Is my dog dominant? Try the test!

The term dominance is unfortunately still misinterpreted in many online articles and social media as a character trait of dogs. Typical statements include: “If your dog, puts his paw on another dog, he is dominant”, “If your dog makes himself big and carries his tail up, he is dominant”, “If your dog behaves aggressively towards other dogs, he is dominant”, etc. Unfortunately, these statements are insufficient and sometimes even completely wrong! That’s why we would like to give you an overview of what dominance really is and why it is not a problem if your dog is dominant in a situation.

What is dominance?

Dominance is a relationship trait, not a character trait. This means that your dog cannot simply be described as dominant, but there must be at least one other dog that voluntarily (not forced) submits to your dog. Since this is a relationship trait, it is necessary for a relationship to develop between two dogs. Dogs that are just seeing each other for the first time have a hard time having a dominant relationship. Your dog would be the dominant one in a relationship if, over a constant period of time, he regularly asserts his interests over those of the other dog and the other dog just as regularly subordinates himself to avoid conflict. No conflict arises between the dogs because of the dominant relationship. Dominance is therefore avoidance of conflict and not the reason for it.

Important: In a dominance relationship, the dominant can assert his goals at any time, but he can also withdraw and renounce his right to assert himself.

Is my dog dominant?

Often misunderstandings arise in the relationship between humans and dogs, which lead to the belief that your dog is dominant over you. This can of course be the case, but it would then mean that you voluntarily subordinate yourself to your dog.

However, if your dog disputes your place on the sofa or shows his teeth when you come too close to his beloved bone, this has absolutely nothing to do with dominance, but it is a protest against your actions. Here the problem lies on the relationship level between you and your dog and can be solved with the help of clear structures and training. Our professional dog trainers will be happy to advise you on this in our Trainer Chat.

Many exercises, such as “No” and “Off”, can help your dog playfully learn to exchange resources with you. A lovingly constructed dipping ritual allows you to take everything away from your dog, as he has learned that he can get it right back or even expect something much better from you. This trust is a big part of your harmonious human-dog bond. If, on the other hand, we simply take something from our dog without our friendly ritual or even threaten our dog by leaning over him and snatching his stick out of his mouth, we are crossing a line! In this case, don’t be surprised if your dog bares his teeth at you or growls.


Let’s keep in mind again: dominance is a relationship trait that avoids conflict situations. For a dominant role in a relationship, it is necessary that both relationship partners know each other and that one dog voluntarily submits to the other to avoid conflict. The dominant relationship partner can assert his needs but does not have to.

Dogs can show protest behavior towards their humans, which has nothing to do with dominance. A dog can only be dominant towards its human if the human voluntarily submits to its dog. If your dog shows threatening signals towards you when you want to take something from him or sit next to him on the sofa, you have to work on the human-dog bond and trust, you can learn how in our app.

Tips & Tricks

Can dogs sniff out fear? How well can dogs really smell?

Our dog’s sense of smell is comparable to a high-performance computer. With their over 220 million olfactory cells (cf. humans have about 5 million), dogs smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than we humans, depending on the breed. No wonder, then, that amazing abilities and areas of application are attributed to the dog’s nose.

“My dog reads the newspaper”

… this is a statement we often hear from dog owners when their beloved pelt-nose is busy sniffing and marking. And indeed, it’s true! Your dog’s sense of smell and social interaction are strongly linked. When dogs smell each other’s private parts, for example, they are exchanging a similar amount of information as to when we look at our friends’ Instagram profiles – the difference, the information dogs share via chemical messengers (pheromones) is unfiltered and real.

What information is communicated through smell?

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Health status
  • Reproductive status (Is my opposite ready to mate?).
  • Social status
  • Temperament
  • Degree of relationship
  • Genetic differences
  • Origin (Where was my counterpart just?)
  • and much more.

Dogs mainly communicate information about territorial and sexual behavior as well as about mother-child bonding.

So can dogs also smell fear?

The fact that we can transfer moods to our dog is already no scientific novelty. But does our smell play a major role in the transmission of moods, in addition to facial expressions, gestures, and our altered cardiovascular system?

Using sweat samples (from happy people, anxious people, and neutral people), we investigated whether dogs can smell fear. The results showed that dogs did indeed show altered behavior in the sweat samples from anxious people compared to the happy and neutral people. An increased heart rate, more uncertainty, and more frequent eye contact with the owner indicated that fear may very well be perceived by our dogs through the sense of smell. Presumably, this ability serves to the fact that dogs can estimate the feelings of their humans so better.

Thus we learn once again that we do not need to pretend anything to our dog, he has already seen through us or smelled the roast, before we know what we feel.

If you want to put your dog’s nose to the test, download our app and teach your dog “The Money Search”! You’ll be amazed at how accurate your dog’s sense of smell is and get to know your dog even better.


New Year’s Eve training with dog – the best tips

New Year’s Eve means stress for many dogs.

Loud bangs, hissing and weird burnt smells are new and unpredictable, especially for young dogs. That’s why it’s so important to prepare your dog, as early as possible for this time of year.

We show you the 3 best tips on how to have a relaxed New Year’s Eve with your dog:

1 Preventive noise training

To prevent your dog from developing a fear of noises in the first place, you should prepare him preventively for loud situations, such as New Year’s Eve, construction site noise or crafts in the house. It is important that your dog is allowed to approach the sources of stimulation independently and also to move away from them again.

Several studies have already shown that dogs who learned to deal with different noises as puppies very rarely suffered from noise anxiety in adulthood. Even in dogs that are already adults, this training can lead to an alleviation of anxiety.

To preventively familiarize your dog with different sounds, you can:.

  • Play your dog a playlist of New Year’s Eve fireworks (softly at first, then gradually louder) while giving him an activity he likes to do, such as solving a food puzzle or doing tricks.
  • Play the sounds playlist when your dog is playing with another confident and non-anxious dog.
  • Fill a box with rattling and rustling objects (that can’t hurt your dog) and hide various treats in it for your dog to find.

2 conditioned relaxation

Conditioned relaxation is a real everyday helper that not only helps you in stressful situations with your dog, but can also provide peace and relaxation in everyday life.

In conditioned relaxation, your dog learns to relax in response to a word and a touch from you. To do this, it is important that you first train in a relaxed atmosphere, such as when your dog is resting. Your dog will also benefit from the fact that you also radiate calmness during this exercise, because mood transfer is an important aspect of the human-dog bond.

Train conditioned relaxation this way:.

  • Put your dog in “sit” and sit on a chair behind him.
  • Place both hands on your dog’s chest and slowly stroke down from there to his paws. As you do this, repeat the word signal “Cool.”
  • Do this exercise 5 minutes a day for a week. You can find detailed video instructions in our app.

3 Preparation and distraction

After your dog is prepared for New Year’s Eve, it’s time to prepare your home to provide as much protection as possible for your dog:

  • Don’t leave your dog alone on New Year’s Eve or during thunderstorms.
  • Consult with your veterinarian if your dog has already panicked on New Year’s Eve.
  • If possible, draw the curtains or lower the blinds to soften the visual and auditory stimuli.
  • Turn on a radio or your television to create another familiar sound source.
  • Nebulize lavender oil (if you used essential oils during conditioned relaxation).
  • Double secure your dog on the walk via harness and collar, or get a special panic harness if your dog is sensitive to sounds.
  • Walk in areas where there is little banging and avoid taking your dog out just before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

You want to prepare your dog optimally for New Year’s Eve? Then Lade start your New Year’s Eve training now and let our app guide you step by step to your goal.

We wish you a relaxed New Year’s Eve with your dog 🐶

Your Pupy Team

Tips & Tricks

New Year’s Eve with dog – How to recognize stress, anxiety, and fear.

New Year’s Eve is an event to celebrate for many people. Parties, loud music, sparklers, and fireworks are simply part of it. But many dog owners have a rather queasy feeling when they think of New Year’s Eve. The reason: their dog is afraid.

But how do you actually know if your dog is anxious, stressed or fearful and when should you act?

In this blog post, you’ll learn the difference between anxiety, stress, and fear and how to recognize your dog’s specific signals.

F.A.S. – Fear, Anxiety, Stress.

Fear → Is a directed reaction to a threatening situation (also to be managed).

Anxiety → Is an undirected reaction to an experience or situation that cannot be concretely grasped and that is apparently unmanageable.

Stress → Is an unspecific reaction of the body to a (also potential) strain.

Stressors can cause such a strain.

Is my dog scared?

The best way to determine if your dog is experiencing fear, anxiety, or stress is to pay attention to his body signals.

Possible early signs of F.A.S. may include:

  • ears pointed slightly back or to the side
  • lowered tail
  • furrowed brow
  • slower movements or stiffening
  • slightly dilated pupils
  • looking around for the holder
  • frantic search for escape possibilities
  • panting with narrower mouth opening
  • refusal of food or faster food intake
  • stronger chewing on toys
  • unspecific individual signs

If your dog shows one or more of these signs, it is already management action to take.

Calming my dog when he is anxious:

There are several ways you can calm your dog when he is anxious, stressed, fearful. Here are a few examples:

  • Offering closeness and petting if necessary.
  • Offer protection e.g. dog crate, between legs, under a table etc.
  • Distraction e.g. by food puzzle or playing together
  • Exercise (please not outside on New Year’s Eve, but rather inside the house)
  • Conditioned relaxation signal (start free training now!)
  • Reduce stressors (e.g. light and noise on New Year’s Eve), e.g. darken windows, turn on TV or radio.
  • Do not leave your dog alone
  • Specific rituals between you and your dog

We hope these tips help you and your dog! If you want to learn even more about your dog’s behavior or start New Year’s Eve training right away, download our app now!

Tips & Tricks

My dog barks in the car – what can I do?

Can your dog really relax during the car ride? No? Then you are like many dog owners. Because although the beloved family dog is to be taken along preferably everywhere, it is often forgotten that driving a car must be practiced just like seat and place!

Why does my dog bark in the car? – Causes:

To get to the root of a problem, we must first find out the cause. The reasons why your dog is restless in the car or even whines and barks are many and varied. If your dog has never driven a car before and has rather experienced nausea, excitement, and stressed people on his first ride, he will not initially associate anything positive with the ride. Similarly, dogs that are driven by car only to the examinations at the vet or dog groomer. Other causes, can be:

  • Stress, anxiety or fear
  • Nausea
  • Frustration
  • Pain
  • Underchallenge or overchallenge
  • Bullying in the ecological sense

Why can bullying also be a cause?

The ecological term of bullying in domestic dogs, describes the indication of an emerging, potential danger, by shrill, loud, and often associated with violent movements warning sounds – or simply said, by barking violently. These warning sounds seemed to have been one of the first services that the dog took over for humans. With increasing narrowness e.g. in a closed space or even a car bullying behavior can be shown increasingly.

Driving a car with a dog must be learned

What can I do now to make my dog relax during the car ride? If your dog has not yet had any negative experiences with driving, we recommend that you get him used to drive very slowly:


Your dog has not yet had any negative experiences with driving.

  • First, take your dog for a walk and make sure that all his other needs (drinking, eating, sleeping, playing, affection) are met as well as possible. Then practice getting in and out of the car in a relaxed manner. You can find detailed instructions for this in our app.
  • After your dog has gotten in and out of the car a few times in a relaxed manner, you take a short break at home where your dog has the opportunity to relax (15-20 minutes).
  • Then you go to the car again, where your dog is secured in the car for the first time. To do this, you put on your dog’s safety harness before he gets into the car. If you use a dog crate, just let your dog get in as trained before and reward him afterwards.
  • Then you secure your dog in the car, give him something to relax and occupy him. Here you can intuitively decide what is good for your dog as long as it is safe for your dog. Some dogs like to lick a stuffed KONG, chew on a rope, or relax when they hear a certain scent (Adaptil) or certain music (Relaxopet, relaxation music). A previously conditioned relaxation signal, can also have a positive effect.
  • After your dog gets his activity, you start the engine. If your dog reacts relaxed to the sound, you can drive a first calm distance with your dog. It is important that you take care to finish the rides in a relaxed manner and do not focus on a specific mileage goal. The first ride can be just a few meters! You can then gradually increase the distances.
  • How fast you can increase the distances and how long it takes your dog to relax in the car is very individual.


Your dog already knows how to drive a car, but is showing signs of stress.

  • First, take your dog for a walk and make sure all his other needs (drinking, eating, sleeping, playing, affection) are met as best you can. Then practice getting in and out of the car in a relaxed manner. You can find detailed instructions on how to do this in our app.
  • After your dog has learned to get in and out of the car in a relaxed manner, take a training break of 20 minutes and then repeat the exercise a second time. That’s it for the first day of training.
  • The next day you start to build a ritual. Use for it different aids e.g. a scent (Adapitl, lavender oil), which you spray approx. 30 minutes, before your dog gets into the car.
  • Then you get your dog and secure him in the car and give him a chewing activity e.g. a filled KONG.
  • Then you sit in the driver’s seat and wait until your dog starts to engage with the chew toy. Then you end the training when your dog has been relaxed for some time. If this works you start the engine or drive smaller distances. Always make sure that the ride is finished in a relaxed manner.

More training tips:

  • Condition a relaxation signal (step-by-step video tutorial).
  • Work on your human-dog bond
  • Set boundaries in everyday life and give your dog direction
  • Work on frustration tolerance and impulse control

Tips & Tricks Training

Mastering Dog Encounters – How does my dog learn to ignore other dogs?

Dog encounters should actually be something completely natural in everyday life with his dog. But for very many human-dog teams it means stress. Be it because your own dog pulls wildly on the leash, barks or jumps forward or because a strange dog rushes towards you and your dog unleashed – the encounter with other human-dog teams is not always easy.

Mastering dog encounters

This title alone, “Mastering Dog Encounters,” already causes many people’s pulse to increase slightly. However, today we want to show you that there is no reason to panic when meeting other human-dog teams, nor is there any reason why your dog should learn to ignore other dogs.

Teaching your dog to ignore other dogs would mean that we forbid him to interact socially with other dogs. However, since our dog needs contact with other dogs for a happy dog life, since it is even required by the Animal Welfare Act, and since it does not necessarily make a dog encounter any better, we do not recommend it.

It is better if your dog learns to be relaxed through dog encounters. For this, the following rules must be followed.

  1. Both human-dog teams (dog and human) must want the contact. Pay attention to your own dog’s body language and that of the other human-dog team.
  2. The dogs will not have contact until you give your dog the all clear.
  3. There is no playing on the leash.
  4. The leash always remains loose when in contact with other dogs.
  5. As soon as one of the dogs shows signs of anxiety, stress or fear, contact is broken and the dog owners communicate with each other.

How my dog learns to pass other dogs in a relaxed way?

Of course, you should first practice with your dog not to pull towards every human-dog team. You do this by practicing leash walking and impulse control with your dog.

Your dog should learn to resist quick stimuli, such as a thrown ball. Only when he makes eye contact with you will he get either a “go on” and you continue with him on the leash or an “ok” and he may fetch the ball.
In dog encounters, first increase the distance to other human-dog teams and reward eye contact here as well, either with food/game or if the other human-dog team agrees, with dog contact.
Your goal is to keep the leash loose. The looser the leash, the more relaxed you and your dog will be.

For more tips on leash walking, check out our app.

We hope you have fun training with your dog!
Your Pupy Team

Tips & Tricks

How many hours does a dog sleep?

Sleep, rest, and relaxation are not only important in our lives, but also in the life of our dog. If your dog gets too little sleep, it can not only affect his mood but also have a negative impact on his learning behavior, his metabolism, and ultimately his health.

In this article, you will learn how much sleep your dog needs to be healthy and happy. In addition, we will show you how your dog can best recover and which routines support him in doing so.

How much sleep my dog needs

The sleep rhythm of dogs, as with us humans, is cyclical and includes more hours of sleep at night than during the day. But as you may have noticed, your dog also sleeps quite often when you are working, cooking, or sitting in the café. Observations of street dogs have shown that they spend about 50 to 70 percent of a 24-hour day sleeping or resting. For a healthy dog life, we recommend about 16-18 hours of sleep for adult dogs and about 20 hours for puppies and sick dogs.

How do dogs sleep?

You will certainly wonder why your dog should sleep so many hours a day and that the remaining hours are hardly enough for your daily routines. But we can reassure you, your dog should not sleep 16 hours at a stretch, but spread over day and night.

Most of the time dogs sleep about 20-30 minutes at a time and go through a rapid pattern of wakefulness, transition stage, light slow-wave sleep, deep slow-wave sleep (mostly NREM sleep), and REM sleep. REM sleep or rapid eye movement sleep is a very restless stage of sleep and you can often recognize it by the movement of eyes or limbs. NREM sleep or non-rapid eye movement sleep, on the other hand, is calm and deep.

Why is sleep important for dogs?

Healthy and deep sleep is not only for rest and energy maintenance but is also important for important learning processes in the brain. Experiences gathered during the day are sorted and important information is stored in long-term memory, while unimportant information is deleted.

Researchers even found that dogs that took a rest break of 20-30 minutes after a learning task achieved better learning results than dogs that did not get any time to sleep. It was also found that dogs have long-term declarative memory, which ensures that dogs can remember detailed events over a long period of time.

Consequences of sleep deprivation

If a dog gets too little sleep, this can have fatal consequences for its health and performance. Due to the lack of rest during sleep, many dogs become irritable and show behavioral abnormalities, such as restlessness and lack of rest, difficulty concentrating, exaggerated aggressive behavior, or even over-excited behavior. In addition, dogs that suffer from sleep deprivation tend to get sick more often, because the immune system is weakened. The stress a sleep-deprived dog experiences can result in long-term chronic diseases of the cardiovascular and/or gastrointestinal systems.

Help your dog find rest and recovery

In order for your dog to get adequate sleep and rest, he needs a place to retreat undisturbed – preferably in a comfortable dog bed. The place for the dog bed should not be in passageways or the hallway, otherwise, your dog will be constantly disturbed. It is best to place the dog bed in a place where you spend a lot of time but are not very active, e.g. in the living room or in the study if you work in a home office. Train your dog to stay in the dog bed so that you can send him there during the day.

Many dogs must first learn to really relax while their humans are going about their daily lives. Therefore, it is important that your dog learns to stay in the dog bed while you do something around the house, for example. Especially puppies and young dogs are very curious and would otherwise run after you the whole day although they are actually dead tired. Rest rituals, like our relaxation exercise in the app or cuddling together on the sofa, can help your dog get enough rest and sleep.

One last tip

Even if everyday life is stressful and you have a lot on your to-do list, it’s worth relaxing for a few minutes together with your dog. Let our app remind you of the relaxation ritual every day and create space for you and your dog to take a little break together.


Training for puppies: how best to start?

As soon as a little dog becomes a new member of the family, we start thinking about its training. Of course, we want only the best for the little one! But where to start?

Where do I start when training a puppy?

Contrary to what you might think, your puppy’s training starts as soon as he moves in with you. This is because puppies need a clear structure to which they must gradually become accustomed. You can start, for example, with housetraining. Before you pick up your puppy from the breeder, it is important that you think about where your puppy will do its business in the future. Even before your puppy gets to know its new home, it will immediately go to this valid peeing place – so that the first mishap is already avoided. From this point on, it is best to take your puppy to this wee-wee spot every 1.5 to 2 hours.

You can also playfully teach your puppy some rules on the first day. Puppies learn bite inhibition easily by stopping play with your dog whenever he uses his milk teeth too much. You can learn more about bite inhibition here.

Of particular importance is learning to rest. Puppies need up to 20 hours of sleep a day! Therefore, before your puppy arrives, set up a sleeping area that is in a quiet, yet central location. Put a chew item on this place to attract your puppy to this place in a very casual way.


The socialization of your puppy begins at the breeder with the opening of the eyes. From this point on, your dog will be presented with a variety of stimuli over and over again to prepare him for life at your side. When your puppy comes to you at about 10 weeks, it is up to you to continue this important stage of development. Present your puppy with different stimuli that are important in everyday life. Maybe you take him on a short car ride, introduce him to other dogs, walk near a playground to show him that there are also small, loud, and yelling people, or let him watch a construction site from a distance.

For the socialization of your dog, you have approximately until the 12th-14th week of life. During this time, it is important to present your dog with stimuli that are as varied as possible, but do not overtax him! Always think of enough breaks and rest periods (20h sleep!).

The right communication

Also, interspecies communication wants to be learned on both sides. Study your dog’s expressive behavior and try to understand it. In turn, you can help your dog actively interact with you. In manding, your dog learns to communicate and actively ask for attention through a specific behavior, such as a sit. The social communication between you and your dog is largely responsible for your subsequent human-dog bond. Therefore, we advise you to invest extra time in this area. In our app, you will learn how to improve communication with your dog and will be guided step by step.

Basic Training

Of course, you can already train some basic commands with your dog. The most important basic commands include:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Box or basket
  • recall
  • Leash leadership
  • No (abort command)

These commands can and should be integrated playfully into the daily routine at the beginning. So your dog can practice sit and down just before food is served. You can use the stop command at the latest when something falls down in the kitchen (you are allowed to do this consciously) and recall and leash handling can easily be integrated during play. For the box or basket training, we advise you to start slowly and not to train for more than 5 minutes. It’s best to have a little snack waiting in the basket or dog crate every now and then, so your dog learns that this place is definitely worth a visit.

For more tips and tricks on how to get started with dog training, check out our app!

We wish you lots of fun with your dog

Your Pupy Team


The basics of dog training

What is important in dog training?

Every new dog owner wants a well-trained dog with whom you can have lots of fun, experience great things, and have a loyal companion by your side. For this, there is no way around good dog training. The question of how you train your dog is of particular importance. Because no matter what you would like to teach your dog, the way you do it determines how successful and sustainable your education is.

How do I train my dog?

You must start educating your dog as early as possible. In the best case scenario, your breeder or the caretakers at the shelter or foster home have already done a great job that you can build on for the next few weeks.

There are 4 things your dog should learn in the first few weeks with you:

  1. communication
  2. everyday suitability (housetraining, recall, leash walking, basket or box training, staying alone)
  3. social behavior
  4. problem solving behavior


Dogs are social animals and like to communicate. To encourage this in a controlled way, you can capture certain behaviors in your dog by rewarding them, such as eye contact. If your dog looks at you, it’s best to reward this behavior with something that motivates your dog, such as food, toys, or social interaction. When dogs learn how to communicate early, it can have a particularly positive effect on their social behavior and cognition.

Of course, as a dog owner, you must also learn how to communicate with your dog. Since dogs communicate physically to a large extent, it’s important to learn and use this type of communication when raising your dog. For example, preemptive gestures can body language your dog or lean back can invite your dog to come to you.

Everyday skills

Certain basic commands are important for your dog to be able to handle everyday life with you in a relaxed manner. The first of these is housetraining. You should immediately after your puppy has moved in, go out with him regularly, about every 1-2 hours, so you avoid mishaps and your puppy quickly learns his new place for the large and small business. If a mishap does happen, clean it up without comment and clean the area with an odor remover.

Recall and leash leadership can also be practiced playfully by practicing them again and again during play or the small walk. Likewise, you can accustom your dog to his basket or dog box with small surprises in the form of food and gradually make progress there.

However, you mustn’t overtax your puppy at any time. Integrate the things into your daily routine in such a way that you yourself do not have any stress and practice rather only 2-5 minutes and build it for it more frequently into your daily routine.


Also, the contact with other dogs, different people, children, and inanimate things must be learned and must take place during the first 14 weeks and at best be repeated between the 4-6 months. It is not about that your dog has to play with all dogs because playing works best with people of the same age, care should be taken that your dog can collect and store many different experiences.


  • A car while stationary and moving.
  • Construction site noise.
  • Children of different ages.
  • Umbrellas (open/closed/when it rains).
  • Things falling down in the household.
  • Streetcars, buses, train station
  • Riding in the car
  • Large and small dogs with floppy ears/short hair/long hair/without tail/with tail/flat nose/long nose etc.
  • Bridges
  • Garbage cans, garbage collection vehicles
  • etc.

Problem Solving Behavior

Dogs experience stress, anxiety, and fear all the time in their lives. For them to cope with these conditions, they must learn to recover from them quickly. This is best accomplished when your breeder has already begun to lovingly tease the little puppies with little stress ears over and over again. If your dog is already at home with you, you can, for example, set him small solvable tasks, before which he is a little scared at first, but which he overcomes with your encouragement. You can find such exercises in the different categories of our app, please have a look at the category “Puppy training”.

How long can you train your dog?

How long it takes to train a dog varies somewhat depending on the dog’s personality. What is certain, however, is that you should definitely have completed your dog’s socialization by the end of the sensitive phase (around 3-14 weeks). Repetition between 4-6 months is also important, as this is the time when various links in the brain are erased and others are further strengthened.

After puberty, your dog is still capable of learning new things and he should continue to be mentally stimulated. However, behaviors will not be as permanently stored as they are during the time your dog is being raised in the first 12-14 weeks.

Do you want to lay the foundation for your dog’s training? Then download our app now.

Tips & Tricks

The top 10 myths in dog training

Dog forums, Facebook, Instagram, books, dog trainers, veterinarians, trade journals, gossip magazines, TV shows, etc. the information market on dogs is huge.

Whether that’s good or bad, we’ll leave that to one side. It is important to us that you ALWAYS question everything you read, hear and see and NEVER act without thinking about it. Whether expert or layman, knowledge about dogs is no more static than knowledge about our own species, so we ask you not to see the following myths set in stone, but as food for thought.

The top 10 current dog myths:

Puppies have puppy protection.

The fact is, there is a kind of puppy protection in dogs’ own social groups. One’s own genetic material is protected, but not foreign genetic material. Foreign puppies can even be seen as competition in dogs, which in the worst case can also lead to an attack. If the puppy is no longer in the family group (i.e. mother, father, and siblings), no form of puppy protection applies. Strange bitches can react differently to puppies, depending on the stage of the cycle, so here again, there is separate caution!

Dogs should never win tug-of-war games.

A common myth is that winning tug games gives the dog a sense of superiority over its owner. This is not entirely true! If you and your dog have a good relationship or even a bond, then your dog understands that it is a game and not a taking away of a resource. A play-out game always consists of alternating between winning and losing. Why should your dog always be the loser? By winning, your dog’s self-esteem is confirmed and at the same time, he associates a positive emotion with you and this game. So let him triumph sometimes!

Your dog must always walk behind you and may only enter new rooms/areas after you.

Scientific field research on wolves (e.g. Bloch) shows that running positions and status rank are not the same or dependent on each other. There may be very different reasons why one animal runs ahead and another brings up the rear. Examples would be Strength, better endurance, courage, or curiosity. So it doesn’t give you an advantage in your power position if you always let your dog run behind you. However, rituals that your dog only leaves the front door after you are quite reasonable from the point of view of safety for your dog. It is important to remember that your position of power has nothing to do with your position towards your dog.

Rewarding with treats should be avoided.

A contentious issue with many dog trainers. We would like to give you some food for thought on this: When is it worth it for your dog to make a change in his behavior? This question is individual for each dog, but also for each situation you are in with your dog. In the word “reward” there is the word “reward”. A behavior change is always executed only if the change results in an improvement for the dog. So if your dog does not like treats, then it is not worth changing his behavior for that. If he likes treats, it is certainly a good incentive to improve his situation. But you can also reward your dog with play or affection. Especially because food is finite and your dog will eventually get tired of it. Tip from our trainer team: Find two rewards that are rewarding for your dog and combine them. You know your dog best!

Old dogs can’t learn anything anymore.

True to the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” This would be a nice excuse for all those who take in a dog at an advanced age, but it’s not true. Ever heard of “renewable cells”? Especially cells in the hippocampus (learning center) are incredibly plastic, i.e. they renew and change, therefore even an old dog can learn new things and is still able to be trained. This does not mean that it is an easy way, especially with undesirable behaviors, with which the dog has already had success several times, can be very stubborn and you should consult a trainer. Feel free to contact us with such concerns in our trainer chat.

They’ll sort it out between themselves.

We hope at this point that it is no longer a myth, but that this sentence is now ringing alarm bells for all dog owners.

For all those who are still stuck on this sentence: What should they regulate?

We hope it is clear to everyone that you can, and should intervene in a dispute between dogs if the situation gets out of hand. Apart from the fact that a small 4 kg dog can hardly stand up to a 40 kg dog. As a reliable bonding partner, it is your duty to protect your dog.

As a reliable bond partner, it is your duty to stand by your dog as a safe haven in unsafe situations. You are responsible for your dog!

Dogs must always be friendly to each other otherwise, they have a behavior problem.

Ok. Question: Do you like everyone? Have you ever fought with anyone? Why should our dogs be like every other dog? There are also sympathies and also not with our fur noses. It is important to know that it also depends on the situation. Age, health, gender, hormone status, all things that can turn friends into enemies. Observe your dog and you will quickly realize with whom he can and with whom not. Having a few friends is nice, but being friends with everyone on the dog run can also be quite stressful.

Dogs are not allowed in bed with you otherwise, you will make him the boss!

A ranking problem can be based on many reasons, but it does not arise from letting your dog sleep with you. Dogs usually choose to jump on the bed or sofa because they find it just as comfortable as you do. As a rule, lying in contact with your dog even promotes your bond! So there’s no drama as long as you want your dog to keep you company in bed or on the sofa. A recent study even found that women sleep better when a dog sleeps in their bed. If you still want your dog to sleep somewhere else, it helps to make this place extra comfortable for him, e.g. by hiding food or chewing items there at irregular intervals.

A chest harness is better than a collar.

This is a topic about which many veterinarians and dog trainers certainly argue. We don’t even want to talk much about that here, because we’re not vets either! Fact is, the chest harness was originally used for dogs to pull e.g. a sled. It is also a fact that a harness distributes the pulling weight evenly over the body and a collar does not. Thus, the collar exerts a force on the cervical spine at a high pull. If your dog pulls strongly, it is up to you whether you simply train it off, then a collar will not cause any damage to your dog or whether you decide to put on a harness. It doesn’t mean that you can’t train your dog to pull with a harness. It is your dog, you decide. We don’t want to judge better and worse here, our trainers use both!

Dogs that growl are aggressive.

Sometimes we humans just have to let go of our need for harmony and admit that our dogs, too, are allowed to express displeasure. How else are they supposed to show us that they don’t like something? They cannot speak! Growling and baring of teeth is a warning that another dog or we are doing something that causes displeasure in our dog. This can be a pain, undercutting of distance, etc. It mustn’t turn into something more! Learning to read the dog is very important. If you are unsure, you should consult a trainer! Feel free to send us videos in our trainer chat of a situation where you would like to have an assessment.

Those were our top 10 myths about dogs. We hope you were able to get a good overview, if you want more information on individual topics, take a look at the Pupy App. There you will get regular tips for you and your dog and you can contact our professional dog trainers if you have any questions.

We wish you a lot of fun with your dog

Your Pupy Team