In case you somehow missed my last 3 months of insta-stories, I adopted a puppy. (Not just any puppy either.. THE CUTEST PUP OF ALL TIME OH MY GOD LOOK AT HIS FACE)
Sorry, lost my train of thought for a sec. Anyhow. Tucker is my first dog, and the first puppy I have ever been responsible for training. Newsflash, it's a lot of fucking work. I love him, but like every male in my life, he gives me tension headaches sometimes. The good news? Puppies can be trained. And as I started training Tuck and seeing his behavior improve, I began wondering if some of these training techniques could be implemented on certain boyfriends who also like to leave messes around the house. The answer my friends? An astounding YES.
After some careful testing, here are some puppy training techniques that will also work on your mans
1. Reward Good Behavior. This is the single most important part of training. Instead of rubbing their nose in a fuck-up or screaming at them when they do something wrong, you HAVE to seek out the good behavior and reward it with either A) Treats or B) Praise. Let's look at a few examples:
Scenario 1. Your boyfriend sometimes stays out until the wee hours of the night without so much as a text.
Training Tip: The next time he's out and does send you a courtesy text, thank him and tell him how much it meant to you that he let you know he was ok. Just a simple acknowledgment that he did the right thing will make him 10xs more likely to do it again then by screaming at him and maybe making him resentful.
Scenario 2: He did something sweet out of the blue like got you flowers or took you out to dinner or just unloaded the dishwasher (shoutout to the girls in 3+ year relationships amiright?)
Training Tip: Girl if you don't reward him and/ or praise that behavior you may be waiting a very long time to see it again.
2. Forgiveness. This was a bigggggg lesson I learned with Tucker. Friends, I am not proud to say I have gotten so mad at this dog. There have been times when I wanted to put him in his cage and not look or speak to him for days at a time. But you can't do that. I've learned with a puppy that you can get mad, but then you have to let that shit go. You can't dwell on little things with a puppy, and you shouldn't do that with your man either. (Side note, I'm talking about non-relationship-ending grievances here. Like if he cheated on you, send his ass to the pound). BUT if you're pissed off with him about something you can work through, let him know you're mad, work through it, and then let it go. After a fight, I used to be cold and quiet for 3-4 business days afterward. That doesn't help him and that certainly doesn't help you.
3. Repetition. When training your dog/man, it is important to remember that these things take time. Just when Tucker was getting the hang of using his outdoor potty pad, he took a nice steaming dump on our couch. Similarly, just because your BF got better about texting you, or leaving the seat down, etc, he may still have slip-ups. That's when you forgive and continue the cycle of praise/ treats until the good behavior becomes more cemented.
*Side note. If you're thinking "GOD Sarah I shouldn't have to throw him a parade every time he lowers the toilet seat!" you are absolutely correct. Use your judgment on the reward relative to the behavior BUT the point is that you just acknowledge good behavior. Even a simple "thank you for x" goes a long way.
4. Patience. Some say old dogs can't learn new tricks but if you are patient and loving, I think you'll be surprised with the results. Guys, TELL ME IM WRONG about any of these... Ladies, have any other training tricks? I've love to hear 'em in comments