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My dog trainer told me to stop telling my puppy ‘no’ and to do this instead

My dog trainer told me to stop telling my puppy ‘no’ and to do this instead

As a proud dog mom to a 10-month-old pug-chihuahua mix, my days are endless cuddles and silly playtime. But it’s also been a constant chore to teach my puppy everything she needs to know, from housebreaking to following rules. And anyone who has ever met a puppy knows this is much easier said than done.

Quick overview
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  • Bocce's Bakery Bac'N Nutty Training Treats for Dogs, Wheat-Free Dog Treats, Made with Real Ingredients, Baked in The USA, All-Natural & Low Calorie Training Bites, PB & Bacon Recipe, 6 oz

  • Stewart Freeze Dried Dog Treats, Beef Liver, 14 oz, Grain Free & Gluten Free, Resealable Tub, Single Ingredient, Training Treat in Beef Liver, Salmon, Chicken Liver & Chicken Breast 4, 14, 21 oz

  • Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement

Between rewarding my pup with training treats when she does something right and telling her off when she misbehaves, I thought I had been doing everything I should in terms of training. So when she was still acting out, chewing furniture and taking a while to understand housebreaking, I turned to an expert to see where I was going wrong. And it turns out that I shouldn’t actually tell my puppy “no.”

“Actually, the most common mistake people make is disciplining their animals altogether,” Mike Rose, certified dog behavior consultant and separation anxiety specialist, owner of The Pawssociates and behavior consultant with Behavior Vets NYC, tells In The Know by Yahoo.

Rose explains that disciplining dogs and puppies can create a negative learning history and reduce your bond with your pet. “Animals who are disciplined and punished, especially young puppies who are in informative stages of development, tend to struggle with learning new skills, building confidence, and socializing effectively in their adult life.”

According to Rose, the correct way to train a puppy is to avoid disciplining altogether and simply focus on rewarding them when they do something right. He explains, “Puppies need positive experiences with new animals, people, and stimuli to create healthy and confident relationships with the world they live in.”

He continues, “No types of discipline are positive or effective on puppies. It is important to prioritize reinforcing wanted behaviors and creating safe management systems to avoid unwanted behaviors from being rehearsed.”

Punishing puppies can make them anxious and even fearful of looking to you as a source of support. Doing this too much may even make your dog inefficient at learning new skills in their adult life. Instead of yelling at your dog or telling them “no,” Rose says you should teach them an actionable skill, such as “leave it” or “drop it,” so you can reward the pup when they do it right.

There are a ton of training tools and treats to help positively reinforce good behaviors and new skills in your puppy. Rose recommends following training plans that work at your pet’s unique pace, so selecting training tools that your dog responds to is important. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to — so if you’re looking for a good way to train your pup, scroll down to shop our favorite picks in puppy training essentials.

Clickers are fantastic tools for marking wanted behavior when training your dog. When used properly, the clicker's sound signifies to the dog that they’re doing something right. This set of two comes with straps so you can wear it on your wrist or attach it to a bag or belt.

$3 at Amazon

A treat pouch is another essential to making dog training an easy experience because it frees up your hands. We like this one because there are multiple ways to wear it, plus it has space for toys and a built-in dispenser to store poop bags.

$34 at Amazon

Of course, training treats are always a must-have. Bocce's Bakery treats are loved by dogs and dog moms alike because they use real ingredients you would eat yourself and come in flavor combinations pups go crazy for.

$7 at Amazon

It's smart to use a variety of training treats so your dog doesn’t get bored of their rewards. Freeze-dried beef liver, like this one by Stewart, is a high-value treat that will keep your pup excited.

$25 at Amazon

There's always more to learn when it comes to dog training, so we recommend reading up on as many tips from as many pros as possible. This guidebook is about positive reinforcement training, just like the method Mike Rose recommends.

$11 at Amazon

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