Reloading your development database from a copy on the staging or production server can be done with a single command. With the magic of ssh, key pair authentication, and .my.cnf files on the server and your development box, you can execute the following:

ssh -C 'mysqldump myapp_staging' | mysql myapp_development

Let’s examine the entire command in pieces. ssh followed by a command allows you to execute that remote command and have its output sent to the originating server’s stdout. mysqldump myapp_staging is executed on the remote server and the -C flag instructs ssh to compress the data from the remote server. Then, mysql executes locally to run the sql statements on the myapp_development database. Voilà, you have reloaded your development database with a copy from the staging server with a single command.