Saturday, May 30, 2020

You and Your Puppy

October 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Training Your Puppy

Getting a new puppy is a fun and interesting time. You probably went to a breeder or pet store or maybe just saw an ad on the Internet or the newspaper, for puppies, and decided just to check it out. Before you knew it those little eyes and fluffy puppy fur had your heart melting and you were headed home with him or her in your arms. If you are like most new pet owners you had visions of playing fetch with your dog, of watching him frolic at the lake, and of cuddling up on cold nights.

However, you probably failed to realize that the behaviors you dream of in a dog do not come naturally. In fact, the more natural behaviors for most puppies include lovely little things like chewing up your favorite shoes, barking every second of the day, and peeing wherever they are when the mood strikes them. These behaviors might seem cute at first, or even manageable but, if left unchecked they can lead to a very bad adult dog.

The problem with puppies that are not trained is that they grow into untrained dogs. An untrained dog can be a nuisance. All of that cute little yipping can quickly become loud barking that keeps you and your neighbors up for nights on end. The little teeth marks in your shoes can turn into destroyed furniture and a destroyed home before you know it. Likewise, those cute little puppy poops are not so cute when the dog is 75 pounds and has the excrement to match.

Untrained dogs can also be very dangerous. All dogs can bite. It is in their nature to defend with everything they have, including their teeth. You have to teach your dog not to use their teeth so that no one winds up hurt, at least not when they are playing with them. While we all expect our dog to protect us in a worst-case scenario situation, you should train your dog to be non-confrontational. Dogs that pose a danger to the community are at risk of being put down.

In addition dogs that are problematic for any of the reasons listed above often wind up homeless. People grow tired of dogs that never grow up, and then they take those dogs to the shelter. We all know how sad life can be for a shelter dog and the end that many of those dogs meet. If you really love your new puppy and intent to have a long and happy life with it, train her. By training your dog you teach her how to live in your world and increase the likelihood that your life together will be long and happy for the both of you.

Dogs have been domesticated around the world for more the 15,000 years. Because of this long term of human companionship the puppy that you adopt today needs you. Dogs are not truly able to live by themselves in the wild. They are not adapted to living outside and foraging for food. Indeed the dog you adopt today needs you and years to please you. That desire to please their master is the reason that dogs are so easily trainable.

The dogs that we have as pets have what is called social intelligence. This enables them to read your visual and verbal cues and adapt their behavior to it. While each dog will train at a different pace and through different ways, nearly all domestic dogs are trainable.

Just like humans, dogs go through a series of cognitive development. Puppies, like babies, learn to interact with the world around them at around eight weeks of age. They will also mimic behaviors early in life, so if you have one well behaved dog your puppy can learn from it.

If this is your only canine do not worry, they will also learn by watching you. Just like parenting, dog training is something that often happens while you are paying attention to other things. So, those first few months that you have a puppy are an incredibly important time to really focus on training your dog. It can be a lot of work but in the end both you and your dog will be happier.

 

 

 

Happiness is a Well Trained Puppy

October 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Housebreaking, Training Your Puppy

If you are reading this article you might be thinking about buying a puppy; or already bought on. Congratulations on the new addition to your home! You now have a friend who is always ready to play, never too tired to go for a walk and one of the most loyal companions you will ever have. There are some things you are going to need to know about training your puppy. A puppy is only as well-behaved as his training allows.

During the first few weeks your puppy needs constant supervision to prevent accidents in the house. But it’s easier to teach good habits now than it is to correct bad behavior later in life. Your puppy needs to start understanding what is and isn’t acceptable in your home right away. You are the leader of the pack in the home and your puppy looks to you to work out what is allowed and what isn’t.

It’s important that your puppy starts to understand their boundaries. You will need to decide soon what the limits are – what furniture they may or may not climb on – what areas of the house they are allowed. Decide where your puppy will sleep and what they may or may not chew on.

Getting your puppy housetrained is not difficult and can be quick if you follow some of these tips. Make housetraining a painless and quick procedure by using the crate method.

The Crate method

The crate method is well known because it is one of the most humane ways to train a puppy. Your puppy will need to relieve himself after eating, drinking, running, playing. The frequency will depend on the size of your dog and also on the breed. Be careful – it can happen as soon as 15 minutes after any of these activities. One of the easiest ways to keep your home pee free is to keep a record of when he needs to go. Try to learn the natural schedule and take your puppy outside at the times when you know they are going to need to go. Plan your walks around this schedule. Take the puppy out when you expect they will need to urinate.

When your puppy is 10 weeks old until they are six months they will need to be walked between 5 and 10 times a day. Quite a task if you are not used to including a puppy in your daily schedule. Take turns walking the puppy. One of the most important things about housetraining you pup is that you do not return from your walks until he/she has urinated and done all his business.
If for some reason you need to go inside before he has gone you will need to take your puppy out every 15 minutes. Give lots of praise and affection when your puppy has done what you wanted. You might feel silly praising your puppy for going “wee wee” (or other!) but it is very important to the housetraining process.

Some tips for using the crate:

The crate method works and is one of the most humane ways to train your puppy. It works because dogs are naturally neat and don’t like to eliminate in their sleeping area. If your puppy sleeps in the crate they will not want to mess in it. It’s an instinctive desire to keep their sleeping area clean.

The crate should become a sanctuary for your puppy. A crate is your dogs’ den in the house; their very own ‘safe space’. Your puppy needs to associate the crate with positive feelings. Put your puppy’s favorite blanket, toys and treats inside.

Help your puppy get used to the crate by leaving the door open until the dog seems comfortable. It’s important that your puppy is comfortable in the crate – the more comfortable they are – the less likely they are to soil inside.

Never use the crate as punishment. The crate must be associated with positive feelings. If your puppy does start whining, barking or scratching don’t let them out. Establish a regular schedule. After feeding take you puppy outside until they have done their business.

Put your puppy in the crate at night – but make sure to take him outside before bedtime and first thing in the morning. Let your puppy play for a while after they have done their business. Don’t give your puppy free reign of the house until they are housetrained.

Make a chart of when your puppy needs to go. Take the puppy outside within 15 minutes of eating, or any other time you know they will need to go.

After they have done their business; play with them for a while and then put your puppy in the crate for a nap. Repeat this throughout the day. After your puppy is fully housetrained you can leave the crate open during the day.
Some do’s and don’ts when housetraining:

DO

– If you are going to be away for long periods of time put your puppy in an area of the house where you are prepared for accidents. Put newspaper in this area.

– Limit the food and water supply if you are going to be gone for long periods of time. If it’s hot make sure your puppy has enough to drink (but remember what goes in must come out!).

– Praise your puppy when they are good.

– Be consistent. You don’t want to confuse your puppy.

– Involve the whole family in the training process. Even small children can participate in the housetraining.

– Be realistic, you can’t get mad with a puppy for not being completely housetrained. Accidents happen despite your most careful schedule.

Don’ts

– Don’t ever use the crate as punishment.

– Don’t let your puppy outside of your designated area until they are housetrained.

– Don’t reprimand your puppy for accidents.

If this all sounds like a lot of work – don’t worry. Your puppy should be completely housetrained after about 6 months. Even sooner if you use the crate method. As your puppy gets older it will get easier. A well trained puppy will bring much more happiness into the home then an untrained puppy. Owner and puppy will be more happy and in tune with each other for years to come.

How to Stop Puppy From Chewing Everything

October 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Training Your Puppy

As much as you enjoy your new addition there is nothing worse than finding your new pair of shoes chewed up in your closet. Inappropriate chewing is quite common in young dogs and typically comes from the idea that puppies utilize their mouths to explore the world. If you do not correct this problem early on it can lead to a very costly wide spread of destruction of your personal belongings and can even lead to medical problems for your dog if they chew on the wrong things. Below are five steps to take to get your puppy to stop chewing on things they have no business.

Rule Out Medical Complications

First you need to make sure that your puppy is not ill. There are some nutritional deficiencies that can be a direct relation to poor dieting. In order to ensure the health of your puppy, schedule a well visit with your veterinarian so that they can check for common digestive conditions.

Proof Your House

Just like you cover up all the electrical sockets and remove hazards chemicals from the reach of a child, you will have to do the same for your puppy. Look around your house for anything that could be potentially dangerous if your puppy chews on it. Remove cleaners, electrical cords, and other things out of their way. Remove things such as your shoes, kids toys, and more that might attract the attention of the puppy. Also block access to rooms that have too many things to remove or are not puppy proofed.

Encourage Chewing Appropriately

There are chew toys that can be found at your local pet supply store that should be introduced to your puppy. This might be raw hide, dog bones, ropes, dog toys, and more. Making sure you don’t get anything that resembles household items such as a shoe, get a few different chew options for your puppy to try out. Reward them and play with them as they chew on the right things so that they start to understand what is appropriate and what isn’t.

Disciplining for Inappropriate Chewing

At this point you should have already gotten the puppy’s chewing habits down to a minimum. However, there are still going to be times when your puppy will test you. If you find your dog chewing on something they’re not supposed to be correct the dog by firmly stating no while looking them in the eyes. Also remove the object from their reach. Then direct the puppy’s attention to an item that they can chew. By repeating this every time they chew inappropriately, you will soon train them to know what is off limits and what is ok.

Last but certainly not least you must remember to engage in play time with your puppy. A dog that has spent a better part of the day having a great time is less likely to want to cause mischief. Playing with your dog reinforces the bond you two have with each other, and also works wonders for exhausting all the energy your puppy might have had for scouring the house for things to chew on.

Training Your Dog to Walk On a Leash

October 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Training Your Puppy

Walking Your Puppy

Teaching a dog to walk on a leash is not always an easy task. It is in the dog’s nature to want to wander off and sniff everything that comes in his path. However, this behavior is not conducive to a pleasant and athletic walk. You, his master, have to strike the balance between allowing him to explore his world and walking in a controlled way.

The first thing you will need to do is purchase an appropriate leash for your dog. Make sure that it is the right weight according to how much your dog weighs right now. Even if he will eventually be 75 pounds, he will not be able to handle a heavy leash while he is still small. The next thing to choose is a collar for walking. Some people use harnesses are leaders that attach around his head and snout. Both of these products can help you better control your dog in a humane and safe way. Choker collars are not recommended for any breed of dog, as there is significant danger of hurting the animal. If your dog is small a simple collar and your leash might be plenty. However, you will want to use the same type of device, like a harness or leader, which you will use when he is bigger.

One of the important steps to ensuring that your walk is pleasant is to try to get your dog to do his ‘number two’ business before you leave your home. If he learns that the walk is the time to go to the potty then you will almost always be stuck carrying around a bag of his waste on your walks. He should learn to potty in a specified spot in your yard. Of course, to be on the safe side you should always carry a bag with you for picking up any potential dog droppings.

The part of the training process is time consuming and requires a great deal of patience. Do not expect your first walk to be a long one, distance wise at least. Think of it as a training session that requires lots of stopping and starting to get it right.

  • Choose a side that you want your dog to walk on. He should always walk on the side that you choose, either right or left, Keep in mind that this behavior will stay with him so make sure that you are comfortable with the position of the leash and your arms.
  • Take a few steps with your dog, when he begins to pull stop and make him sit. Reward him with praise for sitting and then start again.
  • Each time he begins to pull on the leash, repeat the stop and sit pattern. This might mean you only manage to take a few steps before you have to stop and begin again.
  • Allow your dog to veer off the path, as long as he does not pull and smell things. He or she will also occasionally mark with their urine, this is normal behavior, allow them to do it as long as it does not become constant.
  • When your dog stays with you, at your side and keeping pace reward him with praise and a treat. Remember he wants to please you; he just has to be taught how to do that.
  • When you come upon other people or dogs your puppy may experience anxiety, which will cause him to pull or bark. Reassure him with affection that he is ok and that you are there with him. If he gets too excited have him sit and wait for people to pass.
  • Children are always especially interested in puppies and it is in your best interest to teach your dog how to interact with them. But, you have to be in control of the situation. If you are comfortable with it you may allow others to pet your dog, but make him sit and behave while they do it.
  • You should walk your dog at least twice a day, if not more while he is young. This will help him get used to walking and allow him to burn energy.

As your dog gets older you may consider allowing him to walk off leash. Do this with great care, especially when cars are around. Even the most well trained dog is still an animal and as such, is unpredictable. You would not want anything bad to happen to your dog because he was off leash in an unsafe area.

Barking and Your Puppy

October 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Training Your Puppy

Dogs like to bark, it makes them feel powerful and in control of their surroundings. However, barking can be a nuisance that you need to control in order to keep a happy dog and household. By training your dog to ‘speak’ on command he will be less likely to do it without being instructed to do so. Barking is your dogs’ warning system, so when he barks when he wants in or to warn you, praise him for one bark. This should teach him that barking once gets your affection but barking excessively only gets him ignored.

Dogs should not be left outside unattended. While a lot of people see nothing wrong with leaving a dog in a fenced yard while they are at work or away from the house, it is not the best choice for your dog. Your domesticated dog needs you, when you are not around he will feel anxious which will cause him to bark excessively. He might even exhibit other behaviors like digging or finding ways to escape your yard. A dog that is comfortable and loved is not left outside unattended.

One of the easy ways to manage your dogs barking is to understand why he does it. Many people experience the problem of their dog barking whenever someone walks by the front window of their home. Dogs do this because they are territorial, when they bark at people walking by their intention is to scare them away. Any person who is just walking by your house will continue their walk because; obviously they are not scared of a dog that is inside the house. Your dog does not understand this concept. He thinks that because the person continued to walk, that he must have scared them away. This enforces his idea that the barking works, so he will continue to do it.

The best way to manage this behavior is to teach your puppy that his barking, in fact, does not work. You will need to enlist the help of some friends who are not familiar with your dog to teach him not to bark. Have those people walk by your house when the dog is looking. When he starts barking they should stop and continue standing in front of your house. The dog will quickly realize that his barking did not work, but also that someone on the sidewalk is not a threat.

Training a dog not to bark can be tricky, since dogs are also a good warning system should someone come into our home uninvited. There is a fine line between teaching your dog to behave and still allowing him to be protective of you and your home. When the puppy exhibits behaviors that are meant to protect you and your family, or his pack, reward him with praise. He should learn the difference between this and unwanted behavior fairly quickly.

Basic Puppy Training Techniques

October 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Training Your Puppy

There are a number of important guidelines that you need to keep in mind when teaching your puppy the basics about good behavior. Exercising the right training techniques is what will make or break your training regimen with your dog. Follow these five important guidelines and teaching your puppy will be easier than ever.

1 – Be Gentle – Your new puppy is going to be extremely sensitive at first, and as a result will not be able to handle anything that is too stressful on both an emotional and a physical level. Although learning generally quickly takes place, now is the time where your puppy will react poorly to stress or being trained too rough. If fears are picked up too easily during the training process, then it may inhibit the puppy’s ability to learn, so make sure to be gentle but firm in your training.

2 – Keep Things Brief – Puppies have even shorter attention spans than children. Your puppy is only going to learn when his or her attention is on you, and you will not see the results that you are looking for when your puppy is tired physically or mentally. Make sure to be brief when putting your puppy through training activities, and then you can move on.

3 – Exercise Patience – Expecting overnight results is only going to frustrate you and cause your training regimen to lose its focus. Relax, and understand that things like this will take time, and puppies learn in spurts. Puppies also do go through brief memory lapses so do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed if your puppy seems to forget some of its training from one day to the next. Exercise patience when it comes to training and you will be just fine.

4 – Exercise Simplicity – Teaching your puppy should be done in a step by step process if you want to attain the best results. This is the best way that your puppy will learn. Exercise a simple, step by step approach and your puppy will learn more quickly and will enjoy the process more thoroughly than if you were to employ a more intensive training regimen.

5 – Build Confidence – Confidence is the core of every healthy adult dog, and confidence begins with building confidence in a young puppy. Building confidence in your puppy is not hard at all to do; all you need to do is spend positive time with your puppy as often as you possibly can. This will help to build self confidence in your puppy. You should not always be in training mode when you first get your puppy, but instead sometimes you should step back and play with your dog, having fun with him or her in the process. Training is important, but above all else your dog needs to know that you are friends.

These five fundamental training foundations are vital in preparing your puppy for an effective training regimen and will drive better results when properly integrated into your step by step puppy training process.