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Tips for Training your Doggo

by Katie Luker about a year ago in training

Tips that helped me to train my dog!

Rusty, the goodest good boy of them all!

Hey there my fellow dog lovers! I want to share some tips and tricks that I either found out on my own or found on a billion different websites- yes.. I tried to do my research lol. I got my gorgeous, sweet, peanut head, Rusty in February of 2019. Whenever I adopted him, he had to stay a few more weeks until his appointment to be neutered. Turns out that that worked out perfectly (should have been a sign of how great he would be (; ) because I was also in the middle of moving out of my mom’s house. I knew that Rusty had anxiety based off of his bio but there was something about him and I knew he was mine! I visited him a few times a week so he could get used to me and I already had him sitting more on first command by the time I was able to go pick him up! I have to say... he is a VERY smart dog but I think I did a pretty good job if I do say so myself *pats self on back*. He hardly had any accidents and potty trained fairly easy! Within the first two weeks, he learned to stay, lay down, give his paw, and roll over. Now all of these took another week or so to be on first command but it did awesome. He is also currently learning left and right paw and gets it correct pretty often!

Get on with it.. I know, I know!

Here’s some things that I stayed mindful of the first few months of having my peanut head:

-The best and most important thing I learned is to teach a dog “off” instead of “down” when jumping on someone or something. “Down” usually goes hand in hand with “lay down” and can be confusing! This worked like a charm with Russ.

- C O N S I S T E N C Y is key!! This is so important! Keep the same wording and the same hand gestures, keep at it throughout the day, and keep at it everyday!

-Keep training treats handy. This is especially helpful when trying to teach your dog to walk with you.

-In the training process, REWARD REWARD REWARD! They are family but in reality, they are not human children. It is okay to constantly reward them with food! Lol!

-I’ve noticed that stepping back and kind of doing a rest helps when trying to teach tricks, especially with hand gestures. Picture this: you’re teaching your dog to lay down and you’re bent over using a hand gesture close to the dog, right? Let’s say (s)he gets confused and tries to give a paw. Instead of continuing to say “down”, take a step back or stand up straight, call your dogs name (sometimes I give him the mom look and just say “hey” and he listens) until you have his attention, and start over whether it’s from standing or sitting. Takes time, but it helps!

-Take at least 10 minutes at a time throughout the day to do some training.

-****** P O T T Y T R A I N I N G ****** The best thing I found for potty training was also consistency. I did some research and it says that your puppy should be able to hold urine for the same amount of hours as months they are. Does that make sense?? So for example, two month old puppies should need to go out every two hours. Rusty was 8 months old when I brought him home and thankfully I was off of work that week to move so I had time to be consistent with him. To stay on the safe side, I took him out every 5-6 hours. When he used the bathroom outside, I made sure to have treats handy and rewarded him each time. Heck, I even let him sniff other dog poop so he would understand that it does outside. BE CAREFUL WITH THAT and keep an eye on them though because dogs can sometimes get worms just from sniffing infected feces. Another thing that really helped with potty training was crate training him. As long as there is no puppy pad in the crate and only their bed, they will 9 times out of 10 not use the bathroom because it is their bed. Rusty had an upset tummy a few times with accidental diarrhea in his crate and even tried to cover it up with the blanket or his toy so he wouldn’t lay in it. That leads me to...

-****** C R A T E T R A I N I N G ****** I hated to do it, but I had to crate train rusty for while I’m at work. Since he has very bad separation anxiety, it sucked at first.. can’t even lie about that one. What I did, though, was sleep in the living room with him while he was in the crate so he knew that I was there. Did he bark? Of course. That’s where the classic “cry it out” method was pulled out of the sleeve. For dogs?? Heck yeah man. I would literally lay as still as I could as if I was asleep and just ignore the barking and eventually, it got to where he would let out one bark and then lay down to go to bed. Once it got to where he hardly made a noise, I started to sleep in my room with the door open and continued to ignore the barks until he went to sleep. Some more tips for this particular thing: make it their cozy little spot. Leave them toys (safe to chew and be unsupervised with of course. Steer away from bones with large holes!) and a cozy blanket. Reward them for going in there, too! Another thing: throughout the day, put them in the crate with their toys and a bone or food and sit in the room with them (but without giving them attention) for five minutes at a time. Increase the time the less they begin the bark or if they start barking, don’t let them out until they stop barking and then reward them and praise them, of course!

-One of the BEST things that I have found for pulling is this wonderful collar that fits around his snout. It is always like a muzzle but the front is completely open and they can still open their mouth with it on. What it does is pulls their head back when they try to pull you. This was my SAVIOR!! I can finally walk him and hold my coffee at the same time!! LMAO

-Use a stern voice when training. No, I don’t mean to use a mean voice or raise your voice. Just make sure that they know who is boss because some breeds do try hard to dominate!

-The last tip made me think of this next one. This is an odd sounding tip and could 100% be a coincidence, but we constantly wrestle with him and trap him and lay on him. That sounds mean BUT I PROMISE we don’t hurt him (I would hurt someone if they hurt my baby, trust) and he loves it! Doing this helps him to remember that we are the owners, not him, which helps with the training process!

-Here’s a tip coming from the therapist part of me for when you have a hyper or anxious dog that you’re training. Sometimes, kids with ADHD or Autism have sensory processing issues and seek sensory input. Giving input and pressure to joints and just the body in general by engaging in rough play, deep pressure, jumping, etc is calming and helps focus a child seeking it. Do I think this can be true for dogs, too? Heck yeah I do! Sometimes, I’ll hold rusty and bear hug his whole body and sometimes he lays back and enjoys it. Making sure your dog is getting plenty of playtime, deep pressure if they can tolerate, and/or rough play can help get some energy out and therefore help your little pup to focus!

-Try to stick with one word commands. “Sit”, “down”, “off”, “paw”, “roll”, “stay”. That makes it easier to stick with a stern voice!

I’m thinking and thinking and I believe that was basically all I did to have my doggo pretty well trained. Most importantly, although dogs are very smart, we have to remember that they are still dogs. You have to have patience while your furbaby is learning!

Best of luck!

Best of luck!

Katie Luker
Katie Luker
Read next: Calling All Wannabe Pet Owners
Katie Luker

hey guys! Im just a girl that loves yoga & traveling! I really hope that sharing my thoughts & discoveries on here will help not only others but also help me to create a budget to become a yoga instructor & travel more often!

Peace & Love🌻

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