irish setter puppy in harness laying on ground looking at camera

We’ll bet that based on the article title, you are wondering fun for who? Well, both of you! Your puppy doesn’t have the attention or patience for a full day at puppy school and we doubt that the constant repetition and discipline is fun for you either. Think about your own training and memory recall. We are willing to bet that thinking back on your life, the memories that stand out are those of you having fun. Making puppy training fun is a great way to keep your puppy engaged and learning and help you avoid getting frustrated when they don’t pick up on your commands right away — because they won’t! Join us in today’s post as our puppy trainers share some insight on how to keep puppy training fun for an experience you and your pup look forward to.

At Sit Means Sit Manassas, we are a dog training school for furry friends of all ages. We offer puppy training programs, group training classes, private training, and virtual training sessions to meet the needs of all Manassas families.

”Who’s the goodest boy?”

That’s right, the high-pitched good-boy affirmations help keep the atmosphere light and fun while it serves to convince both you and your puppy what a good boy he is! When you praise your pup with words of affirmation, you are teaching him to listen to what you say while building trust and a strong relationship. You’ll see his tail wagging and thumping and his ears and posture perk in an effort to hear you. And, it’s always fun to just let your words go and discover the silly things you tell your pup when you’re praising him like no one else is listening.

Every poop is magical.

If every time your puppy poops outside, it isn’t followed up with a “oh my goodness, that’s a good poop! What a good boy! Potty outside, you went potty outside!” with some claps and praises and perhaps belly rubs or tasty treats, are you even a puppy parent in potty training? While we know it is expected for your pet to poop outside and you may grumble to yourself that now it’s just another stinky pile to clean up, just remember that you aren’t cleaning it up off your carpet and put that excitement and enthusiasm into praising your best pup. By adding in enthusiasm, it makes you both feel better about the situation and the joyous jubilee will have your puppy yearning to repeat such a treasured behavior. And, voila, and potty-trained pup in no time!

Make it a game.

Rather than barking a command, waiting for a response, and rewarding the behavior, get out of the rigid classroom and engage in some learning games. Using play in your training helps to keep them engaged and listening to what you say and can help lengthen training sessions without overwhelming your pup. Swap a treat reward for a toss of their favorite ball. Do the movements with your dog, smile, and use plenty of praise. Play hide and seek to have them practice finding you or hide their favorite toy to find.

Be the funnest recall.

If you are working on the command “come here,” you’ve got to be somewhere your dog wants to be. Be that puppy owner with the “come here, Ace, come here, boy. Who’s the best boy, come see me!” with exaggerated pats to your legs, a wide smile, and plenty of head nods and coos, you can bet your puppy will be more likely to come to you than do anything else. In fact, once you’ve practiced “come here” a few times, we challenge you to offer a distraction to your pup and see how fun you can still get your little Ace to come right to your side regardless.

There are a few commands and “tricks” that your puppy needs to learn, and while it may be tempting to get right down to the serious business of training, don’t forget to have fun. When conditioning is fun for you and your puppy, it makes things quicker and more of a positive experience for both you and your dog (the same even applies to kids!). For more tips and tricks on puppy training or to get your new furry friend enrolled in a group puppy training class in Manassas, contact the dog trainers at Sit Means Sit.