Approaching your puppy or frightening, anxiety-filled shelter dog, with your arms stretched out in front of you, as though greeting a long-lost friend, will have the opposite effect you are hoping for. If you want to make friends with your new friend, bend down and slowly reach out, palms up, below your dog’s muzzle and closer to his chest. Let him come to you!

Body language plays a huge part in teaching your puppy as well as how your puppy reacts to you and others. The lower you are when you call your puppy, the better the chance of his running to you. Most likely your puppy will jump on you and nip you if you’re sitting on the ground. If you stand, you will have more control.

In reverse, if your puppy is on the back of your couch, his perception is one of greater control over you and the situation.


It’s kind of like the chicken and the egg. Seriously.  Did you take your puppy out because he had to “go” or did your puppy “go” because you took him out?

Take a sheet of paper and log the time you took your puppy out and if your puppy urinated. You might find that your puppy urinated every time you took him out. Keep a log for a day or two and then review it. If you’re taking your puppy out every hour or so, ask yourself the question I asked you earlier. Did you take your puppy out because he had to “go” or did your puppy “go” because you took him out? If you take your puppy outside every hour you might avoid any accidents in the house but you’re conditioning the puppy to “go” too often and not be taught to “hold it in” for an extended amount of time.

The best way to know if your puppy really should be taken outside is to keep a log of every activity or event and follow a routine schedule noting when your puppy should eat, drink, sleep, play, be crated, be confined, have playtime, go for a walk, etc.


The one thing you always have with you is your voice. So that should be the number one thing you focus on when training your dog.

Pet parents always ask me about giving their dog treats. In return, I ask them “What would you do if your dog ran out of the house, off-leash, and heading for the street?” Then I explain that a well-trained dog should respond to a voice command to stop and come back; referred to as recall or come-when-called.

Where do you begin? You begin as soon as your puppy or adopted dog comes home.  Everything you say to this new family member should be said in a calm and gentle voice. Even though the word “command” sounds forceful just by name alone, commands like sit, stay and heel are not said in a commanding tone of voice.

Only when your dog needs a verbal correction like “NO” do you use a stern voice. To simplify; TELL your dog “NO” when he does inappropriate or unacceptable behavior and ASK him to do everything else!