Puppy Talk

Puppy Talk

Puppy Talk offers advice and training tips for new puppy owners. We cover topics such as potty training, play biting, basic commands, behavior problems, and leash training. Dale has trained thousands of puppies, as well as raising several of his own own. If you enjoy this podcast, please follow. Be sure to check out our website at http://puppytalkpodcast.com. This podcast is sponsored by http://puppytraining.dog and http://topgundogtraining.com


May 19, 2023 7 mins

As a professional dog trainer, I have never been asked to help make a puppy more hyper, but almost every new puppy owner requests some training on how to make their puppy more calm. 

To achieve the goal of puppy calmness, it’s mostly about trimming the fat…or eliminating things you are doing that overstimulate the puppy. In addition, most new puppy owners unconsciously create and reinforce the unwanted hyper puppy behavior.  Calming...

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The goal of raising a puppy is to prevent unwanted behaviors from developing so that you can live harmoniously with your puppy. Most new puppy owners allow most unwanted behavior to develop, even reinforcing the behaviors in the puppy. 

The behaviors I get called the most to help “fix” are play biting, jumping, barking, chewing, and pulling on the leash.  Once the puppy has associated the unwanted behavior with something that’s ok f...

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Focusing on your puppy being calm in the crate lets you create a list of ways to achieve this goal. I will help you get started with this list. It is up to you to expand on this list and follow through.

  1. Help your puppy develop a positive association with the crate by feeding them their meals there. Also, playing games with your puppy, going into the crate to fetch a toy or treat, and calling them out of the crate playfully and h...
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April 11, 2023 11 mins

This is a great question. In this podcast episode, I will discuss why so many puppies are being rehomed and how to prevent this from happening to your puppy.

Why Are So Many Puppies Being Rehomed?

  1. Owners don’t have time to raise and train a puppy.
  2. Owners have unrealistic expectations for their puppies.
  3. Owners realize they have the wrong dog for their lifestyle. 
  4. Puppy develops behavior problems that are hard to fix. 


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April 9, 2023 11 mins

Here is the List of some Essential Equipment for New Puppies:

  • Dog Bed for relaxation and teaching place
  • Play Toys for enrichment
  • Kong® mental stimulation toys
  • LickiMat® mental stimulation feeders
  • Dog Puzzles for mental stimulation
  • Bully Sticks for heavy chewers
  • Dear Antler for aggressive chewers
  • Nylabone® Puppy Starter Kit for moderate chewers
  • 6” Snap Leash for leash training and walking
  • Collar for use with the snap leash
  • Long Line for en...
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Isolating your puppy in the house and yard during their critical socialization period of 4-16 weeks is a big mistake.  Lack of puppy socialization during the critical period of their life is the number one reason they develop serious behavior problems as adult dogs.

Here is the link to a resource on the importance of puppy socialization from  Robert K Anderson, DVM  http://trainyourdogmonth.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/A...

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March 29, 2023 10 mins

Every puppy has different needs. Below are the ingredients, and it’s up to you as the puppies owner to determine the exact recipe. This list is presented in order of importance for creating a happy, healthy, and obedient puppy. 

  • Exercise
  • Mental Stimulation
  • Socialization
  • Enrichment
  • Play

At the very end is affection. Don’t substitute affection for any of the other components listed above. Use affection as a “life reward” for the p...

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March 25, 2023 10 mins

Mental stimulation is often referred to as enrichment and covers a wide variety of activities. They often appear to be fun games or clever ways to feed snacks, but they're really so much more than that! You can read the full article here.

Here are 4 reasons why your dog must have mental stimulation.

  1. Entertainment
  2. Improve Anxiety
  3. Wear Them Out
  4. Provide An Outlet For Natural Behaviors

FREE GIFT:  Download th...

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This is a great exercise to build the relationship between the handler and the puppy. We start this in the house with no distractions, then move it outside with distractions so she can get focused back on me when she has reactivity to other dogs or people.

Here is the video teaching my puppy Dixie the Watch Me command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4RVPIfmXPs

FREE GIFT:  Download the chart below to help identif...

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I found this post on another dog trainer Olivia Mergl of Mannered Mutts Dog Training on Instagram. Below is her post text. The image that goes with the post will be placed on a blog post here.
No is not a cue!!
No is not a behavior, it’s not something your dog can perform.
You might mean one thing like stop, come here, stand still, lie down, drop it, down but it’s likely very unclear to your dog what you want.

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March 3, 2023 6 mins

There are two ways to be more patient with your puppy, and I will discuss both in this episode.  Patience will go a long way when raising a puppy.  Give your puppy time to learn and adapt to your lifestyle. 

  1. Be patient when teaching new commands
  2. Be more patient overall as they grow up

FREE GIFT:  Download the chart below to help identify unwanted minor puppy behaviors and teach a replacement behavior. Download the ch...

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February 26, 2023 7 mins

In this episode, I discuss the pros and cons of having your puppy sleep with you in your bed.  Remember, that is my opinion, and the opinions of other dog trainers and vets will vary. 

The Complete Puppy Training Manual is now available on Amazon

FREE GIFT:  Download the chart below to help identify unwanted minor puppy behaviors and teach a replacement behavior. Download the chart here https://www.puppytraining...

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February 21, 2023 12 mins

In this episode, I share what I did during my dog Dixie's First Day Home on May 5, 2020. I immediately taught Dixie her name, leash acclimation, and set boundaries in the apartment.  Notice my tone, words, and leadership skills when I communicate to Dixie in this video https://youtu.be/f-qA1fYUp40.

Here is a link to the podcast episode, The First 5 Things to Teach Your New Puppy.

View my new book, The Comple...

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February 19, 2023 4 mins

I use three types of walks for puppies that I train. Each of these walks is unique and can be combined to achieve multiple goals in one outing.

  1. The Training Walk
  2. The Enrichment Walk
  3. The Potty Break Walk

Roughly 40% of your walks will be potty breaks, 40% will be training walks (loose leash walking), and 20% will be enrichment walks.

FREE GIFT:  Download the chart below to help identify unwanted minor puppy behaviors and teach a...

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The top 3 reasons why your puppy's behavior is not improving:

  1.  You are reinforcing the unwanted behavior.
  2. You are trying to "fix" your puppy instead of teaching your puppy.
  3. You are not being consistent. 

Use this FREE chart below to help identify unwanted minor puppy behaviors and teach a replacement behavior. Practice reinforcing the replacement behaviors without reinforcing the unwanted behaviors. Download the...

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January 29, 2023 9 mins

In this episode, I discuss one of the chapters of my new book, Leash Training Your Puppy, which will be available by the end of February 2023. To get on my mailing list for updates on the book release date, go to PuppyTraining.dog. 

The most important tip for starting the loose leash walking journey with your puppy is to stay in the moment. Learn to be connected to your puppy through the leash.  Don’t let personal distrac...

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January 4, 2023 6 mins

Use this FREE chart below to help identify unwanted minor puppy behaviors and teach a replacement behavior. Practice reinforcing the replacement behaviors without reinforcing the unwanted behaviors. Download the chart here https://www.puppytraining.dog/bemod-chart

FREE GIFT:  Download the chart below to help identify unwanted minor puppy behaviors and teach a replacement behavior. Download the chart here https://www.puppytr...

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December 7, 2022 6 mins

I recently received an email from Dr. Leslie Brooks DVM, MPH, and a Vet Advisor for Betterpet. She sent me some information on a new tool that she helped create called The Dog Age Calculator.  She went on to say that many pet owners don't always know how old their dog actually is and how they should be caring for their furry friend.

If pet parents know their dog's exact stage of life, they can make better decisi...

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November 6, 2022 10 mins

Can You Take Your Puppy Outside Before it is Fully Vaccinated?  This is a great question that was a comment on one of my YouTube videos.  The short answer is "Yes, But Follow These Rules To Stay Safe."

Links to supporting articles and Podcasts:

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Our most popular episode has been #3 from January 12, 2021, on How to Potty Train Your Puppy. I continue to receive comments on social media posts and daily emails from local clients of Top Gun Dog Training who are having trouble potty training their puppy. 

In this episode, I share the top 3 reasons why your puppy is not properly catching on to potty training. I have also linked several related articles and videos to help you potty...

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