puppy training

Dr. Ian Dunbar and Hugo Pup Post Potty Break Cuddle

Why Purchase a Puppy that is NOT Housetrained?

I’ve raised a few puppies in my time and it has always puzzled me why anyone would want to purchase a puppy that hasn’t already been housetrained, especially since house soiling and other behavior problems, such as excessive barking and destructive chewing, are a major source of frustration for new owners. Most kennel-bred puppies are allowed to eliminate anywhere and everywhere, chew anything and everything, bark at will and run around uncontrolled, which of course, is exactly what they’ll do in their new homes. Consequently, far too many eight-week-old puppies already have behavior...

5 Ways My Puppy Reminds Me Of a Toddler.

Anthropomorphising animals isn’t a good idea and usually gets us into all kinds of trouble. Dogs are not furry babies. They are their own species, with a totally different set of day to day priorities & communication signals. However spending time with nieces, nephews and god-children over the years, I’m amazed that the toddler stage in kids has so many similarities with puppy development. Both in terms of how puppies explore the world and how we deal with the frustrations such interaction may bring, puppies and toddlers aren’t all that different at all. 

Walking anywhere takes forever!

If...

Housebreaking A Puppy

Housebreaking Tips: Does rubbing a dog's nose in it's mess teach a dog where to eliminate?

I received a question today from one of my Udemy SIRIUS® Academy students: “What do you say when a client tells you, in regards to puppy housebreaking, "Well I rubbed my dog's nose in his poop and he knew he was wrong and he never pooped in the house again."

Well, let's start with what we know. We know the client rubbed the dog's nose in the poop and if we believe the client, (which, by the way, I don't), the dog never had a housebreaking accident again. However, we don’t know that the dog "knew he was wrong". (We don't even know what our spouse, another human being, is thinking and so,...

‘I Want, I Want’ or ‘Please May I?’

You’ve waited for the arrival date for ages. You’ve bought toys, squishy beds, puppy food & a cute leash & collar set. When your bundle of fur arrives, you could never imagine it would ever cause you stress or hassle. No-one ever starts off with a puppy thinking ‘one day, my dog will suffer from a debilitating condition, which will limit our enjoyment of him & affect our whole family in the extreme’. The diagnosis is that increasingly far too many dogs I work with suffer from a chronic lack of self-control.

The first phone call for help usually includes phrases such as ‘demands

"You're Very Nice, But Get Away From Me, Weirdo”: A few words on puppy socialization

On Sunday, after an hour of taking in the sights, sounds, and scents of a local farmers market, I felt the unmistakable pang of hunger in my belly. I decided to grab a late lunch at a nearby patio eating spot.

Eyes hidden behind a pair of dark sunglasses, I was casually strolling the half mile to my intended destination while studying the young professionals, hipsters, families, and (confession) the attractive women that peppered downtown on this beautiful spring day. Smiles were abundant and everyone seemed in high spirits.

“Hi!” I hear someone say to my right. I turn and see an...

Why are You Teaching Your Dog That?


So, there are some words, phrases and cues that I choose not to use with dogs.  One of those is, “Look at me.”  I don’t say it and I don’t teach it.  Of course there’s nothing wrong with it, but I find it redundant and unnecessary in my training, so I don’t use it.

If I want to get someone’s attention, I generally say their name.  The expectation is that if I say someone’s name, they will respond by looking at me and at that point I can say whatever it is I need to say.  If I say someone’s name and they don’t respond, I can assume they either didn’t hear me or they are ignoring...

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