In the almost 18 years I have been training dogs professionally, I have seen a dramatic increase in the percentage of people who contact a training school who have a puppy (or better yet, prior to getting their pup) to focus primarily on preventative training as opposed to those with an adolescent or adult dog with potentially deeply ingrained behavior issues. This is a very good thing and due in great part to the efforts of people like Dr. Ian Dunbar and Dr. R.K. Anderson who have focused much effort on helping people understand the importance of early, preventative teaching to best ensure a long and happy life for a dog in one loving home (as opposed to a dog being surrendered to a shelter due to easily preventable behavior issues). Raising a puppy can be a truly wonderful experience filled with all the fun one could expect from a.
Hosting a puppy party is a terrific way to enlist the help of your friends and neighbors in your efforts to socialize and teach your new pup. It is also a great opportunity to show off your new bundle of cuteness! As a rule of thumb, to be adequately socialized and to develop sufficient confidence with a variety of people, your puppy needs to be in contact with at least 50 people before he is 16 weeks old. A failure to provide early social exposure could result in playing years of catch up and spending loads of time resolving fear based behavior problems. In addition to hosting your own puppy parties, be sure to enroll in a puppy kindergarten training class asap. For your first party, invite a few friends over and plan for them to arrive just prior to your pup’s meal time. This way they can use your.
For a dog lover like me, I find it easy to see qualities in each dog that are unique and appealing. With that said, my friends have gotten used to walking down the street with me and having me point out just about every dog we pass and giving a little synopsis of the breed or potential mix, age, and of course, behavior. In fact, most of my friends, even those who don’t have dogs, have become experts at this game themselves. One even commented recently that a dog we passed was “Clearly an English Cocker Spaniel, not an American. Just look at the length of the muzzle and body.” My appreciation for dogs runs the gamut from little, scruffy terriers (my dog Nora being one of the most exceptionally cute ones out there, of course) to the sleek, athletic types (hello Vizslas and Italian Greyhounds), to the big, powerful.
For the past 25 or so years there has been a lot of talk in the dog world about being your dog’s leader. Some feel this aptly describes the role we should take with our dogs and others feel it is a word too closely associated with a sort of military approach to the canine/human relationship and implies a need for punitive training techniques. However, considering that we expect dogs to survive and thrive in a world that is quite foreign to them, where a language is spoken that is vastly different than the way dogs communicate, and where rules are set that are often at odds with normal, and in some cases instinctual, dog behavior (for example, don’t dig, bark, chew, hump, jump up to greet, eliminate wherever you like, etc.) it seems logical that they would best adjust by having a person (or a whole family) to lead.
Puppy Socialization and Habituation As a whole, dogs are superbly adaptive creatures. Just about everywhere you look you will see dogs of all shapes and sizes taking part in all manner of activity with their human companions. But, as impressively skilled as most dogs are at becoming part of the human world, life for a companion dog can be psychologically challenging due to all they must cope with. Some pups are genetically predisposed to be highly inquisitive and bold in the face of new experiences and others to take a more cautious approach. But, environment and education are highly influential and providing your puppy with the opportunity for exposure to all they will be expected to tolerate as an adult will help them more readily take things in stride, to be more easily instructed and guided, and therefore to have more predictable behavior. Providing your puppy with early and ongoing.
Moderating puppy play groups is definitely one of the highlights of my job. After all, there are few things that are cuter than baby animals frolicking and playing. Hence the popularity of Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. But, for a trainer who is required to moderate these groups there is a lot more that is required than just sitting back and watching the fun. Careful observation, focus and management is required to ensure the best possible experience for all. Play is an important component of a puppy’s educational curriculum. Not only does it provide them with an outlet for their abundant puppy energy, but it is also one of the cornerstones of developing an adult dog who can best handle social interactions with other dogs. Being able to interact and play with other dogs throughout their lifetime can be a wonderful form of enrichment and should ideally be part of a.