-home moms on the first puppy lesson – all in the last 2 weeks.

I feel guilty putting my puppy in the crate when I’m home all day.”

Each one was stressed to the max cleaning up pee and/or poop in between home chores. “I go to empty the dishwasher and the puppy is on top of the open dishwasher door. I go to vacuum and the puppy is attacking the vacuum cleaner.”  The list goes on.

One mom claimed that she works in limited “windows of time” all balanced with the kid’s school and activities schedule, grocery shopping and other errands – all to successfully manage the family household – and then there’s the puppy.

When asked, “When is your puppy crated?” They universally answered, “I crate our puppy at night and when I’m gone from the house. The puppy stays out with me when I’m home. I feel like I can’t get anything done! I’m overwhelmed!

It seems that everyone takes a major guilt trip with the thought of crating their puppy any more than the minimum required – at night and when gone from the house.

Crate Training A Puppy

This mindset then creates yet another stressor, when, after having all that freedom during the day, the puppy is finally crated so that mom can try and complete a few house chores without the puppy under foot. That’s when the whining and barking starts because the puppy is not used to being crated when people are home.

Predictable Activities

Here’s something very interesting about all three puppy situations: Predictable activities.

  • Their puppies learn and know when the mom leaves to do their errands at the same time every day; take the kids to school, pick up the kids, go to yoga, etc. – all are timed and predictable activities. The puppies also connect going to their crate when the moms leave to handle those errands. No whining, no barking.
  • Their puppies know when the family goes to bed. It’s the same time every night. It’s a predictable activity and he connects going to his crate when the family goes to bed. No whining, no barking.
  • If you plan on crating your puppy at specific times during the day (the same time every day) in order to get things done around the house, then those crating times also become predictable activities. He will begin to connect being crated – without whining and barking at those times as well.

If you’ve made the mistake of teaching your puppy that he’s going to free roam all the time when you are home, then that becomes the expected routine.  You will need to practice gradually getting him used to his new routine of being crated more often while you are home. Ignore the whining and barking. Do not look at, talk to or touch your puppy. The whining and barking will eventually go away.

Benefits to more frequent crating while you are home

You will be rewarded with some great benefits to more frequent crating while you are home during the day as well as  in the evening when the family is home – from just after school to bedtime. Let’s take a look:

  • It will accelerate your house training as it teaches him to hold his business longer.
  • No messes to clean up
  • He’s not chewing on your stuff
  • Builds confidence being alone and teaches your puppy you are not available 24/7 but you always come back and let him out of his crate. When you want to entertain and don’t want your puppy under foot, he will now feel better about being in his crate – alone without whining or barking.

Dogs are pack oriented – just like we are family oriented. They are not used to being by themselves. As a puppy, our dog Sammy spent time in his crate to get him used to being confined. We kept departures and arrivals quiet and non-eventful. When we were gone from the house for a period of time, we would ignore him for the first 5 minutes once arriving home. We did not want to highly contrast the solitude of his time alone with a happy greeting. This began to build confidence in Sammy that leaving and returning was a normal part of life with humans. It really was no big deal. The same rule applied to being crated when we were there. No big deal. Once Sammy earned our trust out of the crate, the crate went away. He’s now a well-trained house dog.

Out of crate time with your puppy

Time out of the crate with your puppy will be supervised time on leash with you and the family for dog obedience training, working on good manners like no jumping or biting, supervised playtime with the family and age appropriate walks – all constructive and controlled time with your puppy on leash.

The bottom line

Teach your puppy to be confident in his crate when you are home. It will pay big dividends in the short and long haul. If you have set an “out of crate precedence,” you may have to ignore whining and barking for a while – until it goes away – but you’ll be glad you did.

 

What Do You Think?

Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.  Please comment on this article below

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“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Don’t forget to come chat with us on Facebook.  We talk dog big time over there!

Jim’s Nose To Tail Puppy Training DVD and training manual has received rave reviews from clients, fellow dog trainers, breeders and vets.  If you’re having problems training your puppy this can be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Jim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000 clients.  One of his clients says it best: There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant.  Jane Wagner

(c)Jim Burwell Inc. 

How To Train A Puppy

How to Train a Puppy – Let’s Talk

Does this sound familiar:  “I have a 7 week old puppy that will not stop biting. It’s playful but needs to stop.  I do not know what to do to stop this. My little kids don’t want to play with him because they’re afraid of him.” 

I hear it all the time.  And every time, I’m amazed at how many of my new puppy clients are surprised when their new puppy starts to relentlessly bite and jump on them and the kids.  

Puppies jump and bite. That’s how they play with their littermates. Why would you expect them to act differently, just because they’re now in your home?  When your new puppy comes to live with you, he doesn’t know any different – at least until he is taught.   

How To Train A Puppy

I understand, teaching and training your new puppy can be frustrating and this frustration usually hits the boiling stage when you have had enough or realize you’re not doing something right. By the time you get to this point, too much time was wasted in the very beginning when your new puppy first comes home. This is about the time you realize you should have begun to set consistent rules boundaries and expectations when the puppy walked or was carried in the front door. 

If you are my new puppy client, for me, 75% of my focus is on you, the puppy owner.   My puppy training is more about training you on how to implement these rules, boundaries and expectations – and be consistent with them!  The sooner you learn how to consistently apply rules and set routines and schedules, the better chance your puppy has of staying in your home. Your puppy training then becomes much easier. 

I do have to give credit to all the puppy owners out there that do their homework and have taken the time to think things through.  But like I said, there are still many that are always surprised to see how much work they have to do.

 You really have to think things through before you get your puppy. 

Do you have a game plan?


Here are some things you need to have thought about and planned on how you’re going to handle before you have the puppy:
 

Have you thought about having to work all day and who’s going to take the puppy out to potty? He cannot be left in a crate 8-10 hours while you work. His daily needs don’t go on hold until you get home from work.

In addition to not having a game plan, let’s look at the emotional side of your relationship with your new puppy. Everyone is guilty of creating an emotional relationship with their puppy.  I’m guilty of it too. I’ve just learned to include sits for affection.   

I would say that probably 95% of our relationship with our new puppy is emotional – meaning, everyday folks like you and me try to get our puppies to respond to and interpret our human feelings.   We create and perpetuate an emotional relationship based on their feelings – not necessarily what the puppy needs. 

You should not deal with your puppy in the same way you would deal with your children or other loved ones – through physical affection like hugs, carrying him around, tons of attention, letting him have whatever he wants.   The problem with all this is your puppy doesn’t interpret your feelings and gestures as humans do – he interprets quite differently than you might expect. 

“Love and affection is a classic example.”  I’ll bet you got your new puppy home and showered him with love and affection, carried him around, probably responded to every whimper or demand he had because it’s important to you that your puppy knows he is loved and loved a lot!  

The problem with this is much the same as when kids are not given structure, boundaries and expectations of behavior – it fosters a feeling of free floating anxiety and uncertainty, because the feeling is, that no one is in charge.   

Your puppy needs structure and boundaries to help him feel secure and less stressed because he can predict what is going to happen, when it is going to happen and exactly what part he plays. He locks on and learns these predictable routines and duties. As an example, he eats at 6:00 a.m. 12:00pm and 6:00 p.m. and you require he sits and downs for his food. 

Let me put this into human terms so that you’ll better understand how a new puppy feels on his first day coming into your home and no one begins to teach the puppy what is expected. 


Here’s your human scenario:

Let’s say that you got a new job and you show up for work on a Monday morning about 7:50 a.m. – 10 minutes early to make a good impression. You are in the lobby but no one is there to meet you but you figure you are early so you just hang out. Very soon it gets to be 8:15 then 8:30 and you start to feel a bit anxious and insecure about being there and you think to yourself, “Maybe it’s the wrong Monday.”  So you sit down at a desk in the lobby to check your smart phone and someone comes up and says, “Excuse me, you’re sitting at my desk….”  Then you just happen to find your desk, but no one tells you what your job is, who your boss is, what time lunch is, and where the bathroom is!  Good grief! 

Wouldn’t it be better if when you showed up, someone greeted you right away and said, “Hi! I’m Robert, your supervisor, good to meet you. Here’s a list of your job duties and responsibilities. You work 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and lunch is from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Check in with me at the end of each day to go over your accomplishments and by the way, this is your desk over here. Once you get settled in, I’ll take you around and introduce you to your co-workers.”  Suddenly all your anxieties and insecurities wash away because of one thing: Structure and a clear-cut plan of exactly what is expected of you. 

Start on day one with your new puppy. Give him a clear roadmap to successfully negotiate the potholes of life with humans. Oh yeah, don’t forget the love and affection. All you have to do is to require him to sit to earn it! Just say, “Sit!” 

What Do You Think?  Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.  Sharing is caring, don’t you agree?  please share with others by “Tweeting” and “Liking it on Facebook”

 

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000 clients.  Jim’s easy to follow, common sense, and positive methods have made him the “dog trainer of choice” for 30 years.  One of his clients says it best: There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant.  Jane Wagner

 

Jim’s  Nose to Tail Puppy Training is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him because you know how to teach him.  You empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.  The result – one awesome puppy and one happy family.

(c)Jim Burwell Inc.

 

 

Kids and Puppies

Kids and Puppies: Don’t Make It A Disaster by Doing Everything Wrong

Have you recently brought a new puppy into your home and are now questioning whether or not this was a good idea?

If so let’s talk about a couple of things you should have thought about.

Kids and Puppies

Did you really think out what it will be like having a new puppy in their home.

How will your life change with a new puppy in your home?

Did you think about how much time it will take puppy obedience training time and supervised play times with the family and/or the kids?

If you have kids, kid friends (some may be afraid of puppies and dogs) and all the activities that go along with just the two legged critters, will you still have time left over to tend to the basic needs of your puppy?

Thinking about things as simple as this could save you from making a mistake about getting a puppy in the first place – possibly saving its life.

If you didn’t really plan this out well, all is not lost.  Kids and puppies can be socialized successfully in your household with a little planning and setting some ground rules for both your children and your new puppy.

I have three very basic rules when it comes to socializing kids and puppies – there are more of course – but these two rules are for dogs and kids safety once you have a new puppy:

1.  Never leave your puppy unsupervised with your kids. Parents must monitor their kid’s interactions with the new puppy. Do not let them lie on top of the puppy or pin it to the ground.  Chase games should not be encouraged and this includes kids chasing the puppy as well as the kids running from or being chased by the puppy. Playing like this kicks in the natural prey drive in a puppy and encourages, jumping, biting and nipping.  Instead, teach your children appropriate interactive games to play with the new puppy like fetch or simply work on obedience commands – all supervised of course

2.  Kids should not hit the puppy, kick the puppy or pull the puppy’s ears.  This kind of kid behavior could frighten your new puppy. The kids should leave him alone when he’s eating.

3.  Crate your puppy when you cannot supervise your puppy.  I define supervision as Eyes On, Hands On.

Your new puppy needs his alone time in the crate away from the high energy and fast pace of the kids. A failure is waiting to happen when you leave your kids to watch your puppy.  He might start having to defend himself when the kids unexpectedly run over to suddenly pick him up, or hug him tightly or other rough play.
Remember, puppies can’t say, “I don’t want to be picked up right now” they will communicate naturally with a growl, snap or bite.

4.  When other kids come over, have them come up to your new puppy for a “supervised greeting.”  Teach the visiting children (and yours as well) that when meeting a new puppy or dog, always:

Get permission.  Ask the owner if they can pet the puppy.

Get the puppy’s permission to be petted.  If the puppy turns his head or walks away, do not pet the puppy. Don’t force the puppy. Respect his decision not to be petted.

Approach the puppy slowly to pet. Turn sideways and don’t stare at the puppy as you approach and if possible, scratch under his chin first. Doing these things will put most puppies at ease more to accept children.

If it’s your puppy, help him experience a successful greeting by putting your foot on his leash to prevent jumping and teach him to be polite to the kids.

If you set and keep rules and boundaries for your kids and puppy, always monitor puppies and children – help both to maintain calm energy (I know that’s a tough one) and crate your puppy when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, you will lower your stress and your puppy’s stress too!  Just like we spoke about in last week’s article, most adults make multiple puppy training sins and the one who loses out is the puppy.   Don’t let this be your disaster.

 

This time of year people get lots of puppies.  Please comment below and tell us how you’re going to set your puppy up to be successful.  We’re listening.

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

 Jim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000 clients.  Jim’s easy to follow, common sense, and positive methods have made him the “dog trainer of choice” for 30 years.  One of his clients says it best: There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant.  Jane Wagner

 

Jim’s  Nose to Tail Puppy Training is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him because you know how to teach him.  You empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.  The result – one awesome puppy and one happy family.

 

(c)Jim Burwell Inc.

 

Getting a New Puppy- Are you really ready?

With puppy season almost upon us, many, many people are thinking about getting a new puppy.

Some folks have planned it out. They have a specific breed in mind or in many cases just a mutt from the shelter – a rescue dog but planned.

Some get a new puppy for the kids. Sometimes the parents think that it will be good for the kids and in some cases the kids pressure the parents until they give in to the constant nagging of the kids. “Okay, done! Let’s go this weekend and pick one out.

A lady went with her friend to look at puppies at a local shelter and wound up getting one herself. There were two siblings in a crate and once her friend took the one of her choice, she couldn’t bare to leave the other one there alone. So she adopted the other puppy. People often times get puppies for all the wrong reasons, like impulse.

Think it through and make the right decision.

Before you go start thinking about a new puppy, and puppy proofing your home you need to sit down and ask yourself this question:

Am I ready for a puppy? 

Do I really understand what I need to do to properly raise a puppy?

In fact there are many more questions you need to seriously ponder before “taking the plunge.”

1.  Are you really ready for a puppy? Because it’s not just about training the puppy as most people think, it’s especially about training you.

2.  Do you have the time to commit to raising a puppy? The responsibility of raising a new puppy doesn’t fall completely on the puppy as many think. Puppies do not come automatically house trained.

3.  Do you have time to come home during the day to give your puppy a potty break?

4.  If not, do you have the money to hire a dog walker to let your puppy out until he can control his business?

5.  Do you have the time and money to train – house train, obedience train and instill good basic manners – onto your puppy so that your home and valuable stuff isn’t destroyed?

6.  You don’t have to be hard on your puppy to train it – in fact, once you understand how, it really is quite easy!  Do YOU understand it?

7.  If you have kids, are they of the right age?   Do the kids have the right temperament and discipline to be ready for a puppy? Will they listen to you and your instructions once the puppy is in your home? Will they respect the pup’s personal space?

8.  Are you ready for the maintenance (grooming and veterinary care) requirements a new puppy needs like specialty cuts at the groomer and the maintenance in between trips to the groomer?

9.  Let’s not forget if there’s another dog in the house.  How do you work with that?

This is just the short list. I guess what I am saying is:

OWNING AND RAISING A NEW PUPPY IS A SERIOUS COMMITMENT

I have a friend call up one day to see if I thought that her family was ready for a new puppy. She had three kids under the age of seven. Kids and puppies don’t always go together.

There is a wrong time and a right time. Do you know if the time is right for you?

Don’t get me wrong folks. The best part of my day is doing puppy lessons. I love puppies. They are cute and cuddly and fun to love and play with. I can also leave after the lesson!

With the right solid puppy training program that covers all aspects of daily training, critical early socialization as well as a plan to handle any potential dog behavior problems – all in a safe environment, most puppies will grow up to be great family dogs. I see that happening year after year. Just be prepared to give your new puppy everything they will need to be successful.

Will you be ready to give your new puppy a strong foundation that will successfully take it through adolescence to adulthood?

Don’t make this decision based on an emotional impulse or because the kids are asking for a puppy. 

This happens too many times and a new puppy arrives in the home before you, the owner, have even thought: Do I know all the puppy training sins I need to avoid?

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

 

Jim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000 clients.  Jim’s easy to follow, common sense, and positive methods have made him the “dog trainer of choice” for 30 years.  One of his clients says it best: There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant.  Jane Wagner

 

Jim’s  Nose to Tail Puppy Training is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him because you know how to teach him.  You empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.  The result – one awesome puppy and one happy family.

(c) Jim Burwell Inc.

 

Puppy Biting: Why, and How to Stop it.

Many new puppy owners experience puppy biting and, when you have kids in the family, it can become somewhat challenging to handle a “very cute” puppy that is running and biting the kids. Perhaps you can pick up some puppy biting tips from the following content.

I think, that before you delve into the “how to stop it”, it’s important to first understand why your puppy is doing all this biting. If you know why, then perhaps you will be more patient and understanding with your puppy. There are many reasons so let’s explore.

The socialization period of a puppy begins when it is born and continues until the 14th week of age – all with their litter mates and mother. During this time they work on socialization – things like bite inhibition,(they learn by thru their litter mates when they bite too hard) how to read body language, and generally get along.  Puppies that are adopted or sold and given to owners at 8 weeks of age miss out on 4-6 weeks of critical socialization.

 Next, the puppy comes to your home and immediately begins to regroup and take up where they left off – learning bite inhibition – like he was doing with his littermates.

 But you and your children don’t react to your puppy like his litter mates and you correct the puppy.

 Be careful how you correct your puppy.

 Parents need to provide gentle and enlightened guidance to both children and puppies. When parents are emotionally and physically excessive with corrections, kids and dogs both tend to automatically fall into a mode of “Be-like, act-like” behavior. Here is an example:

If a parent gets angry and corrects a child in front of the puppy, the puppy may start getting edgy and concerned when the child approaches – and may growl to keep the child away.

On the other hand, if the owner/parent corrects the puppy frequently in front of the child, the child may take on the role of punisher – the puppy then often gets into trouble when it tries to defend itself (by biting or nipping) and gets into trouble with the parent.

Puppies kick into prey drive (that’s where they chase moving object) when kids run in the house or back yard.

The activities included in prey drive are: run, chase, bite and chew.

Don’t set your puppy up to fail by allowing it to wildly run and play with the kids. Supervise this activity yourself with the puppy on a leash or crate the puppy when your children are highly active. Be proactive.

Kids love to hug puppies – after all, they are very lovable. But puppies also have defense drive – flight or fight.

If a puppy feels threatened, their options are either to leave the stressful situation or bite to cause the threat to go away.

Certain kid activities can put some puppies into defense drive – like sudden tight hugs or being picked up and cuddled to tightly. It’s not that this is not a good thing to do, but as dog owners you should be aware that some puppies get very concerned about this close proximity and will sometimes growl, snap or bite if hugged to tightly all of a sudden or picked up too quickly.

Teach your children to do things slowly to get your puppy used to being hugged and picked up. If your puppy is being tentative, begin to associate food treats with being picked up or hugged. This should help. The relationship between your puppy and your children is important.

 Following is a list of potential kid/puppy issues – puppy biting tips – based on your puppy’s possible reaction to your children:

 

Kids pull puppy ears, tail hair, stick fingers in ears, eyes or hit puppies with their hands or objects.

Puppies will sometimes respond by growling, snapping, biting or submissively wetting.

 

Kids will tease with toys, food; staring wrestling to the point of anger or rage.

Puppies will bite.

 

Kids will offer free food or treat handouts to the puppy.

Puppies will begin begging or being over protective of food.

 

Kids scream and run.

Puppies chase, jump and bite.

 

Kids are unruly.

Puppies are unruly.

 

Kids fight with their siblings.

Puppies become over excited which promotes aggressiveness and biting.

 

You can stop puppy biting by controlling and supervising your puppy on a leash in the house and when you cannot supervise your puppy, consider crating your puppy.

When your puppy is out with the family, redirect your puppy’s biting to a Kong toy or another appropriate toy on which to chew.

Monitor your children’s activity and continue to teach them how best to interact with the puppy. Try and teach them to limit yelling and screaming as this tends to create an unstable environment for your puppy. Puppies like calm energy. It’s hard to do with kids but if you know this, you can better understand your puppy.

One more exercise to do is to tether your puppy to something like the coffee table leg to prevent your puppy from chasing the kids (control the training environment.) Have your kids line up and approach the puppy to pet. If your puppy tries to bite, then have your kids say, “Ouch!” turn around and leave. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.  Your puppy wants your kids to stay there and play and pet him, but if the puppy sees that his biting causes your kids to leave, he will eventually stop biting.

If you know these things you can plan ahead and supervise your puppy and begin to teach your children how to better interact with your new puppy. The results will be amazing.

Sharing is caring, please comment below and tweet and like – we’d love it if you do!  Also, come chat with us on Facebook

Jim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000 clients.  Jim’s easy to follow, common sense, and positive methods have made him the “dog trainer of choice” for 30 years. 

Jim’s  Nose to Tail Puppy Training is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him because you know how to teach him.  You empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.  The result – one awesome puppy and one happy family.

 

(c)Jim Burwell Inc.