Covid complicated life as a whole, but it also presented new challenges when it came to properly training and socializing new puppies. It was during this time that training centers around the country were closed down, that we discovered an excellent online resource in the Baxter and Bella Online Puppy School. Although we still highly recommend attending in person puppy classes, the Baxter and Bella trainers are an amazing supplement and resource to have available.
With the lifetime membership, trainers are just a click away to assist you with any training dilemmas you may be experiencing throughout the life of your dog. Just as people grow and change over the years, dogs will do the same. Each age and stage brings with it new rewards and challenges, but the trying times can be resolved much more quickly when you have immediate access to a trainer. Making an appointment with a Baxter and Bella trainer is simple to arrange under the appointment tab on the website. You have the option to choose a one on one phone call or a one on one video session. And because we all often struggle with similar issues, you will find group question and answer sessions under the same tab. We have used all of these resources in training the newest additions to our family in the last year and this is a resource that we will continue to use in our home.
Sign up for a lifetime membership and receive a 25% discount when using the promotion code: DUTCHPUP
The best time to begin obedience training your puppy is the moment they come home. Your puppy has already started some basic obedience while still with us. Although most view obedience training as the simple, sit, stay and come, we view obedience as a lifestyle for our dogs. The time that you put into obedience training as a puppy will pay off with high dividends in the adult years. We highly recommend using both hand and voice commands when training your puppy. For instance, when we give the command to sit, I also raise one finger, the dogs quickly recognize the verbal and hand command and can use them interchangeably. There was a time that hand commands saved one of our dogs' lives, so I will forever be a proponent of training both. When raising the one finger and telling your puppy to sit, hold a small but tasty treat between your other three fingers and your thumb. You only give the verbal command ONCE! If the puppy does not sit, you move your hand with the treat up over their nose and over their head, if they still do not sit, give a gentle pressure on their hip with your other hand until they are in the sitting position. Immediately give the treat. Your puppy should have the sit command down pat within the first week of coming home. Our favorite treat for training is small diced up hot dogs, or the food rolls that are mentioned in the crate training information. We recommend keeping your training sessions to five minutes or less but the more frequent in the day, the better. For instance, we may have 10 5 minute training sessions with a puppy in a day, rather than two 25 minute sessions. Remember every interaction that you have with your dog, they are learning something. Good or bad, every interaction is defining their future behavior. If their behavior won’t be cute when they are an adult dog, it is not cute as a puppy.
I understand that life is busy, but I cannot stress the importance of puppy kindergarten or beginner obedience classes to get you both on the right road to a successful partnership for years to come. For training a puppy or dog of any age, we recommend training with a martingale or a slip collar. These collars are designed to place even pressure all the way around the neck of the puppy which will humanely train them from the start not to pull on the leash. I never recommend a harness, choke chain or gentle leader under any circumstance and training your puppy properly from the start will eliminate the need for any of these devices.
We do not recommend flexi leashes, for dogs that do not have exemplary leash manners. Flexi leashes although loved by many can be dangerous to dogs, handlers and bystanders. The use of flexi leashes can establish some poor leash habits that become difficult to change. We prefer a four foot, two handled leash. We also do not recommend using splitters on leashes in multiple dog households.
Most of all, remember to have fun and enjoy every moment. The puppy stage is demanding but it passes way too quickly. These dogs are extremely intelligent and easy to train, they have biddable temperaments and will go to the ends of the earth to please their family members. Dream big for your puppy, set lofty goals and then go accomplish them together!
Bringing your new puppy home is of course the day you have waited so long for and it is finally here! But before your new fluffy bundle of joy crosses the threshold of your home, it is best to take a few moments to ensure your puppy will be safe in their new surroundings.
We recommend getting down to your new puppy's level in every room. Power cords that are within reach pose a risk to curious puppies with sharp little teeth. We also suggest programming the phone number for poison control into your phone. 1-800-222-1222 Hopefully you won't ever need it, but in case you do it is nice to have it easily accessible. There are a number of common household items, plants and foods that are toxic to dogs. A quick google search will give you a number of comprehensive lists, please make sure any of these items are removed from your home or placed out of reach before your puppy comes home.
Here is a short checklist of items we recommend having on hand before your new puppy arrives:
Be sure to have your veterinary appointment already scheduled within 48 hours of your new puppy's arrival. Have a plan in place for when your new puppy will be attending their first grooming and obedience class. We know how busy life can get and having these plans already on the calendar can be a blessing in a few weeks.
Watching our babies leave is always bittersweet. It has been such a blessing to our family to spend the first two months of your puppy's life with them. We have done our absolute best to give them a solid foundation for you to build upon. I hope that we have prepared you and your new arrival well for the day that they join your family. Blessings!
Potty training can seem like a never ending process, it can be a very stressful time for puppy and owner. Your puppy has been litterbox trained, to make the transition to potty training as easy as possible. Access to a litterbox has taught them from a very young age that there is an appropriate place to eat, sleep and potty. Again, remember that every interaction you have with your puppy they are learning, good or bad. When taking your puppy out of the crate, they should be picked up and IMMEDIATELY carried outside and told to “Go Potty”. Do not talk to your puppy and try to not make eye contact until they are out in the yard. Exciting a puppy that is coming out of the crate is setting them up for failure. Timing meals and trips outside is pivotal to successful potty training. I recommend feeding two meals a day, spaced as close to 12 hours apart as possible. But before feeding and watering, take your puppy outside to potty. Do not leave water accessible to your puppy, but be sure to offer water at other times throughout the day, not just at feeding times. Only give food or water when you can give them ample potty time. Here is an example of a schedule that we would recommend around feeding time.
6:00 Take puppy outside to potty
6:15 Give puppy ample food and water in a quiet area where they will not be disturbed (preferably their crate in the beginning).
6:30 Remove food and water and take the puppy out to potty.
6:45 Take puppy out to potty’
7:00 Take puppy out to potty
7:30 Take puppy out to potty
8:00 Take puppy out to potty
Potty training can be frustrating at best, but stick to a schedule and it will come as their body matures. NEVER leave a puppy that is not fully potty trained unattended in the home. At times, to ensure potty training success, I have kept the puppies leash tied to my belt loop while cooking dinner or navigating throughout the house so I could be sure to catch them if they were to have an accident. This simple trick also does wonders to train the puppy to become responsive to your body language.
Continuing with litterbox training can come in handy even with adult dogs. We use washing machine pans and wood burning fuel pellets. We do not recommend the use of potty pads as this can lead to the dogs wanting to use rugs and carpet as potty pads. Puppies also tend to tear up potty pads, which can be harmful if ingested.
Accidents happen and they will be frustrating at times, but this too shall pass. Keeping a consistent schedule those first few weeks and giving your puppy ample time outside will ensure success.
I am the owner of Prodigy Farms and only second to the love for my dogs, is my love for educating dog owners on canine care and behavior. I am the stay at home mom of three amazing boys that are active in the rearing of our puppies. With a background in nursing and years spent competing in the dog world, I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve that I like to share with others here. So welcome to my blog, I hope that you are blessed by your visit and will find tools and information here that will enable you to raise and train a happy healthy dog to create a lifetime of joy with!