7 Common Dog Training Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Around 69 million U.S. households own a dog.

Are you giving your dog the best training you can? You must be doing something right if you are even training your dog. Don’t allow little hiccups to stand in your way. You might be shocked to hear that certain variables can impede your dog’s progress, despite the fact that they might appear inconsequential.

Common Dog training Mistakes

Here are some common dog training mistakes that people make the most frequently. Use the following information in this article to learn how to avoid these blunders during your next dog training session!

1. Delaying Training

Regardless of age, training should start as soon as you bring your dog home. Don’t hold off until he ages and picks up undesirable behaviors. Dog training and behavior management are not the same things. The purpose of dog training is to mold your dog’s behavior and teach him how to react to particular words and phrases.

Although young puppies might not be prepared to master complex skills, you should start working on housebreaking and fundamental instructions. You and your dog will develop a stronger bond over time. He will develop and become accustomed to the training session schedule.

You can then experiment with entertaining activities like dog tricks and advanced training, such as agility or animal-assisted therapy.

2. Not Training Enough

There is no such thing as a one-time training session. Even when your dog has learned an action or cue, continual training will yield the best results.

Hold quick training sessions at least twice or three times a week, focusing on one project at a time. Find entertaining new skills to impart to your dog, but occasionally go back to the fundamentals.

Your dog’s training is never fully complete. Ideally, you’ll continue to train your dog as he gets older. Regular training can help maintain your dog’s proficiency. Training sessions are also enjoyable for your dog and a wonderful way for the two of you to develop a close friendship.

3. Taking a “One-Size-Fits-All” Approach

Don’t assume that after reading one book on dog training, you know everything there is to know. The same is true when speaking with a buddy who is knowledgeable about pets.

There are numerous effective dog training methods and strategies available, but no two dogs are alike. You may occasionally need to seek assistance from a variety of sources and use all of the data to create your own training program.

dog training mistakes to avoid

With your dog, try trying a few different techniques to see what works. To create a strategy that works for you and your dog, combine various training philosophies. Even trying out a couple of different training classes might be a good idea. While you shouldn’t give up too soon, you should also not be scared to try something different if it doesn’t work.

4. Inconsistency

On all levels, teaching a dog requires consistent reactions. Your dog becomes confused when you utilize inconsistent training methods. Additionally, you could unintentionally reinforce undesirable behaviors.

Let’s imagine you establish a rule prohibiting your dog from sitting on the couch. Soon, for one reason or another, you find yourself occasionally making an exception and letting him up there. He won’t understand why it’s okay one minute and not the next if you turn around and yell at him for sitting on the couch.

Another instance of this error is begging. Your dog won’t start begging if you never give him food from people who are eating. At first, he might attempt it a few times, but telling him to “go to your place” or constantly ignoring your dog will deter him. If someone does give him some food, he will begin to equate begging with a reward and will continue to beg in the future.

Rewarding your dog when he “kind of” does something is another illustration of inconsistent behavior. When your dog’s entire body is on the ground and you are teaching him to lie down, you reward him.

In the future, you will be acting inconsistently if you offer him a reward for “lying down” before his entire body has touched the ground. He can become confused and repeat the unfinished version if you say “lay down” to him again.

5. Impatience

Different types of dogs learn at different rates during dog training, which takes time. Don’t let your dog’s lack of understanding cause you tension or frustration. Your dog may become stressed or irritated as a result, which can only make matters worse.

If your dog is having trouble picking something up, think about whether or not now is a suitable time to start training. Has the meeting lasted too long? Always remember to keep dog training sessions brief (10 to 15 minutes) and to wrap up with praise.

Alternatively, you may attempt segmenting the behavior into smaller components and training them separately. For this precise reason, the action/cue “roll over” is frequently practiced in phases.

Check the time the next time you start to get impatient. If it’s been too long (or if your dog appears frustrated or uninterested), just end the session with a simple task, you know your dog can carry out. Even if it means returning to the sit cue, be sure to end on a high note.

You can afterward attempt to divide the training into smaller portions.

Another illustration of impatience is this: Your dog refuses to sit when you ask him to. As a result, you keep saying “sit,” and after three to five repetitions, he sits down. After that, you give him a reward. In essence, you are teaching him that waiting until you utter the command five times before sitting is OK.

Say the command only once consistently, and then watch for the outcome. If your dog does not respond right away, you should wait a few seconds and then restart (getting his attention first).

6. Harsh Discipline

The majority of contemporary dog trainers concur that employing punishment to train dogs is not particularly successful. Positive dog training often increases the likelihood that dogs will perform well for their owners.

Mild aversives (such as a spray bottle or a penny can) can be used in particular circumstances and are generally not harmful.

However, additional factors can result in perilous circumstances. Yelling, hitting, alpha rolls, looking down, gripping the scruff of the neck, and pulling the leash are all examples of harsh discipline. Consequences may result from these activities.

  • they might make your dog act aggressively
  • they might make your dog frightened
  • your dog might suffer physical injury

You are doing this incorrectly if you believe that strict punishment is required in order to “establish authority” over your dog. Because of erroneous canine and wolf research, the idea that humans serve as “pack leaders” is out of date.

Do your homework and discover the best ways to treat your dog with respect. It’s not a bullying session; training should be an enjoyable approach to strengthening your relationship with your dog.

7. Getting the Timing Wrong

Unless you communicate with your dog in a way that he can comprehend, he won’t know when he has done something well. Here’s where timing and encouraging reinforcement come into play.

To signal desired behaviors, many trainers advise using a clicker or a brief word (such as “yes”). After that, give a reward right away to make sure it’s connected to the clicker or word. Make sure everything happens swiftly (within a second or two). If the incentive is given too soon, your dog can associate it with something else.

Early in the training process, when you are trying to get your dog to link actions to cue words, positive reinforcement is extremely crucial.

The same holds true for training your dog to stop engaging in undesirable habits. Make sure to introduce the unpleasant when the action is happening if you decide to utilize it (aversives should be light and kept to a minimum or avoided entirely).

There is little you can do if your dog is urinating inside the house and you don’t catch him until he is finished. Any subsequent punishment will be connected to something else (NOT the action of peeing in the house). Your dog may learn to feel scared when there is pee on the floor, but until you catch him in the act, he won’t learn to stop doing it.

Avoid These Dog Training Mistakes

You have read books, watched videos, and attended training sessions. Your dog still doesn’t appear to enjoy training with you, though. In circumstances like this, an owner frequently unintentionally ruins the training sessions.

Avoid making these dog training mistakes the next time you and your pooch sit down to train! To read more about training your dog, click here!

What Is Pet Insurance and Does Your Pet Need It?

Nearly 4.1 million pets get adopted from animal shelters each year. With pets, you inevitably have to cough a whopping $1,500 to $9,900 per year as part of their maintenance.

The average cost of emergency treatment is roughly $800-1,500. And, if your pet needs a complex procedure, it can exceed $5,000.

Luckily, pet insurance can be a lifesaver, protecting you from unexpected veterinary bills. They offer huge relief to families by adsorbing some expenses associated with pet ownership. Also, you get peace of mind knowing that you can afford veterinary care instantaneously.

What is pet insurance

So, what is pet insurance? How does pet insurance work? Do I have to pay a deductible?

If you are asking yourself these questions, this blog is for you. We’ll elaborate more about pet insurance and its benefits for your furry friend. Read on to learn more.

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet health insurance is a policy purchased by the pet owner to offset the overall cost of their pet’s medical expenses. This policy reimburses the owner once their pets have received care and a claim is submitted to the insurer for compensation.

However, depending on the policy, there may be a deductible payment before a plan pays a percentage of the covered treatment. Pet insurance schemes exclude certain factors such as malicious harm to the pet, loss or harm caused by war, and much more.

Although these policies mainly cover cats and dogs, a few insurers offer coverage for other exotic species such as horses, rabbits, reptiles, birds, and more.

How Pet Insurance Works

Pet insurance policies, like most insurance policies, have a deductible. Your reimbursements depend on what you choose and will affect your premium. Higher deductibles typically lower your premium, while lower deductibles yield higher premiums.

They are two options for deductibles:

  • Annual Deductibles: the amount you pay for covered health care service before your insurance plan starts
  • Per-Incident Deductibles: The deductibles are applied each time your pet goes to the veterinarian for a new condition or injury

Types of Pet Insurance Policies

does my pet need insurance

It’s important to research and know the policy that will work best for you and your pet. There are four main types of pet insurance to choose from. They include:

Lifetime Cover Pet Insurance

Probably the most popular and comprehensive pet insurance you’ll find. It covers your pet for its entire life provided you renew it annually.

But not all lifetime pet insurance work the same. Annual policies cover a particular amount of vet fees annually. So, in one year, the insurance agency may pay up to $1000.

There’s also the per condition, per year policy. This would get you an annual limit for each diagnosed condition.

For example, you may get $1000 per year for claims relating to your pet’s injury. Higher limits have more costly premiums. Here’s what this pet insurance policy typically covers:

  • Boarding fee if hospitalized (often up to $1,500)
  • Veterinary treatment fee
  • Third-party legal liability and accidental damage costs
  • Emergency boarding kennel or cattery fees
  • Loss by theft or straying away
  • Cremation or burial fee

Lifetime insurance costs will be dependent on several factors, including your pet’s breed, age, species, and location.

Accident-Only Pet Insurance

This policy doesn’t cover illness-only injuries – it only covers vet fees for sudden, unexpected injuries. Pet accidents are more common than you might think. Nearly 86,629 pet injuries and falls are reported annually. 

These policies provide a fixed amount for every pet’s accidental injury treatment and often stop after 12 months. Ensure you get the right policy from the start, as it’s difficult to switch insurers once your pet has an illness or injury that’s considered a pre-existing condition.

Maximum Benefits Pet Insurance

Maximum benefits pet insurance will provide you with a maximum amount of money to cover the cost of treatment for each pet’s illness or accidental injury.

These can sometimes be referred to as per-condition or money-limited policies. Each accidental injury or long-term health condition is covered until the maximum benefits are exhausted for that condition.

There’s no time limit on reaching these maximum benefits. However, after this, you’ll no longer be able to claim for that illness or injury even if the pet requires further treatment.

Maximum Benefit vs Lifetime Cover: Which One is Better?

While maximum benefit policies offer a fixed, one-off amount per condition with no time limit, lifetime cover offers a fixed amount per condition, resetting when you renew your policy annually.

Because it offers more extensive coverage, lifetime policies usually cost more than the maximum cover. Therefore, only you can make the final decision on which type of pet insurance suits your pet and your budget. 

Non-Lifetime Cover Pet Insurance

These policies allow you to claim for a medical condition up to a specified amount for a limited time. They’re ideal if you want to cover a condition for one year or a shorter period and potentially pay the rest yourself.

When you reach the financial or time limit (whichever comes first) your pet will no longer be covered for that condition. You’re eligible if your pet acquires another condition. 

Learn More About Taking Care of Your Furry Friend

Hopefully, this post answers your question, “What is pet insurance?”

When it comes to determining which pet insurance plan is right for you, consider what’s best for your pet. What works for one pet may not work for another. It’s also important to consider your budget, especially if you have several pets.

Do you love pets? Then our blog is the place for you.

Browse our insightful posts to learn more about caring for and living with your pets. Don’t forget to sign up to be on our mailing lists to get the latest updates.

The Best Dog Breeds For People With Active Lifestyles

Did you know that as of 2022, there are just shy of 200 different dog breeds that are officially recognized by the AKC? That’s not counting unofficial breeds and adorable mixes that we all know and love. 

So, when it comes to choosing the best breed of dog for your active lifestyle, we understand it can be quite challenging. However, there are a number of different dog breeds that are perfect for people with active lifestyles, and in this blog post, we will take a look at some of the best dog breeds for you. 

Whether you are into running, hiking, or just playing fetch in the park, there is a breed of dog out there that will fit your needs perfectly. So keep reading to learn more about the best dog breeds for active people!

Think About the Activities You Like

Before even thinking about the best pets for an active lifestyle like yours, we suggest really thinking about the activities you like enjoying. More than just that, though, we urge you to consider the types of activities you’d ideally like to enjoy with your dog.

If you love to go hiking and can’t miss a weekend without getting out in the mountains then you’re probably going to need to look for a breed of dog that can not only keep up with your hiking schedule but whose body can withstand that kind of activity and terrain.

However, if you simply love to jog around your neighborhood and play frisbee in the park, you might not need a breed of dog that’s built for mountain terrain. Instead, you’d wanna look for a breed that is high-energy and agile.

Narrowing down the types of activities you’d like to share with your dog can make it easier to find the best dog breed for your lifestyle. Once you’ve got a good idea of what kind of activities you’ll be doing, you can start browsing energetic dog breeds.

What Are Some Energetic Dog Breeds?

So, what are some of the most energetic dog breeds? Many pet parents will tell you that most breeds are. However, there are definitely some that have way more energy than other breeds. Those include the following.

Shepherds

From Australian Shepherds to German Shepherds and definitely Border Collies, shepherds, in general, are a super active breed. 

best dog breeds

Why are they such high-energy dogs? Well, there are a few reasons. For one, they were bred to be able to keep up with their flock. They needed to be able to run after them if they got loose, and they needed to be able to move quickly to avoid predators. 

Additionally, shepherds needed to be able to stay awake for long periods of time in order to keep watch over their flock. This meant that they needed to have a lot of energy stored up in order to stay alert and keep their flock safe.

While your city-born Border Collie might not ever visit a farm with sheep it will need to herd, this is still bred into their instincts and means they have a lot of built-up energy that’s ideal for running trails, playing frisbee, and learning tricks.

Retrievers

If you’ve ever been around a growing Golden Retriever or German Shorthaired Pointer then you’ll know just how energetic they are. Their energy comes from a similar background as shepherd dogs.

Retrievers were originally bred to assist hunters in finding and retrieving game that had been shot. In order to be effective at this task, they needed to be fast and have a lot of stamina. 

This required them to be very active, which is why even today’s retrievers tend to be high-energy dogs. And fortunately, this makes them great company for active people who enjoy swimming, fishing, hiking, and even hunting. Plus, they’re easy to train.

Cocker Spaniels

If you love to run around the park and play in your backyard with your kids then a cocker spaniel is a good choice for you as well, as they’re one of the most energetic dog breeds around that are still somewhat medium-sized.

Spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs, and they still have the energy and drive of their ancestors. Spaniels are also very intelligent, which means they can get bored easily. 

To keep a spaniel happy and healthy, they need an owner who is willing to give them plenty of attention and take them on regular walks or runs. With the right amount of exercise and stimulation, spaniels make great companions for active people.

What to Know About Caring for Energetic Dog Breeds

Before we dive into the best dog breeds for active people, let’s just talk really quickly about caring for energetic dog breeds. As mentioned above, these types of dogs need pet parents who will be able to fully attend to their exercise and mental needs.

In short, exercise is essential for energetic dog breeds. They will need at least one hour of exercise each day, and ideally two or more hours. This could include a long walk, run, or play session in the yard. Breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers make great walking or running partners.

Energetic dog breeds also need mental stimulation. This can be provided through interactive toys and games, such as fetch or agility courses. Intellectual stimulation is just as important as physical exercise for these dogs (which is why they love the great outdoors).

Finally, remember that energetic dog breeds need plenty of rest. After a long walk or play session, they will need to have some time to relax and recharge.

The Best Dog Breeds for Active People

Alright, here we have it! Here are seven of the best dog breeds for active people and why we think they’d make a great companion for you.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are the perfect breed of dog for active people. They are intelligent, energetic, and trainable, and they love being outdoors. Australian Shepherds are also very loyal and protective, which makes them great companions on hikes and other adventures. 

If you are looking for a dog that will keep you company on your next big adventure, an Australian Shepherd is a perfect choice.

Labrador Retriever

There are few dogs more well-suited for an active lifestyle than the Labrador Retriever. These dogs are bred to be working dogs, and their build and temperament reflect this. 

They have strong, muscular bodies that allow them to keep up with even the most active person, and their friendly nature means they love being around people. 

Labrador Retrievers also have a high level of energy, which makes them perfect for hiking, running, or playing fetch. And because they’re so intelligent, they’re quick to learn new commands, which is perfect for when you want to take them off the beaten track.

Vizslas

There are a lot of reasons why Vizslas are perfect for active people. First of all, they’re intensely loyal and affectionate dogs that bond closely with their owners. They’re also highly intelligent and very trainable, which makes them great companions for hikes, runs, or any other outdoor activities.

Vizslas are also incredibly high-energy dogs that need a lot of exercise, so they’re the perfect match for active people who love spending time outdoors. And finally, Vizslas are just plain fun to be around. After a long run or hike, they’re always up for a game or a good cuddle session.

Siberian Husky

Love running and cold weather? A husky is a great companion for you! These dogs were originally bred in Siberia to pull heavy loads over long distances in cold climates, so they have the endurance and strength to keep up with even the most active humans.

Huskies are also highly intelligent and trainable, so you can teach them tricks or commands to help make your outings more enjoyable. And when you’re not out exploring together, Siberian Huskies are content to lounge around the house, making them the perfect companions for both busy and lazy days.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Similar to Siberian Huskies, Bernese Mountain Dogs are one of the best dog breeds for active people who live in colder climates. They were originally bred in the Swiss Alps to be working dogs, and their strong bodies and intelligence make them well-suited for a variety of activities.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are excellent hikers, and they also enjoy swimming, sledding, and playing fetch. In addition to being active, Bernese Mountain Dogs are also loyal and protective, making them great companions for those with little ones around the house.

Springer Spaniel

Springer Spaniels are easily trained, eager to please, and quick to learn new tricks. This makes them the perfect breed for people who want an active, obedient dog by their side.

These dogs were originally bred for hunting, and their natural instinct is to run and jump and play. A daily walk or jog is not enough to tire out a Springer Spaniel. Nope. They need room to run and explore. So if you are looking for a high-energy dog who will never say no to a game of fetch or a hike in the woods, then a Springer Spaniel is the perfect breed for you. 

Learn More About Being a Dog Owner

As an active person, it’s important to learn about the best dog breeds for your active lifestyle. But that’s only where it all begins. Once you’ve found the perfect canine companion, you’ll need to learn all about caring for them, training them, and more.

To learn more about being a dog owner, browse through all of our helpful articles about dogs!

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Crate Training 101

Are you one of the 23 million American households to acquire a new pet during COVID-19?

If so, congratulations! Dogs are considered family members by many people. The first thing you’ll want to do is teach Fido how to sit, stay, and roll over, right? 

Crate Training 101 For Dogs

But have you thought about crate training your dog?

Crate training your dog or puppy is the process of teaching your dog to accept a crate as a familiar and safe location. It provides your dog with a sanctuary to which they can retreat when tired, stressed, or not feeling well. 

If crate training is new to you, don’t worry.

This guide will give you the best tips on how to crate train your dog

What Is Crate Training?

Dog crate training takes advantage of your dog’s instincts to seek a safe place when the environment intimidates them. It teaches your dog to accept a crate as a familiar and secure location. 

It is an effective tool for puppies, as well as adult dogs. However, it is not suitable for all dogs. 

When done correctly, crate training comes with many benefits. Crate training your dog or puppy may take some time and effort, but it can be helpful in a variety of situations. 

When Should I Start Crate Training My Puppy?

Dog Crate Training Tips

You can begin crate training your puppy as early as eight weeks old. Getting your puppy used to the crate while they’re young helps settle them into their new home, especially those who are a little nervous. 

There is no reason an older dog cannot be crate trained either. The key here is to move slowly, especially if they have had bad crating experiences in the past. 

Why Are the Different Types of Crates? 

As you start shopping for your dog’s new crate, you’ll notice there is more than just one type. 

Unlike a kennel, crates tend to be lighter in weight. There are four types: wire, plastic, soft-sided, and wooden. 

  1. Wire crates are collapsible for easy transport and storage 
  2. Plastic crates are durable, ideal for families who travel via plane, often
  3. Soft-sided crates are better for smaller breeds, easy to set up, and teardown
  4. Wooden crates are “aesthetically pleasing,” fit perfectly within your home

How Do I Choose the Right Crate?

crate training choices

It’s time to figure how what type of crate is right for your dog. When choosing a crate for your dog, consider:

  • Where you will use the crate
  • How big your dog is
  • How long you intend to keep your dog in the crate

As a rule of thumb, your dog should have enough room to stand, turn around, and stretch. If your dog is still growing, consider how big they will get, so they don’t outgrow the crate. 

If you’re still unsure, it doesn’t hurt to get the next size up. However, if you don’t want your dog urinating inside the crate, don’t choose the crate designed for a Bernese Mountain Dog when you own a Chihuahua.

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How to Crate Train a Dog: Step-by-Step

Are you ready for crate training 101? Here is a step-by-step guide to help you make the most out of crate training. 

1. Introduce Your Dog to the Crate

Start by leaving the crate door open. Let your dog explore at its own pace. Toss a treat inside and reward them when they take a peek inside. 

Try to keep as upbeat as possible and give lots of praise. At this stage, it’s up to your dog whether they go inside the crate or not. If they seem hesitant, give them more treats. 

Take it slow. Don’t force your dog inside. Leave treats inside and play the waiting game. 

2. Practice Closing the Door

Once they have had a positive experience going inside the crate, your dog may be ready to stay in there for a little longer. Place a soft toy and some treats inside the crate and experiment with closing the door while they’re inside. Once they have finished their treats, open the door again. 

Keep at this step until your dog seems relaxed. If they show signs of stress, take a break and come back to it later. There’s no rush. 

dog training crate

3. Step Away Briefly

Once your dog has conquered step two, it’s time to take things a little further. The next time you close the crate door, step out of the room. Listen for whines or barks that tell your dog is ready to come out.

They might even surprise you! 

4. Work up to Longer Stays

If your dog seems okay with step three, try leaving for more extended amounts. Try one minute, then five minutes, and so on until they seem content inside.

Once you’re both feeling confident, try leaving the house for a short period, even if it’s just down the driveway. 

Dos and Don’ts of Crate Training

For most families, crate training is a lifesaver. It doesn’t just benefit you; it’s also helpful for your dog. But it also comes with its challenges.

Here are some dos and don’ts to help you through the crate training process. 

Do Have Enough Water 

Make sure there is plenty of water inside your dog’s crate. This is especially important if they need to be in their crate for more than two hours.

Attach a no-drip water bottle to the side of the crate. You can use a bowl of water, but this can make quite the mess. 

Don’t Use the Crate as Punishment 

Putting your dog in the crate as punishment will lead them to associate crate time with negative experiences. You will find it hard to reverse this behavior. Your dog should enjoy crate time, not fear it. 

Do Use Treats and Praise 

Your dog should consider crate time as a positive experience. In the initial training stages, use treats to lead them into the crate. Once they’re inside, reward them with another.

Positive reinforcement is one of your most powerful tools for shaping your dog’s behavior.  

Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Crate for Long periods

Dogs are not meant to be crated for an extended period. They need social interaction, exercise, and regular “bathroom” breaks. This is especially true for puppies who have smaller bladders. 

Extended crate time can lead to behavioral problems. If you need to leave them alone for an extended period, consider hiring a pet sitter or using a doggie daycare. 

Do Supervise Your Dog While Crate Training 

When you first crate train your dog, always keep an eye on them. You need to look for signs of distress and ensure they aren’t misbehaving, i.e., chewing the crate. You also don’t want your dog to associate the crate with isolation.

Remember, crate time is supposed to be a fun, safe space. 

The Benefits of Crate Training a Dog

Crate training 101 is an effective training tool for puppies and adult dogs. Here’s how crates can help you and your dog. 

1. Makes Traveling With Your Dog Easier 

dog crate training 101

When your dog is used to spending time in their crate, traveling by car is so much easier. It will reduce whining and reduce stress and discomfort. This will also help if your pet is traveling by plane. 

2. Encourage Potty Training

Crate training helps streamline the housetraining process because it is easier to predict when your pup wants to go to the toilet: two birds, one stone. Am I right?

3. Keeping Your Puppy Safe

Leaving your puppy to its own devices is a horror movie waiting to happen. A crate helps to keep your curious pup out of harm’s way when you’re unable to keep an eye on them. 

4. Providing a Recovery Zone

Dogs like small, enclosed spaces, especially when feeling anxious or stressed. Providing your dog with an area where it can ‘escape’ will allow them to decompress and relax. 

Crate Training 101 For Dogs: Set Your Dog up for Success

Crate training a puppy takes a lot of time and patience. Whether it’s a German Shephard or a Yorkshire Terrier, it’s important not to get frustrated. 

crate training 101 for dogs

Proper crate training might take a few days or a few weeks, while some may struggle to settle into their crate at all. And that’s okay. However, if you think your pup may be suffering from separation anxiety, talk to your vet for advice and support. 

As a new pet owner, it can sometimes feel too overwhelming, especially the first few weeks. Surviving the “puppy blues” will create a stronger bond between owner and dog. It’s worth it, trust us! 

After you’ve mastered crate training, the world is your oyster. Read the rest of this blog for more doggy tricks and tips today. 

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Top 14 Best Dog Training Tips

Did you know that almost a million pets were adopted in 2021? That’s so many pets that got to go to new and loving homes and so many people searching for the best dog training tips! Are you going to be part of that statistic for 2022?

Best-dog-training-tips

Getting a new dog is exciting. You’re bringing a new friend into your household! Training the dog, however, is a different story.

Training is frustrating, but if you want your dog (and your home) to be safe, it’s essential. We’re here with the best dog training tips so you can get started.

Read on to learn more.

1. Start Right Away

From the moment that you bring a new dog home, the training begins. Whether your dog is a brand-new puppy or an older dog from a shelter, you need to make sure that they know who’s boss and what they should be doing.

Many people think that puppies are too young to learn. Puppies are difficult to train, they need more sleep than adult dogs, and they have shorter attention spans. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start teaching them the basics. 

Older dogs may not need as much training depending on their backgrounds. If your dog came from a household that trained it well, you may only need to make a few small adjustments, if you need them at all. Some dogs, however, came from neglectful environments or they were strays, and they’ll need more training. 

It’s often difficult to “teach an old dog new tricks,” but it’s not impossible as long as you establish the learning process right away. 

Tips-For-Training-My-Dog

2. Keep Training Fun

Just like children, dogs learn best when they’re able to have fun and play games. If you can turn training sessions into enjoyable experiences, your dog will pick things up more quickly. 

You can’t force a dog to do what you want it to do. While some people choose to discipline their dogs or use force, this will result in dogs who are either skittish or aggressive.

By keeping things light and interesting, your dog will understand that learning commands isn’t a punishment. They’ll equate them with playtime and rewards.

There will be some situations in which you’ll have to be more strict with your dog, but for the most part, aim to have fun with the training process. 

3. Don’t Aim for Long Sessions

This is one of the best dog training tips for puppies. While all dogs have short attention spans, puppies are the worst. They’re easily distracted and they have no interest in learning for long periods of time (even though dogs love to learn). Remember, they’re like toddlers. 

It will benefit both you and the dog to keep training sessions brief and give your dog plenty of breaks. 15 to 20 minutes is often more than enough to help your dog learn.

It’s a good idea to use commands while you’re between training sessions, like during playtime or on walks, just to solidify them in your dog’s mind. 

4. Redirect Negative Energy and Behavior

This is another one of the best dog training tips for puppies. When they get too rowdy, or when they’re doing something that they’re not supposed to do, find a way to redirect them. 

Dog-Training-Tips

When your puppy is chewing on something that it’s not supposed to chew on, like a sleeve or your finger, it might seem cute. It won’t be cute when the puppy is causing actual damage when it gets older. 

Instead of allowing that behavior, place a chew toy or rope in the dog’s mouth. This should distract them and let them know that there are appropriate things to chew on in the house.

Your puppy is teething, so don’t discourage chewing in general. Just make sure that it’s not harming you or your home!

5. Consider Training Classes

When your dog is a puppy, you have access to plenty of affordable training classes at puppy daycares or pet supply stores. Take advantage of this by attending at least one class.

While one class won’t be enough to train your dog, it will get your dog used to other dogs and it will give you an idea of what you should be doing when you’re training the dog at home.

Pay close attention to what the trainer does while they’re training the puppies. Mimic that behavior at home. Remember, they’re professionals.  

6. Always Start with the Basics

It’s tempting to get your dog to learn tricks right away, but basic commands will be easier for your dog to understand and more useful for you. They keep your dog and other dogs safe.

The most important commands for any dog are going to be “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” “Leave it” is another important one.

Dog training basics

When you’re out and about with your dog, you want to be able to get its attention and stop any inappropriate actions right away. If they’re straying too close to another dog, for example, you want to be able to call them back without having to pull on them.

“Leave it” is important because your dog may try to go for things that aren’t safe for it. Dangerous foods or another household pet’s toys are good examples of this. When you drop an onion on the floor while cooking, you don’t want that to be the first time that you try to get your dog to leave something alone. 

7. Pay Attention to Your Dog’s Reactions

Just like your dog has to pay attention to you during training sessions, you have to pay attention to your dog. Notice how it reacts when you give it commands, even if it doesn’t follow them yet.

If your dog isn’t understanding something, you may need to change your methods. Remember that all dogs are different and they’ll all respond differently to teaching methods. 

This is also important when you’re choosing rewards or discipline methods for your dog. You want to make sure that you’re motivating your dog in the right way. If it becomes desensitized or bored by whatever you’re using, you’ll have to pay attention to this so you can change things up. 

8. Don’t Hesitate to Praise or Discipline

As we mentioned before, dogs have brief attention spans. They can remember things long-term, but their short-term memory isn’t fantastic. This means that it’s crucial to praise or discipline your dog for their behavior as soon as it happens, if possible.

So what does this look like in practice?

When you’re training your dog and it obeys a command, you should praise or reward them as soon as they finish. The second your dog’s bottom hits the ground when you tell them to sit, they get a reward. 

This is also true for discipline. If your dog chews or bites on something that it’s not supposed to, immediately discipline your dog (we’ll talk about proper discipline methods later on). This will help them understand that the action was inappropriate.

This will take some getting used to, and there are some situations in which it won’t be possible. Your dog will develop the ability to remember and understand when it misbehaved when you weren’t around, but that will take time.

We’ve all seen videos of dogs “looking guilty” when they’ve made a mess in the house while the owner wasn’t home! While they’re not “really” feeling guilty, they do know when they’ve done something wrong and you’re going to be unhappy with them. 

9. Reward Good Behavior

It’s always better to use positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement when it comes to training (though you may need to use both depending on the situation). Dogs are reward-motivated and they want to please you. 

Find the right reward for your dog. For most dogs, the best rewards are treats. That said, too many treats can cause your dog to gain weight.

If your dog responds well to treats, we recommend breaking the treat into pieces so you don’t have to feed it too many during your training session.

At the end of training sessions, consider rewarding your dog with something larger, like a toy or a large chewable treat.  

10. Don’t Be Mean to Your Dog

Use the carrot, not the stick. When your dog does something wrong, you can be strict but not mean. Do not harm your dog physically or psychologically.

Remember that your dog is still learning. It doesn’t understand that it’s doing something wrong and it’s trying to take in a lot of information at once. It will make mistakes.

Yelling at a dog loudly or swatting it when it does something wrong will cause the dog to fear you. You can use a stern voice and your body language to let a dog know that its behavior was unacceptable. 

When you’re teaching basic commands, withhold treats when the dog isn’t obeying. Don’t punish the dog. 

11. Stay Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to training a dog. One of the best dog obedience training tips that we can give you is to make sure that you’re consistent with training methods, rewards, and discipline methods. 

Your dog has a hard enough time understanding commands. If you’re constantly switching up commands and how you respond to the dog’s behavior, you’ll confuse it even more. The only exception to this is if a dog is clearly not understanding what you’re trying to teach it.

You also need to be patient. It’s going to be difficult to stay consistent with your training method if the dog isn’t learning as quickly as you’d like. Keep up with it and you will see results.

12. Allow Time to Decompress

After training sessions, make sure that your dog has time to expend some energy and play. Whether this means that you go for a long walk, let them play in the yard, or have a fun indoor playing session, do something that your dog enjoys.

Some dogs prefer to relax after training, but this is uncommon. If this is the case, give your dog a toy or a chewable treat so it can go lay down and rest after the tough training session. 

13. “Trial Run” in Public

Teaching your dog commands and tricks at home is one thing. Getting your dog to listen to those commands in public is a whole other story. Outside, there are so many things to distract your dog, so it’s more difficult for them to focus on your commands.

Start using commands while your dog is on short walks. Keep in mind that you may have to use them more than once, especially if your dog is a puppy or if you’re in a new place.

Once your dog has that down, consider taking it to a dog park (as long as it isn’t aggressive). Once your dog is able to obey commands when it’s in public, you know that you’ve done a good job training. 

14. Hire a Professional for Help

If you’re struggling to train a stubborn or “unteachable” dog, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional dog trainer. Even a few sessions with a trainer will help your dog learn.

Dog trainer

These sessions are one-on-one and it’s common for the trainer to visit you to do them. This way, the dog gets to learn in a comfortable and familiar environment.

The trainer may also give you helpful instructions for training your dog when they’re not around. 

Try the Best Dog Training Tips Today

These dog training tips are sure to help you get your furry friend listening to commands and behaving as soon as possible. Remember: you have to be patient with your new canine companion. They’re trying to learn so many things at once!

As long as you stay consistent and make training fun, you’re sure to have a good experience.

Are you looking for more helpful information about pet ownership? Visit the rest of the blog for tips and tricks! Start with this post about potty training your new puppy.

Leash Training A Puppy That Bites The Leash

Leash-Training-A-Puppy-That-Bites-The-Leash

Are you trying to teach your puppy to stop biting their leash to no avail? You have found the right article!

Leash training a puppy that bites the leash when walking can be very frustrating, especially if you have a playful little pup. Your dog might be biting the leash for many reasons, including excitement, anxiety, or frustration. 

Training your new puppy to do anything takes time. Walking nicely can be a huge challenge for your puppy. Yet, you can get them to stop this bad behavior in several ways.

All you need are some treats and patience.

Keep reading to learn our best puppy tips to stop leash biting. 

Leash Training A Puppy That Bites The Leash- 7 Tips

1. Start Early

Of all puppy tips, this is the most important and couldn’t be more important when Leash training a puppy that bites the leash. While puppies are adorable and difficult to say no to, remember that consistency is key and the earlier you can start the better.

Reinforcing bad behavior by basically not correcting it just makes it harder to correct the habit in the future.

As soon as you start walking your puppy on the leash, you need to start leash training your puppy. It is recommended that you start this training in your living room by just letting them feel comfortable having the leash on.

Training your puppy not to bite the leash before it starts happening on walks is like teaching your toddler to say please and thank you. 

Start by holding the leash in your hand when it is not attached to your dog. Then, calmly dangle it in front of them. If they do not attack it, give them a treat.

If they do, drop the leash, hold their collar, and wait for them to drop it. Once they let go you can reward them with a treat. When your dog bites the leash many times during this experiment, try backing up further. 

After each session, use a tug toy to play. We recommend these in particular here. They are very good for tug of war purposes and are even pretty good for them to chew on.

Owner Note this particular brand we recommended above or any rope for that matter needs to be monitored. If the ropes start to come apart and the puppy starts eating it, it can be bad news.. It can get caught in their intestines. They last awhile but just monitor your pup while they chew the rope or really any toy.

Every day that you begin training again try to make the session more difficult for your dog. Wave the leash around or drag it on the ground to enable their need to play. 

Soon, your dog will know that the leash is not something they are supposed to play with. The puppy will leave it alone. 

2. Don’t Wrestle

Leash Training A Puppy That Bites The Leash

When our puppies bite the leash on a walk, it’s tempting to yank it away from them. Yet, doing so makes them think that you are playing a game. It only makes them hold on tighter. 

If your dog does this on a walk, ignore the behavior for as long as you can. When you can stop in a safe area, do so and hold their collar calmly until they drop the leash. 

Always reward your puppy when they drop the leash. Ignoring them while they have it in their mouth ensures that they will not confuse biting the leash with playing a game.

3. Get a Quality Leash

A quality leash can be a good tool to help your dog stop chewing and encourage you to keep training. A cheap leash can both be unsafe and unmotivating.

Cheap, thin, and breakable leashes will not hold up during training. You may spend more replacing your cheap leashes than on the quality leash itself.

When you opt for a higher quality puppy leash( like this one we recommend that discourages biting and pulling), you as the owner will be more motivated to help your dog out of this behavior due to the expense of the leash. 

This particular high quality puppy leash seems to have a lot of positive reviews on Amazon. They also have ranges of this type of collar (under 5 lbs, and XL dogs 130 Lbs or more) and all ranges in between.

Retractable leashes are also a no-go. Often, they are made out of a thin cord that is known to break and put you both in harm’s way. Plus if you give dogs too much leeway, especially puppies its hard to possibly lose control over them. It’s not difficult to find horror stories about them online. You may have one of your own. 

4. Use Positive Reinforcement

puppy-leash-training
Puppy Leash Training

As you probably know, positive reinforcement goes a long way with puppies, especially when you are leash training a puppy that bites the leash. It is the key to teaching them a new trick or to stop tearing at the leash.

Rewarding behavior you want is much more effective than punishing bad behavior. Punishing your dog for bad behavior can keep your dog from learning to behave and hinder the learning process.  

Once you start leash training, make sure you leave the house every time with a pocket full of treats. Be sure that every time they walk without biting, they are getting rewarded.

Additionally, as you reward them with treats, reward them physically and verbally too. Give them a scratch on the head or a nice pat. During this, tell them that they are doing a good job in a cheerful voice. 

Positive reinforcement makes your puppy want to behave and learn. If biting on the leash has become a difficult thing for them, give them your best treats when they go an entire walk without biting. 

Keep in mind, you do not want to reward your puppy for no reason. Giving them treats when they’ve done nothing to deserve it can set back your progress. An unwarranted treat can become confusing for your puppy. 

5. Be Aware of Triggers

If you notice that your training puppy only bites right when you leave the house, when other dogs are around, or something else, take note. Something related to your walk may be triggering them. 

Based on their trigger, try to accommodate their needs. This could look like taking them on walks with other dogs, choosing a quiet route, or trying a new leash. 

6. Give Your New Puppy an Outlet

Giving your puppy an outlet during walks could be very beneficial. Instead of rewarding them with treats, reward them with a tugging toy. Starting with treats and moving onto the tug toy can eliminate confusion in your pup. 

After your puppy has the basics of leash pulling and responds to rewards, try bringing along a long toy that you can hold while they tug on it. 

You can start this by showing your puppy the tug toy and the leash at the same time. If they choose the tug toy, give them a treat. If they choose the leash, wait to reward them until they drop it. 

7. Try Alternative Methods

If regular old puppy training doesn’t work, you may need to consider an alternative method. There are many alternate training methods out there, and one may work much better than typical training. 

Bitter Apple

Bitter apple is a substance you can put on your leash to deter your dog from biting. The liquid is safe for consumption, but your dog will not like the taste. Therefore, they are less likely to chew on it. 

No-Pull Leash 

No-pull leashes or no-pull harnesses are designed to stop your dog from pulling. Since the end of the leash is located on their back, it’s also more difficult for them to bite it. We recommend this one here. Some of the benefits of this no pull leash are as follows:

  • Comes in sizes of small all the way to XL
  • Reflective coloring that makes it easy to see you and your pup on night walks
  • NO Pull and NO Choke It wraps around their chest Not the neck

Some of these leashes can create pain when rubbing. Pay close attention to your puppy during and after walks to make sure that the leash is not causing them any pain. 

Head Halters and Muzzles

Head halters and muzzles are typically the last things people use to break their puppy of leash biting. The only reason you would really elect to go this route would be if you tried and tried the methods above and you still can’t get a handle on it.

If you decide that a muzzle or head halter is necessary, then this “gentle leader” is what we recommend. Can be seen here

What I really liked about this one was a few things:

.Teaches better leash manners because it prevents pulling, jumping and lunging

Has over 45,000 reviews and counting and most seem to be positive

Very easy to fit any size type of dog (petite on up to xl size)

When head halters and muzzles are used properly, they can be an effective tool. Be sure that you know how to put it on and use it so you do not accidentally hurt your dog. 

Pain and punishment can lead to an escalation of bad behavior in your dog. Even as a last resort, hurting your puppy should never be an option. While using this alternate method, confirm that your dog is comfortable and happy.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is another way to use positive reinforcement. When your dog stops biting or lets go of its leash, you use the clicker and give them a treat. Or you could simply use the clicker to stop them once they start biting the leash.

This clicker here is what we would recommend. Its just under $7 and it can be used for a variety of dog training not just leash training. You can teach them to do tricks, stop other unwanted behavior its really up to you.

This way, your dog associates good behavior with the click sound and knows they will be rewarded.

For this to work, you must be sure that your dog understands what the clicker means. You can start by making the click sound every time they go potty outside, and then slowly move onto leash training. 

Find More Puppy Tips 

Raising a puppy is a thrilling experience that many of us are lucky enough to enjoy. Yet, when bad behavior like leash biting begins to rear its head, you have to nip it in the bud. 

Using many of these puppy tips is sure to help you and your pup get along just fine. Our website, My Furry Friend, wants to help you learn about all the ins and outs of raising a puppy. Subscribe to our blog to read all about it.

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