Puppy and Dog Training
In September, we got our first official family member! Bonnie is a German Shorthaired Pointer or GSP for short. This breed is known for being very intuitive and affectionate, but is also infamous for having tons of energy. GSPs have a natural hack for hunting, so they often feel like they should be doing a “job.” We have decided not to train Bonnie as a hunting dog because Ty only goes duck hunting about three times a year, and we really just want her as a family pet.
In November, she started getting faster, taller and smarter. Jumping on counter tops, darting out doors, and going on walks all became habits that we would no longer control with the tactics we were using.
So, we decided to seek help from a local dog training professional. When researching trainers, we knew that sending her off somewhere wasn’t going to be the best option, because we as owners also needed to be trained!
Top 4 Takeaways from Puppy Training
We found McDonald Canine Academy online, and within a few weeks were able to get our first in-house training session. Here’s what we covered during our first one-hour course.
- Puppies should be leashed at all times (even inside the house). The exceptions to this are when they are sleeping or going outside to use the bathroom without you.
- This is a MAJOR key to correcting bad behavior. It also allows you to lead them around the house with you. It teaches them to stay by your side and eventually learn there are perks for “staying with you”
- Avoid distractions by playing goalie (i.e. new people, squirrels, or anything else that they are fixated on)
- See Ty do this towards the end of the video below when he steps in front of her
- Avoid “door darting” by making sure you are the first to step outside the door, and that the dog must wait to be invited outside.
- Know when to give the correction and when to give the praise
After the first day of training, Bonnie is no longer darting out the door, uncontrollably pulling on [short] walks, and is working on being invited into rooms and onto furniture.
We will continue to implement the tools we have learned so far, and are looking forward to our next in-house session with Kevin McDonald. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date!