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Is Your New Puppy Stressing You Out?


dog-behavior-modification-huntsville-al

I am getting calls and emails from many new puppy owners frustrated with the new puppies they have had for only a few weeks. Most of these puppies come from shelters or Craigslist and were adopted between 5-6 weeks old. 


Puppies that come from reputable breeders are usually transferred to the owner between 8-10 weeks old. Puppies need time with their litter mates and mother to learn critical socialization skills, such as bite inhibition. Either way, there are things you can do to help the situation when you get a puppy that seems OUT OF CONTROL!

“You must put in the work yourself to raise a puppy successfully. A dog trainer cannot fix all of the dog issues and strengthen your relationship with the dog. Dog trainers give advice and suggestions and help educate you on how to solve problems. You have to do the work. You have to put in the time with your dog.”

Every successful client I have had puts in the work and does the daily assignments I give them. The unsuccessful clients look for a magic bullet and don’t follow through with the basic principles. Raising a puppy is not easy. There are no shortcuts.



Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Why did you get a puppy?

  2. What do you expect from your puppy?

  3. Is it the right puppy for you?

  4. Do you have the time to train your puppy?


If you want results, you must follow everything the trainer tells you, such as precisely what to teach your dog, how much sleep they need, and how to socialize them properly. If you don’t follow the principles, you won’t get results.  


Things you can do right now:

  • Check your emotions - let go of all stress, anxiety, fear, and worry.

  • Don’t get frustrated with your puppy - they can sense your frustration, and they will also be frustrated because they don’t know what you want. 

  • Set the puppy up for success - focus on what you want the puppy to do and learn, not stopping or fixing the puppy.

  • Set clear rules and boundaries and enforce them - this includes what rooms they are allowed into, how they must behave in the house, and how they behave on walks. 

  • Manage expectations - be patient, and don’t expect your puppy to learn everything overnight. 


It takes a human 17 years of schooling to be ready for the real world. They go to elementary school, middle school, high school, and college before they are expected to know how to live life.


However, people expect their new puppies to learn everything in a week. This is unrealistic. Give the puppy a chance, and be patient. 


All of this information is also in my book, The Complete Puppy Training Manual, which is available on Amazon. 


Are You Meeting the Basic Needs of Your Puppy?


Exercise:

  • Walking on a loose leash 5-8 times a day for 5-10 minutes each

  • Running off leash or a long leash 2-3 times a week


Mental Stimulation - Obedience Training:

  • 15-30 minutes duration daily

  • Integrate mental stimulation and obedience training into the walk.


Socialization:

  • With other dogs - daycare or dog park - at least 2-3 times a week

  • With other people in different environments - at least 2-3 times a week


Enrichment:

  • Kong’s or other food puzzle toys

  • Things to chew on: bully sticks

  • Nose work

  • Car rides


Play Time:

  • 15-30 minutes daily with toys, balls, or a frisbee. 


Affection:

  • Use affection as a life reward

  • Use affection only when the dog is calm and relaxed

  • DO NOT use affection as a substitute for exercise or mental stimulation


Morning Routine:

  • Exercise (walk), food, and then affection or play…in that order.

  • Dogs do best on a structured routine and will adapt quickly.


Follow the L.E.G.S.® model for behavior issues, created by  Kim Brophey:


When it comes to working with the puppy’s unwanted behaviors, such as jumping, play biting, barking, and chewing, you need a different approach. Behavior modification is not the same as obedience training. 


Dog obedience training teaches sit, down, stay, and come. Behavior modification changes the dog's association with triggers and stimuli that make them behave inappropriately. 


  • Learned - Understanding how dogs learn helps identify effective ways to teach them new behaviors. Like humans, dogs are always learning, and not just in training sessions. Through learning, all animals learn to adapt to new situations.


  • Environmental - The environment is everything an animal interacts with, and we humans can control it to promote a safe environment for our dogs. Examining and adjusting environmental factors helps promote positive behavior from your dog.


  • Genetics - Recognizing the unique characteristics of your dog’s breed/s reveals your dog’s natural instincts. Each breed has its own set of genetic instructions that affect its behavior, such as herding instincts or protective tendencies.


  • Self - Understanding your dog’s unique personality is crucial for successful mediation between you and your dog. Age, gender, nutrition, health status, and reproductive status all contribute to developing an animal’s distinct character and behavior.



Conclusion


As you can see, it takes a lot of time, work, and patience to raise a puppy. There are no shortcuts or magic wands. Dog trainers will educate and suggest options for success, and it's up to you to follow through.


Request a FREE Phone Consultation for dog training in Huntsville, AL.

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