118 episodes

Being a dog parent is tough. Between vet visits, picking the right food and treats, and of course, training a well-behaved dog, it can be OVERWHELMING! Our goal with this podcast is to give you actionable, easy-to-understand, and well-thought-out tips and advice to make your daily dog parent life easier!

We cover topics like how to keep your dogs cool, figuring out what the h*ck impulse control is (and why your dog might be lacking it) and how to prepare your dog for each season and holiday!

And all of that will hopefully help you build a better relationship with your pup!

The Perfect Pup Devin Stagg from Pupford

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.9 • 56 Ratings

Being a dog parent is tough. Between vet visits, picking the right food and treats, and of course, training a well-behaved dog, it can be OVERWHELMING! Our goal with this podcast is to give you actionable, easy-to-understand, and well-thought-out tips and advice to make your daily dog parent life easier!

We cover topics like how to keep your dogs cool, figuring out what the h*ck impulse control is (and why your dog might be lacking it) and how to prepare your dog for each season and holiday!

And all of that will hopefully help you build a better relationship with your pup!

    Dog Mom (& Dad) Guilt: Why It Happens & What To Do

    Dog Mom (& Dad) Guilt: Why It Happens & What To Do

    I’m here to tell you first and foremost, dog mom (or dad) guilt is totally normal.



    Let that sink in for a second…



    We all want to be the absolute best pup parent and provide our dogs with a healthy, happy, and fulfilled life. But, sometimes we fall short.



    And that’s where the guilt comes in.



    In this article, I want to help break down what guilt really means, why dog parent guilt happens, and some actionable ways to help reduce those feelings of guilt.



    Here’s some of what we will cover:

    -What exactly is guilt?

    -Why do we feel guilty as pup parents?

    -What can you do when you’re feeling dog mom (or dad) guilt?

    -I feel guilty leaving my dog, what can I do? (this one is so common it’s getting its own section)



    First, let’s clarify what guilt means from a clinical perspective.



    Guilt is described as a self-conscious emotion that involves negative evaluations of the self, feelings of distress, and feelings of failure.



    We all have goals and aspirations of being the best pup parent possible. And unfortunately, we often fall short of our own expectations.



    And when that happens, guilt shows up.



    While guilt can actually be a healthy emotion (it leads us to want to improve and/or repair mistakes that cause guilt), there are times when it becomes harmful and unproductive.



    The reasons we feel guilty as dog moms and dads are almost endless (unfortunately), but here are some common reasons we pup parents feel guilt about our dogs.

    -Leaving our dogs home alone for extended periods (this is probably #1)

    -Incorrect training methods when we just didn’t know better or hadn’t yet learned what to do (using the crate as punishment, punishment-style methods, etc.)

    -Having to crate our dogs when we leave or even while we’re at home

    -Falling behind on grooming that negatively affects our dogs (nails too long, not frequent enough grooming visits, etc.)

    -Bringing home another dog

    -Having a baby and our dog getting much less attention and care

    -When our dogs act bored or seemingly “sad”

    -When we see them in pain and feel powerless to help them

    -Getting angry or impatient with our dog’s behavior and/or training progress

    -Spending less time with our dogs during holidays, busy periods of life, back to school, etc.

    -Leaving our dogs while we go on vacation



    While that list isn’t comprehensive, those are some very common reasons dog mom guilt pops up!



    So, what can you do?!



    Besides giving yourself some empathy and compassion, there are some critical reminders and actions you can do to help reduce your pup parent guilt! ⤵️



    From a psychological standpoint, remedies for unnecessary guilt may include reflecting on factors that were beyond your control, acknowledging what you know now that you didn’t in the past, and considering whether your standards for yourself are too unforgiving. 



    I think that last part is massive… Considering whether your standards are too unforgiving.



    When it comes to dog parent guilt, above all, know that it’s normal. Guilt and associated feelings are to be expected, and it’s good to give yourself some slack. The puppy blues are real!

    And while it can sound annoying to hear, it will get better! Puppies can be extremely difficult in the early stages.  But, if you stick to a training plan, like the free 30 Day Perfect Pup course, and stay consistent you will see improvements in your dog’s behavior and likely your own feelings toward your pup.

    PS- Sign up for 30 Day Perfect Pup (free) here: https://pfrd.site/signupfree-here


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    • 15 min
    Is Your Attention Accidentally Reinforcing "Bad" Dog Behavior?

    Is Your Attention Accidentally Reinforcing "Bad" Dog Behavior?

    While we often think of food as a dog’s strongest reinforcement, your attention (eye contact, petting/scratches, talking, etc) can be almost as strong as a reinforcer for your pup!



    Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years to instinctively look for and work for our attention.



    But, your attention can sometimes accidentally reinforce “bad” behaviors you do not want your dog to do… 😲



    In this article, we’ll discuss how attention can be a reinforcer, why dogs care about our attention, and of course, how to more intentionally use your attention to improve good pup manners!



    Here’s some of what we will cover:

    -Why do dogs care about our attention?

    -Your dog decides their reinforcers

    -Unintentional attention reinforcement

    -Interrupt & redirect to the “right” behavior



    A reinforcer is something delivered after a behavior that causes the future rate of that behavior to maintain or increase.



    While you could in theory make a pages-long list of dog reinforcers, here are a few:

    -Attention (even just looking at our pups)

    -Treats or food

    -Verbal praise

    -Petting/belly rubs

    -Fetch 

    -Tug



    The list goes on! 



    And while some dogs don’t care as much about attention from humans as others, almost all of those reinforcers come from us…



    We throw the ball. We give the treats. We rub the bellies. We give the praise.



    Of course, there are reinforcers that we don’t provide (barking can be one), but most of them rely on human interaction!



    A reinforcer is something delivered after a behavior that causes the future rate of that behavior to maintain or increase.



    But what if that reinforcer is delivered, albeit unintentionally, after a non-desirable behavior occurs? Unfortunately, the laws of learning still apply!



    Let’s look at a few examples.



    And let me say, these are extremely common so do NOT feel bad if you do these. My goal is to get you thinking about when/how this may occur in your home. Being aware of dog training “mistakes” is the first step in fixing them!



    If your dog jumps up and you put your hands on them to try to push them down, a reinforcement was just applied. Your dog wanted your attention (that’s why they’re jumping, in most cases) and you gave it to them by touching them.



    So, that jumping is likely to be repeated and/or increase in frequency.



    If your dog sits begging at the table and you say “oh buddy, you’re so cute but not today”, a small reinforcement was just applied. Your dog wanted your attention (ultimately to get food) and you gave it to them by speaking to and engaging with them.



    So, that begging for food is likely to continue (and then certainly will if you give in and provide the table scraps).



    If your dog demand barks and you come up to them and try to engage with them to figure out what they want, a reinforcement was just applied. Your dog wanted you to pay attention to them, and you did it!



    So, that demand barking is likely to be repeated and/or increase in frequency.



    See the pattern? 



    Even when you may not think you are reinforcing a behavior, you just might be… With your attention!



    If you’re looking for more in-depth training techniques, be sure to sign up for 30 Day Perfect Pup with Zak George! 



    It’s a 100% free (no credit card required) online video course that covers behaviors like teaching yes & no, leave it, leash walking, potty training, and more. Sign up for free here: https://pfrd.site/classhere-signup


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    • 8 min
    Why Do Dogs Jump On You? 5 Interesting Explanations & 3 Tips to Stop It

    Why Do Dogs Jump On You? 5 Interesting Explanations & 3 Tips to Stop It

    While jumping can seem cute when you have a small puppy, it drastically changes when that little pup turns into a full-grown dog. Understanding why dogs jump on you is key to overcoming this challenging behavior!



    Our dogs typically jump on us for 5 reasons, and we’re gonna dive into each one in this article!



    Here is a quick overview of why dogs jump up on you:

    -Dogs jump to greet you

    -Nervous or scared dogs may jump

    -Sometimes, jumping can be aggressive

    -They just want access to something

    -Dogs jump up when they’re excited



    And of course, we will discuss 3 tips to help reduce your dog jumping up on guests, strangers, or you!



    Let’s get right to it 👇



    A study found that dogs were 13 times more likely to jump on you when you come home vs jumping up on you when you were holding food.



    This is often the biggest culprit for a jumping pup.



    There are a few reasons why your dog wants to jump to greet you, here are a few.

    -They want to be closer to you

    -They know that praise and verbal reinforcement come from your mouth and want to be closer

    -Your hands (which are often higher than where your pup is) provide treats, pets, and love and they want that affection

    -Your upper body (mouth, nose, armpits, etc.) holds a lot of your smells and information that your dog wants to “read”

    -They’re excited (more on that later) and don’t know what else to do, jumping is natural for them



    While that isn’t a comprehensive list, it should provide insight as to why your dog jumps on you when you come home.



    Simply put, our dogs want to be close to us after being left alone, and jumping up makes that a reality for them! 



    Plus, it’s just natural for them! Think about how they greet other dogs… it usually involves some face-to-face interaction!



    Dog jumping can be a challenging behavior to overcome! It is a very natural behavior and happens for many reasons. Here, again, are some major reasons why dogs jump up on you:

    -Dogs jump to greet you

    -Nervous or scared dogs may jump

    -Sometimes, jumping can be aggressive

    -They just want access to something

    -Dogs jump up when they’re excited



    And while many of those reasons have similarities, each one can be approached slightly differently. 



    The key to overcoming your dog’s jumping behavior is to stay consistent and only give attention and rewards when all four paws are on the ground. Here is a quick recap of some ways to reduce your dog’s jumping:

    -Play the Four Paws Game

    -Teach replacement behaviors like settle or place

    -Stay extremely consistent, if you don’t want your pup to jump on guests then don’t let them jump on you



    Training a well-mannered pup is a lifelong endeavor that takes patience and practice. If you want some more in-depth training help with videos and an eBook, be sure to check out 30 Day Perfect Pup.



    It’s a 100% free (no credit card required) online dog training class taught by Zak George. Learn more and sign up for free here! https://pfrd.site/class30days



    PLEASE leave a review on Apple Podcasts here.


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    • 8 min
    Trying to Train While 'Bad' Behaviors Happen? Try This Instead

    Trying to Train While 'Bad' Behaviors Happen? Try This Instead

    Too often as pup parents, we try to fix or train “bad” behaviors while they are happening.

    Unfortunately, we often feel overwhelmed, embarrassed, and downright frustrated in the heat of those moments.

    So in this article, we’re going to discuss alternatives to better set your dog up for success. And, I’m going to give you a sports reference that just might make this concept click (it’s not actually “sports heavy” don’t worry 😜)!

    Here’s some of what we will cover:

    -What my high school soccer coach really understood

    -Why it’s too hard to train during the “bad” behaviors

    -Create a plan and practice, practice, practice

    Let’s get right to it! ⬇️



    In the heat of the moment, our dogs become much more difficult to communicate with.



    And to make matters worse, when your pup starts doing that behavior that drives you crazy, YOU become not so good at communicating. (It’s not a personal knock, just a reality of being human.😃)



    As soon as your puppy starts to jump on guests, feelings of embarrassment and frustration often flood your brain. You seem to forget about all the training techniques you spent hours learning about. It is tough!



    And that’s why you need a plan… ⏬



    CREATE A PLAN AND PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE



    While I won’t dive into specific training techniques (you can sign up for the free 30 Day Perfect Pup course for that), I will implore you to create a plan and practice behaviors NOT when they are actually occurring.



    If you’re struggling with your pup jumping on guests when they come through the door, the time to train to overcome that behavior is NOT when guests are coming through the door.



    Here’s what I mean. 👇



    If you want your dog to lay on their bed/place when guests come in the door, you need to start by building a strong foundation for the ‘place’ behavior with zero distractions. (That will take time, by the way.)



    Then, once they’ve got place down pretty well you can start to add small distractions.



    Then when they’ve got that down you can add larger distractions.



    At that point, you can start to set up “mock” door greetings. Try it first with someone in your household (if possible). Have them go outside, knock on the door, and then enter with you there coaching and guiding your pup on what to do.



    Once they’re improving on staying in their place when someone they’re familiar with comes in the door, it’s time for the next level of “mock” door greetings.



    Find a family member, friend, or easily convinced neighbor to help you practice the behavior! Explain to them in detail what will be happening and how you want them to behave in this “mock” door greeting.



    If the dog jumps, tell them to turn their back or even go outside. Instruct them not to look at or pet your dog unless they are in their place. 



    This type of planned-out practice is how you ultimately help train your dog to not jump on guests. While just trying to redirect or stop the jumping while it’s happening will not be as successful!



    If you need help with a training plan, be sure to sign up for 30 Day Perfect Pup taught by Zak George! It’s a 100% free (no credit card required) online dog training course complete with videos, daily tips, and an ebook. Sign up for free here! https://pfrd.site/pupsclass-here


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    • 6 min
    How Many Treats Per Day for a Dog? How to Calculate for Your Pup!

    How Many Treats Per Day for a Dog? How to Calculate for Your Pup!

    Treats are part of every dog’s life, but how many treats per day can your dog have?!



    54% of dogs are either overweight or obese. And unfortunately, treats are often a big culprit of this problem!



    So, let’s break down how many treats your dog can safely consume AND more importantly, how you can find that number for your specific pup! Because just talking about the 10% rule for treats isn’t enough!



    Here’s what we will cover:

    -Dog body condition score

    -Calculating your dog’s caloric needs

    -The 10% rule

    -The treats you choose REALLY matter



    A quick & important disclaimer, you should consult your veterinarian whenever looking at changing your dog’s diet.



    Your vet can give you a more accurate picture of your dog’s health, weight range, and information specific to your pup’s needs.



    Generally speaking, treats should only make up about 10% of your dog’s total daily caloric intake. Notice I said ‘total’. That means if you’re planning on using that 10% of treats, it should be part of the total amount your dog eats.



    So that means if your dog needed 1,000 calories total you would feed about 900 calories from meals and the other 100 as treats. You would NOT do 1,000 calories of food and an extra 100 calories of treats. It’s total!



    Want to try 1-calorie treats?! Check out 6 different flavor options here: https://pfrd.site/1kcal-treats



    Please follow our podcast and leave a review on Apple Podcasts!


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    • 7 min
    Dogs Are Opportunists: The Real Root of "Bad Behavior"

    Dogs Are Opportunists: The Real Root of "Bad Behavior"

    The next time you’re tempted to think your pup is being “naughty, bad, or disrespectful”, it may help to remember that dogs are opportunists.



    While there are many behaviors we perceive as “bad”, dogs often act out of a desire to fulfill their own hard-wired desires and needs. Understanding this and adopting a mindset that empathizes with our opportunistic dogs can help you raise a well-mannered pup.



    Here’s what we will cover:

    -A brief history lesson about dogs

    -What being an “opportunist” means

    -3 behaviors that showcase your pup’s opportunism

    -How to train an opportunistic dog



    If you're looking for more in-depth training, be sure to sign up for 30 Day Perfect Pup (100% free) here: https://pfrd.site/freeeclass-heree


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    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
56 Ratings

56 Ratings

EE2929 ,

Great podcast for pup parents!

This podcast has been so helpful for me as I train my first puppy. I like that the episodes are short, making it easy to get quick tips for topics I need help with or to learn more about a topic that I haven’t considered yet. Very practical and helpful!

ejbenney ,

Perfect pup in training

Very helpful info getting my good girl to actually be a good girl! The pupford turbo chews are a winner too.

W. Nutt ,

An Indispensable Resource

As the authoritative podcast for dog training, The Perfect Pup joins Zak George's book and YouTube channel as an essential resource for dog parents. Snackable episodes cover core principals and actionable tactics. 🙌

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