Real World Dog Advice I Wish I Knew a Year Ago

Nancy the dog turned one year old recently and I was thinking back to all the research I did before I got her. I read a book called “The Power of Positive Dog Training” and countless articles about how to best train a puppy.

It’s funny that within only a few months, nearly all of that went out the window. Everything written about dog training seems so overprotective and idealistic it makes me wonder if some of the authors ever actually owned a real dog. I thought it would be fun to write my own real life tips that I’ve learned over the past year with my pup.

  • It’s ok if she chews on sticks as long as she doesn’t consume them
  • Whatever dog food she actually eats and doesn’t give her diarrhea is a good one. Don’t bother researching beyond this.
  • Rawhide and nylon chews are both fine. Yak cheeses are good too, albeit a bit expensive
  • Aside from chew toys, stick to durable rubber toys – Kong, West Paw and Chuck-it are all solid brands. Everything else will be destroyed within hours.
  • Don’t waste your money on multiple dog beds, just put a rug in the living room and she’ll be fine
  • Don’t bother with expensive dog treats, she’d rather eat pita chips.
  • Raw joints and beef femur slices from the butcher are super cheap and she will literally go crazy for them
  • “Sit”, “wait” and “come” are the only commands you truly need – “off”, “leave it”, “shake” and “down” are good supplements if you have the time and patience
  • An hour with a private trainer is better than 6 weeks of puppy classes. Just bring her to some breweries and she’ll get all the socialization she needs.

According to the internet Nancy should probably be dead by now. In reality she’s a very snuggly and (mostly) well behaved pup. If you have your own real world pet tips, drop them in the comments below!