Training Hacks for Stubborn Pups

April 6, 2022

Dress the Part

We encourage you to be one of those people who walks with a saddle bag of treats on their hip! No, we’re not kidding.

Dogs with little legs and big personalities are going viral on TikTok, Target launched matching puffer jackets for you and your dog. In short, the world is ablaze with the puppy love we are very well aware of. So, let your crazy dog parent out and be the best at-home trainer you can be!

If you walk your dog multiple times a day without incorporating training – you’re missing out on a serious two-birds-one-stone opportunity here. Plus, an engaged mind will make them use twice as much energy and is sure to knock them out for a nap when you get home.

Take Brain Breaks

Okay, we know we preach consistency and constant attention to training; BUT, there’s such a thing as too much. A dog’s attention span can stay locked-in anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds at a time. This doesn’t mean you need micro-styled training sessions; they can continue to refocus for up to an hour. It means that as the session continues, they are likely to respond more slowly and get distracted more easily. Combat this by taking breaks and rewarding your dog for a job well done by having playtime a little while after training.

Know Their Motivators

A treat bag will likely work with a toy-motivated dog but not in the same way it will for those who are food motivated. The main categories are food-motivated, praise-seekers, and toy-motivated. Test out different things and see what your dog responds best to.

Suggested Training Supplies

(Suitable for all dogs regardless of their motivator source) 

  • Six-foot leash
  • Harness
  • The motivator source that works for your pet
    • *See our note about needing recall words – this isn’t just for the praise-motived pups, either!
  • An area as free of distraction as you can get – a backyard, park at non-peak hours, or even a parking lot can work
  • Water – training takes a lot out of them!

*Another training ‘supply’ is your arsenal of words used to recall your dog.

Dogs can learn up to 165 words or phrases on average with the brainiac breeds being able to learn up to 250! Interestingly, one that you might use every day “good boy” or “good girl” probably shouldn’t be your go to. When we attach multiple meanings to words, their understanding of it gets as fuzzy as their behind.

Words become commands that elicit different actions. Some get them to come inside at a leisurely pace from the yard, whereas some mean “get to my side immediately, there’s a problem”. If your pup is a family dog, let your kids pick out what some of your training words can be, “good job!” can be “bananas!” or something even sillier.

Training is a time to get the whole family involved and make it enjoyable for all. The more likely you are to do it, and the less painful it is to get done and the better-behaved pup you’ll have for it!