I'm an expert dog whisperer – here are my five top tips on the best times to train your pup

TRAINING your puppy can be quite the lifelong journey.

But, choosing these certain times to discipline your pup could change everything.


Dog expert Paul Owens, also known as 'the original dog whisperer' shares his secrets to getting a good boy on his best behaviour, all day long.

Best Time 1: Morning

There are three things dogs want to do in the morning: Eliminate, Eat
and Explore – aka the 3 E's.

Simply ask your dog to sit, lie down or stay before you let them do what they want.

This category is related to #3,“Throughout the Day Cues” but is especially important so it has it’s own category.

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Best Time 2: Throughout the Day – Captures

Capturing your dogs own spontaneous behaviour is one of
the easiest and speediest methods you can use to train your dog.

Watch your dog closely and whenever they do something you want, praise them and give them a treat.

Over time, your dog will start doing the good behaviour you praised them for, more often.

The six “Capture” behaviours that Paul Owens focuses on in puppy classes are: sitting, lying down, going to a bed, picking up a toy, and walking by their owners side.

The final and most important is the 'check in' where your dog glances up at
you before they do anything.

Best Time 3: Throughout the Day – Cues

You probably don’t want to carry smelly dog treats around forever.

Which is why it is important to practice rewarding your dog with alternatives.

Or as Paul Owens calls them: "life rewards."

Life rewards are anything your dog wants and enjoys that isn’t food.

For example, if they want to go outside? Have them sit first.

If they want to chase a ball? Make them lie down first.

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Best Time 4: Sixty seconds straight after bad behaviour

If your dog steals food off the table, runs out the door or jumps on you,
it shows that they have not been properly disciplined or they have not been taught a substitute behaviour.

Substitution means teaching the dog what you’d like them to do instead of the bad behaviour.

Sixty seconds after bad behaviour is the perfect time for training because it’s fresh in both yours and your dogs mind.

Taking 60 seconds to command your dog to 'leave it' when food is
put down or to stay when the door opens helps both of you.

Best Time 5: Witching hour4-9pm

If you are a parent you may already call the time between 4pm and 9pm the 'witching hours' because it's when a child's energy peaks.

In dog world, they call it 'crepuscular' time and it is when their energy spikes as their ancestors would have once used that time to hunt.

To harness your dog’s sudden burst of energy, use it to train them.

Take them for their longest walk of the day, play fun energetic games such as fetch or even have your dog hunt for treats hidden around your house or garden.


For more pet stories, see why you’ve been feeding your dog all wrong – seven common mistakes most pet owners make at meal time

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