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Puppy training myths debunked

There are hundreds of "experts" at your fingertips, but what's really helpful and what's not?

CLEVELAND — As we get ready to meet Roxy, WKYC’s Wags 4 Warriors puppy, we know it’s going to be a long road to train her.

There’s advice at your fingertips any time of the day, ups and downs, questions and experts, but how do you determine what’s helpful and what’s not?

John and Marti Thompson from Through the Leash Dog Behavior and Training understand how overwhelming it can be, so he co-founded the home-based training service.

"It's so much more to it than just tricks and treats," John said.

Here are some of the common myths you might run into from other pet parents and even online.

  • If I don’t punish my puppy when he’s wrong, he’ll never get it right.

“Training is not something you pull out 15 minutes a day, it's a way of life, dogs don't learn through punishment, they learn through consistency,” John said.

Repetition is what ensures your puppy will get it right, punishment does not.

  • If my puppy doesn’t listen it’s because he’s stubborn, dominant or alpha.

“Wrong. All dogs are dominant by their most basic nature, they cannot help it,” John said.

What it doesn’t mean is that your puppy is naturally disobedient. Trainers say it really comes back to the owner.

"If we're having trouble with our puppy and they're not listening or not following it's more than likely because we're not communicating with them,” John said.

  • Crates are cruel.

“Whether we give our dogs a place of refuge or not, they're gonna find one, that's when we start getting those calls, like my dog's aggressive, not letting me walk on my couch or sit on the couch,” Marti said.

Long story short, all dogs need a crate. It’s important for you and especially for your dog to have a safe place to escape and relax.

We’re getting ready to meet our puppy at the end of the week! Tune in to WKYC Channel 3 News at 6 p.m. for that special report with Dorsena Drakeford and Photojournalist Raquel Hagman.