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Training A Dog Is A Family Affair

Training A Dog Is A Family Affair

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and The J.M. Smucker Company, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #miloskitchen

Dennis came tumbling into our lives in 2013 as he was destined to spend time with my recently widowed grandmother. He was a perfect gentleman, but he kept waking her up in the middle of the night, so my grandmother decided to put him out. She loved him with all of her heart, but she just couldn’t deal with these middle-of-the-night wake-up calls and those huge puppy dog eyes. So Dennis was sent to my dad, who then sent him to us because we had a backyard where he could spend plenty of time in. 

If you haven’t guessed by now, Dennis is our dog, and he’s been with us since December 2014. He’s a St. Bernard/German Shepherd mix and he’s under the impression that he’s a lap dog. He sheds all over the place and has a tongue as long as the Mississippi River – with a stream of slobber to rival it too. However, we wouldn’t trade him for the world. We just want him trained a bit better. You know, to follow directions like – STAY OFF OF THE COUCH DENNIS! We’re using Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats to start the training process, and so far, so good. We pick them up during our shopping trips at our local Meijer, and we LOVE that they come in so many varieties! With offerings such as the duck jerky, which is delicious, savory duck slow-cooked to bring out the natural flavors, with a satisfying chewy texture that makes it easy for your dog to savor;  and chicken apple sausage slices, he’s getting treats that he only WISHES he could snag off of the counter after I cook! 

Until we can hire a dog whisperer, we’re looking for great ways to help bridge the gap for us until we CAN hunker down for doggy classes in the future. Truth be told, I also want the kids to take the lead in this journey too. Since Mr. Houseful and I have raised a total of 8 legs before Dennis came along, we’ll let them handle the four-legged variety. He’s just as much their family as they are his, and everyone lets him know. I now know that with Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats in the house, I don’t mind a child sneaking him a treat or two each day. The treats not only look great but provide so many other awesome things that your dog will think they’re royalty! 

  • 100% real chicken, beef, duck, or sweet potato as the #1 ingredient.
  • Milo’s home-style dog treats are made totally free of artificial flavors or colors
  • Made right here in the USA.
  • Meat is the #1 ingredient
  • Source 100% of the beef, chicken, duck, and sweet potato domestically, which ensures the highest standards of oversight and regular monitoring.
  • Snacks that not only look like jerky, sausage slices, and meatballs, but actually are 100% real jerky, sausage slices, and meatballs.

When I asked the three amigos what three rules they would share with other children trying to train their dogs, they left me with these pieces of wisdom: 

  1. Give LOTS of hugs. Dogs need to know that they are doing a good job when you tell them all of the things they are doing wrong – Sir Twizzler
  2. Pat their heads and say GOOD DOG every time they sit. It’s rough for dogs to sit. Kind of like me during school. – Lil Miss
  3. Just give them treats and tell them what to do. They only want to eat it anyway. – The Ladybug

I concur. However, I do suggest having several bags of Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats on hand to help you with all of these rules. When you walk your dog, encourage the same behavior you’ve been attempting to coerce them into while at corners. These are perfect spots to practice the SIT, STAY, and COME commands. I’m still not sure when I’ll ever use “HEEL” but I’m going to work it in there somewhere. 

It is my goal to have a dog that can be walked off of his leash before the start of next year’s warm season. With Dennis being such a LARGE dog with a double coat, I don’t have any problems with folks bothering me in the neighborhood. However, I also don’t want folks getting so out of character that Dennis believes that they are playing, and takes off running to join the game. Being able to train him to walk alongside me, or the kids, instead of pulling us while doing his bidding is at the top of my list. I mean, he looks like he’s old and wise, but let a squirrel, a cat, or a kid cross his path and he thinks it’s playtime! Well, with the squirrel and the kid, yes, not so much with the cat – and quite frankly, I don’t blame him. It’s why we have him and not a cat. 

I will say that working from home can get a bit annoying for him. He’s BIG! Did I mention he was BIG? He needs to be outside, and he’s also the type of dog that loves being out in the snow, because of all of that hair. This weather that we’re having now is the weather that he loves the most, and that is precisely why I happen to love him a little more each fall and winter. He’s my weather partner. The only one I have. We spent the entire summer hiding from the sun. We don’t care what you think. 

As you can see, Dennis isn’t fazed by much of anything we do. He’s wondering when he’ll get his next fix of Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats. I’m wondering when I’ll get that perfectly trained dog that I see on sitcoms. We’re both wondering who’ll be able to hold out longer. 

What tips do YOU have for other dog owners trying to reign in their pups? Can you REALLY teach an old dog new tricks? Please say yes.

Make sure to take advantage of this mPerks offer of 30% off Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats now through 10/7 (while supplies last) before you head into Meijer today! Dennis gives his stamp of approval. 

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Friday 10th of November 2017

He's gorgeous. As far as training, there are plenty of lower cost classes and they worked well with Skeeter Bess and I learned things that I have used with the other two hounds. You definitely can teach an older dog new tricks. Skeeter is super food motivated so I could probably train her to climb a ladder into a burning building if there were treats involved. The first step in the class that we took was to spend the week saying yes, and handing her a treat every time she did something right. There were to be no "no" and no fussing at her. Then "yes" and infrequent treats. Then commands, added one by one. Always "yes" and a treat handed to her. 5 years later she still will look up if someone says yes. She's also smart. She learned early on that when I brush the bed as I get in--it means she needs to get down and in her dog bed. Lola equally learned the signal that I was about to kick her off the bed. Buster, not so much if he is being a bonehead. (They also learned that nap time means they won't be kicked off the bed. Hmph. It is nice sometimes, but others? Not so much.) She's not perfect, but far and away the most obedient dog we have. Lola isn't food motivated really at all, so it didn't work as well on her. We still have a rough time with calling her to come in when she is not interested. Buster has fear issues and is a bit of a bonehead.

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