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”

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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. 

in home puppy training by Jim Burwell

Video Review: Puppy Training for Scout



Scout is a 4 month old puppy who needed help with: dog obedience training, learning to settle, not chasing the cat,

walking well on leash and learning to go up and down stairs. After 3 in home dog training lessons in Houston,

Scout is not afraid of the stairs, she settles down well and is very good at her obedience training commands.

Dog Training at the Holidays

Dogs and Puppies: Holiday Training That Works

A client asked me, “What’s the best thing to do with our dog when we have holiday visitors over for drinks or dinner? Do we board him or crate him at home?”  I thought to myself, “Now that’s a great question but read on, the answer is even better!”

I would keep your dog at home. 

He will be a lot less stressed staying in a familiar place like home. There are a couple of options for you to consider at home:

Crate your dog or puppy for the evening while entertaining OR train, then crate your dog for the evening. 

Let’s take a look at these two home-options.

If you are by yourself and simply cannot deal with your dog or puppy under foot just before and during your entertaining evening, then simply crate or gate your dog – or puppy.   

Before you secure your dog, there are some things to do that will make your dog’s crate time more manageable. Let’s take a look at some practical tips: 

  • Plan time for a long walk with your dog.  He needs lots of sights sounds and experiences on the walk to process during his down time.  Remember, a tired dog is a good dog. 2-5 minutes of obedience training prior to crating will create mental fatigue as well.
  • Make sure he gets fed as close to the same time you always feed him. Remember, he predicts getting fed at the same time each and every day – consistently.
  • Make sure he has plenty of chewies and a stuffed Kong to occupy his time in the crate.

Now I’ll put on my trainer hat as we look at the other option

Dog Training at the Holidays

If any of you out there have had me in your home to help train your dog, for this very typical dog problem of good manners around house guests, the biggest problem yo  have said to me is:  “Jim, we have a hard time finding enough people to come over, knock on our door and assist with set ups to help work on our dog problem.” 

Here’s YOUR golden opportunity to use holiday visitors to train your dog.  I know what you’re thinking, -Managing your dog or puppy while entertaining house guests will be too stressful! 

But it doesn’t have to be. 

With forethought and planning you could work in a little “meet-and-greet” dog training once everyone has arrived and before you serve their drinks and snacks. Save the meet-and-greet training around food for another day. Unless your dog is very well trained, he might just go into sensory overload!                                                                            

There are right and wrong ways to working your dog around house guests so here’s my easy to follow practical tips: 

  • Potty your dog before beginning this training exercise – especially if you have a young dog or puppy
  • I’d have your dog on a leash attached to another family member or have your dog in his crate
  • Have a bowl of his favorite treats for your house guests – for them to give to your dog of course!
  • Tell your guests what you are going to do, which is to have him greet each guest without jumping.
  • Tell everyone to be very calm as too much excitement can cause him to want to jump even more
  • Take him to the first person on leash – careful not to allow him to jump (putting your foot on the leash will help here) – and have the person take a food treat from the bowl, hold it over his head as he says, “Sit!” then praise and treat your dog and pass the bowl to the next person until everyone has greeted your dog in this manner.
  • Return your dog to his secure area, go back and enjoy the party. Make sure you take him to potty before you secure him. 

If you have an extra family member on hand, have them keep your dog settled down on the floor next to their feet by stepping on the leash.  This will give your dog a little more time getting desensitized to these “people distractions” while you enjoy your guests.  If he seems a little restless, provide him with a chewie or a stuffed Kong while he is settled down.  

When you finish your training (10 – 15 minutes), crate him as previously mentioned. If you have a puppy, make sure you don’t subject your puppy to the noise and frolic all night long. You can get a lot of mileage out of just 10-15 minutes of dog or puppy training. 

When your dog is in his crate 

Now, training is over and it’s time to crate your dog or puppy. How well he manages his time alone will depend on how much crate training you’ve done with him.  If you have a puppy that spends most of his time with you out of the crate because “you feel guilty,” you might want to consider revisiting crate training. 

When a puppy (or dog) thinks being out all the time is “normal,” he may not be okay in the crate when you are home with visitors. For more information on crate training read my article, “Crate Training: Love It or Hate It”

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.


Video Review: Puppy training and 3 kids

New puppy trainingHi we’re Chris and Sara Crawford and these are our kids Carter, McKenna and Millie.

This is our new puppy Kiwi.  She was born on mother’s day and we got her on July 4th.  My wife says that was the day she lost her independence.

So we are grateful to have Jim here helping us to regain our independence.  We’ve learned a lot of new things with Kiwi

She’s learned to not jump, to not bite, she learned to sit to stay and she’s learned to walk and we’ve been able to do that in a couple of weeks.

And it’s been really great for our family.  We’ve really enjoyed Jim and our kids have really enjoyed Kiwi.

So thank you very much.



Video Review: Weimeraner puppy training

Hi my name is Mark Harris and I got Kramer and I called Jim 3 weeks ago, Kramer is now 13 weeks old

In the 3 weeks I’ve been working with Jim Kramer has learned to sit, lay down, he has learned to go to his place, he walks outside great

AND my wife’s happy so I am very fortunate to have met Jim and worked with him.




Video Review: Potty training a junk yard puppy

puppy potty training


Hi my name is Tracy, this is Curly.   Curly was wandering in my scrap yard in the middle of the heat with all kinds of fleas so we took her to the vet and got her all cleaned up and she’s on the mend.

And I called Jim Burwell for some help in potty training.  Jim came over and gave me some lessons, specifically on what to do and not to do.  Lo and behold Curly is now potty trained, Curly will respond to commands and Curly and i are both very happy.

I enjoyed the lessons, I was able to use the lessons and I would suggest if you have a dog old or new that needs some help call Jim and he will help you out.

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Video Review: Puppy Training a Pomeranian

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Mr. Burwell was really nice and he helped train her and now she’s a much better doggie. I really love to train my puppy and now that Mr. Burwell has taught me how to train Phoebe in a fun way, I work with her all the time


Dog Training Success Story: Puppy Training a Goldendoodle

This is Peggy Gerst and we have Bentley who is a 3 month old Goldendoodle.  We got Bentley when he was 7 weeks old and it had been 20+ years since we had had a puppy but we knew we needed some help.

So we called Jim Burwell at Petiquette and asked for his advice and at 10 weeks he came out and we had 3 private lessons with Jim in our home and are amazed, truly amazed at Bentley’s progress and all that he’s learned.

We’ve had great help with understanding crate training which we had never done before and the benefits of a crate as far as house training goes.

He knows all of his basic commands now, he knows sit, and down and wait and place and he’s made great progress on coming and learning to walk on a leash.  And we’re amazed!  We’re just absolutely amazed at the progress he’s made using Jim’s methods and Jim’s training

We would highly recommend Jim Burwell and his method of training especially  if you’re gonig to have a puppy or an issue that you want to resolve he is extremely talented and knows a lot about dogs and answered all of our questions.

We are very pleased with Bentley’s behavior and we don’t have children anymore, we have grandchildren.  So having a well behaved dog is very important to us and we are well on the road to having exactly what we wanted.

Listen to her testimonial  Puppy Training