Occupying your puppy is a key element to training success. It makes crate training easier, it helps to reduce destructive behaviors like chewing shoes and furniture, it reduces teething pain and it allows for distraction when nipping or barking. In order to effectively train a puppy, it's best to have a full arsenal of tools on hand and to rotate them to prevent boredom. While this may seem like a long list, it will take trial and error to really figure out what will work for your puppy. And remember, any items your puppy doesn't use or enjoy can be dropped off at your local animal shelter for less fortunate dogs who would LOVE something new! Below is our list of items we have on hand and what we use them for:
CRATE TRAINING - One key to crate training is to make the crate or pen somewhere your puppy wants to go, Not only should it be a safe place, but it should also have some stimulation to reduce boredom, barking and whining. One easy way to make that happen is to feed your puppy in the crate and to also provide stimulating rewards. For crate training, look for items that last a while and don't require supervision. Items that could cause choking should be avoided - and never use rawhide. Here are our top picks (click on each to go directly to Amazon):
GENERAL CHEWING - Dogs chew for multiple reasons including boredom and teething. Getting to the bottom of why your dog is chewing might help you choose the correct toy or product. Also, if your dog is simply bored, the best solution is always increasing exercise and mental stimulation through training. Below are some of our favorite solutions for teething and mental stimulation:
TRAINING TREATS - Training your puppy is great because it's not only mental stimulation that reduces bad behaviors but it also helps the puppy bond with you. The key to training is high value treats that the dog really wants to earn. That being said you also want to make sure it's okay for their tummies. A lot of dog treats are loaded with bad ingredients and things that can be harmful for your puppy. Try a few of these treats to find one that your puppy really enjoys and when shopping always look for single ingredients, natural ingredients and treats that can be broken in to small pieces for training sessions. Here are a few of our favorites but don't be afraid to also try home cooked treats or pieces of deli meat, ground beef, etc.
While this blog has focused on puppies, we use every item here for our grown dogs, we simply size up on some of the Kong type toys and don't break the treats in half! Best wishes in occupying your pup . . .
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