What Have you been doing lately?
Onyx: I have been sooo busy learning tricks and behaviors… Now you know me… I don’t really like to follow rules so this has been a big surprise for me (and my hoomans). Here’s what happened:
Pupford sent me a box of freeze dried training treats, including chicken flavored, beef liver, salmon, sweet potato and…rabbit! (can you believe it?!), along with a really cool Snuffle Mat.
In the beginning my humans scattered some treats on the mat and let me sniff around to find (and eat!) them. That was a fun game and honestly I could have played for a long time, but they had more in store for me.
Next, they started asking me to review the tricks I already knew, such as sit, down, up, and look at me. This gave me a chance to taste all of the different treat flavors (beef liver is my favorite!) and frankly I started to get addicted. The thing about these treats is that they are small, low calorie, and contain real food as well as a natural antioxidant, mixed tocopherols, so my parents feel comfortable giving me as many as I want. They also can be broken into even smaller pieces, so each time I get one it’s still really tasty but even less than one calorie for each little piece.
Here is my ranking of the Pupford Training Treats:
- Beef liver
- Chicken (can’t go wrong with a classic)
- Rabbit (yummy, but a new flavor for me)
- Sweet potato (I think I’m just a meat dog)
You must be wondering what happened next? Well, that was all we did for the first day. But the next day my humans brought the treats out again and I was revved up to train from the beginning. They quickly reviewed the old tricks — sit, down, up, and look at me — and then went on to some that I used to know but have forgotten: high five, roll over, and spin. High five was easy — I got it right away. Roll over on the other hand was a failure. I think I was just too excited to take my eyes off the treat for the few seconds it would take to flip. So we moved on, and my humans gave me the spin command. I got it on the second try and immediately got another treat!
After priming me to want to learn more, my humans decided to open the Pupford Training App to see what else I would be interested in learning. Here’s a report from my Dad on what he found:
The Pupford Training App has a free course “30 Day Perfect Pup.” The course has a new skill each day for 30 days, although some days reinforce the previous day’s training). Each day contains a video of between two and ten or so minutes with a trainer explaining the skill and all the different ways you can practice it. One thing I like is that for people who prefer to read rather than watch video content, there are step by step instructions below the video. And then there’s a link to a PDF of the course material if you prefer to download it and view outside the app. This course would be perfect for a new puppy, although I have to admit that there were even skills there that Mishu hasn’t quite mastered and we really enjoyed working on them together. The videos are so up-beat and not only give you practical advice, but they remind you to have a positive attitude of encouragement with your pet, which is really important.
After spending some time with the 30 Day Perfect Pup course, we explored the rest of the app. There are dozens of learning opportunities that you get access to if you join the Pupford Academy and from what I can tell they are all equally if not more user-friendly and easy to understand like the 30 Day Perfect Pup Course. Learning opportunities include:
➡ Dog First Aid Course (veterinarian-taught first aid and health basics)
➡ Intro to Dog Sports Course (exercises for communication and getting into dog sports)
➡ At Home Grooming Course (course to learn how to groom your dog at home)
➡ Dog Body Language Course (understand your dog’s body language cues)
➡ Crate Training Course (course to teach your dog to love the crate)
➡ Separation Anxiety Course (course to overcome anxiety and left-alone behaviors)
➡ Reactive Dog Course (overcome leash and general reactivity)
➡ TrIck Training Part 2 (teach your dog more advanced tricks)
➡ Leash Walking (course to help teach your dog to walk calmly on leash
➡ Enrichment Activities (course to help engage your dog’s mind)
➡ Potty Training Course (overcome all types of potty training problems)
➡ TrIck Training (course to teach your dog fun, new tricks)
➡ 21 Impulse Control Games (helps stop bad manners, bursting through doors, begging for food, jumping on guests and more)
➡ Barking Solutions (to finally put an end to unwanted barking)
➡ Recall Mastery (step-by-step exercises ensuring your dog’s successful recall)
➡ BONUS Content Covering: Biting, jumping, four quadrants of learning, and more!
These courses include lots of energetic video content, step by step instructions, and downloadable PDFs for offline practice. In addition, a lot of the courses include “level by level” breakdowns with associated gifs and explanations of methods so you can continue to grow and get better after having mastered the basic skills. Other courses come in easy to follow problem and solution style videos that I found really helpful for diagnosing and fixing behavior issues.
One thing that I really love about Pupford is that everyone, from the trainers to the company owners and staff, are dog-lovers. All of the trainers are certified and use only positive reinforcement. They discourage all of the aggressive, harmful methods for training a dog such as e-collars, choke chains, spray bottles, yelling or using force, because they actually know that these are cruel and don’t work. Above all, Pupford is all about building a deeper bond with your dog. And that all starts from a little, tiny and very tasty treat!