I love the routine of two dogs (specifically my Ellis and Arwen). Arwen is almost 2 now (when did that happen?!) and Ellis is about 5-ish. They know the rules of the house, and the daily routine.
They are almost on auto-pilot. I love the quiet simplicity of two dogs, and the peaceful atmosphere of our house.
Yeah....I screwed it up.
Hazel is about as puppy as puppy gets. She's into things she shouldn't be into, has endless energy and very little sense of self control. In other words, she's perfect.
And while I love all that boundless Aussie Ambition, sometimes it's a bit much for a human. That's when I turn to my arsenal of tricks. Kinda like shoving an iPad at my kids when they were little. Is it perfect parenting? No. Was it good parenting, though? Also, no. But did it keep me from killing them? Well, they're still breathing, so there's that.
And some days it's just about letting them keep a steady heartbeat.
Top Must-Have Puppy Training Supplies for New Dog Owners
ASOCEA Dog Tug Toy with Flirt Pole
So this toy has consistently been rated as "indispensable" according to my clients (and their puppies), especially during The Witching Hour , when your puppy needs activity to get out the pent-up energy, but you need to keep that energy far from you, lest they redirect onto you. Puppy teeth are no joke.
I have one of these stashed on every level of my house. It's great for a quick "snack" of activity when your puppy needs it most (usually when you can handle it the least).
If you only get one toy to help your puppy through difficult behavior, let it be this one.
Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Treat Tumble
If you have read anything about Darwin Dogs Piloting method of dog and puppy training, you've probably picked up on the philosophy of giving your dog plenty of mental work. One of the easiest ways to do that with your puppy is through an enrichment feeders.
Now not all puppy enrichment feeders are created equal, and this one constantly has stood the test of time for me and my puppy training clients. It's durable, and has a large reservoir to hold your puppy's food (yes, you need to replace your puppy's food bowl with an enrichment feeder).
So fill 'er up, and let your puppy rock out to meal time, which will quickly be followed by naptime (my personal favorite).
Feel like really overachieving? Get your dog a couple enrichment feeders and swap them out during meal times. Find out more in this link covering mental work for your dog or puppy.
Original Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Stuffed Toy for Dogs
I first saw this last year a client's house when I was training their puppy. Their puppy seemed to be obsessed with a specific plush toy. I got the details on the toy, and filed the info away into that sieve I call my brain, where it was promptly lost.
Thankfully I've seen this toy during several of my other puppy training sessions since then, and with similar responses: the puppies love them. The shape is perfect for snuggling, and the combination of the heartbeat and the heating element create a sedative effect for a puppy who may otherwise be scared and crying the entire night rather than sleeping.
If the price tag puts you off, do the math. Ask yourself in the middle of the night, when your puppy is crying and screaming, if it was worth it not spending the money on this calming toy (hint: get a darker colored toy, because it will get dirty and dingy).
I wouldn't know … because I've been sleeping like, well, a puppy with a snuggle heartbeat toy, since the first night we got our puppy.
Best Pet Supplies Crinkle Dog Toy No Stuffing Duck
Another toy that I consistently see my clients' puppies loving. Bonus points that there's not stuffing in there for them to swallow.
Hazel always seems to really whale on hers during her Witching Hour.
She's definitely made it her gimp, and they both seem to be holding up just fine and working through the nuances of their complicated (and often misunderstood) relationship. I'm just grateful that Hazel has a safe confidant to release her pent up frustrations with, and better this duck than me.
Benebone Wishbone Durable Dog Chew Toy for Aggressive Chewers
My older dogs still go straight to plaid on this sometimes, and power chew (I have no idea what "straight to plaid" means...it's just what I think of when I see them working these bones). Once again, your puppy will have a need that must be filled: chewing. You don't try to squash that need, you simply provide the correct outlet for it.
Check out this blog post where I cover puppy chewing, and how to get them straight to plaid...on something other than your leather furniture.
Saudism Large Dog Crate Furniture
As a dog trainer, I've had the privilege of working with hundreds and hundreds of clients and their puppies, and I've been able to see what works as far as crates and what doesn't. As soon as I knew I was getting a puppy, I immediately set up the crate to determine if it was a good fit in our life, our house, and durable enough for our newest addition.
I knew that my puppy could be spending anywhere from 3 months to the rest of her life utilizing a crate, so I wanted something I didn't hate looking at but was still safe and comfortable for her. This was the best option I kept seeing at my client's houses over and over again during our puppy training sessions.
The bars are sturdy, and have some heft, and the multiple openings are truly a blessing when cleaning it, or just retrieving the stuck Kong at the back of the crate. I've utilized it for two puppies so far (a friend's puppy I babysat for a few days, and my Hazel), and both had no issues with it, and willingly napped or just chilled out in there.
Dog Training vs. Dog Life
By focusing on dog life, rather than dog training, our goals can become so much more attainable and clear-cut. Most of us don't want an obedient dog, we just don't want a dis-obedient dog. Robot-style dogs who are afraid of stepping out of line are for certain types of people I guess.
But that's not my style. That's why I developed the Piloting method of dog training over 20 years ago, a force-free method of dog training and puppy training that didn't rely on abusive shock collars or cruel prong collars, yet didn't constantly bribe with non-stop click-n-treat style dog training. I want a bond with my dog based on trust and communication.
Learn more about our Piloting method of dog and puppy training here.
Find out more about our private in home 30 Day Best Dog Ever and 30 Day Best Puppy Ever training packages here.
Have questions about our puppy training or dog training?
Dog Training and Puppy Training
Greater Cleveland Area