Behavioral Wellness Handouts for Adult Dogs

You just brought your new dog home and now you have a million questions. You know you need to get good habits going from day 1 and you don’t want to do anything wrong. We’ve got your back!

Here are handouts on the most common dog training topics we get questions about to start you off on the right paw. We recommend reading through them all, but they are separated by topic to give you bite sized information for your most burning questions.

Need more help? Feel free to check out our Private Day Training options or schedule a free 15 minute phone call to chat about which training option is right for you.

Starting Out Right

From prepping for your new dog’s arrival to a schedule for their first day home to preventing mistakes, this handout has it all. This is your overview to the many different aspects of helping your new dog adjust to daily life with you and avoiding the common pitfalls that many owners experience.

Socialization Tips

This handout is geared towards safely socializing young puppies, but it is equally valid to providing remedial socialization to an under-socialized adult dog. If you have a shy or fearful dog, it’s vital that you go at your new dog’s pace and comfort level and avoid overwhelming them. This handout will give you ideas for how to go about helping your new wallflower blossom into a more confident dog.

Adult Dog Shopping List

You can print out this quick list and take it with you to the store (or online) while you purchase all the things you’ll need for your new dog. It’s best to plan ahead of time, so get these items before you bring your new dog home. If you already have your new dog, then you can round out your supplies with this list.

Download PDF

The Two Ways Dogs Learn

There is a lot of misinformation out there about how to train your dog. In this handout, we break down how dogs learn and why we recommend using strictly positive reinforcement, force-free training methods with real life examples. It will also help you problem solve when you are up against challenging behavior problems!

Download PDF

Debunking Dominance

Learn where dominance theory/alpha theory came from, why it isn’t a helpful viewpoint for training your dog and ways we can train a well-behaved dog without relying on these outdated views.

Download PDF

Confinement Area

Even if you are bringing home an adult dog, using a confinement area (a place they can stay when you can’t provide 100% supervision), is vital to building good habits from the start. It prevents chewing accidents, potty accidents, and teaches your dog to be comfortable being alone. Learn how to set up a confinement area along with tips to teach your dog to be comfortable there.

Download PDF

Crate Training

Should you crate train an adult dog? Provided they don’t already have crate distress and you go at your dog’s pace- yes! It can help with house training, short term alone-time, settling, dog sports, travel and more. Check out this handout for tips on how to properly introduce and teach your dog to enjoy the crate and make it their safe space.

Download PDF

House Training -Adult Dogs

Not all adult dogs are fully house trained when you first adopt them, but don’t despair. With a little bit of planning and training, you can teach your new dog to potty outside and hold it while inside. No punishment necessary! Use this handout to help you minimize accidents and house train your new dog as quickly as possible.

Download PDF

Physical and Mental Exercise

We all know that we need to meet our dog’s needs on a daily basis to have a happy and well-behaved dog. This handout goes through the different types of physical and mental exercise and provides lots of ideas to provide variety and fun options for your dog.

Download PDF

Chew Training

We all know that puppies love to chew. For many dogs though, it’s not a passing fad but a lifelong hobby. And if we aren’t careful, they chew on items we are not happy to lose (goodbye my favorite pair of shoes!). Learn how to set your dog up for success, figure out which appropriate chews your dog loves, and teach them to only chew their things.

Download PDF


Sit is a great behavior for dogs to learn first. It’s easy to teach and is a great way to teach your dog to ask for things politely. Check out this handout for a quick guide on how to train a sit and when to use it to create good habits. It also has a troubleshooting section if this behavior is tough for your dog.

Download PDF

Say Please

Want to have a dog that is polite and will perform known behaviors in a variety of situations (not just in your kitchen for a treat)? This handout lays out how to use real-life rewards to strengthen behaviors your dog already knows and teach your dog how to “Say Please” for things they want.

Download PDF


This is one of the most common complaints we get from clients: over-exuberant greetings. Depending on how big your dog is, this can be a nuisance or downright dangerous. Teach your dog to greet people with four on the floor using tips from this handout.

Download PDF

Loose Leash Walking

Enjoying a lovely, calm walk with your dog is a great goal most owners have, but since walking loosely on a leash is not a natural behavior for dogs, it’s something you must work on consistently from the start. This handout gives you tips on how to teach your dog not to pull on leash (and humane tools that can help!). Remember, this skill is very unnatural for our dogs– be patient and consistent to achieve results.

Download PDF

Come When Called (Recall)

Coming when called (also known as recall), is a vital safety skill for every dog, but also just makes daily life easier. Don’t take it for granted if your dog currently comes every time you move or say their name– reward it! If it doesn’t work for them, this skill will fall apart. Use this handout to teach your dog a rock solid recall and avoid common mistakes.

Download PDF

Desensitization and Counterconditioning (DS/CC)

The intention of this handout is to educate you about a very complex topic: how quality trainers work dogs through fear and/or aggression. There is a lot of bad information that pops up on social media or when you Google this topic, so we wanted to provide you access to accurate facts here. Learn about DS and CC as well as mistakes to avoid.

Download PDF

Let’s get started

Book a free discovery call now, and find out if we're a good fit.

In Good Paws Dog Training Logo

Proudly serving Colorado dog guardians in Thornton, Brighton, Northglenn, Ft. Lupton, Hudson, Keenesburg, Denver, Lakewood, Littleton, Englewood, Aurora, Centennial, Greenwood Village, and Sheridan as well as select parts of Westminster, Broomfield, Erie, and Arvada.