Puppy Training. When your puppy has different ideas STOP BARKING, STOP PULLING, and LEAVE IT ALONE!

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34 Comments on “Puppy Training. When your puppy has different ideas STOP BARKING, STOP PULLING, and LEAVE IT ALONE!”

  1. Love your videos. I have the best trained dog that I have ever had due to your videos. My dog learns on her own and I pick up cues from her for example when she is sniffing. I start counting 1,2, And at 3 we move.

  2. Hey Zak. I experienced a ton of horrific trauma as a baby and a little girl. I look functional from the outside (have a master’s degree, have a decent job), yet I still have LOTS of healing to do, and life is difficult for me. I’m going to get a puppy in a few months, which represents a big step for me, and so I’ve been absorbing all of your videos. I find that I’m not only learning how to train a puppy; I’m learning TONS OF THINGS that are helping ME HEAL, too! I think tiny people think similar to how dogs think. ❤️☀️ Thank you!!! 🙏🏻

    1. I honestly don’t think I’d be around if not for my dogs, they have given me so much! And from my experience, they are not too dissimilar from small children in how they learn and experience the world; raising puppies, once I had the right info, made me a better parent.
      One thing I might suggest is to think about what your needs are and what you think you can cope with. I’m a big advocate for adopting rescues, however, after considerable experience in rescue work and dealing with my third dog’s anxiety issues, I know how much stress can come with managing dogs with mental health disorders. On the other hand you may be able to empathize and helping them could help you, everyone is different. Adopting a puppy born at a shelter or foster home that has not experienced trauma doesn’t guarantee good mental health either, as there are genetic factors, as there are with people. Buying a dog from a hobby breeder is pretty much the same risk. If you feel that you need a puppy with good mental health genetics, you need a breeder that prioritizes that and has good behavior knowledge to give the puppy a great start during their first 8 weeks.
      I absolutely love my rescue boy, who has almost definitely experienced a dog related trauma and I wouldn’t change a thing! However, I know that some people end up being unable to take care of their special dog’s needs as well as their own. If you need a support dog, getting a well bred puppy is the safest. Even though many rescue dogs end up becoming support dogs, it’s very hard to determine whether a puppy will have issues.
      Best of luck with your journey ❤

  3. Just started this new subseries now that our puppy (first time I‘ll have a smaller breed) will arrive soon and here I am being blessed with a new episode on the same day! 🥰

    1. We made the switch from large breeds to small breed. We had Irish Wolfhounds and Great Danes, and as we got older, it got more difficult to provide support to them (for example, if they weren’t ambulatory). The little ones can be quite different, but I now love my little dogs.

  4. I love the way Inertia interposed her nose to protect you from the biting. It reminds me of Bryn, a female lurcher, who used the nose thing when she wanted to protect the cats from Jasper! (Not that Jasper would really have hurt the cats!)

  5. Zak are you ever embarassed when your training and the dog is reactive?
    Do you worry about what people say?
    I had one neighbour insult me, that I was stupid to get another dog. I didnt realize how many people watch.

    1. Yeah… my puppy is that one who reacts in the dog class. I always feel very embarrassed. But I love her more than anything and spending time with her made me so much more patient and happy that I’m just trying to ignore the bad comments. I’m doing that I’m realizing that most people have actually no clue about dog reactivity.

  6. I really admire how you don’t use negative emotions towards the dogs! I try to not do that as well but it can get hard sometimes.

    I got a few questions though,
    How do you get your dog excited for training? Because sometimes in the park I see some dogs and they are SO happy and excited and wanting to perform well and with my dog that isn’t the case, so I was really curious on how to.

    2nd question: how do you teach your dog to follow you, because I learnt my dog how to follow with help of a professional trainer, now she’s completely out of it and I don’t want to do it with negative emotions because then she goes into the: I can’t hear anything and I’m sure as hell not gonna listen to you.

    1. I think part of getting the dogs excited is knowing the dog and the “value” of the reinforcer you’re using. My two little dogs are completely different. My one little guy just naturally loves training and loves to do “new” things in training. My other little girl, however, doesn’t “naturally” love it. I have to “jazz her up” by using an excited voice, making it a real game, playing through the training, and giving her lots and lots of encouragement (“Oh, what a smart girl you are! You’re so smart you amaze me! Oh what a wonderful girl, etc”). That helps with her a lot. It would just make my other dog way too excited. Second is the value of the reinforcer. My little boy loves carrots. I chop up baby carrots and he’ll do training and work for baby carrots around the house. Out in public? Forget it. Other things are much more valuable than carrots. So I have to use higher value treats when there are more distractions. So find a reinforcer (be it food, a toy, or even playing a short game of tug of war) that your dog really loves and use that to reward the behavior you want. And yes, it’s easy to “fall back” into the mode of “correcting” the dog. When I first started training (many more years ago than I care to admit), that was the only way it was–it’s what you did. Luckily, along came Karen Pryor and things changed for the better. But it is easy to slip back into the “correction” mode. Keep practicing and think of likely scenarios you’ll run into and plan in advance how you’re going to react to that in a positive manner, how you’ll change YOUR behavior in scenarios where you’ve used punishment in the past.

  7. I just love coming on these journeys with you guys. From Inertia to George to Chop aka McFly to Kona to Biscuits, it’s been so fun and educational. Thanks Zak and Bree for all of your hard work to show us the tools we need to train our fur kids. ❤

  8. Thank you Zak, for saying to treat a small dog the same way you would a large dog! Obviously there are going to be some differences and some times when you’ll need to step in and “protect” your smaller dog, but generally speaking, you should treat the small dog like a large dog. My little 8 pound boy is a great example. He has made friends with a large German Shepherd. I let them interact to their heart’s content but draw the line at playing as the Shepherd likes to use his paws and gets a bit too rough. If I had a Wolfhound, I’d let them play as well. But not the little guy. The Shepherd is in no way shape or form aggressive, just a bit too rough for my little dude. But, yes, I encourage him to make friends with larger dogs. I have trained the same behaviors I trained the larger dogs (sit, down, come when called, heel, etc) and, yes, I expect them to react to my cues when they have learned what those cues mean. One tip I’ve learned from having two smaller dogs now. No matter how tiny the treats I give, they get full pretty quickly. They have tiny little tummies, so I’m finding I have to “break up” training sessions so they don’t get full and food loses its reinforcing value.

  9. I have a 5 month old puppy that gets excited by walks and loves going on walks but he hates having his harness and lead put on and starts biting us pretty hard… I tried for weeks before we would even walk him to introduce him to the harness and collars but he seems to hate us putting it on, once we do manage to put it on him he is very calm and just excited to go outside but I don’t know how else to stop him from losing his mind!

    Then on a walk he seems to be either too excited or just over stimulated but he will not ever take treats and bite his lead repeatedly… I’m really struggling 😂

    1. Don’t be afraid to go back to the beginning with training. It says a lot that once he is on his walk that he is fine, it’s the process if putting the harness on that he hates. Oddly enough, my adult dog decided all of a sudden that she wasn’t keen on getting her harness on and jumper (during winter). She never had the gradual introduction to the harness as a puppy, because then I didn’t have the knowledge, but she always tolerated the process. Then all of a sudden she started running away or fidgeting. She’s a small dog and I was still able to get the harness on her, but I realized the advantage of getting her cooperation, making the process more pleasant, so I started from the beginning.
      In your situation you might want to consider getting a new harness (for a new association) and starting again. Think about the comfort factor and try to avoid a harness where they need to put their head through a hole just to make it easier. Maybe do some training with wrapping a bandage around him, slowly, with rewards, to get him used to something being put around him. If you have fenced a yard at home, put off the walks for a bit while you work on the training and give him excercise at home.
      If you can possibly afford it, I do recommend getting the help of a qualified trainer who can help you problem solve your individual situation.

  10. Well first a Yes and a treat for you Zak to drive and train Biscuits at the same time– talk about multi task. Secondly this session is almost exactly what I was telling a client of mine just yesterday. She has a 7 month old, intact and coming into heat lab and just come from a series of sessions with a non-positive reinforcement trainer. She was upset with the dog was not perfect on certain activities. I told her it is hard to remember this dog is a puppy and you must look for those little tiny places to reward. I will be sending this link to her . Thanks again.

  11. So far this has been the BEST Video of the Biscuit series!
    My 5 month, old, 4.5 lb puppy Angel is fearful also when I take her out.
    Thank for reminding how to make her feel more comfortable in her environment and this training takes time and patience!
    Definitely will watch this one a few times.
    Zak your training wisdom really makes me feel better & that it’s not forever 😄

  12. Omg I wish this series came out when I got my puppy back in Dec. 2020! My puppy, Daisy, looks exactly like Biscuit but with a longer coat. They also have the same energy which is amazing. Can’t wait to see Biscuits grow! 😄

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