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Puppy Training

Teaching Your Puppy Bite Inhibition

Some puppies have a naturally soft bite; some joyfully shred flesh without a hint of malice as they engage in normal interactions with the...

The 10 Most Important Things to Teach A Puppy

I don't care what breed or mix of breeds you're talking about, puppies are inarguably, impossibly and adorably cute. You have to be pretty...

Puppy Training Pros and Cons

Last month, I mentioned how concerned my son was when he heard I had made the decision to adopt one of the bully-breed-mix puppies I had been fostering. He's accustomed to me pretending that I don't like puppies (Ew
dog being walked

7 Steps to Leash-Train Your Puppy

Did you know that the best way to teach a puppy to walk politely on a leash is to not use a leash? If you think that sounds like an inscrutable Buddhist koan, fear not - you are not alone. It's far more common to see people either dragging their puppies around, or being dragged around by their puppies, than it is to see a calm, happy puppy trotting along by her owner's side.

Best Puppy Collars & Harnesses

Does this collar make me look fat?" This is not a question your dog is likely to ever ask

Ways to Manage an Adolescent Dog

Is your once cute, cuddly, and well-behaved pup suddenly acting out? Is your dog ignoring you, taking off if he sees something interesting, and chewing on everything in sight? Did his once perfect sit

How To Crate-Train Your Puppy

Most puppies are crate-trained with relative ease. Remember that the crate should be just large enough for your pup to stand up, turn around,...
puppies in play pen

Optimizing Your Puppy’s Brain

Cute is not the first word you reach for when describing newborn puppies. Born unable to hear or see, with smushed-in faces and twitchy little bodies, they look for all the world like diminutive aliens. Detached and distant visitors from another planet, they are in their own orbit, seeking only warmth, milk, and the rough caress of their mother’s tongue. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth.

Shock Collars and Puppies

Naturally, we regard shock collars as absolutely unnecessary and inappropriate in any training program, but particularly so in training puppies and young dogs. Given the potential for an exceptionally strong fear response during the early fear period – as well as during the secondary fear period – it pains us greatly to see trainers who market their shock collar training even for very young puppies. Of course they mask the aversive nature of shock collars by calling them “electronic” or “e” collars and “electronic fences.”

How an Intense Behavior Modification Program Saved One Puppy’s Life

Squid almost didn’t make it to the dog adoption option at the Humane Society of Washington County (HSWC), Maryland. Whole Dog Journal readers who have been with us for a year or more already know part of his story: the eight-week-old Jack Russell Terrier mix was surrendered to our full-service shelter by his owners because they “didn’t have time for him.” What that really meant was that the small white-and-tan pup was a heckuva handful: they couldn’t deal with his incredibly high energy level, fierce puppy play-biting, low tolerance for frustration, lack of impulse control, resource guarding, and sudden, intense aggression when restrained. He easily failed his canine behavior assessment. It’s a good thing he was impossibly cute! We started by identifying all Squid’s inappropriate behaviors and creating a modification plan for each. Some of the pieces overlapped, so it wasn’t quite as daunting as it might appear – but it was still plenty to work on!

How to Train Your Puppy Not to Bite

Contained in every puppy’s mouth is a set of amazingly sharp little daggers known as “teeth.” Puppies explore the world with those mouths. Since you are part of your pup’s world, it is inevitable that those sharp little teeth will at some point come in contact with your tender skin during a behavior known as “puppy biting.” It hurts. So what should you do when your puppy bites you, or other family members (including children)?

Get Your Puppy Enrolled Into Puppy Training School As Early as Possible

The optimum time to start a puppy’s education is as early as possible: about eight weeks of age. With food treats and clickers as the primary tools in our training arsenal, we can help owners start educating their youngsters at an optimum training age, before pups have had several months of reinforcement for unwelcome and inappropriate behaviors. Paradoxically, some veterinarians still counsel owners to wait until their new puppies are six months old and “fully vaccinated” to take them to training class. Unfortunately, this advice is just as outdated as the use of choke chains in puppy classes! It’s true that you shouldn’t wantonly expose your pup to high-risk dog populations; you should never take him to a dog park, or let him play with stray dogs on the street. But the risk of contracting an infectious disease in a controlled setting, with other healthy puppies, is quite low.

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Are Dogs Good With Chickens?

When I was about five years old, my parents moved our family from the San Francisco Bay area to a rural farming area about...