There are many ways to train a new puppy. You can take puppy classes. Or pay a trainer to come to your house.
You can read blogs. Buy books. Or watch YouTube videos.
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It can be overwhelming trying to decide how to train your new dog. And depending on your situation, cost is a factor as well.
When I got Luna, I decided that I would train her myself instead of taking puppy classes. Home training just wasn’t in the budget.
Deciding to train Luna myself was the easy part. Since she wasn’t my first dog I had some knowledge, but I needed a refresher course.
After reading multiple books and watching several YouTube videos, I found Zak George and his Dog Training Revolution book.
Zak uses the positive reinforcement method of dog training. That means instead of punishing your dog’s mistakes, you reward the good behavior.
Along with Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution book, he has a large number of videos on his YouTube Channel, and a free e-mail training program geared towards new puppies or dogs with minimal training.
Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution book is great for both those that are thinking about getting a dog and those that already have a dog.
The first two chapters of the book are for those that haven’t gotten a dog yet. The first discusses what to consider when choosing a dog. It helps you choose the right dog for your situation. Sometimes that isn’t a puppy.
The second chapter discusses what to do prior to bringing your new puppy home. There are supplies to buy. And if you are getting a puppy, puppy proofing. There are also the other things to consider, like what vet you are going to use.
The third chapter is also more for those that haven’t brought their new dog home yet. This one is about bringing the puppy home and how to make it a smooth transition.
Chapter four is where the book starts to really get into the actual training of your new puppy.
This book covers the basics, like house training, sit, down, stay, etc. But it also has a section on tricks you can teach your dog too.
Best part about the book
The thing I like best about this book is that there are videos that go along with each of the training sections. I liked that I could read how to do something and then watch it done.
This helped most with those things I struggle teaching, like stay. Reading about it and then watching Zak teach a dog to stay made it a lot easier to understand.
Free email course
After I read this book and had started to work on training Luna, I found out that Zak now offers a free email puppy training course, 30 Day Perfect Pup with Zak George.
This course covers the basics, leave it, look at me, sit, down, stand, stay, potty training, biting and chewing, crate training, and walking on a leash.
Each day a new email is sent with a link to a new video, though some of the videos repeat to give your dog more practice with a new skill. I liked this in addition to the book because it made me feel like I was being held accountable.
Having that new email each day reminded me that consistency with training is one of the most important parts of training.
Along with Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution and his 30-Day Perfect Pup course, there are videos.
The book and the email course both cover mostly the basics, though the book does cover more than the free course.
To learn even more things to train your dog, like roll over and play dead, there is his YouTube channel.
He has so many videos that it can get overwhelming unless you have an idea of what new trick or skill you want to teach your dog.
I pre-ordered this book and it’s supposed to arrive Tuesday, July 9th.
Luna, and Morgan, both have some issues that I’ve had a hard time correcting (probably more my fault than theirs). I’m hoping this new book will help me correct these behaviors.
I had good success with the first book (at least those I was consistent enough one) so I had no problem purchasing this one as well.
The specific problems I’m having, that are listed in the book description, are jumping up, barking, begging, and not listening.
Luna loves to jump up and through Zak George’s methods I was able to get her to stop jumping on me, Hubby, and our kids, but not on “new” people. If the person is around Luna daily I can get her to not jump on them most of the time, but not always.
And anyone that is here only occasionally I have had little success in getting her to not jump. I’m hopeful this new book will have more suggestions.
Morgan is the one that I think I will struggle the most with. She loves to bark at anyone “new.” And by “new” I mean anyone that doesn’t live in my house. She can see the neighbors daily and will still bark at them.
And for being a little dog (only 23 pounds) she has a big bark.
Both Luna and Morgan bark a lot, but Luna will usually stop after a few barks. Unless she sees someone “dognapping” her doggie friends. Her idea of “dognapping” is the dog sitter when the neighbor is on vacation.
She won’t stop barking until they are out of sight, but that is the protective nature of a German Shepherd.
I’m looking forward to getting a chance to read this book and implementing his suggestions. I will post an update after I’ve had long enough to try his ideas.
Benefits of this way of training
The most obvious benefit of this training is that it is positive training and focuses on your relationship with your dog instead of you dominating your dog.
Another benefit is the price. The books aren’t very expensive, and the videos are free. In total it is significantly less expensive than classes.
Disadvantages of this way of training
The biggest disadvantage is that there is no one there to correct you if you make a mistake. You have to be able to follow what the book and videos say with no help from a trainer in person.
Though having a trainer there isn’t always necessary, certain issues, like aggression, may be best helped with a trainer.
Another disadvantage is all the promotion. Zak George makes much of his income off his videos. Since they are free, he needs ads (mostly him talking about his sponsor) to make a living off them.
This is a minor disadvantage, and for the cost (free) of training, it’s one I will take.
If you have a new puppy or dog that you want, or need, to train, this is worth looking into. Along with training your dog you will be building your relationship with them.
If you do go this route to train your dog, just remember that one of the most important things to do is be consistent and invest the time in the training.
Most of my issues with Luna’s training have been with either not being consistent or not investing enough time.
With consistency and time, you can train your dog to be the “perfect pup” whether you use Zak George’s methods or another dog trainer’s methods.