I thought I was a good dog trainer, until I got a puppy

By Sarah Gaziano

Mo puppyI’m a dog trainer, and as much as the title says otherwise, I’m actually a pretty good dog trainer. I’m educated. I’m funny, and I can handle just about any situation that comes through my training door. But then I got a puppy and everything changed.

To be fair, when she’s an adult everyone will love her, but right now, at the age of 4 months, I am being knocked on my ass.

It’s also important for you to know that you know, I have one rule as a dog trainer: I don’t teach puppies. I prefer adult dogs for a variety of reasons, but at the core they are just easier to train. They respond well to hot dogs, understand basic commands pretty quickly and are surprisingly willing to work. My puppy is the opposite. Hot dogs are already boring. She gets the commands a couple of times and then notices a leaf flying by and can no longer focus. Super fun.

I did this to myself. I get that. But remember how I thought I was a good dog trainer? I was wrong. I know what I need to do. I need to add cheese to the hot dogs. I need to stand outside and reward her for when she’s good and wait her out when she’s distracted. I need to actually teach her leash walking. I need to do the homework I am assigned in puppy class by my colleague and friend. I get it, but can’t I hand her to my husband, lay on the couch with my adult dog and wait until she’s fully-grown?

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