If you guys haven't met Winnie (formerly named Jelly Bean, thanks to my four year old haha), she is our little mini golden doodle that joined our family this past Christmas! She is such a ball of energy and a fun little addition to the family. She is so loving and sweet and SO extremely energetic. We've had to work with her a lot so she doesn't get to worked up when she's playing with our girls, so I thought I'd share with you our top five favorite tips for training a puppy we've learned on our journey so far!
Winnie has gotten SO much bigger (and better behaved!) since our last pupdate, so I thought today would be a great time for another round of tips, tricks and faves of all things puppy love.
I still get a lot of questions on how we found Winnie. We found her through @puppy_match on instagram! They were awesome to work with and I totally recommend them. She doesn’t shed, at all, which is soo nice. I literally have not found a single dog hair in our house from her. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for myself haha.
We've loved having Winnie in our family and she totally inspired my purchase this cozy sweatshirt. When I found it, I knew I neeeded it in my closet. I would even wear this sweatshirt on days that Winnie eats our succulents out of our planters. That's love.
1. Use key command words – Every morning when she wakes up we use the same phrase “let's go outside,” and once she's out the door, “go potty, good girl!” so she knows that's when she needs to go outside and go to the bathroom. She knows exactly what certain words mean and it's sort of hilarious. I swear she is learning some mannerisms from our four year old! Haha.
2. Give attention to good behavior – this has maybe been the best tip we've learned from our trainer is that if we freak out when Winnie is doing something we don't like, she just knows she's getting attention from us, and she doesn't necessarily recognize it's bad attention. We actually try to ignore her if she barks or does something we don't like, and then praise the heck out of her when she's doing what we want her to do. It really has worked! She hardly ever barks now.
3. Practice, practice, practice! – if you're teaching your dog new tricks or even just basic commands like “sit” and “stay,” you really don't need hours every day, you just need 15 minutes every day for those tricks to stick! If you practice the same tricks or commands each day, they'll get it sooner than you know. We used a trainer here in Orange County but I also used The Puppy Primer at first and learned a TON from this book!
4. Be consistent – This one was huge for us! We started saying “off” when Winnie would jump up on us and strangers, but then others would say “down” and that totally confused her because we used the term “down” for lay down. So just make that clear for everyone! Consistency has been a big part of our journey to success. Our little pupper loves routine.
5. Give her a basket of toys – maybe my favorite tip our dog trainer has given us! When we gave Winnie her own basket of toys, she stopped stealing the girls' toys! She loves it when I say “go get your toy” and she can go over to the basket and pick out a toy. A lot of things I read at first said don't give the dog toys that look like stuffed animals or they'll be confused about what's a dog toy and a kid toy, BUT Winnie was stealing my girls' stuffed animals anyway, so giving her stuffed toys of her own solved everything. So if you're having that same issue, maybe try this!
And a few of the cutest dog lover items on the interwebs right now!