Dog Training & Resources
For additional online resources, visit Wagfield Academy.
Bringing Home your New Dog
The first few weeks in your home are special and critical for your newly adopted dog or puppy but they are likely to be unclear on what to expect from you. During this time it is important to set up clear, consistent rules and patterns for your dog.
Learn more about setting your dog up for success >
Back to Work: Preparing For Your First Week Away From Your New Dog
Get our tips on easing your new dog's transition and adjustment to your work schedule.
Learn more about surviving your first work week >
Dogs are social and most enjoy the company of other dogs. However, your resident dog may not be accustomed to having other dogs in his home. The new dog may be nervous coming in to a new home and having a new four-legged housemate.
Get tips on introducing dogs >
Crates are a great training tool for dogs because they give your dog a safe "den" place to rest and sleep in. They can also help reduce the possibility of destructive behavior when your dog is left alone. Crate are also helpful when housetraining because they take advantage of the dog’s natural reluctance to potty in its own sleeping area.
Get crate training guidance >
When potty training (also known as house training) a dog, create a predictable and consistent schedule so that your dog will learn how long they have to hold it until their next potty break.
See our recommended schedule and other potty training tips >
Symptoms of separation anxiety can be common in dogs recently recently adopted from shelters. These symptoms may include barking, whining, shaking, urinating, defecating and destructive behavior. Some dogs will exhibit some of these behaviors when left alone and it may not actually be separation anxiety but simply a lack of training.
Learn more about separation anxiety >
Destructive chewing can not only be annoying, it can be costly and dangerous. Dogs naturally use their mouth to explore the world around them but it is important to teach them the things that they should and shouldn’t chew on.
Get guidance on destructive chewing >
Demand barking, or bossy barking, is when your dog barks at you when they want something. If your dog has trained you to respond to his barking demands it may be time that you train him there are nicer - and quieter - ways to ask for things that he wants.
Learn about how to deal with demand barking >
Managing a Mouthy Puppy
Puppies learn to explore the world around them by using their mouths. When a puppy comes into your home it is important that you continue teaching your puppy when and where he is allowed to use his mouth as well as teach him that it is never okay to use his sharp puppy teeth on human skin.
Learn more about managing a mouthy puppy >
Dogs that Jump up on People
Jumping is a natural greeting and play behavior for dogs. Since most people don’t enjoy being jumped on by dogs, especially larger dogs, it is important to teach dogs that jump on people how to greet more appropriately.
Learn more about discouraging jumping >
Dogs that bare their teeth, growl, snap, or bite to defend things that belong to them are expressing a natural dog behavior that can be problematic or dangerous if not dealt with properly. They may have even experienced deprivation of some things in their life and now feel that they must protect things that they enjoy to keep them from going away. Most dogs that display these behaviors over things such as toys, beds, food, or even people will need to be taught how to overcome their responses and learn a new, more appropriate communication.
Learn more about working with resource guarding >
Learning to "Say Please"
Dogs are willing to ask for the things that they want in life. They are looking to you to show them how to ask politely. With your guidance, your dog will learn to get the things they want without jumping, barking, mouthing, chewing, pulling on leash, or counter surfing.
Learn more about "Say Please" >
Training with Positive Reinforcement vs Positive Punishment
Positive reinforcement works by giving a reward to your dog after a desired behavior is exhibited, making the behavior more likely to happen in the future.
Learn more about using positive reinforcement >
Managing a Door Darter
When your dog darts out the front door the first thought is to chase after them! For most dogs this usually turns into a fun game of chase. If you struggle to keep your free-spirit doggy in the house when you open the front door then follow these steps.
Learn more about door darting >
If you have ever left out a fresh sandwich on the counter only to turn around and find your dog has snagged the snack for himself, you may be living with a counter surfing canine. Dogs may counter surf - or jump up on counters to find things to snack on - because it is natural for dogs to explore the world around them looking for food.
Learn more about managing counter surfing >
Managing a Dog Who Digs
Dogs that dig up your back yard can be frustrating but, this is often a sign of boredom. Dogs need you to show them something more productive to do if they are participating in unwanted behaviors. Dogs that dig may not be able to find anything more entertaining to do so it is up to us to make sure that they have more appropriate ways to outlet their energy.
Learn how to manage unwanted digging >
Playing Keep Away
If your dog likes to grab things and won’t return them to you, you probably end up playing a not so fun game of keep away with him. When a dog steals an item, the item automatically becomes more valuable than any other item your dog regularly has access too. And if you chase your dog to get the item back they might actually be enjoying the interaction even if you aren’t.
Get tips on teaching your dog to give you things >
Adopting or Fostering a Fearful Dog
The goal when working with a fearful dog is to modify their behavior by making new, positive associations with things that they might be afraid of as well as building their confidence.
Get tips for working with fearful dogs >
Confidence Building in Shy Dogs
Dogs that are shy, fearful, a little anxious about new things, or learning new socialization skills can all benefit from confidence building. Many dogs can get overwhelmed when forced into situations that are too scary for them without any skills on how to cope. Dogs that remain afraid in these situations are at risk for biting or using aggression when faced with something that causes them fear.
Learn more about confidence building >
It can be difficult to imagine adopting just one puppy when you see them with their littermates. But many experts agree that bringing home littermates is not necessarily what’s best for the puppies. “Littermate Syndrome” is the term used to describe the anecdotal observations of many pet professionals, rescues, breeders and pet owners of siblings that develop behavior issues when being raised in the same home.
Learn more about Littermate Syndrome >