Educating Fido 

Training Dogs and the People Who Love Them

A Puppy Blog

Halle's Top Ten

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 2:55 PM

It’s hard for me to believe, but Halle’s been a part of our family for eight weeks now. It’s been some of the most fun and rewarding weeks of my life I have put a lot of thought and effort into these first two months with Halle and now I am starting to see some of the hard work beginning to pay off. We’ve been preparing for adolescents and that time is just around the corner.


With some interesting food stuffed toys, Halle can now settle on her mat when we go to an outdoor café or in between exercises at puppy class. For the most part, she walks nicely using her front clip harness and, if I can manage the humans, she doesn’t jump on people when they come up to greet her. When it comes to raising Halle, I want to share with you my top ten most important rules for starting my puppy on the road to success. 

 

 

  1. Puppy class: 8 to 20 weeks is a critical socialization period for puppies. Science tells us that once this window of opportunity closes, it nearly impossible to make up for lessons that should have been learned. A good puppy class will include off leash playtime so that puppies can learn how to interact with other puppies and be exposed to new people and novel sights and sounds.
  2. Socialization: Socialize! Socialize! Socialize! In order for your puppy to grow into a well-adjusted adult dog, she must learn to act properly around other dogs and people. Invite friends and family to come over often and enjoy your new puppy. Make sure people visiting your dog include women, men and children. She needs to get used to different genders and ages of people. Don’t just introduce your puppy to the same people over and over. Make sure your puppy meets at least 100 new people before she is 20 weeks old. Take your puppy, on leash, to different locations for walks, where he will experience different types of noises and situations.
  3. Learn to speak dog: Communication is a two way street. We all know someone who doesn’t let us get a word in edge-wise and doesn’t seem to be interested in a thing we have to say. When they make a mistake, we might say “I told you so”. The same is true of dogs. Dogs communicate with us all the time through body language. If humans want to live with dogs, they should learn to speak dog. Here’s a link to great CD “What is My Dog Saying” that I highly recommend to anyone who lives with, works with or interacts with dogs. Knowing and understanding canine body language could be a life saver for your dog.
  4.  Consistency: This means doing the same things and enforcing the same rules all the time. While this may seem like a simple concept, in real life it can be a bit more challenging. Let’s say that you take your puppy for a walk and you’re in a hurry, talking on your cell phone or just don’t feel like training so you allow your puppy to pull. Now it seems that every walk is a power struggle. You pull one way and your puppy pulls the other way. To change the behavior you can’t allow your puppy to move forward it she’s pulling. This needs to be done not most of the time or some of the time, but every single solitary time you take your puppy for a walk.
  5. Management: If you can’t train it, manage it. Managing you’re puppy’s environment is often the quickest and simplest fix to many problem behaviors. For example, if your puppy is running up and jumping on people when they come to the door, put your puppy on a leash and tether her away from the door. Ask your guests to help teach your dog not to jump by walking away if the puppy jumps up. If you don’t have time to train when you have a visitor, then crate your puppy when guests arrive. 
  6. Crate training: Teaching your puppy to enjoy crate time is important. It not only gives you peace of mind knowing your puppy and your home are safe when you’re away but also teaches your puppy that being alone isn’t such a bad thing. Realistically, you can’t expect your dog to live her entire life without being in a crate. If you take your dog to a groomer, the vet or boarding chances are your dog will be crated. So help your puppy to learn to love the crate by feeding meals in the crate, giving extra special treats in the crate like marrow bones or food stuffed Kong toys. Don’t just put your puppy in the crate when you leave home. Have your puppy sleep in the crate, nap in the crate and have special treats in the crate. 
  7. Chew toys: Provide your puppy with lots, lots, and lots of chew toys. We have toys all over our house (every single room). Whenever we are interacting with Halle, we have a toy nearby to redirect her attention to an appropriate chew item when she gets too rough. Providing her with chew toys that she enjoys also helps her to exercise her jaws and sooth her mouth when she’s teething. 
  8. Settling: Teaching your puppy to settle down in one spot is such an important skill for a well behaved dog. I provide a mat and lots of interesting chew toys and food stuffed puzzles to keep Halle entertained while lying on her mat. We started out doing this a lot at home where it’s not too distracting and gradually added more distractions. 
  9. KISS (Keep It Short and Simple): Train your puppy in short, ten-minute sessions. Just like small children, puppies have a short attention span. Give lots of praise and food rewards when she performs correctly. When safe, ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior. Often puppies are inadvertently rewarded for unwanted behavior by touching them, making eye contact or evening yelling at them. Sometimes, any attention is good attention from the puppy’s perspective.
  10. Be A Tree: Here is the elusive answer to the ever present question of "How do I teach my dog not to pull?" The answer is simple: Don't walk forward if there's tension on the leash. You have to be patient and consistent to keep your puppy from developing bad habits.

 


Sniff on! Train on!

Susie & Halle

www.EducatingFido.com

Certified Professional Dog Trainer-KA #2102473

National Association of Canine Scent Work Associate Nose Work Instructor

Canine Life and Social Skills Instructor #650449

Canine Life and Social Skills Evaluator #E750153

AKC Canine Good Citizenship Evaluator #51179

TAGteach Primary Certification

Licensed "Be a Tree" Presenter”

Member of Association of Pet Dog Trainers #76263

Member of the Pet Professional Guild

 

 

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