The Ultimate Puppy Training Guide!

When you first bring your fur-baby home, it can be difficult to decide when and how to begin training them, particularly if you’ve never owned a puppy before.

One online trainer, Doggy Dan, thinks he’s cracked the code and created the perfect Puppy Training Guide — and the work begins as soon as your puppy crosses the threshold.

In this guide we will cover the following important topics when it comes to puppy training;

  1. How to Train Your Puppy
  2. Puppy Training Basics
  3. Puppy Training Tips
  4. Common Puppy Problems
  5. Puppy Commands
  6. Puppy Training Techniques

Let’s get straight into it!

How to Train Your Puppy

When you think about training your puppy, you probably think about teaching commands and tricks, but Doggy Dan doesn’t think you should start there. The trainer’s proven-to-work online courses blend practical tips with an overall philosophy based on positive reinforcement, leadership, and an overview of what Doggy Dan sees as an essential ‘dog psychology’.

The secret to success is calm. Just as humans find it difficult to learn under stressful conditions (try studying for a test while a car alarm is blaring), puppies find it hard to take in new information when they’re worked up.

Doggy Dan talks a lot about ‘energy meters’ – a measurement of your puppy’s level of agitation, whether that agitation is a symptom of excitement, aggression or fear.

Your puppy should be relaxed before receiving any new training or lessons, before feeding, and even before you give them any ‘pats, cuddles or affection’.

Your puppy looks to you for cues on how to behave. If you become aggressive or frustrated when they’re naughty, your dog’s ‘energy meter’ rockets ever higher, and once they reach a certain level, instruction becomes impossible.

It’s hard to be  Zen when your adorable bundle of joy becomes a holy horror hell-bent on destroying your couch cushions – but in this method, keeping cool is key.

Puppy Training Basics

All of Doggy Dan’s training methods are an extension of what he calls ‘The Dog Calming Code’.

The foundation of this code is based on a sort of canine evolutionary psychology.

The idea is that dogs are descended from wolves, and that like their wild ancestors, they are pack animals, looking to an ‘alpha’ male or female for leadership.

If their owner does not display alpha-like qualities, the dog will take on the role themselves, and with it, the worry and responsibility of looking after a confusing pack of humans that behave in ways that they think are irrational.

Imagine trying to project manage a team of recently arrived space aliens. They don’t speak any human tongue, and not only do they not understand your body language, but they don’t even have the same type of body as you do. Not exactly a relaxing prospect!

While the theory that domestic dogs socialise in the same way as their wild ancestors is a topic of some debate among veterinary scientists (link to article), Doggy Dan claims that his methods have helped over 25,000 dogs to date.

In Doggy Dan’s view, becoming the alpha or pack leader is crucial. The pack leader is not a tyrant, but a protector.

By asserting your dominance, you are telling your dog that they will be taken care of and that there’s nothing for them to worry about.

A submissive dog is one that’s relatively free from stress, and thus open to learning.

Doggy Dan recommends establishing your newfound alpha-status by following his Five Golden Rules, as follows;

Doggy Dan’s Five Golden Rules

Golden Rule Number One: Control the food.

Golden Rule Number Two: Danger.

Golden Rule Number Three: Ignore your dog after separation.

Golden Rule Number Four: Everything on your terms.

Golden Rule Number Five: The walk.

Let’s now look at each rule in more detail…

Golden Rule Number One: Control the food.

Food is an important status symbol in wolf packs. Alphas eat first, then portion the food out to other pack members.

Doggy Dan recommends feeding your dog only after you’ve eaten. It’s also a good idea to get the whole family to feed the dog at least once or twice – it makes it clear that all human members of the household are above your dog in the social pecking order.

Of course, your puppy will challenge your alpha-status, and trying to assert control over their food is a common way for them to do so.

They may attempt this by leaving some of their food in the bowl to come back to later. If this happens, Doggy Dan advises that you take the bowl away and do not give them more until the next scheduled feeding time (of course, there are medical conditions that can cause a puppy to lose their appetite — contact a vet if you’re concerned).

Don’t make a fuss. Keep your cool, and your puppy should follow your lead.

Bones, rawhide and other treats count as food, and any attempts by your dog to hide them may be an attempt to assert control.

You should only feed your dog once they are calm and relaxed, in order to encourage this sort of behaviour in the future.

When you’re starting out with a puppy, you can also practice ‘gesture eating.’ Hold your dog’s food bowl out with one hand, and get them to watch you eat a cracker or a piece of bread.

This should help cement the idea that you are in charge of the food.

Golden Rule Number Two: Danger.

Being the pack leader comes with a great responsibility — your dog will trust you to protect them from danger.

They’ll still try and alert you to anything they think of as dangerous, of course, and a young puppy can see anything as scary, be it a bird, a bike or a changing breeze.

Doggy Dan recommends looking towards whatever the puppy is focusing on (even if they’re just staring into space – they may be smelling or hearing something that you can’t), and then calmly turning away.

This will show your pup that whatever’s got them worked up is nothing to be afraid of. The most common way that your puppy will try to make you aware of danger is by barking. We’ll get to what to do when your dog barks later on, but first…

Golden Rule Number Three: Ignore your dog after separation.

One of the best parts of owning a puppy is seeing them greet you on arrival like they’ve just learned of an open day at the treat factory, and it’s tempting to pat and cuddle your bouncing buddy as soon as you get in the door.

But Doggy Dan cautions against immediately showering your dog with affection.

Wolf packs usually only separate when members go hunting. Sometimes an alpha may get injured and other pack members will immediately investigate to make sure that their leader is still up to the job.

Strong wolves will protect their personal space, so if you greet your buddy with open arms, they might think that you’re not such a great protector after all!

Ignore your dog entirely until they’re calm – no talking, no touching, and no eye contact. Tell friends, family and anyone else who might visit to do the same thing.  Once they’ve calmed down, you can show them how much you’ve missed them!

This rule should be followed after every separation, long or short, no matter if you’ve just returned from the grocery store or just come back from a trip to the bathroom.

Golden Rule Number Four: Everything on your terms.

As we’ve just discussed, invading your space is a sign that your pup is questioning your dominance. 

Your puppy should not be rewarded for this behaviour, so if they’re seeking your attention by weaving around your legs, jumping up on you, or otherwise getting in your way, don’t pat or cuddle them.

As with the last rule, make sure everyone in your household is doing the same.

Golden Rule Number Five: The walk.

So you’ve decided to take your puppy out for a little exercise. You pick up your keys, grab their leash – and your dog goes absolutely nuts.

It’s imperative that you do not take your dog outside the door until their energy levels are down.

Don’t attach the leash until they’re calm. If they start to get excited after that, walk them around the house. Once they’re relaxed, then you can leave.

You may need to postpone the walk for a bit, especially at the beginning, so make sure to set aside enough time (more than you think you’ll need). Some breeds are very high energy, so you might need to burn some off with a game of tug-of-war or fetch before you head out.

In this view, your puppy sees a walk in the same way as a wolf would see a hunt, and  any stress on your part as a signal that danger is near. Stay calm, even if your dog is trying to walk you!

If they pull at the leash, walk around them and block them with your body rather than pulling the leash back.

You also can desensitise your puppy to ‘walkies’ signifiers – put on their leash at random times, pick up your keys every now and then even if you’re not going anywhere.

All of these rules are designed to show your dog that you are in control, and that there’s nothing for them to worry about – that you are a strong leader and capable of keeping them safe.

As with all training, it’s important to be consistent and to start as you mean to go on.

Puppy Training Tips

Before you begin training your puppy, make sure they feel secure.

Doggy Dan recommends leaving a blanket (preferably with your scent) in every room of the house, so your puppy has somewhere safe to go if it all gets too much. Remove distractions and make sure that the place is quiet.

Remember — your puppy is just a baby! Don’t push things too far too fast.

At eight weeks old, your pup has the maturity level of a two-year-old child. Attention-seeking behaviour is often just your puppy trying to figure out what the boundaries are.

In Doggy Dan’s view, you can’t soothe a puppy the same way you’d soothe a baby. Your puppy may cry, or get nervous, but cuddling them and talking to them may do more harm than good.

You’ll need to keep a calm, constant and but disengaged presence.

This method is based on positive reinforcement, so be sure to have plenty of treats or toys on hand as rewards for good behaviour!

Now – where to start?

Toilet Training Tips

Setting the scene:

The first thing you’ll need to tackle is toilet training. This will happen whether you’ve planned to tackle it or not, so it’s best to be prepared.

Remove any shag pile or sheepskin rugs – the texture feels like grass to your puppy, and they’ll happily do their business there!

At this stage, your puppy shouldn’t have access to the whole house. Create an enclosed space, using baby gates if necessary, to keep your puppy from accessing bedrooms or dangerous areas.

You’ll also need to set up a pen, crate or sleeping area. Consider lining the floor of the area with plastic sheeting or cardboard. If you have a linoleum floor anywhere in your house, this is an ideal spot for your puppy’s sleeping space! For more on puppy preparation, check out our New Puppy Checklist.

If your puppy does let it all go on the carpet, clean it up with an enzyme remover. Otherwise, the smell will linger, and the puppy will return to that spot to do their business the next time.

Getting Down to Business:

Make sure you set a routine early – ideally, take your puppy out the first thing in the morning. 

That being said, your puppy’s baby bladder will almost certainly throw a spanner in the works – some pups will need to go as often as every fifteen minutes!

You may have trouble getting your pup to go outside at first. After all, they’re new to your house, as well as to the world in general!

Tempt them out with a treat, and be sure to reward them with affection after they get the job done. You should use a verbal command when you take them out – ‘go toilet’ or similar.

If your new best friend doesn’t do their duty in fifteen minutes or so, bring them back in, but be prepared to let them outside again very, very soon.

Your puppy may urinate inside the house the first time that you leave them alone — they assume that you’ve gotten lost out in the big bad world, and they’re expecting you to navigate back by scent.

To get to grips with this, as well as some other toilet-training hiccups, consult our Toilet Training Guide.

Submissive Urination Tips

So you’ve followed the Five Golden Rules, and you’re now the alpha in your puppy’s eyes. Your pup is grateful to have a such a strong, nurturing leader, and decides to show their appreciation by… urinating all over the carpet.

Believe it or not, this is a sign of submission, and it generally happens when a puppy is over-excited or fearful.

The absolute worst thing you can do at this point is to get angry, because your puppy will assume that they haven’t done this correctly, and resolve to try better next time. 

Instead, you should stop and think. What’s happening to get your puppy so worked up? Try and reduce exposure to whatever’s caused the anxiety.

When you call your pup, use a calm and gentle tone – try not to startle them. 

Like bed-wetting in children, this behaviour fades with age, and usually stops entirely by the time your puppy is a year old.

Barking Tips

There’s nothing like incessant barking to drive you (and your neighbours) up the wall. It’s enough to make you want to scream — which is the worst thing you can do.  

So how do you respond when your tiny terror is blowing the eardrums of everyone in a five-mile radius?

First, take a deep breath, count to ten, and figure out what’s causing the uproar. Why is your puppy barking?

The Danger Bark

Your puppy may be barking to alert you to what it sees as danger. Doggy Dan recommends that you implement a Three Bark Rule:

  • For the first bark, turn your attention to where the dog is looking, use a verbal response such as ‘Okay, thank you’, and turn away.
  • If your puppy keeps barking, physically walk over to them, let them know you’ve seen what’s scared them, and calmly walk away.
  • Put them in time-out if they continue to bark. We’ll cover more on using isolation as a training tool later on.

Barking for Attention

If your puppy is barking to get your attention, follow Golden Rule Number Four (everything on your terms) and don’t give them any. 

Of course, you should still be aware of things like whether they’re desperate for the loo or out of water — these needs have to be met.

But otherwise, remember that any attention, positive or negative, can reinforce this behaviour, and ignore your puppy. Use a time-out if you need to. 

The Calm Freeze Technique for Barking

Doggy Dan has created a technique called the Calm Freeze.

He demonstrates the power of this technique in his paid course. He shows a video of a bull mastiff who is relentlessly barking. Incredibly, after Doggy Dan applies the Calm Freeze, the dog settles down. Here is how it works:

The Calm Freeze Technique

This very simple trick is one of the best ways to re-introduce some chill into your dog’s life. This technique happens in two simple steps

Step 1,​​ take hold of your dog’s collar. It’s best that you hold them under the chin — this is far more relaxing than holding them above the neck.

Step 2, do not look at, pat or talk to the dog, simply stay there until they relax. Upon receiving your calm energy, the dog calms down too. 

It is amazingly effective and can be used in any situation where your dog is showing high energy.

The Isolation Calming Technique for Barking 

Another favourite technique of Doggy Dan’s is isolation. When used correctly, this can be a very powerful tool. 

For a pack animal, being shut out from contact is a form of punishment. Isolation can be used when your dog ignores your calming rules and refuses to lower their energy.

This technique comes with a warning. For this technique to be effective and not harmful, the period of isolation must be carefully watched.

Your dog must be let out of isolation as soon as they settle down. This is paramount.

This is how it works…

The Isolation Calming Technique 

After applying the Three Bark Rule, and you have tried the Calm Freeze Technique, and your dog continues to bark, you can calming do the following:

Step 1, calmly take hold of your dog’s collar, and relocate your dog into a safe room away from you, like a laundry. Make sure you can still hear your dog.

Step 2, your dog must be let out of isolation as soon as they settle down. This is paramount. The time of isolation must not be any longer than 5 minutes. 

Step 3, as soon as the barking has stopped, open the door calmly and apply Golden Rule Number Three (ignore your dog after separation).

Crying When Left Tips

If your puppy is crying when they’re left alone, this is likely a sign of separation anxiety. Doggy Dan recommends not giving your pup too large an area to play in. 

They will see it as a place that they have to patrol and take responsibility for, and that can be scary when they’re so little!

Otherwise, don’t reward the behaviour by trying to soothe your dog.

Doggy Dan believes that when the Five Golden Rules are strictly in place, the behaviour of crying when left alone will naturally fade. This is because your dog will have absolute faith in you as a pack leader and will have no reason to be anxious.

If it doesn’t fade after around six months, then revisit the Golden Rules and make sure all steps are being followed properly.

After that, if you believe that you have tried everything, read up on our separation anxiety guide for in-depth solutions.

Common Puppy Problems

When you get a new puppy, it can be very hard to implement so many new rules to follow. Especially when they are so darn cute!

Until their cute behaviours turn into annoying problems like never ending mouthing and biting, jumping, stealing, chewing, not coming to their name and digging.

These are the most most common problems owners are faced with when getting a puppy. According to Doggy Dan, these problems can be easily fixed.

First of course, you must stick to the Golden Rules, always, and then slowly work on implementing strategies to make co-existing with an animal much easier.  

Common Problem #1 Mouthing and Biting 

When your new best friend sinks their needle-sharp teeth right in to the hand that feeds them, it can be difficult to keep your cool. But in order to combat this behaviour, it’s crucial to step back and try and understand where your puppy is coming from. 

Learning how to bite and use their teeth is an important step in their development!

Doggy Dan recommends that you keep a soft chew toy on hand when you pick up your pat your pup, so they can practise on something more suitable than you. This is called the redirection technique which is commonly recommended by dog trainers. 

We’ve gone further into how to stop biting here (link to guide). In this guide we show you many recommendations from other leading dog trainers in their field.  

Common Problem #2 Jumping

Think of a cute puppy literally jumping for joy. It’s an adorable sight, but like with biting, this behaviour needs to stop before they get too big.

According to Doggy Dan, pups jump in the wild in order to get attention from their mothers — so don’t give them any attention!

Calmly turn away from your buddy, and don’t acknowledge them until your pup has calmed themselves down. Ask visitors to do the same.

If your puppy jumps in excitement outside or at the first sign that they’re going for a walk, use some of the calming methods described earlier – Calm Freeze or Isolation.

Common Problem #3 Stealing

When you’re dealing with a very young puppy, it’s best to prevent stealing by removing temptation.

Keep anything easily portable out of your pups reach. Make sure that your puppy isn’t just taking things out of boredom — ensue that they’re getting enough exercise, and that they have plenty of toys to play with.

But stealing can also be a bid for attention, or a desire to play a game. As always, remember Golden Rule Number Four (everything on your terms), and don’t react. 

Calmly take the object from your puppy — swap it for a toy if you need to. You might even chose to ignore the situation entirely if the item isn’t important – your puppy may just drop it and wander off after a moment.

Your puppy might also be stealing because the toys they have are unsuitable for them to chew on. New puppies need very soft chew toys, as their teeth are quite sensitive. Again, this is in the biting guide. 

A tea-towel with a knot tied in it can make a great chew toy for young pups!

Common Problem #4 Chewing

Almost every dog owner has a piece of furniture changed forever by doggy dental exploration.

As we’ve mentioned before, learning to use their teeth is important for a pup, so the goal here shouldn’t be to stop chewing — it should be to redirect the behaviour, as calmly and as gently as you possibly can.

Once your furry friend starts gnawing on the table leg, gently take them by the collar, and replace the item in question with a suitable chew toy.

Remember that a very young puppy needs softer toys to chew than an older dog.

Your pup may be devouring the throw cushions because their rubber bone is too hard, or they might be turning to the banisters because a wet tea-towel isn’t cutting it any more.

If you can’t reach your dog, consider throwing a toy in their direction as a distraction. And of course, if they just don’t stop, consider a quick time-out (isolation).

They’ll soon pick up on what is and isn’t suitable for chewing!

Be aware that puppy chewing can turn into destructive chewing if not managed in puppy-hood.

This is explained in our chewing guide, which also features some great homemade sprays and other techniques recommended by different trainers. 

Common Problem #5 Recall (teaching a puppy to come to their name)

How do you calm your puppy down when they won’t come when called? Recall is one of the first things you should be teaching your dog, after toilet training. So how do you make sure that your buddy comes running every time?

According to Doggy Dan, there are three methods that you can use:

Method One: Using Treats

Without giving your pooch a good grasp of recall, you won’t be able to put Golden Rule Number Four (everything on your terms) in place. 

To get this command down, you’ll need a whole lot of time and a whole lot of treats.

Use a verbal command – ‘come and your dog’s name’, and entice your pup towards you with a delicious doggy biscuit or piece of food. If your puppy doesn’t come first time, walk away and try again later. 

Be careful not to over-do it; you don’t want your puppy to become desensitised to their own name!

Method Two: The Long Line Technique 

Doggy Dan also has another trick up his sleeve – The Long Line Technique.

It can be used in many training scenarios but it works particularly well for teaching a puppy to come to you.

Doggy Dan recommends attaching a ‘long line’ – a piece of clothesline up to twenty meters in length — to your dogs collar. 

This is how it works;

The Long Line Technique 

Step 1, tie a long line to your dogs collar, drop the line and allow your dog to play and explore. This is very different to teaching your dog how to leash train, so please don’t confuse your dog. 

Step 2, call you dog, by using a consistent command like “come + dog name”. If your dog is ignoring you then you can give a gentle tug and encourage them to come as you call their name. Once they do (with the help of the line) you can reward them.

Method Three: Call My Bluff Technique

This one is best done as a team effort.

The idea is that a dog will always follow its pack – if your pup sees her pack-mates running off, she’s bound to follow!

For this, you’ll need a couple of friends or family members and a really good poker face.

If your puppy is off investigating and won’t respond when you call them, form a pack with your friends. Bunch in close together, turn your backs, and walk off.

You’ll need to keep calm — of course you’d be worried if your pup took off into the wilderness – but relax, stay together, and your pup is sure to follow.

When Not to Call your Puppy

Doggy Dan recommends not calling your dog when you know that there’s no chance that they’ll come.

You not is not likely to come to you when

  • When they’re totally absorbed
  • When their energy is too high for them to respond
  • When there are obstacles in their way

 Trying to call your puppy while distracted decreases the likelihood that your puppy will see you as dominant or as an alpha.

In the beginning, you shouldn’t call them when you don’t have any rewards to hand; you want to make recall a positive experience for your pup.

Common Problem #6 Digging

Dogs simply love to dig, and your puppy is no exception!

The trick to dealing with digging is to first understand the behaviour, and then to direct those impulses elsewhere.

There are times when digging behaviour can be of some concern. Your pup might be suffering from separation anxiety and looking to escape. Consult our separation anxiety guide for more information.

They may also be too hot and looking for shade, so make sure that they’re comfortable and have enough water, particularly in the summer. Or it could be that your pup is isn’t getting enough exercise!

Most likely though, your dog is simply following digging for fun. Building a digging pit in the garden is a good idea.

You can make a small hole yourself, drop a favourite toy in, and let them have at it!

Repeat the technique until your pup gets it. If you don’t have the space, you may need to distract your pup with a toy. 

Toys and distractions

Doggy Dan teaches his students that there is no limit to the number of distractions that you can use to keep your dog’s mind off digging. 

From food to toys here are just a couple of recommended and dog training approved methods you can use:

  • A paddling pool is a great way to waste time for many dogs, jumping in and out and cooling off! 
  • Simple foods such as ice-cubes with peas or dog biscuits in the middle can waste a lot of time.
  • Letting your dog have frozen chicken necks to cool down and waste time.  

There can be a fine line between playful digging and the forming of a destructive behavioural habit. To learn more about this click here. 

Puppy Commands

Teaching your pup to respond to commands is the easy part!

Keep in mind that while training a puppy to do things in the house might be simple enough, getting them to follow them outside can be tricky.

You’ll need to repeat the training in all sorts of environments.

Training & Commands for ‘Sit’

Hold a piece of food above your puppy’s nose and say the word ‘sit’. At the same time, move the food back over their head until their bottom hits the floor.

Then give them the treat! Repeat this several times, until you feel confident enough to remove the treat.

Once they are able to do this when you are at close range, increase the distance, using a leash or long line if necessary (more on this later).

Training & Commands for ‘Down’

Ask your puppy to ‘sit‘. Holding a piece of food in front of your puppy’s nose, move it slowly down the front of your puppies chest.

At the same time, say the word ‘down’.

Move the food down to the ground and then hold it so that your puppy has to almost move backwards to sniff it.

When your puppy is almost down, stay still and let your puppy work it out.

Do not release the food until your puppy’s tummy hits the ground.

The ‘Down’ Command 

Step 1 Ask you puppy to ‘sit’.

Step 2 Move the food down in front of the chest.

Step 3 Say ‘down’ as your puppy starts to move down.

Step 4 Lower the food down to the ground.

Step 5 Hold it there, wait until she moves back and lowers down.

Step 4 Release the food ONLY when your puppy’s tummy hits the ground.

Training & Commands for ‘Stay’

‘Stay’ is one of the most important weapons in any puppy trainer’s arsenal. Your puppy needs to know how to stop and think! 

It’s even more important here that you’re in an area with no distractions, as your puppy’s attention will wander when they’re standing still.

You’ll want to start off in a sit position. Use a hand gesture and the word ‘stay’, and move slowly away from your dog.

If they break the stay, ignore them!

If they stay still, move back and reward them with a treat.

You can increase the distance and time as the puppy gets older and more confident. As with ‘Sit’, you’ll have to try this in several different environments.

It’s very important that you break the ‘stay’ with an ‘OK’ or similar command, otherwise the puppy gets the message that they can wander off whenever they’re bored!

Training & Commands for ‘OK’ and ‘Good boy/girl’

OK as a command should mean ‘as you were’, while ‘good boy/girl’ should be about rewarding good behaviour.

Training & Commands for ‘Wait’

The ‘wait’ command is slightly different than ‘stay’. ‘Stay’ should be used when you plan to physically return to your dog, while ‘wait’ can be used at any time, anywhere.

Get your puppy to sit, use the ‘wait’ command (and possibly a visual cue, like raising one finger) and once you’re ready, call your dog to you.

Like with ‘Stay’, you can expand the distance over time. Don’t forget to reward good behaviour!

Training & Commands for ‘Walk’

Puppies are boundless bundles of energy, and exhausted pup parents often find getting their dog to walk calmly at their side an impossible task.

Though it might seem counterintuitive, Doggy Dan advocates training your dog to walk off-leash first, by showing them a treat, holding it at your side, and getting them to follow.

Start off slow — ten or fifteen paces — and gradually build up the distance before you even attach the leash!

If your dog panics when they realise they’re on the leash, calm them down by changing direction.  

Doggy Dan has created yet another very simple yet powerful calming technique called Stop, Start, Change Direction (SSCD).

This is an excellent way to show your dog that you’re in control. This is how it works;

The Stop, Start, Change Direction (SSCD) Technique

Step 1 Attach the leash.

Step 2 Stand still, then walk until your dog starts to pull.

Step 3 Calmly, stop and change direction by turning around. 

Step 4 Repeat Step 2. 

Not only will this make clear that you’re in charge, it works wonders as a distraction.

Then resume what you were doing and then repeat the SSCD technique if your dog starts pulling, darting, or panicking.

For more off leash training techniques, check out our lead training guide.

The Five Golden Rules, Does it Actually Work?

As you can see, Doggy Dan’s puppy training teachings are very simple.

But is it too simple? Is it a little too good to be true?

Well, that’s what we were thinking so we put it to the test with DogPeer’s Cavoodle, Moxie.

Moxie started the training program at 3 months, now she is 6 months old. Jamie and Zack documented their experience with Doggy Dan’s ‘Five Golden Rules’ technique.

When we first got Moxie, our hearts melted. She is now almost six months old and our hearts continues to melt in every moment we look at her, even when she is destroying my clothes!

So as you can imagine, adopting Doggy Dan’s rules at the start was impossible.

She was just too cute to calmly push away when jumping up, she was too cute to apply the Three Bark Rule when she was learning how to bark at a piece of carrot, and she was just too cute to ignore when returning home. So in all honestly we gave up. Well, we loosely continues to used the rules, sparingly. 

At about five months old, we noticed her separation anxiety was getting bad, her chewing was out of control and she was starting to bark more. It felt like Moxie was running the house. A lot of these behaviours were no longer cute, they were worrying. 

So we went back and adopted the Five Golden Rules again, this time it was much easier because we had the motivation. It was too stressful for Moxie to be ruling the house. 

After stickily using the rules for a month, we saw huge improvements. However, we have noticed that she is always trying to test us to get back up on top!

I believe, the Five Golden Rules is all you really need to follow to get a basic understanding of how to form a healthy relationship between you and your dog and to set boundaries.

I do prefer other trainers for certain things. Like Ian Dunbar for lead training, Cesar Millan for puppy anxiety, Patricia McConnell for learning how to have an energetic relationship with your dog. 

All in all we believe the Five Golden Rules to be very effective!

What Happens Next? 

So there you have it – a comprehensive guide on how to train your dog with the power of calm!

If you’re looking for a handy way to remember these and other tips, enter your email address and we’ll send you a FREE puppy command cheat sheet and a list of all the Calming Techniques described today.



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Gina & David

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