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Building Confidence In Your Dog and Yourself

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Is Your Dog Giving You A Hard Time? Or Is Your New Puppy More Than You Bargained For?

Whether your current pup has developed into a difficult roommate or your new one is more of a handful than you expected, training can feel daunting if you don’t know where to start. That’s where we come in – we offer expert at-home training for dogs and puppies in the Waco area.

Our focus is on building confidence in your dog and giving you the tools for success. We want to help you create a happy, healthy, and well-mannered companion that will make your family proud. Training your dog doesn’t have to be hard or frustrating – let us show you how easy and fun it can be!

Read more below to find the perfect at-home training program for you!


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When working with your dog, periodically check how you're holding the leash. It should be loose enough that it can SWAY in the breeze 😉

As owners of reactive dogs, we're often anticipating our dog lunging to the end of the leash. As a result, we tend to gather the leash in our hand or even hold it tight in preparation for a reaction.

In my Reactive Dog Rehab + Leash Skills program, this is a habit I help people break. When your dog feels tension on the leash, that can tip them over a reaction that wouldn't have otherwise happened. Additionally, we may be forecasting for them that triggers are approaching, which will make them hypervigilant.

Now, if the leash is tense because your dog has already pulled to the end of it, that may indicate your dog is close to reacting (aka "at threshold"). In that situation, you should move farther from the trigger until your dog is able to relax with a loose leash.

❤️ I'll be posting a series of these reactivity training tips, so stay tuned! Add me to your favorites so you don't miss a post.

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingadvice #dogtrainingtips #reactivedog #positivedogtraining #dogbehavior #wacotexas #wacotx #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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"What's the deal with these dogs pushing buttons??" -Jerry Seinfeld, probably

🐩You may have come across videos on the internet of dogs using complex boards of buttons to express their controversial opinions and existential dread. (Looking at you @whataboutbunny 😂)

🔊 But you don't have to get that intense for your dog to benefit from button training! A few basic buttons can be a great solution for common unwanted behaviors. Dogs often jump, mouth, and bark at us to get our attention and request something. To prevent this, teach your dog to communicate their wants and needs by pressing a button INSTEAD. This helps both you and your dog feel less frustrated!

🚽Place a button by the door for when your dog needs to go to the bathroom
💧Place a "water" button by their bowl for when it's empty
⚽ Place a "play" button by their toy bin

👍 When we lived in a multi-floor townhouse, it was really handy to hear Artemis' potty doorbell from far away. You can also take the buttons when you travel with your dog so they know how to ask for things in a different environment.

🤝 To get started, teach your dog to "shake" (paw your hand) or "touch" (press nose to your palm). Once they've got the hang of it, hold a button in your hand and reward them for any contact they make with the button. Keep practicing until they can target and press the button hard enough to make the noise. Then you're ready to pair buttons with a request or activity!

🤔 I'm curious: Have you used any buttons with your dog? Or are you a bit skeptical/unsure about how it works? Let me know in the comments!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingadvice #dogtraining101 #puppytricks #puppytrainingtips #fluentpet #boxerpuppies #boxerpuppiesofinstagram #wacotexas #wacotx #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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🐾 Keep Your Dog Busy & Help Them Wind Down 🐾

Here's how I use the @westpawus Toppl to create a lasting enrichment activity that works your dog's brain and meets their need to lick 👅

Dogs *need* to lick?? Yes! Licking is actually a very calming activity for dogs. If your dog is still wound up after some exercise, I recommend giving them something like this to lower their heart rate and help transition their brain to relaxation time.

🙋🏻‍♀️Do you need more strategies to keep your dog out of trouble? Check out my Canine Enrichment Guide for immediate solutions that your dog will love too! See link in bio for more information about what's inside.

#theconfidenthound #canineenrichment #dogenrichment #dogtrainingadvice #dogproblems #puppytips #dogmomaf #dogmoms #wacotx #wacotexas #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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🐶 What Is Tug Of War Good For?

You've probably heard a lot of myths about tug of war, like:
❌ Playing tug makes dogs aggressive
❌ Letting the dog win makes them think they're in charge
❌ Tug of war encourages stealing things

🎉 As a certified dog trainer, I am happy to tell you that you should ABSOLUTELY play tug-of-war with your dog!

🤝 Humans may use tug-of-war to be competitive, but the origin in dogs is actually cooperative. Tug-of-war simulates canines working together to rip apart a carcass. Ever notice that when your dog gets the toy, they run off to dissect it? They're enjoying their meal ration!

Tug-of-war is great for:
✅ Physical exercise
✅ Mental enrichment
✅ Bonding with your dog through play
✅ Redirecting dogs who get mouthy
✅ Meeting their need to chew and dissect
✅ Teaching dogs to carry objects
✅ Teaching dogs to drop objects
✅ Building a foundation for fetch skills
✅ Creating a non-food reward option
✅ And maximum ear floppage 😂

🏆 And by the way - YES, you should let them win often! Who wants to play a game that they always lose? Just remember these rules:
***Always tug side to side or backward/forward, never up and down.
***Only play tug with an item you're comfortable with your dog having.

👩🏼‍⚕️Talk with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog's teeth, but rest assured that playing tug is safe from a behavior perspective!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingadvice #myths #dogtraining101 #dogbehavior #positivedogtraining #playwithyourdog #wacotx #wacotexas #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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STEP 1 ➡️ If your dog grabs an off-limits item, go and get your tastiest treat. Offer them the treat in a closed fist right in front of their nose and let them contemplate the choice. If it's a bargain they accept, they will have to drop the object to get the treat. As soon as they drop the item, throw the treat to the side so you can swoop in and grab the object.

⚠️ Then here's the most important step...Put that object away!!! If it's accessible to them, they will get it again. Work smarter, not harder by keeping off-limits items out of reach. And provide them with an outlet to chew and shred something approved.

LEVEL UP ⬆️ Once your dog has started to anticipate the treat trade game, you can start saying the word drop as you present your treat fist. This will teach your dog both a verbal ("Drop") and visual (✊) cue for the desired behavior.

❓What object might your dog grab today so you can try this training game? 👇Let me know in the comments

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingadvice #dogtraining101 #trainyourdog #positivedogtraining #rescuedogsofig #rescuedogsofinsta #wacotexas #wacotx #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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🐶 Enrichment Starter Kit

Products shown:
✳️ Canine Enrichment Guide (purchase eBook via link in bio)
✳️ West Paw Rumbl
✳️ Ruffwear Gnawt-a-Rock
✳️ Pupford Freeze Dried Chicken Treats
✳️ West Paw Toppl
✳️ Chuck-it Ultra Balls
✳️ Favorite digestible chews:
- REDBARN Peanut Butter Bully Slices
- BRUTUS & BARNABY Dehydrated Sweet Potato Treats
- HONEST KITCHEN Dehydrated Fish Skins
- DOG CHITS Bison Lung Filets

Let's get Addie a new van! Follow @mathewsbambina for information about the online auction this weekend. You can also donate directly via the link in her bio.

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingadvice #canineenrichment #dogenrichment #dogmoms #newdog #newpuppyparents #giveyourdogajob #wacotexas #wacotx #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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🎶🎸On garbage day, we pump up the jams

Our dog Ace is sensitive to every day sounds, like garbage trucks, buses, and storms. If we notice a trigger before he does, we put on some music to block out the noise. We first tried classical music, but it was too quiet. These days, we opt for reggae, disco, funk, classic rock, etc. It's not what we'd expect a dog to find soothing, but he immediately relaxes because the trigger sound is barely audible.

We didn't get to do a sniffy walk tonight, but that's okay. Ace's mental health is very important to me, so that means skipping a walk here and there. So here's your permission to advocate for your individual dog, scatter some treats, and have a dance party!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingadvice #anxiousdog #fearfuldog #dogmomaf #rescuedogsofinsta #gsdsofig #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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How I Manage Dog-Child Interactions

As a dog trainer, I have taught parents how to keep dog-kid interactions safe and positive so their relationship can thrive. When I became a mom, I had to start practicing what I preach! This video shows a brief interaction between my dog Ace and my toddler (~12 months here).

My favorite thing to emphasize when building a dog-kid relationship is coexistence. My son absolutely loves his "doggy", but it's crucial that seeing a dog does not become a cue to go touch it. They rarely touch each other and yet they seem to like each other very much. It helps that my toddler loves to share his snacks 😂

This spring I will be releasing my Dogs & Kids eBook, so stay tuned for that!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingadvice #dogtraining101 #dogsandkids #kidsanddogs #dogmoms #dogdadsofinstagram #wacotx #dogsofwaco

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Good boy = Good vibes ✌️

#theconfidenthound #rescuedogsofinsta #gsdofinsta #gsdsofinstagram #seniordogsofig #canineenrichment #dogenrichment #wacotx #dogsofwaco

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✨ Advanced Dog Training Tip ✨

Have you heard of "offered" and "default" behaviors? In this brief live video, I explain the difference between CUED behavior, OFFERED behavior, and DEFAULT behavior.

To advance your dog's behaviors and reduce the need for you to constantly cue them to do something, I highly recommend rewarding offered behaviors and building default behaviors.

👇What questions do you have about these terms or other training jargon? Let me know in the comments!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingadvice #dogbehavior #dogtraining101 #dogtrainersofinstagram #positivedogtraining #wacotexas #wacotx #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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🐶 Need some dog behavior solutions but don't have much time to formally train your dog? Then my article on the @wacomoms blog is for YOU!

🧠 I wrote this article with busy moms in mind, but these tips will be helpful to any dog guardian. While I love teaching dogs new skills and behaviors, I always provide my clients with simple, immediate solutions first. Don't work harder when you can work smarter!

🔗 Find the link to the article in my bio or the @wacomoms bio!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingadvice #dogtrainingtips #dogmoms #busymoms #wacomoms #wacotexas #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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🐶 Most dog parents I meet are using bigger treats than they need to! During training sessions, a treat the size of a bean, dime, or cheerio should be sufficient. Your dog's experience of food is primarily about the smell rather than the taste, so a small morsel will do.

🍪 Smaller treats don't just mitigate weight gain...they improve your training success too! If your dog gets full too early in the training session, their motivation will decrease. We want our dogs to be neither full nor hungry during training.

❤️ My favorite pre-cut treats to use in training are the freeze-dried chicken treats by @pupford.

👇 What is your go-to training treat? Let me know in the comments!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips #dogtraining101 #positivedogtraining #newdog #puppytrainingtips #dogmoms #wacotexas #wacotx #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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Does your dog hate having their nails trimmed or grinded? Try a scratchpad instead and get your dog to do half the work!

Handsome boy Blu already knows how to 'Shake a Paw' like a pro, so we just have him do this with the scratchpad in front of him. His cue to shake a paw is a finger snap up in the air.

1️⃣ Cue your dog to shake a paw
2️⃣ Dog's nails touch scratch pad
3️⃣ Mark & reward!

Start by rewarding them for any contact they make with the scratchpad. As they become a pro, you can shift to rewarding for really clean swipes or for multiple swipes. Don't forget to practice with both paws.

We love teaching dogs to file their own nails because it takes any fear or discomfort out of traditional nail trims by letting them enthusiastically consent to a manicure!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips #cooperativecare #consent #positivedogtraining #labsofig #doggroomingtips #wacotx #dogsofwaco

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My clients usually say they tried training their dog on their own, but it didn't seem to come together for real life. This is where having a certified dog trainer by your side really helps. We can see where your dog is starting, where you want them to be, and all the steps in between. We're behavior nerds like that 🤓

Harvey has a habit of dashing out the front door, especially if there is something interesting on the other side. So here's what we worked on:

1) Staying put when his person simply takes a step away from him.
2) Staying when his person takes multiple steps away from him.
3) Staying when his person walks out of sight briefly.
4) Staying while his person walks towards a door.
5) Staying while his person turns the knob and opens it a crack.
6) Staying while his person opens the door all the way.
7) Staying while his person opens the door and walks outside.
8) Staying while his person opens the door, walks outside, grabs a package, and brings it back inside.

I bet that's more steps than you imagined! By breaking this situation down into small, digestible pieces for Harvey, this team was able to reach this level of proficiency without frustration and within a couple weeks.

👇 What behaviors are you currently working on so you can use it in real life? Let me know in the comments!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips #dogtraining101 #dogmomsofinstagram #dogmoms #rescuedogsofinsta #puppyproblems #puppytrainingtips #wacotx #dogsofwaco

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Does your dog have a habit of barking at things they see out the window? Maybe they've broken a few blinds when you're not there to intervene? Definitely been there 😂

🪟 Prevention is a critical step in dog training, so let's start by detoxing your dog from this habit. You can do this by creating a visual barrier using window film!

👍 Putting film on our front windows has reduced Ace's alert barking significantly. As a result, we have more energy leftover to train a new habit.

🛒 If you want some for your home, this product is saved on our Amazon favorite products list (link in bio).

#theconfidenthound #dogtraining101 #dogtrainingtips #positivedogtraining #dogmoms #reactivedogs #wacotx #dogsofwaco

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💙 Favorite Dog Training Podcasts 💙

If you're looking for accurate dog training information on the internet, it can be overwhelming to wade through all of the nonsense. Let me help get you started with my 5 favorite podcasts:

Positively Dog Training by Victoria Stilwell
From Dusk Till Dog by Erika Gonzalez
The Bitey End Of The Dog by Michael Shikasio
Bravo Dog Knowledge by Renée Erdman
Drinking From The Toilet by Hannah Branigan

If you're not a podcast-type learner, never fear! I'll be sharing my favorite dog training books, Instagram accounts, etc in future posts. Follow now so you don't miss it!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips #dogtrainingadvice #dogmoms #newdog #puppytrainingtips #wacotexas

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🎉 Happy Train Your Dog Month! January is extra special because we're celebrating another anniversary of The Confident Hound.

❤️ It has been a pleasure to train you and your dogs these past 3 years. Thank you for inviting us into your lives and trusting us with your four-legged family members. We are continuously impressed by your courage to learn new skills. We love witnessing your growth in confidence and compassion as a team. You've helped us live our passion everyday!

#theconfidenthound #trainyourdog #positivedogtraining #wacotexas #wacotx #wacotown #dogsofwaco

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