This post is sponsored by Robin K Bennett Raising Your Puppy™ and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share information about Raising Your Puppy™ online course, but DogVills only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Robin K Bennett™ is not responsible for the content of this article.
Training your dog at home is kind of like changing your own car oil: it’s either a fantastic way to save time & money or it can result in complete disaster. Granted, if you bungle dog training, you’re not likely to end up with a dog that no longer functions (well, not literally), but you get my point, right? I’ve had 5 dogs over the last 16 years, all of which were trained at home. Tasha, Maia, and Cooper were all a breeze to train, so when they crossed the rainbow bridge and we welcomed Freya and Mocha into our lives, I thought I had a pretty good handle on things.
I was wrong. So wrong. We’ve had Freya for almost a year now and she still hasn’t mastered “potty outside.” Mocha learned that quickly and is a pretty mellow dog, but she has a stubborn streak a mile long. When she doesn’t want to do something (like go for a walk on a leash), it’s nearly impossible to get her to budge. It quickly became clear that I needed help. The problem? I don’t really have the money to take two dogs to training school. Thankfully, training your dog at home is totally possible if you follow a few basic guidelines for success! I’m sharing the things that I’ve learned along the way so far. Don’t miss the tip about using the Robin K Bennett Raising Your Puppy™ course! It includes a fabulous special offer!
Tips for Successfully Training Your Dog at Home
1- Know your dog’s personality
You need to understand that, like people, dogs have their own unique personalities. Freya, a Pharaoh Hound, is a clever girl with a “what’s in it for me” personality, which means all of her training needs to have a clear-cut benefit. Mocha, on the other hand, is a total people pleaser, but like I said, she can be stubborn. She thrives on praise, yet at the same time there are things she just doesn’t want to do and can’t be cajoled into doing them. While she loves the idea of going for a walk on a leash, as soon as we get out the door she lays down on the ground and will not budge. I think this has more to do with her fears than with a desire to disobey. Her training needs to focus more on putting her at ease in situations that make her nervous.
2- Don’t skip the basics
Whether your dog comes to you at 8 weeks, 8 months, or 8 years of age, the basics are always a good place to start. Mocha was six months old when she arrived. According to her foster family, she knew how come when called and go potty outside. Yet when she arrived at our home, she didn’t really do either of those things. I spent some time going over them with her and she quickly re-learned them. I think part of it was her adapting to a new environment, and part of it was that she just didn’t recognize the commands coming from my mouth. She learned by listening to her foster parents, to their inflection and tone. Once she realized that I was talking to her and asking her to do something, she figured it out pretty fast.
3- Timing is everything
While training your puppy at home gives you a bit more flexibility versus training them in a class, it’s still a good idea to set up a routine. Plan your training sessions for a time when neither you nor your dog is hungry, tired, or over-excited. It’s a balancing act, that’s for sure! You can’t expect your dog to mastering the “wait” command when all she can think about it “I’m hungry, I need that treat now.” You also can’t expect to cajole a nervous dog into going for a walk when there are construction workers jack-hammering the sidewalk.
4- Keep your emotions in check
Let’s get real for a moment: dog training can be incredibly frustrating. When Freya spends half an hour in the backyard only to come in and go to the bathroom on the carpet, I seethe inside, especially since I usually discover it by stepping in it! Yelling at her will accomplish absolutely nothing, though. In fact, it can do irreparable damage to our relationship. Pharaoh Hounds will completely shut down if you use negative training methods. No matter how many pairs of shoes your dog eats, how many times you find yourself shampooing the carpet, and how many nights you spend chasing your dog around the yard trying to get her to come in because she’s barking at the wind and disturbing the neighbors, you absolutely MUST keep your frustration to yourself. Vent to other dog parents, NOT to your dog.
5- Get help from the pros
Just because you’re training your dog at home doesn’t mean you can’t still get help from the pros! Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying out the Robin K Bennett’s Raising Your Puppy™ course and I’m so impressed with it. The course includes over 100 bite-size videos, most of which you can watch in under 3 minutes and put into practice right away. I don’t have a long attention span for instructional videos, so that length is perfect for me.
If the course came with just the videos, I’d be sold, but it comes with SO much more! The course is broken down into weekly lessons for puppies from 8 weeks through 24 weeks. Within each lesson, you’ll not only find all of the videos you need to master that week’s training, but plenty of printables to help you on your puppy parenting journey. For example, every week includes a “What to Do This Week” printable that breaks down everything from vet appointments to things to consider as you work through the week’s lessons.
You can choose to go through the course week by week (which is perfect if you’re starting from “scratch” with a puppy), or use the sidebar navigation to find specific lessons. This is handy if your dog has already mastered the basic commands and you’re looking for more advanced training (like how to brush your dog’s teeth or teaching better manners at mealtimes). You’ll also get access to a private Facebook group where you can ask Robin questions or get tips from other dog parents.
Wondering what qualifies Robin to teach the course? It’s a legitimate question, since anyone can theoretically slap up a course on dog training. With Robin Bennett, you get a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, author, consultant and a true expert on dogs. She not only founded one of the largest dog training companies in Virginia, she’s also on the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Robin has been “reading dogs,” teaching families how to train them and working in the pet care industry helping others keep dogs safe for over 20 years. So yes, I’d definitely say she’s qualified!
Grab this awesome deal on Robin K. Bennett’s “Raising Your Puppy” Course
Ready to get started with training your dog at home? Join Robin Bennett and her puppy, Ranger, in their online puppy raising course and get the instant help you need! Sign up in the next week and you’ll get several free bonus items to help you with handling loose dogs in your neighborhood, keeping your dog safe at a dog park and more! Follow Robin on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with news!
Where are you at in your dog training journey? Share your thoughts and experiences below!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Robin Bennett. The opinions and text are all mine.