Category: Training Tips

Strengthening Obedience Skills To Raise A Well-Behaved Dog


In this video, Kaelin covers basic obedience skills such as touch, stay, leave it, down, recall, and talks about taking the next step towards advanced obedience by weaning off of treat training, working on off-leash recall and prolonging focus!


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How To Effectively Train Two Dogs At Once


In this video, Kaelin talks about how to navigate the difficulties of training two dogs at once as well as the importance of not repeating a command and how to improve recall!


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Training Jeremy Piven's Dog To "Wait" and "Leave It"

In case you haven't seen, I'm getting super serious about putting out content on my YouTube channel, where you'll find videos of my training sessions, talks at events, and plenty of training tips 🙂


I plan on posting summaries of most of my videos here so you can get the best of both worlds - video tutorials with written summaries as you follow along. If you like my channel and videos, it would mean the world to me if you subscribed to my channel and shared it with your friends! ~ Enjoy <3


In this video, watch Kaelin train Jeremy Piven’s dog, Bubba. Kaelin teaches Bubba some self control exercises such as "Wait" and "Leave It", which are described below:


Teaching a dog to "Wait" for food

  • Tell your dog to sit in designated place
  • Tell your dog “Wait” with the hand gesture (Like you are holding up the #1) while slowly lowering the bowl towards your dog
  • Any time he gets up from sitting and/or tries to go at the food say “UH” and bring your hand back to start again
  • Remember to only say the command once though and be patient!
  • Once you have lowered the bowl all the way down, tell him the release word “OK”
  • If he starts crying at any time during while you are getting him to wait, set the bowl on a table or counter and move away from him. When he stops crying, get the food bowl and start again
  • Make sure you only say the command once!

Teaching a dog to "Wait" for treats

  • Tell your to sit
  • Tell him “Wait” with the hand gesture (Like you are holding up the #1)
  • Slowly start moving the treat towards his nose
  • Any time he gets up from sitting and/or tries to go at the treat say “UH” and bring your hand back to start again
  • Remember to only say the command once though and be patient!
  • Once you have moved the treat to that certain distance away from his nose (and he’s not going for it), tell him the release word “OK”

Teaching a dog to "Leave It"

  • Use an object (treat bag, toy, shoe, etc.) to practice with
  • When your starts going for the object, tell him “Leave It”
  • Remember to only say the command once! Use an enticing sound, his name, or any other sound to get his attention
  • If he doesn’t respond, put a treat on his nose and lure him over to you
  • Once he does leave the object, tell him “YES” and reward him
  • Remember that it is very important to have an extra motivating reward, so that he is motivated every time to leave the object no matter what it is and no matter how enticing it is

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Using “The Check-In Method” To Make Walking Your Dog A Walk In The Park

How To Use “The Check-In Method” To Make Walking Your Dog A Walk In The Park

Everyone wants the perfect dog who heels at your side, walks with a loose leash, doesn’t pull, stays calm when another dog is barking like crazy at him, and knows who is walking who.


However, the reality is that most dogs are very distracted while out on walks!


Whether it be that the dog is pulling on the leash trying to get to something, on high alert or barking when other dogs or people walk by, or just simply distracted by all of the smells and new things in the outside world—this is a very common issue among many dog owners.


While there is a lot of training that goes into getting your dog to focus at all times while on a walk, there is one basic step that your dog must reach before progressing any further.


Whatever your situation with your dog on walks may be, the following strategy will help your dog reach that first step, meanwhile developing your dog’s focus and obedience, and making walks enjoyable for the both of you!


This piece of advice seems so simple and obvious, but it is surprising how many people do not practice this with their pup on walks.


What is this strategy?


The Check-In Method


Like other techniques that I practice and teach, “The Check-In Method” is instrumental in setting the foundation for your dog’s basic obedience.


Getting in the habit of simply making your dog “check-in” while on walks is one of the simplest yet most powerful tactics for gaining control of your dog, and reinforcing that YOU are the pack leader while out in public!

woman checking in with her dog

When training your pup to check-in, you want to be sure to give him the motivation to do so. To do this, you and your voice has to be more appealing than everything around that is distracting your dog.


Some dogs are simply motivated by your praise, which is awesome.


Other dogs, when out on walks, are fairly disinterested in you unless you have something that they want. So, here is how you can motivate your dog to WANT to check-in with you:


When out on walks, simply say your pup’s name in a positive tone. The second he looks up at you, tell him “Yes” and give him a treat and/or praise. Repeat many, many times.


Just simply saying your pup’s name so that he has to look up at you to check in will go SO far when it comes to developing basic obedience.


How come?


Making your dog check in with you forces him to remember who is walking who.


Some dogs get so carried away on walks and completely forget that you are even still there, let alone in control! Therefore, checking in forces your dog to re-focus on you and reminds him that you are in charge, despite all of the distractions.


When dogs are distracted, their minds are running at what seems like a million miles per minute on nothing but the object of their distraction.


So many people tell me that there is no way to get their dog’s attention when he is so distracted, but this is not true!


Consistently using the “check-in method” essentially trains your dog to re-focus his attention on you.

woman using the check-in methodWhat if my dog still won’t focus on me?


Every dog is capable of re-focusing back onto you when he is distracted. You, as the owner, just need to be persistent in training him to “check-in” and show him that he is capable of this!


The issue in this case is usually that the owner believes that there is no way that their dog would ever be able to or want to re-focus his attention onto them, and the owner just gives up.


Believe in your dog and reinforce the checking in, and I promise you your dog will really surprise you with those re-focusing skills that he really is capable of 🙂


Depending on how distracted your dog gets on walks, the amount of time in between making your dog check in with you will vary. The more you can get your dog to check in with you, the better.


Using The Check-In Method As A Preventative Tool


A lot of dogs become distracted by the new environment the second they step out the door for a walk. Then, when the already-distracted dog sees another dog on the walk, he has his sight set on that dog and wants to play.


Many owners tell me, “When my dog sees another dog on a walk, he gets SO excited, starts pulling, barking, and going so crazy that it is not possible for me to get his attention at all.”


Honestly, this may be true in some cases. If your dog does not have to ever have to take his mind off of the distractions outside, his mind will continue to go at a million miles per minute and completely forget his appropriate leash-walking manners.


Then, when another dog comes along, your dog is already so distracted and zoned out that there really isn’t any turning back and gaining his focus.


With that being said, this issue can be solved by making your dog check-in with you consistently BEFORE this tantalizing dog comes along.

german shepherd checking in with his owner

Train your pup to check-in with you constantly. If he never has to do this, why the heck would he start when there is another dog across the street that he desperately wants to get to?


The “Check-In” Progression — Stand Your Ground


In the beginning, it may take your dog a while to look up at you because he has never had to check-in with you; and probably just doesn’t want to.


If he doesn’t look up at you when you call his name, stop walking. Use the kissy noise or other sounds to get his attention to make him look up at you.


Be patient—he WILL look up at you eventually!


Be sure to give him lots of praise when he finally does. Make checking in a FUN part of the walk!


For example, I was in a training session a couple weeks ago where I was training this 5 year old dog to do exactly this. For 5 years, he never had to check-in, allowing him to basically have the reigns of the walk.


He knew exactly what I wanted him to do when I said his name, but was so stubborn and did not want to have to check-in.


He didn’t want to be reminded that he is not in control of the walk and kept purposely looking away from me when I would say his name, despite the treats I was holding.


After he did not look up at me when I first said his name, I stopped walking.


He desperately wanted to just keep walking and not have to check-in with me. The first time it took him about FOUR MINUTES until he finally would look at me.


However, I would NOT give in. I sat there and waited patiently. His owner at this point told me that he would not have had to patience to wait that long. Nonetheless, I did not move until he checked in.

all things pups check-in method

Why? This is a lesson in proving yourself as your dog’s 'pack leader', per say.


If I was to walk without waiting for him to check-in, then he would still think that he is the leader. Therefore, by repeatedly reversing the roles, and consistently making him check-in, I took the reigns on the walk and made it very clear that I am the pack leader.


Keep in mind also that I did all of this WITHOUT ever touching or scolding this dog. You indeed can effectively and efficiently gain the trust and respect of your dog WITHOUT ever using negative reinforcement!


To do this, you have to follow through with every command or act that you instruct your dog to do, or he absolutely will test your patience with his stubbornness to see what he can get away with!


Each time I made the dog check-in with me, the amount of time it took him to do so decreased.


He started to realize that the faster he looked up at me, the faster he could get back to his walk and that until he did so, neither him or I were going anywhere. So, sometimes you have to use the act of walking as the reward.


Whether your dog goes crazy when he sees another dog on a walk, or just loves to sniff every single thing you walk by, training your dog to check-in with you is incredibly beneficial.


This tactic can help teach any dog he must always re-focus on you, and will help you to get your dog’s focus and attention much easier in situations that are distracting.


By consistently employing The Check-In Method, soon enough walks with your dog will become a time for relaxation and bliss! 

Young woman with her dog walking with a loose leash

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Are You Making These 5 Detrimental Dog Training Mistakes?

Are You Making These 5 Detrimental Dog Training Mistakes?

Whether you’re just starting to train your dog, or you’re looking for more expert advice to speed up the process, there’s a few crucial mistakes, that, if avoided, can drastically speed up the training process.


Without further delay..


Here are 5 very common training mistakes that you absolutely want to avoid at ALL costs:


1. Repeating A Command More Than Once


This is the most common mistake among dog owners. I can guarantee you that every dog owner has been at fault of this without even realizing it!


Let’s say you are trying to get your dog to sit—you tell him “sit” and he doesn’t sit.


So what do you do?


Most dog owners will continue to say “sit” until the dog sits. Without even knowing it, you might have told your dog “sit” three times before he actually sat.


However, you should really only command your dog ONE TIME to 'sit', 'stay', etc. This is absolutely crucial.


One of the largest hurdles you must overcome in training your dog is developing a relationship to the point where he understands that YOU are the pack leader, not him, and he needs to listen to you.


If you say “sit” three times before your puppy finally sits, he will think that he doesn’t have to do what you ask until you tell him three times.


Again, you want your dog to sit (or listen to any command you say) after commanding him only ONCE. 


Does a well-trained dog...


Come after his owner commands him to come five times? Or does he come after being called just once?


You want your dog to listen to you immediately, so make sure that in training and practicing commands, you enforce this rule of only saying the command one time.


If your dog does not listen to your command after the first time, or gets distracted, try using his name or the “kissy sound’ to re-focus his attention back to you while using the hand gesture for that specific command.


2. Inconsistency 

all things pups

Consistency is KEY in EVERY single area of training your dog. Whether it be command training, potty training, working through behavioral issues, etc. being consistent is the most important thing to remember.


Let me give some examples of why consistency is mandatory in each of these areas...


Command training:


With command training, you must consistently work on teaching your dog the new command—even if it just for ten minutes a day.


You can’t expect your dog to master something unless you are consistent with working on the skill with your dog.


NOTE: Remember that dogs learn new skills at different speeds, but as long as you are consistent your dog WILL learn!


Potty Training:


If you want to potty train your pup as quick as possible, you must be consistent with taking your dog outside when potty training him/her.


Potty training can be frustrating, but as long as you are consistently taking your dog outside enough for his needs, he WILL learn that outside is the appropriate place to go potty.


Behavioral Issues:


When working through behavioral issues, it is so important to be consistent with what is appropriate and what is not appropriate behavior.


For example, if you are trying to get your dog to stop jumping up on people, you must tell him “Off” and move your body away from your dog EVERY SINGLE TIME he jumps up on you.


Yes, it will get to be repetitive, and often times you may think it is easier to just let him jump up on you.


However, that one time you let him jump up on you, all the progress you have made with correcting the issue will go right out the window, so it is extremely important to enforce the appropriate behavior consistently!


These are just a few examples of the importance of consistency in training—being consistent in everything that you do with your dog will help your dog to understand quicker, learn faster, and will make the training process much easier.


3. Scolding Your Dog By Using His Name 

all things pups

When your puppy squats right in front of you to pee in the house, do you yell “ROVER NO!”?


It is only second nature for us as humans to say our dog’s name when he is misbehaving, but this is a BIG mistake. Your dog’s name should only ever be associated with positivity!


You want your dog to like his name because you will certainly be saying it a lot!


You want your dog to look at you or come to you whenever you say his name—not to run away! For this to happen, your dog must always think that something positive is going to happen when he does look at you or come to you.


If your dog starts to associate his name with being in trouble, why would he want to come to you when you call out his name?


If you have been at fault of this, don’t worry! It is definitely not too late to fix it.


Start saying your dog’s name in a positive tone all the time—at home, on walks, at the park—and reward your dog with a treat, or just simply pets and praise for looking at you or coming to you after saying his name.


4. Only Telling Your Dog “No” After Misbehaving 

all things pups

If your puppy is chewing on your shoe, what do you do?


My guess is that you loudly tell him “No!” and take the shoe away. If this is you, don’t worry, you are not alone. When a dog is doing something that he is not supposed to do, most dog owners simply tell their dog “no” and expect the dog to stop.


Well in a dog’s mind, he is thinking: “Why not? Why should I stop?” This is why instead of only telling your dog “no,” you must also redirect him to the appropriate behavior.


If your dog is chewing on your shoe, you can tell him “no,” but then you need to redirect him to what he is able to chew on, such as a chew toy.


Redirection is very, very important in dog training. With any behavior that you don’t want your dog exhibiting, you need to teach your dog what is appropriate to do instead, rather than just telling him “no.”


5. Making Training Anything Other Than What It Should Be.. Fun! 

all things pups

Training should never be anything other than a fun experience!


Creating a training environment that your dog enjoys is so incredibly important. If you find something to be confusing and hard, do you have fun doing it? Probably not, and neither will your dog!


The fun part is when you understand and catch onto something and then get rewarded. Dogs are very similar in their motivation by rewards, so the more you reward them for doing the right thing during training, the more they will enjoy training.


Rewarding a dog for doing the correct thing is called positive reinforcement. I am a huge advocate of using only this method, and making training fun for you and your dog!


You, as the owner/trainer must also have fun with training too. It is easy to get frustrated when your dog isn’t catching onto something you are trying to teach him, but it is important to not exert that frustration onto your dog.


Dogs can always sense human feelings, and they feed off of those feelings—good or bad.


If you are frustrated, your dog will know, and this will make training the opposite of fun for your dog. If your dog is getting too confused or you are getting frustrated, move onto the next part of the training session and continue to have fun with it!


So How Do I Apply All Of This Information?


After reading through this entire blog, you might seem a little overwhelmed with how much can actually go wrong when training your dog.. but that’s okay!


Whether you’re planning to get a dog soon, or you’re currently frustrated with some of the mistakes that you’ve already made in training your dog, it’s never too early or late to start making the right choices.


I’ve spent the past several years of my life training and caring for dogs all across the United States.


Out of my extensive experiences (good and bad), I’ve come to develop a wealth of knowledge for what it truly takes to effectively train a dog and develop that lifelong bond that every dog lover DREAMS of.


However, the truth is, when I started volunteering in rescues and working with dogs, I certainly wasn’t an “expert” by any means! In fact, I made a LOT of the beginner mistakes that I just described above!


The point is… nobody starts out as an expert; you’re going to make some mistakes!


No matter how good your intentions are, there’s going to be some times when you accidentally say a command twice, or scold your dog using his name because you’re just so upset!


The important thing is not being perfect, but rather, quickly moving past these little blips and staying consistent!


I know this can be difficult sometimes, which is why I want to personally help you through this learning curve and show you how simple it actually is to effectively raise and train a dog—if you’re equipped with the correct knowledge and tools of course!


To help you along the way, I’ve developed a puppy training program that will give you everything you could possibly need to know about raising and training a new dog.


From step-by-step training tutorials and videos, to behavioral problem solutions, this comprehensive program has all of your most pressing dog questions answered!


Even if you don’t get my program, I still want to help you get the best coaching possible! That's why I'm giving you a free puppy training video and a free puppy training guide, both of which will give you a sneak peek into our training program.


You can also schedule free 20-minute phone consultations directly in my calendar here.


When it comes down to it, my ultimate goal is not to sell you anything; it’s to help you guys out and give you the best chance to shape your best friend into a happy, healthy and well-trained addition to your family!

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The Single Tip That Will Help You Prevent 90% Of Puppy Issues

San Diego Dog Training

Here's a reality check for you: getting a new dog isn't always sunshine and rainbows!


While successfully raising a dog is arguably one of the most fulfilling events in the life of an animal lover, it can also be a nightmare if you don't know what you're doing.


That's where I come in 🙂


One of the most common cries for help that I get are puppy owners who come to me saying that they are encountering issues with their puppy having accidents in the house or chewing on the furniture/household items.


My first question to these dog owners always is: Did you catch your dog in the act?


Often times, the owner will say that they did NOT see the puppy in the act and that the puppy did it when they were in another room.


And I always tell these owners that this is the mistake…


You have to be watching a puppy at ALL times early on in order to teach the puppy what is right and what is wrong.


all things pups

A puppy does not remember what he did a few minutes ago, so you HAVE to catch him in the act to correct a behavior.


If your puppy chews up your socks, and then you try to correct him 20 minutes later after you discover the socks, then your pup isn't going to make the connection when you redirect him to the appropriate chewing object.


While I don't expect you (or anyone) to constantly monitor your dog 24/7, like an overbearing parent tracking their child's every move, there needs to be a clear understanding of what is and isn't appropriate behavior from the start.

all things pups

This is why instead of giving your pup complete free roam immediately, I recommend that you use a few important training tools to ease into giving them more of your trust to explore on their own.


Whether it takes two days or two weeks to gain this trust, it all starts with conscious awareness of where your puppy is located, and what they are doing at all times.


With all of this in mind, one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to new puppy owners is:


You must have your eyes on your puppy AT ALL TIMES.


If you can’t have both eyes on your pup, your pup needs to be in an enclosed place such as their crate or a gated off room.


Many puppy owners “feel bad” for putting their pup in an enclosed space and thus, allow their puppy to have way too much freedom around the house.


What's wrong with allowing my pup to have free roam?


Well, when you allow your puppy to roam around everywhere, the puppy has no limits, and will take full advantage of this freedom. With an untrained puppy, that is simply a recipe for disaster. How so?


Well think of it like this, would you let your baby crawl around the house without watching them? I hope you answered no... a considerable number of negative outcomes immediately come to mind!


It’s no different with your puppy, as letting your puppy have too much free roam encourages your curious little fluff ball to explore their new world without boundaries, which often leads to naughty actions such as destroying objects in the house and/or having accidents.


This is NOT the way to establish yourself as their pack leader.

all things pups

What should I do if I can't monitor my puppy at all times?


If you are in a situation where you are not able to have both eyes on your pup, this doesn't mean that you should let them do as he pleases!


Instead, your pup must be placed in a restricted area where he will not be able to get into anything.


Having this small, enclosed area of their own is actually very beneficial for dogs and helps immensely in the training process.


Associate the enclosed area with positivity by feeding your pup, giving him or her treats, chewing objects, and anything else your puppy loves while your pup is in his or her “den”.


This area is amazing for your puppy to have a break with his or her favorite things, it will help with training, AND you can actually take a break from worrying about something getting destroyed or your pup having an accident! It is a total win-win 🙂


If you’re reading this after you’re already encountering issues with your dog, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered:


If you’re already having a lot of trouble with your puppy chewing on things while roaming around the house, here’s a detailed article on 3 simple steps that will help you correct this behavior.


And for issues with potty training and accidents, here’s a blog on how to respond to your dog’s accident.


With that being said, you can possess all the tools and training knowledge in the world, but if you aren’t constantly monitoring your puppy so that you can catch him in the act, then you’ll miss the opportunity to turn a frustrating situation into a valuable learning experience for your pup.


Remember to keep your eyes on the prize!

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Is It Too Late To Train My Dog?

All Things Pups old dog


Just yesterday, I was asked this same question by three different dog owners:

“Is it too late to train my dog?”

I was asked this by dog owners who owned dogs aged eight months old, three years old, and eight years old.


My answer to this question was exactly the same to each of these dog owners, which was..


"It is NEVER too late to start training your dog!"


I’m not quite sure where people get the idea that there’s a certain age that a dog must be “trained” by, and after that age, dogs are “untrainable”.


Let me clear the air immediately by telling you the truth... that is, there is no such thing as an untrainable dog!


Also, there’s no deadline by which you have to train your dog by, which if passed, will lead your dog to be ‘bad’ forever.


This commonly misunderstood belief goes along with the fact that there isn’t a concrete definition of what a “trained dog” truly is.


Everyone has their own definition and vision of a “trained dog” so there is no way that I could tell you: “A dog is considered trained when he or she knows this, this, and this and when he or she does this, this, and this on command.”


The questions itself is way too ambiguous and personal to be assigned a definitive answer!


In fact, I would be very cautious of any dog trainer that tells you they can turn your dog into a “trained dog” in X amount of days.


How come?


There’s two very important reasons for this:

all things pups

1. As I just explained, it would be impossible to assign a universal definition to the label of a “trained dog”.


Anyone who claims that they know exactly what a trained dog is, is actually just telling you what their opinion of a trained dog is.


2. Every single dog in this world is unique and different in some way. Every single dog responds differently to certain training styles and commands.


Therefore, there is no way that you can put a generalized, specific time limit on the amount of time it takes to “train” every single unique dog. A huge focus of All Things Pups is that we see every single dog as a unique individual with differing needs— instead of generalizing all dogs.


With all of that being said, let’s dig deeper into my answer that “it is never too late to train a dog.”


While it’s of course never too late to train your dog, my honest advice is to start training your dog as early as possible.


“When should I start training my dog?”


I’ve had some clients ask me if it is too early to start training their puppy.


My answer is always the same...ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact, you should begin training your puppy the second you bring him or her home.


So, is it easier to train a puppy as opposed to training an eight year old dog?


Most likely, yes.


Try to put yourself in your dog's situation. Take a step back for a second, and think if you were training for a new job...


When you are starting a brand new job, most qualified employers will invest some time to train you how to do the job the right way in the beginning.


This way, you will know how to do the job effectively for the rest of the time you have the job.


However, if for one reason or another, you are never trained how to do the job right, you will just have to figure it out on your own, and do the job the way that you want to do it.


Now, let’s say that eight years later, your boss comes into your office and tells you that you have been doing your job the wrong way for eight whole years, and that you need to be retrained.


Now you have to stop doing what you have always done, and do the opposite.


This is obviously going to be harder for you to adapt to, than it would have been to just learn it the right way from the start.


While this certainly would be a challenge for anyone, it certainly isn’t impossible for you to learn to do it the correct way, no matter how long you have been doing it a different way!


Well, the same goes for training dogs!


It is much easier for a puppy to be taught something the right way when he is young, than to correct an older dog on a behavior that he has been exhibiting for his whole life.

all things pups

When a dog is in the puppy stages, his brain is still developing and learning the ropes of puppy life. If you teach a puppy to do something one way, the puppy will know to do it this way for the rest of his or her life.


Let’s say you don’t want your dog to jump up on people.


If you teach a puppy that jumping up is not an appropriate behavior, your puppy will learn quickly that he isn’t allowed to jump up on people, and will not jump up on people for the rest of his life.


However, if you have an eight year old dog who has never been trained to not jump up on people, and has been jumping up on people for eight whole years, it is going to be much more difficult to correct this behavior, and will take more time for the dog to understand the correct behavior, than it would be for a puppy to learn the correct behavior right away while his brain and coordination skills are still developing.


But again, it is most certainly not impossible for the eight year old dog to learn the correct behavior! It will just take more time and work.


In either situation, consistency and repetition are going to be your best friends!


Be very consistent with the behavior you are wanting to work through, and be persistent.


Do not allow your dog to do this unwanted behavior ever again, even if it is easier to just let him do it when you don’t feel like correcting it.


It will seem very repetitive to keep telling your dog “OFF” when he is constantly jumping up on you, but the more you repeat this to him and are consistent with it, the faster he will stop doing this unwanted behavior.


Just remember that no matter what you are training to overcome with your dog training-wise, it is NEVER too late or too early to start!

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Why Clicker Training Is Overrated

Clicker training all things pups

You probably have seen people at the pet store training classes using a clicker to train their puppy.


If you don’t know what I’m talking about, a clicker is a little plastic device that makes a clicking noise when you push down on the button.


When training, you are supposed to make the clicking noise when your puppy exhibits the correct behavior or trick. Then your puppy associates the clicking noise with doing the right thing.


Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea of associating the clicker sound with positivity to tell your pup he performed the correct behaviors is definitely beneficial to training.


I DO believe that the clicker method works, however, there is one major flaw that hinders its usefulness:


That is, are you actually going to keep a clicker on you at all times? 24/7? Because that’s what it requires to implement clicker training.


About All Things Pups


Think about it like this...


If training clickers are so effective and convenient, then why don’t you see everyone at the dog park, dog beach, or even your local dog daycare using clickers to correct their dog’s behavior?


Even if you committed to carrying a clicker on you at all times, I guarantee you that you would forget it occasionally. I know that I sure would!


Even if you are a professional dog trainer like me, it's still not the best option at your disposal to train a dog how to respond to commands.



Because it’s my passion to teach dog owners practical skills and techniques so that they can have a well-trained dog for life, not just for a temporary fix!!


And I don’t know about you, but most people I know don’t want to carry around a training clicker every time they’re out with their pup!


More importantly, why would I train somebody’s dog using a tool that they don’t want to use? This is the case with 95% of the dog owners I work with.


So what's the solution?


all things pups clicker

Instead of using a physical clicker device, I like to use a ‘clicker’ that I am forced to have on me at all times... my voice. 


You obviously have this ‘clicker’ on you at all times, I suggest you use it to your advantage!


For training purposes, choose a ‘clicker word’ that you will use to signal to your puppy that he has correctly done what you are asking him to do.


I say a specific word instead of phrase because you want something very short and sweet.


" What can I use as my ‘clicker word'? "

Personally, I use the word "yes" as my clicker word when training dogs; it has been incredibly successful in my training experiences and dogs respond very well to it.



It is easy, fast, and I don’t find myself just telling my dog “yes” unless we are working on training.


Therefore, it’s not easily confused with other words by my dogs, which makes it PERFECT as a ‘clicker word’. Other examples of ‘clicker words’ are the words “good” and “right”.


*Notice that I did not include “good boy” or “good girl” in the examples of clicker words. To find out why, check out the ‘Finding a ‘Clicker Word’ section in “The Puppy Training Handbook”.*


" How do I use a ‘clicker word’? "

When training your pup, your ‘clicker word’ will ALWAYS be followed by a treat or reward such as physical affection. In your puppy’s mind: ‘Clicker word’ + treat = I did something good!


When paired with consistent positive reinforcement training methods, properly utilizing a ‘clicker word’ is one of the most important tools to use for raising a well-behaved dog!

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3 Things You Should NEVER Do When Training Your New Puppy

train new puppy

As a dog trainer, I am constantly exposed to a lot of same common mistakes that new dog owners make when training their puppies.


Out of this experience, I’ve been able to identify three HUGE mistakes that, if prevented altogether, can VASTLY speed up your learning curve as a new puppy parent.


If you want to be a respected pack leader for your dog, one that they choose to follow, there are certainly some things you must avoid.


Being mindful of these common mistakes, and following the accompanying advice below will help make the entire training process much more efficient! 


3 Things You Should Never Do When Training Your Pup


1. Be Inconsistent


Consistency is KEY! In order for a puppy to learn what is right and what is not, you must consistently enforce good habits ALL THE TIME.


For instance, if you are having an issue with your puppy jumping on you when he is excited, you must tell him that is not appropriate behavior every single time he does it.


If you allow him to jump up on you even one time and then the next time scold him for it, he will be confused.


He will not understand why it was alright for him to jump up on you last time and now this time it is not.


You have to enforce the behavior you are trying to teach your dog EVERY SINGLE TIME. Otherwise, your dog WILL continue to practice the behavior that you want to stop.


Don't Give Up!


Many dog owners have told me that sometimes it is just “easier” to let their dog perform the inappropriate behavior.


When trying to train a new skill, they'll encounter some failure and then get discouraged when their pup isn’t listening to their attempt at correcting the behavior.


For instance, let’s say your dog is just extra excited to see you, and is jumping up on you like crazy. You tell your dog “OFF” and it doesn’t seem to do anything because he is just way too excited.


This is where a lot of owners give up and say that it is easier to just let him jump until he gets his excitement out.


Persistence And Consistency Are Key


Trust me, I understand why trying to correct and control a crazy dog may seem like a lost cause at times, but it is definitely NOT!


Your dog WILL listen to you if you are consistent and persistent. It may take your dog five whole minutes until he settles down and listens to your command, but the important fact is that he eventually WILL listen to your command, and this is a huge amount of progress in correcting the unwanted behavior.


It may seem incredibly repetitive correcting your dog over and over again, especially when it seems like he’s not understanding right away.


But, the more consistent you are with anything, the faster your dog will learn what you are attempting to teach him.


2. Repeating a Command Multiple Times


This is one of the most common mistakes I see owners make when training their puppies. When commanding your puppy to do something, you should only tell him ONE TIME, no exceptions!


This is a common scenario that I come across: an owner telling a puppy to sit, the puppy does not sit, so the owner keeps telling him to sit until he sits.


If you tell your puppy to sit 3 times before he finally sits, he will think that he doesn't have to sit until after the third time you tell him!


This causes a destructive cycle in which your puppy loses regard for your commands as the pack leader. Don’t let this happen!



You want to be able to command your dog to do something and have him do it after only telling him one time.


It may be hard for you to not repeat the command, especially if your puppy’s attention is drifting away from you.


However, you must be firm and stick with this piece of advice. If you do encounter the scenario described above, use your puppy’s name or another noise to refocus his attention back on you (I like to use a ‘kissy noise’).


Under no circumstances should you repeat the command again, even after using your puppy's name or an attention grabber. Use hand gestures and other noises to refocus him back on you.


3. Using Negative Reinforcement

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I strongly believe that using positive reinforcement is the most effective and efficient method for training dogs.


In addition, it’s my personal opinion (along with most others) that there’s no excuse to physically harm the pet you’re supposed to be nurturing and raising as if a member of your family.


What Is Positive Reinforcement Training?


Positive reinforcement uses rewards, such as praise and/or treats, when your dog does something right.


Why Is Positive Reinforcement  Training So Effective?


I'll answer this common question with a question of my own for you 😉


What would make you more determined and excited to complete a task?


A. If every time you completed a task, you were praised for doing it correctly.


B. If every time a task was assigned to you, you were automatically given a negative stimulus until you completed the task. Once you finish the task, the negative stimulus is removed, but there is no praise.


I think it’s safe to say that most people would definitely find the first example more enjoyable of a task to complete!


The first example is an example of positive reinforcement; whereas the second is an example of negative reinforcement.



In my experience, I have found that dogs respond significantly better to positive reinforcement than to negative reinforcement.




Knowing that a reward will be given to them once they complete a task correctly, gives dogs motivation and excitement to complete the task, while providing a positive atmosphere.


You Want Training To Be FUN For Both You And Your Pup!


Positive reinforcement keeps a dog in good spirits and creates a positive environment so that your pup will look forward to training, instead of making it into a chore.


Being aware of these three common training mistakes and making the effort to correct them will make the training process much simpler and incredibly more effective.


Training a puppy is no easy task and does take a lot of work.


However, if you put in the work in the beginning and follow this advice, you and your puppy will enjoy the training process a lot more and you will end up with a happy and well-trained pup!




In summary, here are three things you should never do when training your puppy:

  1. Be Inconsistent
  2. Repeat a Command Multiple Times
  3. Use Negative Reinforcement Training

Serious Dog Owners ONLY!


For a comprehensive, A to Z guide on effectively training a new puppy—as well as just about everything else a new dog owner would need to know, check out "The Puppy Training Handbook” so you can raise a well-behaved dog!


My question of the day for you is, what's the biggest piece of training advice you're looking for?

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How Long Does It Take To Train A Puppy?

People ask me ALL the time, “How long will it take to train my puppy?”.


I hate to break it to you, but there is no right answer to this question!


However, I understand where many questions like these come from—wanting to know how many sessions you will need to pay for, wondering when your puppy will no longer run your life, and so on.


The reason why there's no correct answer to this question is because the question itself is WAY too broad. There are SO many factors that go into training a puppy.


What Is The Perfectly "Trained" Dog?


That's the thing, if you asked 10 dog owners what they think a 'perfectly-trained' dog is, you would almost certainly get 10 completely different answers. Which leads me to my next question... 


What do you consider to be a well-trained dog...?


...One that sits on command and comes when called?


...One that is potty trained?


...One that does a lot of tricks on a whim?


As you can see, the answer to the question, "What is the perfectly trained dog", becomes much less black and white when you consider the varying opinions and preferences of each dog owner.


Setting Training Goals


Everyone has their own definition of what they think makes a dog 'well-trained', and therefore, their own goals for their individual dog.


You need to think about what YOUR definition of a “trained dog” entails.


This will allow us to paint a clearer picture of the path to take to get to where you want to be with your pup.


How Long Training Should Take


As you embark on this journey of training your pup, you will get bombarded with misleading claims by other trainers that they can train any puppy "in X amount of days”..


I would be VERY weary of such programs, because as a dog trainer with over a decade of experience, I can confidently say that every single dog I’ve trained has been different in some way.


With that being said, how can anyone claim to be able to train your dog in a certain number of days?


The only way that I could tell you how long it is going to take to train your puppy is if I were psychic, but I'm not 🙁


Whether you achieve that through our services and resources, or someone else, isn't as important to me as ensuring that you get the best training possible for your dog. Period!


Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 2.22.06 PM


Imagine you are just beginning a new sport.


Would you expect yourself to be a master of it after one lesson?


I guarantee not. What about after a week of lessons? Definitely not a master. Well, you must have the same levels of patience and realistic expectations for your dog.


You can’t expect your dog to be a master at a skill you are just introducing to him to.


You can’t expect him to be a master of this new skill even after a week.


That's why it's so ridiculous to see dog trainers who claim that they can "potty train ANY puppy in 7 days".



Now let's say you give your all in every session of your new sport for a week.


I think it’s reasonable to say you absolutely can expect to make some progress in developing your skills in this sport.


Similarly, if you give your all in training your dog for a week, you can absolutely expect your pup to make progress.


However, if you only give 50% of your all in each session of this new sport, obviously it will take longer to achieve your goal, than if you gave 100% every time.


Once again, the same goes for training your pup.


If you aren’t 100% consistent and persistent with training your dog in whatever area it may be, it is going to take longer to for your puppy to master what you are trying to train him.




If you take ANYTHING out of this post, let it be this: Every single puppy is different with the amount of time it takes them to catch on to training concepts!


Some puppies are faster learners than others.


Some puppies have behaviors embedded in them from their genetics that make training more difficult; while others exhibit behaviors due to their genetics that make training easier.


And even then, not every dog of the same breed is going to have identical behaviors and intelligence.



Every single dog has his own combination of character, intelligence level, and overall behavior. Therefore, there are a plethora of possible genetic and environmental factors that can lead your puppy to be more or less receptive to training.


However, with my extensive background in dog training, I CAN promise you that by following my advice in "The Puppy Training Handbook", or through one-on-one training sessions, your puppy will be trained in the fastest and most efficient way HE can possibly be trained!


What do you need help with when training your pup? Let me know in the comments below!

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