Do you want your puppy to live a calm confident & happy life?
If your answer is YES, then this post is for you.
This post is NOT about how to train your puppy — yet the “5 skills” I’m going to share with you will help you get exceptional results from the puppy.
In my experience, after working with hundreds of dogs and humans, I’ve found that it is best if you give training to your puppy, it strengthens the bond between you and the puppy more than you think. So, if you are a first-time puppy parent and struggling in finding a good trainer, then start training your puppy by yourself. The key in training the puppy is consistency, so make a daily schedule and give training for these 5 skills for a better future and an amazing life.
So, what training should you practice with your puppy and why should you practice?
THAT is what this post is about, this post will give you 5 skills you need to help your puppy learn which will improve your quality of life with your puppy.
You will learn about obedience fundamentals, you will learn the importance of teaching your puppy to be calm during car rides or how to be in a relaxed state when you take him to a pet-friendly restaurant, you will also learn to work on his touch and collar sensitivity.
When you implement each of these skills, you will transform the life of your puppy and yours as well, a different dimension of companionship will open for you to enjoy.
That is what this post is about.
I got my first dog in the summer of 2016, he was 30 days old and at that time I had no idea about dogs. I didn’t know that we should not take puppies away from their mother until they are 2 months old.
It was an amazing day in my life when we brought “Webby” a golden retriever home, he was very tiny and cutest being on the whole planet for me.
Soon he started to grow up, and with that, confusion in me about how to raise him started to grow as well.
I wanted my dog to give the distance to my guests, I wanted him to be calm when I take him to the vet, I wanted him to sit peacefully on car rides, I wanted him to relax when I take him with me to any restaurant, I wanted him to react peacefully whenever I needed to hold his collar.
I had huge expectations from him but I was clueless on how to achieve all this, how to help him learn to Be Calm, Confident & Obedient.
Since my childhood, I have been fascinated with the ways animals communicate with each other. I grew up with many dogs that used to live outside our house on separate land,
I was responsible for their well-being and used to observe them a lot.
I knew that every animal species have their own way of living life.
Dogs are also part of the Animal kingdom and they also have different psychology, a different way of living life than us humans.
I realized that if I am bringing a dog into my life, in a human world which is very complex for any dog, then I must make a plan to help him get comfortable, after all, it is my responsibility because it is me who decided to bring him in my world, he didn’t ask me to do that.
So I started studying dog psychology and started implementing on Webby as well the things I was learning, and webby started to blossom into a calm confident obedient companion I was dreaming of.
In this post I am going to let you know the 5 skills I helped webby to learn to become calm confident & obedient, this is not about how to train these 5 skills but is about why to train these skills, but I also believe that training the dog without understanding the dog makes no sense.
I highly recommend you to enroll in our course OhMyDog Parenting Model so that you can learn how a dog’s mind works, how to fulfill their needs, and how to provide leadership by becoming an emotionally strong person.
These are the five skills that helped webby to be Calm, Confident & Obedient in most of the situations in his amazing adventurous life:
- Obedience Fundamentals
- Calm Car Rides
- Relaxing Restaurant Outings
- Touch Sensitivity
- Collar Sensitivity
I am going to discuss every skill as a separate part so that we can go deep and you can realize the importance of these 5 skills.
Are you ready?
This is the foundation of obedience in your dog and it must be performed daily for 15-20 minutes.
Obedience fundamentals consist of variations of four commands:
You should start training your dog with these four fundamental commands, you should allocate time and be disciplined about the training.
There should be no distraction during the training session and you should give the session utmost respect if you want your dog to learn discipline and respect.
Most trainers use a lot of excitement because they can’t create enough motivation through food, and the reason behind this is that humans keep on feeding amazing delicious tasty treats to dogs daily multiple times.
Your dog or puppy shouldn’t have a treat without working for it. They become highly unmotivated in life and start to find other stimulation in their environment and most of the time they become destructive in nature.
So, if you are giving him treats daily, please stop it, so that you don’t have to use excitement while training your puppy.
Now, what is wrong with excitement?
Most people think that excitement is happiness but excitement and happiness are two different emotions, when you give a reward to your puppy you are nurturing the state of mind the puppy is in. If you want a calm puppy then always give a reward when the puppy is calm.
There are four stages you and your puppy need to clear to become obedience fundamental champions.
- Performing when the command is given verbally with treats as motivation.
- Performing when the command is given verbally without treats.
- Performing when the command is given with hand gestures only.
- Performing outside the house at a safe place all the above three stages.
The most challenging stage is the fourth stage, I remember when I was practicing the fourth stage with webby, I lived in a big gated society and I used to take him down when there were fewer activities.
Initially webby used to run away from me during the session on the slight stimulation, but I used to keep my calm and bring him back every time at the same place he ran away and asked him to sit, then down, and then stay.
After saying Stay I used to move back to create distance between me and him. He started to understand and started to become more obedient with every session I practiced with him.
I practiced with him only after taking him on a long structured walk and I also made sure that I follow the 5 rituals of dogs every day with respect so that he can naturally achieve calmness and confidence. (You can enroll in OhMyDog Parenting Model if you want to learn more about the rituals of dogs)
There is no hurry and you should practice all the stages at your own and your puppy’s pace, but just make sure that you practice it every day for 15-20 minutes.
Obedience fundamental commands are going to help you control your dog in a lot of different situations like:
- If any of your guests are afraid of dogs, then you can ask your dog to sit and stay.
- You are walking with him and stop to greet your friend then you can ask your dog to sit beside you with just your hand gestures.
- You can take him to your friend’s place and expect him to behave and whenever he starts to get excited, you can calm him down using your hand gestures, no need to shout or yell.
- You can take him to any restaurant and ask him to chill using the down command.
- You are walking with your dog and want to buy something from a shop, you can ask your dog to stay outside the shop by keeping an eye on him as well initially.
People will start giving you and your puppy compliments and will ask you how you trained him or her, then you can tell them about OhMyDog 🙂
There are a lot of applications of these four commands that’s why your and your puppy’s mastery over these is essential to have an amazing life.
So, Practice daily and practice with calmness and patience.
- Focus on practicing 4 commands. (Sit, Stay, Down, Come)
- Practice With Calmness.
- Gradually level up the practice.
Calm Car Rides
I don’t know about you but if you are like me, you would like to travel with your dog. When I got Webby, I didn’t have a car but there was an urge to travel with him.
Because of Webby, I bought my first car so that I can take him to different places, like on a trek, on beaches, restaurants, etc., etc.
He used to travel calmly and peacefully the whole journey, no matter how long the journey used to be.
Every dog is capable of doing that but most humans make mistakes when they start taking their dogs on car rides.
Their dog becomes anxious, starts painting, vomiting, barking, destroying the car just because most humans introduced the car in a particular way to them.
Every time when Humans decide to take their dogs with them, they either project excitement or anxiety, the dog is pulling them towards the car or pulling back, and before putting the dog in the car, the dog is not calm, the dog is either excited or already anxious, this is the recipe for disaster.
You should start introducing the car from a training point of view and not from reaching a destination point of view. When we have an intention of reaching the destination and not enjoying the journey, most of the time we will feel anxiety, and that anxiety your dog can pick up.
Start taking your puppy on small rides and be calm from the beginning, take him to the calm but don’t open the gate until he is calm, you can use the obedience fundamentals command to ask him to sit, and then you can open the gate, even if you have opened the gate, the dog should not jump in right away, he should wait for you give the command to enter which you can do by guiding him using the leash.
If the puppy or dog is pacing around then you should leash him to cut down the option to move, the more he moves, the more anxious he will become.
When you do every step with calmness, the dog makes an association of calmness with the car and he starts practicing calmness during the journey.
Do this religiously if you want hassle-free car rides with your dog, this skill is definitely going to improve the quality of life of your dog and you.
If your dog is not ok with car rides, you will hesitate to take him to different places but if your dog is ok with car rides then the life of the dog will become limitless.
- Give your puppy a car ride from a training point of view.
- Practice calmness from the beginning and till the end of the ride.
- Open the gate only when the puppy is calm while going in and coming out.
- Take the puppy on a long walk before taking him on a car ride.
- Aim for calmness.
Relaxing Restaurant Outings
There are lots of restaurants opening up nowadays that are dog friendly, and to enjoy that, our dog should also be restaurant friendly.
Restaurants provide lots of stimulation to all three senses:
- Nose(Yummy Food)
- Eyes(People Moving)
- Ears(Lots of Sound)
All the stimulation can be overwhelming for a puppy or a dog, so you should start taking your puppy from a training point of view.
After seeing your puppy, lots of people will come running towards him to touch him which will make him more excited, you need to learn to say no to them and ask them to give distance politely because your puppy is under training.
No matter what, do not let them touch the puppy with excitement, you can’t expect your puppy to respect the place if the place is not ready to respect the puppy’s intimate space.
Do not feed the puppy in the restaurant, otherwise, it will be very hard for him to control himself because of so many different scents of different food, he should understand that no matter what he can’t get food here.
You don’t want your puppy to beg, which he will do if you start feeding him there and with every instance, begging will increase.
He will start nudging you and then he will start barking.
You also have to understand that there is a difference between a well-behaved dog and a well-trained dog.
If you want your puppy to become a well-behaved dog then you must control your urge to feed him when he shows his puppy eyes, control your emotions if you want your dog to learn to be calm even if there are so many activities going on.
Your puppy should not sit on a table or on a chair, because his size will change exponentially as he starts growing up, and then it will become difficult to stop him from climbing on the table or chair because of the habit we helped him develop, he should practice “Down(Obedience Fundamental)” on the floor.
You are going to practice obedience fundamentals here as well, that’s why mastery over fundamentals is necessary to have a puppy who succeeds in every situation.
Keep taking the puppy to different restaurants and keep on teaching calmness by remaining calm and confident. Soon, you will have a puppy who will understand what is expected from him whenever his humans take him to any such place.
- Restaurants are very stimulating for a puppy.
- Learn to say no to people who will try to touch your puppy.
- Puppies will not respect the place if the place is not respecting their intimate space.
- Do not feed the puppy in the restaurant.
- Do not let him sit on a chair or table.
- Practice down command on the floor.
- Take the puppy to different restaurants.
Lots of puppies develop Touch Sensitivity while growing up.
Touch sensitivity means they start reacting whenever humans touch a certain part of the puppy’s body.
Once your dog develops this, then you are going to have a very hard time with him, he will start snapping, yelping, and doing whatever to protest against being touched.
Taking him to a vet will become a nightmare and You will think 100 times before giving affection to him which will degrade the quality of life of the puppy and the human as well.
So, How to prevent this?
It is very easy, and let me give you the secret to prevent your puppy from developing this kind of damaging sensitivity.
Every day give your puppy a massage, and during that make sure that the puppy is calm and not reacting to your touches.
If he reacts by grabbing your hand by his mouth then just be calm and say no. Make sure that you don’t shout or get fearful of his reaction.
Your calmness, quietness, and confidence is the main ingredient of this training, Make sure that you touch every part of his body with calmness, confidence, and compassion.
Your puppy will get habitual and will make an association of calmness with the human touch.
This training goes a long way because I get many cases in which dogs snap whenever humans try to touch feed or certain parts of the body just because humans failed to build trust between them and the puppy.
Give time in creating trust with your puppy who is going to live with you for 10-15 years.
- Touch sensitivity is damaging to the relationship.
- Give a calm massage daily.
- Practice calmness, confidence, and compassion.
Recently I got bitten by a dog who was collar sensitive, and don’t get me wrong but any dog can become collar sensitive.
Collar sensitivity is just like touch sensitivity but in this case, a dog reacts whenever someone holds his collar.
He developed this habit of snapping and biting on the hand which is trying to hold the collar because of the way humans behaved when he did the same for the first time.
When you hold the collar of your puppy, and you let him go if he protests then the puppy learns that he can get away from the hold whenever he protests.
Do not let him go!
Every instance of letting him go on his protest whenever you hold his collar is going to increase the intensity of his protest.
He will pull, use his paw, bark, yelp, or try to grab your hand as well. If he is a puppy then don’t let him go whenever he is in this protest state.
Only allow him to go when he is calm.
Practice this daily with your puppy, hold his collar, ask him to sit with you, and let him go after a period of time when he is calm.
This way you are going to teach him that calmness helps him to earn freedom.
This is a simple exercise with lots of applications.
You can calm him down by holding his collar whenever he gets into a state which is not expected.
- Practice holding the collar daily and asking him to sit.
- Do not let go if the dog is protesting.
- Be calm and confident and quiet as well.
That’s it for you in this post, practice daily and be the amazing dog parent your dog deserves.
Please use the comments to ask any question or give feedback.