Dominique Sachse puppy training

Puppy Training and Show Dog Handler Training



Puppy training for Oscar, the soft coated Wheaton.  Oscar, who belongs to Dominique Sachse,  is also learning to be a show dog and his handler needed a little help with having him listen in the ring.

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.

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 


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?

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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.

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.



Stop My Puppy From Biting

This is Marion and Thomas. We have Maya, a Goldendoodle puppy (5 months).

Even though the cutest dog in the world Maya’s behavior clearly needed some adjustments.

We called Jim Burwell and asked for help. Jim came to our home and gave us simple, specific and extremely logical advice on how to train our puppy.

This included walking on a leash, not jumping on the kitchen table, not running through the house, not biting and so on.

We must say that after only 2 weeks we do not recognize our puppy anymore.  Maya turned into an obedient dog following commands and being well behaved.

We would have never thought that a dog could change to the positive in such a short period of time.

We think Jim’s methods are sensitive and highly adapted to the individual situation of the dog owner. Jim did an excellent job.

Review: Puppy biting, puppy nipping, puppy pooping

puppy biting Hi my name is Mary Lostak and we have a 4 month old Australian Shepherd puppy named Sadie.

We called Jim to have him help us with Sadie.  She was biting, not walking on the leash nicely, issues with potty training.

Just general bad puppy behavior, normal puppy behavior and Jim helped us kind of “see the light” and helped train us

to train Sadie.  And now she is doing much better;  she is potty trained, she is walking much better on the leash, learning

tricks and becoming a nice member of our household.  Thank you Jim!!!!   Listen to her testimonial here –   Puppy Puppy Biting, Nipping,

Review: Puppy training and being overwhelmed

Puppy Training OverwhelmThanks to Jim I learned there is still time for life with a puppy!  I was feeling very overwhelmed by this little puppy we brought home and after just the first visit Jim taught me how to schedule-crate time, play time, training time and sleep time.

I can’t believe how much more comfortable she is in the crate (or how comfortable I am leaving her in the crate)!  And having her with me… she hasn’t had one accident since Jim was here!

And I feel like I somewhat have my hands and life back! She was immediately potty trained and I started sleeping again!  The next couple of visits we worked on walking, playing with my kids and deterring biting and barking.

Jim was so easy to talk to and worked so well with Abby and our specific needs as a family!  I wish I could have him here 24 hours a day, but he gave me confidence to continue the training beyond his visits.  I look forward to taking group classes and continuing to work with Jim.