Don't Put It Off!
There is nothing like a great, in-person, 6-week dog training class. But if all the good classes are full, please don't put off training! Pups are ready and eager to learn right from the get-go. (4-week-old pups quickly learn to sit; 4-month-old pups easily learn touch, spin, down, wait, leave it, and even heel.) The earlier you get into the swing of working together, the more amazed you'll be at the transformation in your relationship.
First step: Learn the basics of positive training. One approach: get famed trainer Patricia McConnell's super easy-to-use Puppy Primer, which has a 6-week training plan you can follow.
Second step: Watch a few videos! Sometimes it helps to see things to understand them, so I started making short videos to reinforce what I teach. I have a regular supply of adorable students at my house, so it's simple to film what real training from scratch looks like.
Here are the key components of successful positive training:
* yummy food rewards in tiny bites
* great timing on your feedback to pup
* happy, stress-free energy from you
* patience and a sense of humor
The more you train, the better you'll get at it. The better you get at it, the faster your pup will learn. (Hint: If pup isn't getting it, look at how you're teaching. Back up, break it down, and put it at the level where pup can succeed.)
Get ready to be surprised at:
* how tuned into you your dog becomes
* how a lot of previously annoying behaviors magically diminish the more you train
* how beautifully tired out your pup is when you add the mental stimulation of training into the daily schedule
My fantasy is that you'll get hooked on dog training once you jump in and realize how fun it can be.
One of these days I'll get back to offering group training classes, but for now I'm doing private sessions.
A class with a wonderful positive trainer is ideal, but until then ... get started at home! These 1-to-3-minute videos will give you a sense of what you can do. Give it a try! Remember to leave your worries behind, and be present. Keep it short and fun. Quit on a high note.
Click on any of the topics below, and you'll find a playlist of short videos to explore:
Teach Puppy to Come
Touch, Spin & Through
Teach Sit and Down
Introducing the Leash
Sample Daily Training Sessions
Stay & Wait
Clipping Nails, Etc.
Why All The Treats?