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.
Does this collar make me look fat?" This is not a question your dog is likely to ever ask
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
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,...
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.
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.”
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!
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)?
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.
When Hera was about 18 months, we went to an adult dog training class. This instructor told us to use a prong collar. We bought one but often we forgot" to bring it to class. We walked her with it a couple of times but just couldn't get ourselves comfortable with the tool even after we'd followed the instructor's directions to put it around our own thighs and jerk so we'd know it didn't hurt terribly much."
A native of Britain, Dunbar earned his veterinary degree in that country, but came to the U.S. to conduct further research into canine behavior at the University of California, Berkeley. After earning his Ph.D. there, he founded Sirius Puppy Training, the first and best-known provider of puppy training classes. Dr. Dunbar is widely credited for popularizing dog-friendly training methods in recent decades, thanks to his appearance at hundreds of lectures (his best guess is that the number is over 850), and a number of books and videotapes he’s written, published, and produced.
There are lots of other wonderful applications for baby gates in addition to basic puppy management. We have long used one to bar the dogs from our cats’ room (the cats jump over the gate); this keeps the canines from dining on kitty kibble, and prevents them from devouring that grossly delectable dog treat, litter box “kitty rocca.” Gates can also be used to keep a dog out of a baby’s nursery, or out of the bedroom of any family member who is allergic to dog hair. And if your clever Collie has learned that the sofa is off limits when you are there but fair game when you’re away, you can use a gate to block her access to the room with the forbidden furniture.
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