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BBS Training Tip #6: Loose Leash Walking

Our Training Tips series has provided dog owners with a solid introduction to a variety of training methods out there. First, we touched on How Dogs Learn, then we progressed into practical information about teaching tricks with clicker training. Now that we’ve laid a foundation to help you get your unruly pup in line, BestBullySticks wants you to get out there and put that knowledge to use!

The Loose Leash Walk

One of the most difficult things dog owners struggle with is being able to take their dog on a leisurely walk. All owners should train their dogs to go on a “loose leash walk.” This type of walk is simply one where the dog does not pull. There are many benefits to training your dog to do this.


First, dogs who pull exceptionally hard on the leash can injure themselves — especially if they’re not wearing a harness. Pulling on a collar can injure your dog’s trachea and neck. If your dog does pull, invest in a harness to help reduce the physical stress of walking. Retractable leashes should be avoided as well. Not only to they offer little to no control while walking, the thin cords of these leashes can injure owners when trying to wrangle their dogs! We recommend a heavy duty leash like Krebs Reggie 6’ Leash. Thick and easy to grasp, it will make loose leash training way easier!

Second, dogs who pull are generally just excited to be outside. While they might be having fun, they are unable to remain focused on their owner and if they get loose, the chances of being hit by a car or running off increase dramatically. Loose leash walking will increase your dog’s focus on you (the owner) and put you more in control.

Practice Makes Perfect

Just like with any other form of training, practice is key! Many owners don’t realize it, but if their dog pulls on the leash, chances are they have unknowingly reinforced the dog to do so. Time to break this bad habit! Make sure you’ve got your clicker ready. Don’t forget to grab some healthy training treats like our Dried Bison Liver.

Begin loose leash training inside or in the backyard and with as few distractions as possible. The more distractions around, the harder it is to grab your dog’s attention.

1. Leash your dog and stand still. Wait until your dog pulls and the leash goes taut

2. Once your dog moves back and releases the tension, click and offer a treat

3. Remain still and only when your dog offers eye contact, click and offer a treat

4. Once your dog begins to seek eye contact, begin tossing treats closer and closer to your right foot

5. Begin walking slowly, click and reward when your dog maintains pace with you

Achieving results with these 5 steps won’t happen overnight. So don’t get frustrated right away if you can’t get past step 2. Only advance to the next step if the previous has been mastered otherwise you run the risk of confusing your dog.

Taking the Show on the Road

Once you feel your dog has the 5 basic steps of loose leash walking down, it’s time to hit the road. A new environment will distract your dog but by remaining consistent with the previous training sessions, things will get easier.

If your dog does pull once outside, come to a dead stop once the leash becomes tense. Don’t resume the walk until the leash goes slack and your dog comes to your side. Click, offer a treat and resume the walk. During a slow walk you can even place treats at your feet to help your dog maintain an even pace. By refusing to be led by your dog, he/she will begin to understand you’re the one in charge. Before you know it, going on walks will less stressful and way more fun! offers best selection of safe and all-natural dog chews and treats anywhere. Follow us on Facebook & Twitter to catch the latest news and product specials!


BBS Training Tip #5: 4 Dog Tricks Every Dog Should Know

Summer is a great opportunity to spend more time outdoors with your dog. It’s also a good time to make sure dog is up to par on a few basic but very important commands. Whether you’re headed to the beach or going for an afternoon stroll in the neighborhood, BestBullySticks wants to make sure you’ve got the right tools to have fun while keeping your dog safe.

Many of the tricks we’re reviewing use a clicker. If you haven’t heard of a clicker before, we recommend checking out our previous posts on dog training where we discuss how clicker training works.

Good Behavior and Safety

It may sound strange, but learning commands and tricks can help keep your dog safe. Teaching a dog new tricks helps them maintain focus on you. If you’re able to keep your dog’s attention, especially in a busy places like the beach, you’ll have no doubt about whether or not your dog will listen to you at a critical moment.

First things first — if you are going to use a clicker, you need to first train your dog to respond to the clicker. Luckily, this is a very simple task. Clicker training relies on the use of positive reinforcement and treats. Lots of treats! BestBullySticks recommends owners use low-calorie treats like our tasty Lamb Lung Treats as a training aid.

  • Step 1: Click and give your dog a treat
  • Step 2: Repeat 15-30 times (This will build an association between click and reward)
  • Step 3: Always follow through with a treat. Consistency is key for clicker training! read more…

BBS Training Tip #4: Dog Training Methods Part 2

Last week BestBullySticks tipped off our discussion on dog training with the first installment of our Training Methods blog series. In today’s followup post to Training Methods Part 1, we’re delving into specific training methods.

Origins of Modern Dog Training

Modern dog training developed dramatically during the 20th century. Most notably, advances in psychology furthered dog training and led to the creation of new training methods. BestBullySticks recently talked about this fascinating evolution in our post on The History of Dog Training.

In recent years, older training methods have been labeled overly aggressive or unnecessarily physical. In some instances this may be the case— BestBullySticks encourages all dog owners to use their discretion in the matter. Just be sure to avoid any training methods that are outright abusive. There are many factors to consider when training your dog — refer to our post on How Dogs Learn to gain some more insight into what your pup has on his mind!

Corrective Training

A training system that would fall into this category is the Koehler Method. The cornerstone of the Koehler Method is to let dogs make their own mistakes. In doing so, it gives the owner the opportunity to provide consequences for both desirable and undesirable behaviors. The punishments of the Koehler Method are generally more physical, sometimes advocating “alpha rolling,” where a dog is pinned on his back to assert dominance.

It should be noted, this “alpha rolling” technique, while still used today —and even by big name trainers— the “natural” action it is supposed to mimic is an action where submission is actually given, not forced.

Dominance-based training methods like the Koehler Method rely on the theory that dogs are in fact wolves and there are hierarchies in their pack with an alpha-figure at the top. However, the Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) has argued against this idea of aggressive-submissive positions. Additionally, attempting to physically exert dominance could cause your pet to lash out. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #202: Playing Tug-of-War the Right & Safe Way

Recently there has been a lot of question about the nature of playing the classic dog game tug-of-war. Some say it brings out aggressive tendencies in dogs; however, believes if you have a well-behaved dog that listens, tug-of-war is a great way to not only bond with your dog but also get your dog’s mind and body working. Here are a few ways to make sure tug is always a positive experience for you and your dog.

1. Teach your Dog to Listen
Before you play tug with your dog, make sure your dog can listen to commands. In particular, the “drop it” or “release” command is good for tug. This will help you stop the game easily if needed.

2. The Right Toy
Making sure your dog has the toughest tug toy out there is a must. Flexible yet durable enough for tugging, most good chew toys are made of rubber. A comfy handle is important, too. Check out our Rope-Tug Toys for sturdy, long lasting dog tug toys.

3. Where To Play
The best places to play tug are open areas free of clutter. Playing outside is a great idea, too.

4. Signs for Aggressive Behavior
Most likely your dog will get excited while playing tug. And why shouldn’t they?! They’re having fun! You might notice your dog growling, too. This is perfectly normal as tug is the resemblance of a predatory behavior. As long as your dog’s tail is still wagging, and the growl isn’t threatening, then play can continue. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #200: Indoor Winter Play Ideas for Your Dog

Cold. Wet. Rainy. Snowy. Being outside in winter weather can tend to be miserable and staying cooped up indoors isn’t always so much fun either. The same is true for your dog; outdoor playtime might decrease dramatically or indoors your pup may not be stimulated enough. However, thinks winter months can force us to be creative with our day-to-day routine. We’ve come up indoor playtime activities for the winter months because, after all, your dog still needs exercise. 

Hide & Seek
Throw a treat to your dog and while they’re gobbling it up, run and hide in a different part of the house. Your dog will want to come find you if you have more treats and will tire your pooch out in the process. Use small, low calorie treats like Fruitables or Purebites.

Scavenging & Dinner Games
Remember your dog is a scavenger by nature and enabling these characteristics can stimulate both mind and body. Use a puzzle food bowl or a hollow dog toy like a Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Snoop with frozen food to challenge your dog while he eats. You can also hide treats around the house and have your dog track down their location.

Indoor Agility Course & Training
A homemade agility course can test your dog’s navigation skills and stimulate brain and body. Use chairs as weave poles, using a broomstick over a couple buckets or holding a hula-hoop in your hands as a jump can make for a fun and rousing playtime. Winter can also be a great time to have dedicated training time with your dog. Want to teach your dog to high-five, shake or roll over? Use your regular outdoor playtime and substitute it for training. Your dog will emerge into Spring as a well trained pooch! read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #199: High-Five Trick Dog Training

Yes, your dog is cute. But how cool would it be to give your dog a high-five?! “Good Boy, Fido!” followed by a head pat can quickly become “Good Boy, Fido! High-Five” followed by interspecies coolness. What’s more awesome than that? knows once your dog has mastered standard training commands and a few tricks, your dog will not only be the cutest and best behaved at the dog park, but the most talented as well! 

Teaching the High-Five Trick

Need: Training Treats, Training Treat Pouch & a Clicker

If you’re not familiar with clicker dog training, read up on it here. Also, your dog must have the “sit” command mastered before teaching this trick.

Step 1
Have your dog sit in front of you. Place a desirable treat in your hand and make a fist. Let your dog sniff your hand to let them know the treat is there. Move the hand with the hidden treat above your dog’s head, just out of reach. Have the clicker ready in your other hand. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #198: How To Choose A Dog Trainer

January is National Train Your Dog Month and one way to have the best-behaved dog on the block is to find a great dog trainer! is here to give you some tips and tricks to find the best trainer out there.  

Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of dog trainers you find in the phone book or online. Go to happy customers that you know will give you an honest opinion: your friends and family. Even ask your favorite animal shelter or vet whom they would recommend.

Qualifications & References
It’s obviously important that your dog trainer be experienced and competent. Most likely a trainer will have multiple sets of initials after their name. But what do they even mean? A quick check on Association of Pet Dog Trainers can tell you the trainer’s qualifications by the initials after their name. Since there is no required certification or licensing for a dog trainer, it’s even more important to know what formal knowledge a dog trainer possesses. Also directly ask the trainer how long they’ve been training and ask for references. Any legitimate dog trainer will have no issue putting you in touch with their past clients. You can also double check if a trainer is truly a part of a professional organization by checking the entity’s website.

Not all trainers will use the same methods to train your four-legged best friend. Research Dominance, Positive, Balanced and Specialized training methods and know which method your trainer could use. If you’re ever uncomfortable with a trainer’s method, find another trainer. Every trainer is different and so is every dog. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #197: Leash Training Your Dog

It’s a sunny day and you want to get outside. Why not take Fido? knows a walk with your dog not only clears your head but is great exercise for both of you! However, if your dog isn’t leash trained, walking your dog can be a pain more than a pleasure. Best Bully Sticks can help! January is not only National Train Your Dog Month, but also National Walk Your Pet Month!

Before You Walk
Before venturing out in your neighborhood, to the dog park or on an outdoors adventure, make sure your dog is:

Comfortable with the Equipment
Your dog’s collar and leash are obviously very important, but you must make sure your dog isn’t nervous or scared around them. If your dog seems skittish around these objects begin by simply placing them in the same room and letting your dog become comfortable with the objects themselves. Once your dog seems relaxed and can approach the collar, lead or harness without fear, move on to putting them on your dog. Let your dog wear the collar, harness and leash around the house with a loose leash. As your dog becomes more comfortable, start picking up the lead while your dog is eating or playing. Then take short walks around your house, but never pull or restrain. The point is to get your dog to understand the feel of the equipment.

When you’re ready to walk, your dog might be really excited! That’s great! However, make sure your dog is relaxed and still when you “suit up” for your adventure. When Fido realizes a walk is coming, train him to have all four paws on the ground before you attach his harness and lead. This sets a precedence of you being in charge before the walk even begins. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #196: Successful Dog Training

January is “Train Your Dog Month,” so thought we would help you “feed two dogs with one bone” if you will. Training is not only highly beneficial to building a strong relationship with your dog, but is also a great resolution for the New Year! So, train your dog and check something off your list! This week we’ll cover simple ways to make training successful for your dog.

Train Early & Often
The sooner you start training your dog, the more natural positive behaviors become in later life. Beginning at 8 weeks, start simple commands with your puppy. Training guru, Victoria Stilwell says early training trumps any genetic disposition. Working with your dog a little every day will ingrain positive behaviors as well.

Speak Your Dog’s Language
See the world through your dog’s eyes. Use what you know about your dog to train them. Also use a common language that can last. Clear hand signals and voice commands are necessary and remember to reward behaviors you want repeated.

“Listen” Carefully
Knowing your dog well is important for the training process. Paying attention to your dog’s facial expressions, ear, eye and body movement will tell you how not only your dog is responding, but how you determine your counter response.

Be Confident
All dogs need to feel secure and as their leader, you must espouse a calm, confident demeanor that lets your dog know they’re in safe hands. Training should be about encouragement and strengthening positive behavior, not about submissiveness.

Diet & Active Lifestyle
Keeping your dog on a wholesome diet and letting your dog get plenty of exercise will help your dog behave positively. Just like in your life, eating well and exercise improve demeanor and mood. Exercising especially prevents a dog from becoming bored, and thus potentially destructive.

BBS--PLL-Lamb-Lung-2lb-1Stay Positive
Never use harsh tactics to train your dog. It’s much more beneficial to you, your dog and your relationship to use positive reinforcement methods. Use Lamb Puff Dog Treats or any of BBS’s other great dog treats to make Fido enjoy the training process.

Keep Training
Training is never over! By consistently working with your dog, no matter how long you’ve owned them or how old they are, training always promotes positive behaviors. It also allows great one-on-one quality time with Fido!

Have Fun!
Always remember to enjoy your dog! You chose the companionship of a dog because they bring joy into your life! Playing with your dog reduces stress. Snuggling with your dog is just plain wonderful. And, taking your dog on a walk makes both of you feel better.

Happy Dog Training Month! Use these techniques to start your successful dog-training journey! 

Dog Care Tip #193: Dog-Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips knows decking your halls should help make your season jolly! However, holiday decorating and keeping your dog out of it may not always be the easiest of tasks. This season, BBS can give you some simple and quick ways to have a beautiful home for the Holiday Season while keeping Fido safe.

Choose Decorations Carefully – It shouldn’t be a surprise that some decorations are less potentially harmful than others. Here are a few that could cause your dog harm.

Tree – If you choose a live tree, make sure you don’t allow your dog to chew on the branches. If your dog chews on them too much, it can lead to excess drooling or vomiting. Many trees are also treated with chemicals, which help preserve the tree. These chemicals can seep into the water at the base of your tree, making it toxic to dogs. Make sure you cover the base of your tree with a skirt, aluminum foil or plastic wrap to deter your dog’s curiousness.

Lights & Glass Ornaments – If your dog has a penchant for chewing, think about making the switch to plastic lights and ornaments. Non-breakable ornaments will help keep any rowdy dog from knocking over glass baubles, or cutting his mouth on broken glass.

Garlands – Strings of popcorn and cranberries, tinsel or flocking (a imitation snow decoration) are all great ways to make sure your tree dazzles. However, if your dog were to ingest any of these, it could be a major problem. Upset stomachs, intestinal blockages and more can be caused from these garlands.   read more…

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