Puppy Basics and Life with Kids

Do you find yourself “frantic” trying to incorporate puppy training basics and life with your kids?

Does it seem like you’re constantly doing a juggling act in a 3-ring circus and nobody – the kids or the puppy seem to be complying?

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Help is on the way!

I just completed my first lesson with a very  young Labrador puppy that shall go by the name of Jake. He’s a very smart puppy and even at just 3 months of age he’s already mastered the sit command. Thanks to the family who’s done a remarkable job of training.  Plus he’s already mastered potty training 101 as well!   A breeze and apparently straight A’s in that subject.

The difficult part – the reason I was called – was the ton of other behaviors going on in this puppy’s world like:

  • Bugging the in-house resident senior dog who does not want to be friends all the time with this wild puppy.
  • Oh yeah, then there’s a couple of cats that need chasing as well.
  • The kids add the extra dimension of energy that helps to fuel the puppy’s excitement.

With just an older dog, things used to be calm like:

  • getting the kids dressed,
  • fed and off to school,
  • after school activities and
  • playtime around the house and
  • watching television after dinner

Now, all of this is more stressful because they now have a puppy that is jumping, chewing and biting.

The energy from the kids, which more times than not, includes screaming or yelling because the puppy jumped and bit, the puppy ripped a dress or the puppy chewed on a good sneaker is overwhelming.

None of this makes for a calm day or week.

What to do?

The very first thing that I did when I arrived, was to begin puppy training 101 right away, since I was immediately jumped on, quickly followed by a bite on my shirt even before I could get the introductions out of the way!

I reached into my dog training bag for my leash and stuffed Kong toy and promptly leashed the puppy, sat on the couch, put my foot on the leash and gave Jake the Kong toy.

Now we had decent time to talk about how best to begin setting boundaries and training this puppy.

Their goal was to have a very obedient dog that listened to everyone in the family – Mom, Dad, their daughter and their son.  AND don’t bug the senior dog or the cats.

Part of the secret, they discovered, was having a leash on their puppy in the house when they were home.  But it was more than that.

Jake learns to say please

If they wanted the puppy to listen to everyone in the house, then everyone in the house needed to train the dog in every situation the puppy would be in with the family.

The son liked the puppy  in his lap on the couch so we talked about rules for that. I took the puppy on leash into the family room and demonstrated how Jake should sit (a dog’s way of saying please) to earn the privilege to get on the couch and then wait for the command “Up!” to signal him to come up.

I handed the leash to the son to practice. He got it. It was easy.

In the beginning it’s best to balance time on the couch with time off the couch. We also talked about having Jake “next to” instead of “on top of” their son.

Their daughter wanted to eat a snack on a low table in the family room without being bothered by the puppy. We discussed what she would prefer the puppy to do and then began to train the puppy to “go to its place” which was a dog bed in the same room. I began to teach her to help Jake learn to go to place and she promised to train every day.

We also discussed requiring the puppy to earn everything in life by doing a sit.

But more valuable than that, I discussed the relevance of “reverse psychology” in training their puppy. This is the easy part and can be quite fun – especially for the kids. Let me explain.

Jake trains the family

They needed to convince Jake that he was actually training the family. Everything Jake wanted he could actually train a family member to give to him what he wants!!

Now here’s the cool part. I always teach families that dogs should always learn to ask for things nicely, just like they have taught their kids – to say please. Only dogs can’t say please – but they can “sit” to say please.

The trick is teach Jake that “sit” is his cue that causes a family member to give him his meals, love and affection, opportunities to go out to go potty, games of fetch and to go for walks – yes, you can actually train these humans to give you all of these things – and more!

Your puppy will  be pretty full of himself once he gets you and your family trained!  And you will be pleased after having achieved your goal in puppy training your new family member.

Another really good lesson in boundaries for Jake was learning to settle.

This is something I did when I first entered their home. I put Jake on a leash, sat on the couch, and put my foot on it. I said, “Settle!” then I didn’t look at, talk to or touch Jake. He struggled at first and then settled right down.

Now it was the Mom’s turn. She was actually amazed how he settled right down.  They found that Jake would more readily settle down in anticipation of a walk or fun game afterwards as a reward.

I recommended gradually increasing his settle time over the weeks ahead – on leash and then we began to work on Jake’s down command. He had it in no time at all. I mentioned that their family goal was to have each family member do 1-2 commands for about 30 seconds with Jake throughout the evening – and in different scenarios that made sense to them – dinner time, television time, etc…

If you incorporate fun obedience training throughout your daily lifestyle with your new puppy when he’s young, you can avoid your dog’s  adolescence attitude of  “Why should I….do anything?”

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Jim BurwellJim 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

(c) 2011 Jim Burwell Inc.

Thinking About Getting a New Puppy?

New PuppyNew puppy on your mind?  I know it’s hard to believe – and it’s the last thing you want to think about right now but……Christmas is just a few months away and I am always reminded of the thousands of Christmas Puppies (probably even more) that will be snuggled up in Santa’s big ol’ bag waiting to go to a new home this coming Christmas Eve.

More importantly, their wish is that they get a home where they will be taken care of and not forgotten. Raising a puppy is like raising a child. The difference is that kids grow up and eventually leave the nest. Puppies on the other hand, stay with you forever. So it is important to plan your lifetime with your new puppy. Think about the following before you get your new puppy:

If buying a pure breed puppy, make sure you buy from a reputable breeder.  They usually guarantee eyes, hips and heart. Good breeders also begin desensitizing all the puppies to noise, human handling and all things that go “bump in the night.”

While most breeders release their new puppies at around 7-8 weeks of age, critical socialization extends through 14 weeks of age. This important uninterrupted time with their litter mates and Mom helps them to become better puppies and well adjusted dogs. This gives them time enough to learn their social graces like bite inhibition and how to play nicely
with other dogs.  So wait as long as you can before taking your new puppy.

When getting your new puppy from a shelter, you may not have the luxury of knowing the puppies’ past. Remember that the window of socialization closes between the ages of 3 ½ to 5 months of age.

This means that to the extent that you can, desensitize and socialize you pup to as many new distractions as you can to assure that he will be okay with people, noises, things, etc…You can do that even if they have not received all their shots.  Have people come over with their “good dogs” have the puppy around repairment, yard guys, kids etc.

Whether you get a pure breed puppy or a rescue puppy of questionable heritage, they all still need the same rules, routines, expectations and boundaries.

The second you bring your new puppy home you should gently guide him through your rule book.

Let him know where he can and cannot go. Setting rules and boundaries immediately will help him feel very secure in his sense of place. You do this with leadership – nothing harsh at all.

Plan on devoting enough necessary time for potty training – this takes times.  Be sure to set your puppy up to succeed at this and not continue to set him up to fail.  Also begin  fun puppy obedience training which will allow him to earn the things he wants by giving you a sit.

Later, once your new puppy has had all his shots, join an obedience class and begin his more formal training and socialization with other dogs.

You can keep it very simple by consistently providing your puppy with an “earn-to-learn” program that will keep his expectations in the correct perspective – he works for you, you don’t work for him 🙂

Everything he gets from you requires a sit and down. This will help to balance his work for the love and affection you will be giving him now and in the years to come.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are with the teacher of your children.

“Together we can raise a happy an obedient dog.”

 

Jim BurwellJim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000clients.  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.

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. 

© 2011 Jim Burwell Inc.

Why Are Some Puppies Aggressive?

I get a few inquiries now and again about aggression in puppies.  The owners who wind up with an aggressive pup can’t help but wonder why me?

While there can be many reasons behind this aggression, hopefully  the following offers up at least one reasonable explanation – the sometimes bad effects of taking pups from the litter too soon.

Early, and I do mean the early most important socialization starts at birth. Some say it really starts before birth where the puppy makes a chemical association to the mother. The critical period  period goes from that point in time all the way to 12 weeks of age.

In this critical period,  all of a puppy’s senses are gradually developed and become refined: their sense of smell, touch, hearing and finally vision. Oh yea, there is also motor co-ordination. You probably thought it was cute how a new pup stumbled around – kinda like a sailor getting his sea legs grounded.

Also during this critical socialization period, they learn to communicate with their litter mates. They learn the language, how to appropriately respond to body language – send and receive good body language signals to turn off any potential bad behavior.

The most critical weeks for learning this is from 7 weeks to 10 weeks of age. Getting this continuous and uninterrupted time in on socialization with their mother and litter mates is critical.

When puppies are pulled out at 6, 7 or 8 weeks of age, it all stops so they miss out on 4, 5 or 6 weeks of critical, continuous socialization. This continuous level playing field cannot be replicated by other dogs later or by well-meaning family members.  There certainly are variances in aggressiveness  across the breeds, in litter mates and in gender.

And some dogs, like people, have short fuses while some have longer burning fuses. Primary socialization in puppies – if cut short – is gone forever.

Training can certainly help but it’s not the dog’s natural behavior. And I’m sure you would have to keep an eye on your dog to circumvent any challenge on the playing field. Many  do adjust well to life outside the litter but leaving them in the litter until at least 10 weeks will give them a better chance to do well socially in their new life at home with you.  Then once you get them home, be sure to set them up to succeed like we talk about in our Nose To Tail Puppy Training.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are with the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

Is Your Puppy Afraid? Why Dogs Act Fearful And 5 Steps To Help

Unfortunately, sometimes you have a puppy or dog that seems to be fearful of either one thing – or many things. If your puppy seems to be afraid of certain things, like men, kids, the vacuum, the good news is that you can change your dog’s behavior.

Lots of dog owners believe that puppies will outgrow their fears, but isn’t how it works. Your puppy needs to learn confidence and the only way they can learn that is from you. Get your puppy familiar with things that make them uncomfortable, build structure into your puppy’s life and teach obedience training. These things will help build your puppy’s confidence

Follow my step-by-step tips for helping your puppy or dog overcome fear:

  1. Your puppy needs to be able to lessen his fearfulness at his own pace. Never try to force a person or situation that scares your puppy. If you do this, it just confirms to the puppy that the person or situation is dangerous. Let the puppy do it on his own time.
  2. Start obedience training. Training show your dog that you are the leader in the relationship. If he trusts you because he views you as his strong leader he will trust that you can handle scary situations.
  3. Once you have been training him to sit or stay, start redirecting his focus by training the puppy in the area of the person or situation he is fearful of. Do this at a comfortable distance. Then, over a period of time, you can slowly begin to get your puppy closer to the “feared object.”
  4. If your puppy is afraid of a person, have the person stand a distance away from the puppy, not look at the puppy, not make a big deal of anything and toss food treats periodically to the puppy. Done repeatedly when the person is around the puppy, the puppy will begin to associate good things with the once “scary stranger.”
  5. It needs to be your puppy’s choice if he wants to approach his fear and if he backs off, that is okay. It takes time and patience to show your puppy that there is nothing to fear. Just as with a small child, things don’t happen immediately. You have to work with patience and understanding and do things in a gradual manner.

Sometimes it helps to think of yourself, your fears and things that make you uncomfortable. Would you want someone to force you into a situation you are afraid of? Your puppy shouldn’t be forced either. Give him time and with a little training he will come around on his own, gain confidence and lose some of that fear.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children, and remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

(C) Jim Burwell 2011

Your Puppy Training Questions: My Puppy Bites Too Hard

Today’s question, submitted via Twitter

Jim – my new puppy bites my hand hard! I think she’s just playing, but it hurts. How do I get her to stop? She is 4 months old.

 

My Answer:
The first thing you can do is to start socializing your puppy. If adequate puppy training, desensitization and socialization is started as early as possible, many puppies can learn to develop the  social skills they need to lead positive social lives interacting with other puppies and dogs.

To address the biting problem immediately, follow these tips:

  • First, simply freeze (no feedback to reinforce the biting) and in fact turn away to discourage biting.
  • The next level (with some aggressive pups) you would make a quick move towards the pup in the form of a lunge as she snarls and growls – very fast and abrupt.
  • If all else is failing, use a distracting ploy. Toss a chew bone or Kong toy in front of the lunging puppy as a distraction.
  • Use Bitter Apple (a topical spray) from your local pet store. The taste should discourage biting. Apply to back of hands to prevent biting and spray on jeans or shoes if puppy is biting pant legs or shoes. You may also have to combine Bitter Apple with some of the above techniques.

The bottom line is that you can avoid aggression and injury with these non-physical recommendations. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!

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 2011

Puppy Training: Big Barking Problems Can Come In Little Packages

puppies barkingPuppies are just too cute—aren’t they?  But sometimes that smallness and cuteness encourages the owner NOT to train their dog – big, big mistake!

I did a series of puppy training lessons with a really cute fluffy puppy and went down the list of recommendations to do and precautions to take and showed them how to avoid potty accidents, how to create a well-balanced and confident pup who was not prone to bad manners or barking and everything I go over in puppy lessons – “nose to tail” so to speak.

That was about 4 months ago. And as I have always known, my suspicion of “owners remaining the biggest challenge” continues to be proven over and over again.

We got a phone call from that cute puppy’s Mom that her puppy was out of control:

  • Barking at them if they didn’t give her the attention immediately by picking her up.
  • Barking loudly at visitors entering the front door.
  • Barking at the odd startling noise she hears on occasion.
  • Barking at the sound of the elevators running up and down the elevator shaft.

“It simply must stop. It’s driving us absolutely crazy,” says the client.

I found out myself on the first of the new series of lessons as I entered through the front door for the first time in a while. Wow! What a set of pipes! There had been no structure in the dog’s life.  It was:

  • picked up,
  • doted on,
  • allowed to lounge on the big sofa near the front door waiting eagerly for the next person to come through the door or odd suspicious sound to loudly sound out with her shrilling alarm barking.

It was after all, “her job”.   She had nothing better to do other than to do “her job” which she created all by herself.

Clearly she lacked structure, routine and exercise. With the family, housekeeper and nanny, surely someone had the time to work the dog??

It was now time for my heart-to-heart talk with all parties involved. I hate this part but I had to do it. I made the following rules and daily schedule:

  1. Every hour on the hour each person had to spend 1-2 minutes doing sits and downs with the dog.
  2. Three times daily on the half hour 2 people would engage the dog in the come command back and forth between them.
  3. I recommended that the owner put the dog on an “earn-to-learn” or “no free lunch” program by requiring her dog to earn everything by performing at least a sit.
  4. We then went back to utilizing the crate more frequently in the beginning by requiring the puppy to stay quietly in the crate for random lengths of time throughout the day so that we could take back control of our couch space and prevent any barking until we were able to work with the puppy doing set ups.

After the first week and a half, the barking stopped significantly – not completely but the client has her life back and
she definitely sees how consistency in routines and repetitions in obedience training has made a difference in her and
her puppy’s life.

Don’t let your puppy barking problem get out of hand before doing something about it.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are with the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

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 2011

Your Dog Training Questions: Should I Use A Clicker To Train My Puppy?

Jim,
What do you think of using a clicker for training a puppy?

My Answer:

I think the clicker is a great way to train your new puppy. Reward-based training or positive reinforcement training is best and, if you can condition your puppy to a clicker — that’s even better. There are a number of benefits to “clicker training” your new puppy:

  • The clicker provides a consistent sound to your puppy no matter who uses it. Remember, consistency and repetition is needed in good puppy training.
  • Unlike your voice, the clicker is a sharp, crisp non emotional sound that provides your puppy with a special and unique way to identify behaviors he performs (like sits and downs) that produces a food treat. For example, when your puppy sits, click then treat.

The most important aspect of puppy training is to be consistent in your training. Train simple come, sit and down three times daily for no longer than 2 minutes and do it the same way every single time. It doesn’t really take much time out of your schedule. Setting aside 2 minutes three times daily 2 minutes is a great start. Puppies have a short attention span and will tire and get bored quickly. That’s why we keep it short.

Puppies are very smart and learn quickly, especially when they are taught from an early age. Most seasoned dog trainers would agree that the earlier you begin training your puppy, the stronger the training foundation is that will provide you with that better mannered dog in their adult years. So the most important thing is to start training and keep training. For those of you that don’t feel comfortable using a clicker, simply use your voice by saying, “Yes!” or “Good!” followed by a food treat when your puppy performs a command correctly.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

(C) Jim Burwell 2010

What’s your dog training question?
Use the comments below to ask me.

Getting A Puppy For Christmas? 7 Puppy Training Commandments To Keep In Mind

I recently answered an e-mail from a mom thinking about getting her two children a puppy for Christmas. A quick review, never get anyone of any age a “surprise” puppy.  So, for those of you who have decided to take the big step of adding a dog to your family, these are the 7 puppy training commandments you should know:

  1. Be consistent in your training. Train simple come, sit and down three times daily for no longer than 2 minutes and do it the same way every single time. It doesn’t really take much time out of your schedule. Setting aside 2 minutes three times daily 2 minutes is a great start. Puppies have a short attention span and will tire and get bored quickly. That’s why we keep it short.
  2. Never, ever punish your puppy in any way, shape or form. If your puppy does not obey a command simply say wrong in a neutral tone of voice and start again. It’s really that simple.
  3. Keep your expectations in line with reality. Do not expect a young, 8 week old puppy to be able to hold a sit or a down for more than a few seconds.
  4. Be consistent with your command each time. Pick one word and stick to it. Speaking in sentences or multiple words will not be as easy for your new puppy to learn. One behavior – one command word.
  5. Begin to train around relevant distractions. For example, if you always have a house full of kids, begin training your puppy around kids once he’s learned to obey his commands only with you.
  6. As your puppy begins to learn and perform his come, sit and down commands each and every time when asked, wean him off food treats by giving him a treat every other time and then even less frequently after that. Always click when your puppy performs a behavior properly. Your clicker will eventually be replaced with praise.
  7. For those of you that do not want to use a clicker, simply use your voice by saying, “Yes!” or “Good!” followed by a food treat when your puppy performs a command.

Be as comfortable with trainer of your dog as you are with the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

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 2010

Your Puppy Training Questions: We Want A Puppy For Christmas!

Your Question:

Jim,
My kids are in the middle of a campaign called We Want A Puppy For Christmas! I have to admit I am secretly rooting for them, but I’m not sure they are ready. They are 7 and 9. What do you think about giving a puppy to children as a gift?
– Ellen

My Answer:

Ellen,
A puppy can be a wonderful addition to the family. Even so, don’t take the decision lightly. My first piece of advice is to resist the temptation to make the gift a surprise. Instead, sit down as a family and talk about what a puppy needs: regular feeding, walks, training, grooming, veterinarian costs, etc. Talk about how the family will divide the responsibilities so everyone has reasonable expectations. A surprise puppy might make for a dramatic and sweet holiday moment, but that puppy will be a part of your family for the rest of its life.

Once you have decided everyone is ready and willing to take on the responsibility, it’s time to find the puppy. The best idea of course is to adopt from one of the many animal shelters and rescue groups nearby. If you decide on a pure breed puppy, be sure to throughly check out the breeder. A responsible breeder will welcome your questions, offer references and want to know as much about you and your family as possible. Keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure you buy from a reputable breeder who will, in writing, guarantee eyes, hips and heart health and will have already begun desensitizing all the puppies to noise, human handling and all things that go “bump in the night”.
  • Don’t accept puppies too young.  Ideally, puppies should stay with their litter mates until the 8th week of age or their 49th day.  This gives them time enough to learn their social graces like bite inhibition and how to play. Do not be afraid to ask questions about these behaviors.
  • When getting your new puppy from a shelter, you may not have the luxury of knowing the puppy’s past.  Remember that the window of socialization closes between the ages of 3 1/2 to 5 months of age.  This means that, to the extent you can, desensitize and socialize your pup to as many new distractions (his world as he will come to know it) as you can, to assure that he will be okay with people, noises, children, things. etc

My last and most important piece of advice is to make sure you get your puppy off to a good start by starting training early. The time you invest in training your puppy will pay off when you have a well-behaved dog. My new CD Puppy Training Sins Every New Puppy Owner Needs To Avoid is like having me in your home and is available to order on Amazon. Your gift of a Christmas puppy wouldn’t be complete without it!

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as the teacher of your children and remember, “Opportunity Barks!”
(C) Jim Burwell 2010

Dog Food: How You Feed Your Puppy Can Influence Calm, Good Behavior

When you are beginning to set boundaries for your new puppy, food and the controlled ritual of the feast can have a very significant impact on your puppy’s attitude and perception of his sense of place in the pack. Even if your puppy is a picky eater, the fact that you offered your puppy his food after you have eaten yours, can, along with working for food,(sit, down etc) help to have a calming effect, because it reinforces a confidence in consistent and repetitive structure (the same thing happens the same way). In addition to providing structure and expectations with the activity of eating, following are some good reasons to frequent feed (twice a day meals) instead of free feeding your puppy.

Frequent feeding is better. This is very helpful in house training a new puppy. Frequent feeding allows you to monitor intake and better house train your puppy. Knowing when and how much he ate can more easily be achieved with frequent feeding. Always feed a measured amount of food. With continuous feeding you never know when your pup has eaten and it’s harder to know when he has to go potty.

Easier to monitor if he is not feeling well. One possible red flag that your pup may not be feeling well is if he stops eating. With free feeding you cannot monitor his food intake.

Keep food guarding to a minimum. Picking up his bowl after each meal helps to eliminate the possibilities of food guarding. Continuous feeding allows your puppy to develop guarding instincts of his food bowl and the surrounding space. Don’t forget to pick up the bowl after 15 minutes.

Feeding time = training time. Take the opportunity to work on his earn-to-learn program by having him do sits and downs for his food. Puppies used to work for their food so keep up the ritual. With puppies, rituals endow security and, security builds confidence.

Kibbles as training treats. Use his food for training treats. Training him before he eats when his motivation is at its highest is best. He will begin to know you are important in his life because all good things are made available to him by you.

Reinforce your leadership. Take twice a day feeding schedules to show strong leadership. Eat first then feed your puppy. This is further reinforced by requiring your puppy to earn its food. By the way, an added benefit is that puppies that used to act frantically at mealtime begin to settle down and wait patiently for their food.

Here is another helpful tip for feeding puppies: Dry kibble can stay in your puppies system for up to 16 hours. Soaking the food for up to 10 – 15 minutes in hot tap water breaks down the binders softening the food. You puppies’ digestive track won’t have to work nearly as hard to digest the food to absorb more nutrients for better growth. It is very important for your puppy to get as much nutrients out of the food as possible. Another bonus is you will have less output to clean up. This soaked kibble will pass through his system in 5-6 hours improving your house training efforts.

Use mealtimes as an opportunity to work on leadership, training and appropriate behavior at a time that can be fraught with excitement, arousal and stress. Do not release him to eat until he is calm. Take advantage of this, be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as your are the teacher of your children- and remember . . . . “Opportunity Barks!”

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 2010