Introduction To How To Raise and Train Your Puppy
"Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot about puppies" – Gene Hil
Owning a dog is a big responsibility. You are responsible for it’s health, quality of life, training, behavior and socialization. This takes time, patience and a financial commitment. When a dog joins your household, you should be aware you are undertaking a contract for the life of the dog. You are becoming the dog’s family, part of his pack, for dogs by nature live in packs and need contact with other dogs. The human master will become the pack leader and its human family becomes the center of the dog’s life. By making your dog more a part of the family, your dog will become happier and less prone to behavioral problems.
Dogs are social animals, which means they survive and live in packs or groups. These groups have a structured pecking order in which each position has certain duties and privileges. The struggle for dominance begins with puppies as they learn to dominate and fight. As they grow through adolescence the rivalry gets more serious and a pecking order is established and honored by all members. However, the pack harmony changes when the performance of any member in the pack changes significantly, especially the pack leader. As the leader loses his strength or superior instincts, he also loses his respect, credibility and dominance.
Your task as a new dog owner is to effectively become the leader of the dog’s pack. It is essential to earn the dog’s acceptance, respect, trust and loyalty so he recognizes you as the leader. This is what will bring about submission and obedience to you. The result of this submission is that the dog expects firm, fair and consistent leadership. If he does not get leadership from you, the dog will become confused by the lack of it, and he may attempt to become the pack leader himself. Most dogs will strive for dominance at one time or another, but are just as happy to be followers rather than leaders. If challenged, the leader must show the dog their place by responding intelligently and understandably with a firm, yet loving hand. As a dog trainer and owner, you must realize that the dog has rights, and to jeopardize this by being abusive or administering punishment out of sequence will only lead to mutiny by the dog, and rightfully so.
As soon as your dog comes home with you, he should be taught three things: 1) his name; 2) “good dog”; and 3) “No!” A puppy is particularly sensitive and impressionable at the age of eight to twelve weeks. Disciplinary training (housebreaking, manners, leash training) can begin at seven or eight weeks when he is most susceptible to mild corrections. Discipline should not be too harsh, as he may be easily made to be over-submissive, and the effects can be permanent. The period from eight to twelve weeks is commonly known as “the fear period,” and that which frightens him at this period can remain imprinted in his mind for the rest of his life. It could be anything from a loud noise to meeting a new person or dog. It is important to be careful about exposing him to new situations during this time period. Encourage new experiences, but guard him from bad ones. Stop people or dogs if he is cowering and praise him a lot to help him accept new things. Once the puppy passes this fear period, he will see you as his protector and his devotion so great, he will be better able to cope with the challenges of preliminary training. Preliminary training means that play or reward through playing with a favorite object induces the proper response in the dog.
When your puppy is seven or eight weeks old, you should introduce leash training. Under your supervision, let him wear a soft collar and leash around the house. When your puppy is older, about three months old, you should be taking him on regular walks once or twice a day. Formal obedience training should begin when your dog is about six months old. It is important to remember that everything a dog does is governed by the abstract. The mature dog remains at an intellectual level similar to that of a small child who hasn’t yet learned to speak. Since the dog does not have language, he is unable to use logic or reason. Dogs do not know the difference between right and wrong. Therefore, you must think for him. If there is a problem, ask yourself if you have sufficiently shown the dog what is expected of him.
When you begin training your dog, you must recognize his limitations as well as your own. Dogs learn to communicate with each other from their mothers and siblings in the puppy pack. They use specific signals to communicate certain things to each other. Dogs look at our body language for direction. We’d like to think they understand human language, but they look at our body language and listen to the tone of our voice more than having an actual understanding of our words. Never lose your temper or hit your dog during training sessions. He will not understand why you are angry, and it will have a negative effect and interfere with the training process. Dogs don’t seem to handle anger well from their pack leader and instead he could fear you. If you find yourself getting angry and frustrated during a training session, stop the session and praise and reward your dog. For optimal learning, you must maintain an even disposition when training your dog.
Training is valuable only if it can be applied on a consistent basis to everyday situations. For puppies, training sessions should be kept short, only about 5 to 15 minutes, several times per day. This compliments the puppy’s short attention span and keeps the sessions enjoyable for both of you. For older dogs, formal obedience seldom requires more than 30-45 minutes per day. Never let the dog decide when to stop; you are the one to determine when a training session is over.
How To Raise and Train Your Puppy
Puppy Temperment Test
A simple test to help you determine the best puppy temperment for your family.
Your dog is a pack animal and every pack must have a leader. you must become that leader. A good pack leader is like a good parent, not a shoolyard bully.
General Principles In Preparing for Your New Puppy
Knowing a few basic facts about canine behavior and how to care for your new dog will help you establish a good relationship. Take time to learn about caring for your new dog and his safety. This will make the homecoming easy on both of you.
Feeding, Water and Table Manners
Since your dog is living under your care, it is your responsibility to feed him a proper diet. Every dog owner has to learn how to feed a dog properly, just as we have to learn about a healthy diet for ourselves.
Toys and Toy Safety
Safe toys are an important part of your pet’s equipment list. They can help your puppy or dog exercise and provide a safe way to satisfy your dog’s need to chew. And are a great way to train your puppy through play training.
Relieving | House Training | Bedtime
House training, housebreaking or potty training is one of the first big goals you should have when you bring your puppy home. Where to go and when to go are questions you need to think about right away.
How To Crate Train Your Dog
For those of you who have not had the opportunity to use a crate and think it is a harsh or cruel way to train your puppy or dog, you should know crates are far from being cruel. In fact, when used in a positive manner, crate training can be the answer to many problems faced by dogs and their owners.
Physical Care for Your Puppy
One simple but very important way to care for your puppy or dog is to watch for changes in his appearance or behavior that may indicate that he is sick.
How to Choose a Vet | When to Call The Vet
Finding a vet you and your puppy are comfortable with needs to be addressed right away. Learn to recognize the signs of illness and what is normal and abnormal for your dog.
Vaccines | Canine Diseases
Newborn puppies are not naturally immune to diseases. Diseases are easily transmitted between pets. Learn the different types of diseases your puppy needs to be protected from.
Parasites | Internal Parasites | External Parasites
Parasites are organisms that derive nourishment by feeding on or within another animal. The most noted parasites in dogs are “worms,” because the majority of all puppies acquire intestinal worms either prior to or shortly after birth. All parasites can result in damage to your pet’s health. Similarly, some can be transferred from the dog to other household animals, including humans.
Learn To Identify Symptoms Of Illness
Your puppy can not tell you when they have developed an illness. Even the best cared-for and supervised puppy or dog can become ill or injured. It is your job to know what to do.
How To Give Your Dog Medications
If your veterinarian prescribes pills or liquid medication, give it to your puppy or dog directly, rather than try to mix it in with his food (unless otherwise directed by the doctor).
Spaying and Neutering
Unless you have a purebred for breeding purposes, spaying or neutering is recommended. Millions of puppies and dogs, many of which are purebred, are euthanized each year because there are not enough homes for all the unwanted pets.
Canine First Aid
No matter how carefully you supervise your puppy or dog, accidents can happen. It is important that you know how to deal with the situation.
Grooming | Bathing
Regular grooming sessions do more than keep your puppy or dog clean and healthy. They strengthen your bond with him and allow you to check for any abnormalities.
Informal Training and General Training Considerations
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when you begin to train your puppy.
Problem Solving For Biting
Learn how to address this problem before it become a lawsuit.
Problem Solving For Chewing
Chewing is a normal, natural canine behavior. The draw back is when it is directed toward your new furniture.
Problem Solving For Excessive Barking
Barking is a normal, natural behavior for dogs. It is the way dogs communicate, it relieves tension and boredom, and drives strangers away. The problem is when the neighbors are ready to report you to the athorities.
Problem Solving For Digging
Dogs dig. It is a very natural thing for them to do. They dig to escape, find a cool spot to rest in, because they are bored, or because they were bred to. It becomes a problem when your puppy decides to re-landscape your backyard.
Problem Solving For Jumping Up
Dogs jump up because they want to greet you at face level, to entice you to play or for attention. Learn how to solve this common problem.
Problem Solving for Begging
You just sat down for a peaceful meal and your puppy is starving! Learn some simple techniques for solving this irritating problem.
Problem Solving For Stealing | Rummaging The Trash Can
There are a few temptations your puppy simply has trouble resisting. Discover a few simple exercises for solving these annoying problems.
Problem Solving For Running Out Of Doorways | Escaping
Not only is this not acceptable, but it can be very dangerous for your puppy. Learn an easy way to stop this once and for all.
Problem Solving For Roaming and Jumping Fences
This is not so much of a problem for the very young puppy, but when they get a little older it may be an issue. Learn how to prevent this from becoming a big problem.
Leashes are a fact of life Not only for safety, but it is a law in many areas. Learn how to make the leash an enjoyable experience for your puppy.
Play is a powerful motivator for a puppy or dog. However, constructive play is often ignored as a way to build an understanding between you and your dog. Learn how games can develop an enjoyment of learning.
How To Teach Attention
Most dog problems are caused from the direct result of where your dogs attention is focused. Learn how to get your dogs attention and keep it.
How To Teach The Come Command
This command should be introduced as early as possible and can be started as early as seven weeks old.
How to Teach The Sit Command
Usually one of the first commands taught and one of the easiest commands, most of the time.
How to Teach The Down Command
The down command is right there at the top of the list as one of the most important commands in your dog training program. An early start will put your dog ahead of the pack.
How to Teach The Stand Command
The stand command is often over looked unless your are doing show training, but this command should be taught. Your vet and groomer will appreciate these skills. Learn how to teach the stand command.
How To Teach the Heel Command
Learn how to teach the valuable skill of walking on the leash without pulling your arm out of it's socket.
How To Teach The Finish Command
Learn a few easy ways to teach this exercise. This is the skill of bringing your puppy to your side for walking.
Learn How To Socialize Your Puppy To The World
Your pet should interact with a wide variety of family members, friends, and strangers while he is young so he learns to get along well with all kinds of people.
Learn How To Relax Your Puppy By Social Handling
This exercise is one of the most important, and should start on the first day you bring your puppy or dog home and continue throughout the dog’s life.
Car Safety For Dogs And Puppies
Conditioning your dog to ride comfortably in a car is a necessity, even if you will not be taking him for rides very often. He will have to ride in a car to go to the veterinarian, to training sessions, etc., so the dog must be prepared for it. Learn how to get your dog acustomed to car rides.