December Furry Gifts Brings January Furry Tips!
After the holiday season the clinic is usually full of little wagging tails. The first 2-4 months of their life is when they are most responsive to training; we want to help you with some basic tips on how to raise the perfect puppy!
Here are 5 important training tips:
1) Basic Commands - Sit, stay, wait, drop it etc...
All of these commands are essential for everyday life and having a well behaved puppy. Studies have shown that yelling and punishment don't have the desired outcomes and will just confuse and scare your puppy resulting in a more fearful dog. The recommended training method is positive reinforcement. You should have lots of tasty treats on hand that are only used during training times. Try to say "good sit" rather than "good job" so they associate the word with the action. It will take a lot of patience and consistency but with daily practice your puppy will start to understand what these commands mean.
2) Socializing - Properly socializing your puppy will help them adjust to various surroundings and reduce the likelihood of behavioural issues. After confirming with your Veterinarian that it is safe to start socialization you can begin to take them to visit various people, animals, and areas. Once again, positive reinforcements (treats) when he/she exhibits desired behvaiours will help solidify them. For more information on socialization please visit https://www.vetsecure.com/vet905/articles/326
3) Desensitization - A good way to make sure your vet visits and at home life run smoothly is to get them used to human touch. Regularly touching your pets ears, paws, face, teeth, tail, etc... will desensitize them and reduce fear of the unknown. In turn, this will help eliminate the stress of nail trims, ear cleanings, administering medications, and other treatments.
4) Preventing unwanted behaviours - The most common behavioural issues we see are resource guarding and food aggression. To prevent these behaviours be sure to accustom your pet to you touching their food or toys while they are playing or eating. They need to learn that humans and other animals are not a threat. If your animal shows any signs of aggression while doing this, if safe to do so, correct them by removing the toy or food. Please consult your vet or a behaviorist if they continue to exhibit aggression. To learn more on how to read your puppy please visit https://www.hillspet.ca/en-ca/dog-care/training/puppy-obedience-training
5) Walking on a leash - When they are puppies and learning to walk on leash, pulling at the collar all the time isn't good for their necks. Using proper walking devices to help train them, such as harnesses, will help control their pulling without causing harm. Remember you are the one leading the walk, not them. Once they are a little older (~ 4 months) you can transfer them back to walking on their collar or head halters. Always use treats to reward good walking and avoid the use of choke collars or prong collars, remember positive reinforcement is best!
We have a indoor dog park that is great to get your puppy used to other people, pets, and the clinic environment. Stop by with your pup when you are in the area for lots of pets, treats, playing, and more tips! We are here to help and love puppy visits :)