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Ok, he’s finally home. Training needs to begin immediately, considering the new pattern on the rug, not to mention the dog’s breakfast he’s made of your new Manolo Blahnik strappy sandals. But where should you start?

Whether you train your new puppy or dog yourself, take classes, or hire a private trainer, some basic training tips should be tackled right out of the gate. These top 10 tips from professional dog trainers at the top of their game will help get you going.

Aside: When your puppy is old enough, think about getting him or her neutered or spayed, likewise if you adopt a dog. A neutered or spayed dog is more docile, less aggressive, and maybe more open to successful training.

Training Tips for Dogs
Training Tips for Dogs

Top 10 dog training tips

  1. Choose your dog’s name wisely and be respectful of it. Of course, you’ll want to pick a name for your new puppy or dog that you love, but for the purposes of training, it also helps to consider a short name ending with a strong consonant. This allows you to say his name so that he can always hear it clearly. A strong ending (i.e. Jasper, Jack, Ginger) perks up puppy ears—especially when you place a strong emphasis at the end.If he’s an older dog, he’s probably used to his name; however, changing it isn’t out of the question. If he’s from a shelter, they may neglect to tell you that he has a temporary name assigned to him by staff. If he’s from a breeder, he’ll come to you with a long name, which you may want to shorten or change. And if he’s coming out of an abusive situation, a new name may represent a fresh start. But we’re lucky: dogs are extremely adaptable. And soon enough, if you use it consistently, he will respond to his new name.

    New name or old, as much as possible, associate it with pleasant, fun things, rather than negative. The goal is for him to think of his name the same way he thinks of other great stuff in his life, like “walk,” “cookie,” or “dinner!”

  2. Decide on the “house rules.” Before he comes home, decide what he can and can’t do. Is he allowed on the bed or the furniture? Are parts of the house off-limits? Will he have his own chair at your dining table? If the rules are settled early, you can avoid confusion for both of you.
  3. Set up his private den. He needs “a room of his own.” From the earliest possible moment give your pup or dog his own, private sleeping place that’s not used by anyone else in the family, or another pet. He’ll benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of his den. Reward him if he remains relaxed and quiet. His den, which is often a crate, will also be a valuable tool for housetraining.
  4. Help him relax when he comes home. When your puppy gets home, give him a warm hot water bottle and put a ticking clock near his sleeping area. This imitates the heat and heartbeat of his littermates and will soothe him in his new environment. This may be even more important for a new dog from a busy, loud shelter who’s had a rough time early on. Whatever you can do to help him get comfortable in his new home will be good for both of you.
  5. Teach him to come when called. Come, Jasper! Good boy! Teaching him to come is the command to be mastered first and foremost. And since he’ll be coming to you, your alpha status will be reinforced. Get on his level and tell him to come using his name. When he does, make a big deal using positive reinforcement. Then try it when he’s busy with something interesting. You’ll really see the benefits of perfecting this command early as he gets older.
  6. Reward his good behavior. Reward your puppy or dog’s good behavior with positive reinforcement. Use treats, toys, love, or heaps of praise. Let him know when’s he’s getting it right. Likewise, never reward bad behavior; it’ll only confuse him.
  7. Take care of the jump up. Puppies love to jump up in greeting. Don’t reprimand him, just ignore his behavior and wait ’til he settles down before giving positive reinforcement. Never encourage jumping behavior by patting or praising your dog when he’s in a “jumping up” position. Turn your back on him and pay him no attention.
  8. Teach him on “dog time.” Puppies and dogs live in the moment. Two minutes after they’ve done something, it’s forgotten about. When he’s doing something bad, try your chosen training technique right away so he has a chance to make the association between the behavior and the correction. Consistent repetition will reinforce what’s he’s learned.
  9. Discourage him from biting or nipping. Instead of scolding him, a great way to put off your mouthy canine is to pretend that you’re in great pain when he’s biting or nipping you. He’ll be so surprised he’s likely to stop immediately. If this doesn’t work, try trading a chew toy for your hand or pant leg. The swap trick also works when he’s into your favorite shoes. He’ll prefer a toy or bone anyway. If all else fails, break up the biting behavior, and then just ignore him.
  10. End training sessions on a positive note. Excellent boy! Good job, Jasper! He’s worked hard to please you throughout the training. Leave him with lots of praise, a treat, some petting, or five minutes of play. This guarantees he’ll show up at his next class with his tail wagging—ready to work!
End training sessions on a positive note
End training sessions on a positive note

If you frequently take your dog on day-long excursions, you don’t have to carry all his supplies in addition to your own. Instead, get your dog a backpack and let him help you out! With a backpack, your canine companion can carry his own water, food, treats, and other necessities when you’re out and about for the day. If you have a hyperactive dog, using a weighted dog backpack can also help calm him down and give him a better workout every time you go for a walk.

Large Dog Backpack Harness

We reviewed dozens of dog backpacks to identify the best of the best. Durability, comfort, and adjustability were some of the most important factors we took into consideration. We also looked at whether each backpack could be converted into a dog harness. We narrowed our search down to 3 of the best dog backpacks on the market today.

1. Tailup™ Dog Hiking Backpack

Whether you like to take your dog hiking or you just need a reliable gear-carrying harness for your service animal, the Tailup™ Dog Hiking Backpack is an excellent carry option. It’s made from water-resistant 600D double-layer polyester, offering excellent durability and lightness, and also has a soft mesh-lined underside for breathability and comfort.

Dog Hiking Backpack
Dog Hiking Backpack
Dog Hiking Backpack Red
Dog Hiking Backpack Red
Dog Hiking Backpack BLUE
Dog Hiking Backpack BLUE

Product information

  • Size: S, M, L
  • Color: Red, Green, Pink, Black, Blue, Orange
  • Suit for: Small Dog, Medium Dog, Large Dog (From 7.5 kg to 40 kg)
  • Material: Oxford, Mesh, Neoprene

Dog store

2. Chicdog™ Dog Backpack Harness

Specially designed for pet travel, with adjustable straps. Quick install before traveling and quick removal when pet rests. This saddle bag can store water, food, and a toy. Oxford cloth, waterproof, UV proof, lightweight and breathable. Durable, large-sized zippered bag on each side. Convenient to keep goods/essentials for you and/or your pet.

Dog Hiking harness
Dog Hiking harness
Dog Hiking Harness
Dog Hiking Harness

Product information

  • Size: M, L
  • Color: Camouflage Green
  • Suit for: Medium Dog, Large Dog
  • Material: Oxford, Mesh, Neoprene

Dog store

 

3. Lovoyager™ Dog Hiking Backpack Waterproof

With enough storage capacity for multiple-day trips, trekking or camping packs feature a lightweight design and are often made from highly durable and waterproof materials. This is a good choice for adventurous dog owners!

Dog Hiking Harness
Dog Hiking Harness
Dog Hiking Harness
Dog Hiking Harness
Dog Hiking Harness
Dog Hiking Harness

Product information

  • Size: M, L
  • Color: Red
  • Suit for: Medium Dog, Large Dog
  • Material: Waterproof Nylon

Dog store

Why You Should Buy A Dog Backpack Harness

Your Dog Gets More Exercise: Do you have a rambunctious dog that you just can’t seem to tire out, no matter how many walks you take him on? Well, I am happy to tell you that having your dog carry a saddle bag and some of his belongings will help tire him out, calm him down, and have him to falling straight to sleep upon arriving home!

Makes it easier to find your dog: Have you ever had one of those moments out on the trail where you can’t for the life of you see where Mr. Waggy McTail is hiding? I know that I have. Buying a brightly-colored saddle bag helps solve this problem, especially if you happen to be walking near areas that allow hunting.

Gives him something to do: From seeing-eye dogs and sniffer dogs to sled dogs and seizure alert dogs – it’s pretty simple, dogs just love having a job to do. It gives them real purpose! Giving your dog a pack to carry will give him a sense of purpose and a job. This is especially the case for certain task-focused breeds, like collies and retrievers.

It means they can come on more trips: Are you an avid hiker but haven’t had enough room in your pack for Fido to come along on your adventures? Well, now that he’s prepared to carry his own gear, you can get ready for more adventures together. That old saying that, “life is better shared” definitely rings true here!

A discreet poop carrying method: We all know that feeling of setting off on a walk and having your dog do his business right away. You’re then forced to carry a steaming bag of poop for the rest of your “romantic stroll” with your partner. But, with a doggie backpack, we can finally say, “enough” and get our furry friends to carry their own messes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which size should I buy?

It depends entirely on the breed and size of dog that you have. While many companies offer a rough guide for certain breeds, we always recommend getting out the tape measure and measuring your dog to ensure optimal fit. After all, having an ill-fitting pack for your dog can cause rubbing and bald patches, or even injury to the back.

What is a safe weight limit for my dog to carry?

Again, this varies by breed – with some notoriously tough canines able to carry as much as 25 percent of their own bodyweight. This is the exception, though, and the majority of dogs are only able to carry 10-15 percent of the ideal body weight for their height/breed.

Is Dog Backpack Harness safe?

They are, indeed! As long as you buy the right size, don’t overfill it, and double check that it’s fitted correctly – you should be A-OK!

Can puppies wear them?

The minimum age for a dog to wear a backpack while carrying things inside of it is one year. For puppies under that age, you can begin to train them to wear the backpack, but no items should be placed in the pack, as their musculoskeletal structure is still growing, and excess weight during this period could be detrimental.

Won’t it hurt my dog’s back?

No. A properly-sized, well-fitted, and correctly-laden pack shouldn’t cause any problems. However, if your dog suffers from back problems or joint disease that makes carrying weight harder for them – they should not wear a Dog Backpack Harness.

How long will it take to train my dog to carry stuff?

This depends on your training schedule, the age of your dog, and his level of obedience thus far. But, it’s usually no more than a few sessions until they’re pretty used to it!

Final Thoughts

A life filled with adventure is the best kind! So, why not outfit your furry best friend so that he’s ready for all the fun life can throw at him?

Whether you’re just planning a trip to the dog park, or want to go further afield on a multi-day hiking expedition, a Dog Backpack Harness is a great addition to your pet gear. Not to mention, it will make your dog feel like he’s truly a part of the gang and give him a job to do!

With the added health benefits he’ll get from changing up his exercise routine by carrying some weight, you’ll also help to keep your dog healthy for the long run.

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