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With the addition of a new puppy, comes a new need for Puppy Training. Given that many are learning new skills online, it’s no wonder that Online Puppy Training options have increased dramatically.
Our family, personally, has thoroughly enjoyed Brandon McMillan’s Masterclass. This class is taught in very small, manageable chunks, and is pretty straightforward.
I realize that this option requires a subscription to Masterclass, and therefore may not be the most practical for everyone.
Because of the nature of being a dog breeder, and the Mastermind that is digital marketing (hello, stalker!!!), I get tons and tons of advertisements for dog related products. Lately, it has been an inundation of various websites and programs offering to “teach you to train your puppy” from home, online. I imagine this is far less expensive than paying an in-person trainer, but my guess is possibly less effective as well.
I would be likely to blow off the whole Online Puppy Training thing, EXCEPT that, the Masterclass really did help our family, especially our Kiddos, learn a foundation of dog training. This is especially helpful when a well-intended behavior is actually reinforcing the opposite of what you’re going for with your pup. (My kids often thought if they just tossed one of our dogs a tasty morsel while they were eating, the dog was SURELY going to be so grateful that they’d stop pestering and go lie down. Right?! *Face Palm*)
Since I have only looked at McMillan’s Masterclass personally, I did some research for you all on other Online Puppy Training options, and am linking to this list here as it was the one I found to have the most accurate way of critiquing the programs. I hope it’s useful!
One of the things I can’t seem to find with regularity on any “must do” training task lists is teaching a “soft mouth”. Maybe they cover this is Online Puppy Training? But I haven’t seen it very often.
Labradors are so food driven, that it is essential to teach a soft mouth. That is, unless you want to get hurt.
So how do we do that?
Other than the obvious “no” when a dog bites too hard, getting a dog to learn how to gently take food from your hand is a bit scary at first.
– Be sure they know you have a treat in your hand. This won’t be hard with a Labrador, and a piece of kibble works well for any training activity.
– Hole the treat out in a CLOSED hand, palm down, above their heads. This is the start to every taught command – stand close enough to them at first that their head has to look up at such an angle that they instinctively must sit down.
– The dog will most likely reach up to bite the treat out of your hand. DO NOT, under any circumstances, open your palm and release the treat until the mouth was soft. Your level of required softness may vary from mine – mine is soft enough that a child wouldn’t cry.
– Repeat often and don’t give in on those requirements. Your dog will learn quickly.
You guys, an obedient puppy makes a happy puppy. A happy puppy makes a happy dog. A happy dog makes a happy house. Obedience training is SO worth it.
I see lots of people trying to avoid training with a mentality that says “they’re just a puppy; they’ll be better when they’re older.” No – they won’t automatically get better when they are older. Not true. While they will calm down a bit as they pivot over the 18-24 month mark, they will not, with age, magically grow maturity. They will calm – they will not automatically listen.
The work you put in that first year will pay you back many times over. That’s why we start the road to success, even when they are here with us, before they go to you.
Until next time, Tarah