Puppy Cuteness vs Puppy Boundaries

Puppy Cuteness vs Puppy Boundaries

Puppy Training
Puppy parents are often overcome by puppy cuteness. And the result is that they overlook the importance of clear boundaries. Puppies explore and experiment and are insatiably curious!   If puppies get too much freedom too early and not enough supervision, then their curiosity can have some unintended results.  How can you tell if puppy cuteness has led to too much freedom without enough supervision? Here's a quick way to answer that question: Suppose your puppy's behavior produces unintended results (such as biting, house soiling, etc.). Do you react by thinking how can I get my puppy to STOP doing XYZ? If that's your first thought, you're not alone! And it also suggests that you need to upgrade to more proactive supervision. What's the problem with asking how to stop your puppy from doing things? The…
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Saying No to Your Dog is an Empty Bucket

Saying No to Your Dog is an Empty Bucket

Dog Behavior, Puppy Training
An Empty Bucket Saying No to your dog is a waste of time. It slows down the result you're looking for. It could even derail your purpose entirely. Not to mention unintended consequences. Keep reading and I promise to explain. And when I'm done, there's a pretty good chance you'll even agree with me! Imagine for a moment that you have been transported to an unfamiliar place.  You don't understand the language, the customs, or the culture.  The people seem nice but you don't know how to communicate with them. You try to make friends, but then something strange happens. The people who seemed nice are suddenly angry.  You try to show them that you want to be friends and it does no good. They're very angry and you're afraid because…
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Where Is Goldilocks When You Need Her?

Where Is Goldilocks When You Need Her?

Puppy Training, Training
I’m looking for Goldilocks. It could involve you, so hear me out. I’ve been cooking up an idea for nearly a year.  And now it’s about time to serve up that idea to dog peeps like you so you can sample it for yourselves! Wait. Let me back up here for a sec… If you know me at all, you know I’m all about helping dog owners fix whatever they feel is broken.  Nothing lights me up more than a wagging tail and a delighted smile at the end of a lesson! I used to love visiting clients in their homes. These days, however, we do Zoom meetings.  Times have changed. But the confident smiles and wagging tails are just the same as they’ve always been. When people get results,…
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Puppy Backtalk: How You Answer It

Puppy Backtalk: How You Answer It

Puppy Training
Puppy backtalk will happen eventually.  It's one of those milestones along the way to maturity. How you answer it, however, will decide the direction it takes. Pop Quiz: What age group of kids are MOST likely to challenge authority? Too easy?? The answer, of course, is teenagers.  Questioning, resisting, backtalking - it's all a normal part of kids growing up, testing limits, and discovering their independence. Puppy backtalk happens for the same reasons. If you're a dog aficionado like me, then there's no need to remind you that puppies, too are teenagers for a while. That three-month-old baby who happily did your bidding morphs behind your back into a six-month-old adolescent whose favorite reply is "not-gonna-don't-hafta".  Six-month-old Radar showed me his true teenage colors today. Anyone who's raised a puppy will recognize the inevitable moment…
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Your Over-Aroused Dog Can Calm Down

Your Over-Aroused Dog Can Calm Down

Dog Behavior, Puppy Training
Have you ever tried to talk your excited and over-aroused dog into calming down?  How did that work for you? Not too well, I'm guessing! When your puppy or your grown-up dog is all wired up and bouncing around like a kid on a trampoline, words just don't make much of an impression. Unless you talk louder and gesture a lot - then your dog figures you're excited too!  And that fires up his excitement even more! It's a feedback loop - your excitement feeds your dog's excitement, and so on... There are better ways to help an over-aroused dog to calm down and all of them involve you modeling calmness so your dog can mirror your actions.  We know that our dogs tune-in to our emotions.  So take a deep breath and be…
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Who Will You Trust To Train Your Dog?

Who Will You Trust To Train Your Dog?

Puppy Training, Training
Looking for help to train your dog? Let's face it. What's the first thing you do when you need answers?  Google it! Am I right? So if you want an answer to training your dog to...let's say, stop barking too much or jumping on guests, ...why not just get a bunch of ideas off the internet?  After all, there's so much out there about every subject under the sun! And that's exactly the problem! You'll find so much chatter and clutter that, unless you're already an expert, you have no way to differentiate what's good from what's just plain crap.  The thing you should know is that experts can tell the difference. They spend years and years researching and learning. Serious trainers will consistently dissect and test ideas and then measure them against proven data. They can instantly…
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Puppies Need Boundaries

Puppies Need Boundaries

Puppy Training, Training
Puppies need boundaries that are reasonable and clearly defined. We raise our human children to ask for permission, say please and thank you, share, and wait their turn.  Parents want their children to grow up into confident and responsible adults.  So parents teach their children that when they respect social boundaries they will be rewarded with more freedom.  But ignoring boundaries often results in a loss of their freedom. Puppy parents often overlook the importance of creating reasonable and clearly defined boundaries. It's natural for puppies to explore and experiment so that they can learn about their world and the people in it.   If puppies get too much freedom too early, their curiosity can have some undesirable results.  They deserve the opportunity to earn their freedom so that they will respect it. What does too much freedom for…
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