Expert Service Dog Training for Life-Changing Results

Puppy Training Tips: Managing Unwanted Behavior – September 2022 Newsletter


Puppy Training Tips: Spotlight on “Management”

If you can use five helpful tips for better puppy behavior, this newsletter is for you! You’ll learn to prevent your pup from counter surfing, jumping on guests, and barking out windows. (Hint: These tips work for adult dogs, too!) 

Fluffy white Samoyed puppy with eyes closed chews on a blue plastic ball.

You also get these great puppy training gifts!…

  • Our video of 3 training tips for puppies and new dogs
  • Access to a FREE puppy training summit starting Oct. 11 with over 20 dog training experts — including our own Sharon Wachsler (presenting on puppy training for future service dogs [SDiTs]). 
  • Information on PEARL, our ten-week puppy course for future service dogs

Look for more puppy training tips in October, too. September focuses on preventing unwanted puppy behavior. In October, we’ll tackle positive training tips for the most desirable behaviors. Enjoy!

Receive this newsletter in your email by clicking here.

How Do I Stop My Puppy From Doing That?

The Magic of Management

Is your puppy or new dog doing things you wish they wouldn’t? Are you training every day, but it doesn’t seem to solve the problem? In this case, the answer is usually management (also known as “prevention”). With management, we set up the situation so that your dog can’t misbehave in the first place. If your puppy never learns to engage in bad behavior in the first place, you’ll never have to “untrain” it later!

What Management Does (and Doesn’t Do)

Management is NOT training. You will still need to train your dog. They go together. Without management, all the training in the world may fail. 

Here are five tips to set up your puppy or adult dog for training success. For more help with combining training and management to maximize your SDiT puppy’s potential, check out our online group puppy class, PEARL DISC.

Five Magic Management Tips

1) Cover the window. Does your dog bark at people or dogs walking past? Or fixate on squirrels and bunnies, running from window to window to chase them? If so, a wonderful management solution is to cover the portion of the window that the dog can see out of. 
Two windows with full-length blue-and-white curtains pulled to the side. The bottom third of the window has translucent film covering it. The upper two-thirds of the windows show green leafy trees outside.

Sure, you can shut the blinds, but then you may never get to see the sun! Instead, we often recommend buying “privacy film” or “window film.” It lets the light through but blurs the visual acuity so your dog can’t see the dogs or people or birds. And you only have to put it on the portion of the window that the dog can see out of. (An even cheaper option is wax paper.)

Privacy film is available from any home decor or building store. It goes on with water and static cling — no glue. It’s a cinch to put on, even for the least “handy” among us. It stays put for years if you leave it there. It peels off easily and completely with no residue. 

2. Keep the dog away from the guests until the guests have settled. Dogs are most excited to greet guests when they first come in. Whether your dog is happy about guests or worried about them, the door is a “hot zone” that generates excitement. Let everyone cool off before attempting polite greetings! Keep the dog at a distance from the door with a tether, crate, or gate until the guests have come in, sat down, and the excitement has subsided. Usually ten minutes is the right amount of time. Then have your dog greet the guests when everyone is calmer. (For more tips on this, see below.)

3. Give your dog something to do instead of getting worked up. “But if we follow tip #2, my dog will just jump at the gate and bark until we let him greet the guests,” you may be thinking. That’s why we recommend giving your dog a high-value chew (such as a stuffed Kong or a bully stick) in a room far away from the door, perhaps with the door shut and a fan running for white noise. Judge the level of sound and visual masking your dog needs to be able to know people have arrived but to keep the simulation low enough to be calm.

4. Leashes work indoors, too. You know there are situations where your dog just does not have the training well-enough established yet to succeed. You know he’ll be too excited to get it right the first time. Maybe it’s greeting guests who are too animated. Maybe it’s staying off the counter when you’re training a “go settle” when there’s food prep in the kitchen. Put on a leash. Have one family member hold the dog and work on training AWAY from the distraction while another family member deals with the guest, food, furniture, etc. If you live by yourself, you can tether the dog to a heavy piece of furniture or a doorway instead.Standing yellow lab puppy curiously watching a sitting tiger kitten with a stone wall in the background.

5. Separate dogs, kids, cats, etc. Is your new puppy overly bouncy with your geriatric, arthritic dog? Is your adolescent pup trying to play with the cats – who do not appreciate it? Does your dog lose her mind when your kids’ friends visit? Sometimes separation is the best way to keep everyone safe, especially when you’re not able to be 100 percent focused on Training. That’s because training is most effective when you have a training plan in mind and can focus on setting everyone up for success. Your other pets or family members may not be ready to train whenever your bouncy young dog wants to interact! Put your dog in her crate or pen, or tether her to your belt or an immovable object when the situation is too much for her to make good choices. Plan to train on good behavior when the time is right.

For hands-on help with training a future service dog puppy, register your pup for PEARL DISC or read more about the DISC program.

October Puppy Summit!

What to Expect from Your Puppy: How to raise a predictable puppy without force, fear, or punishment

If you’re looking for puppy training methods that actually hold up in real life, we’ve got  great news for you! Top dog experts with a lifetime of experience and knowledge are about to share their expertise with YOU. 

And the best part…it’s all free.

My friend Marilyn Mele brought together an incredible group of serious dog experts who truly care about dogs and people. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear from them!

All you need to do is register for the event and claim your free ticket.


Can’t wait for the summit to start? That’s OK! We have…

Three Quick Tips for Newly Adopted Dogs & Puppies

If you need training help right now, first, register for the summit. Then come back here and watch our video of 3 Quick Tips for Newly Adopted Dogs and Puppies. Notice that the second tip (confinement), is about prevention and management!

If you’re ready to get serious about training your puppy as a future service dog, register your little gem for Pearl (below).

Start training your future service dog

Our specialty classes are geared to service dogs but are also perfect foundation training for emotional support animals (ESAs) and therapy dogs. Register HERE for group classes.

Live, online classes with a trainer and your fellow service- or therapy-dog training students. Meets online with Zoom. Recordings of each class provided afterward.

Linear Classes

Helping Hounds courses are fun, short, highly affordable classes. They’re a great way to test if you and your dog will enjoy online service dog training.

Helping Hounds 1 – Foundations of Tasks & Tricks for Service & Therapy Dogs. 4-week course starting Wednesday, October 19th at 7:30 PM ET (4:30 PM PT) [Register HERE]  or Thursday January 12th at 12:00 PM ET (9:00 AM PT). [Register HERE]. $135 Open to puppies and dogs of any age or experience level. 

Helping Hounds 2 – A continuation – learn intermediate level skills in these task foundations. 4-week course starting Wednesday, October 19th at 6:00 PM ET (3:00 PM PT) [Register HERE] or Tuesday, March 14th at 7:00 PM ET (4:00 PM PT)[Register HERE]. $135 Black poodle lies on his side on a white blanket on a person's lap, with their arm draped across the dog's chest.

Megan’s experience training Puzzle in Helping Hounds:

“The training methods were a very positive and fun way to teach behaviors that will become important tasks. Alex and Sharon were great — very encouraging and laid back but very helpful. I now feel confident he has the potential to make my at home life and health issues easier to manage. I’m excited for him to keep progressing. A much better experience than some I’ve had with other trainers.” – Megan C. and Puzzle 

Open Enrollment Dogs In Service Certification (DISC) Program Classes

DISC courses are levels-based 10 week classes designed for owner-training your own service dog. Your dog will learn foundation skills in obedience, public access, and tasks. At the end of each course, pass an assessment to level up to the next course. Get details about DISC.

Level 1 (PEARL) – For puppies and beginners. This online class will help you train manners, socialize properly, prevent problems, and build toward future public access and service tasks. Classes meet:

Level 2 (Bronze) – Prerequisite: PEARL assessment. This online class builds on the foundations for manners, tasks, and public access set in PEARL. Each lesson focuses on a specific real-life scenario. Classes meet


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