Featured Glenbrook Glittering Jazz
Puppy Training, Collars and Leads, Crate training and Puppy Schools
ESSENTIAL PUPPY TRAINING
You need to ensure that an errorless housetraining and chew toy-training program is instituted the very first day your puppy comes home. This is so important during the first week, when puppies characteristically learn good or bad habits that set the precedent for weeks, months, and sometimes years to come. Be absolutely certain that you fully understand the principles of long-term and short-term confinement before you bring your new puppy home. With a long-term and short-term confinement schedule, housetraining and chew toy training are easy, efficient, and errorless. During the first few weeks at home, regular confinement (with chew toys stuffed with food) teaches the puppy to settle down calmly and quietly, and not to become a recreational barker. Moreover, short-term confinement allows you to predict when your puppy needs to toilet, so that you may take them outside reward when the task is completed.
Socialisation with People
The Critical Period of Socialization ends by three months of age! This is the crucial developmental stage during which puppies learn to accept and enjoy the company of other dogs and people. Thus your puppy needs to be socialized to people by the time he is twelve weeks old. However, since his series of puppy immunization injections is incomplete at this point, a young pup needs to meet people in the safety of his own home. As a rule of thumb, your puppy needs to have met at least a hundred different people before he is eight weeks old and then meet an additional hundred people during his first month at home. Not only is this easier to do than it might sound, it's also lots of fun.
Bite inhibition is the single most important lesson a dog must learn. Adult dogs have teeth and jaws that can hurt and harm. All animals must learn to inhibit use of their weapons against their own kind, but domestic animals must learn to be gentle with all animals, especially people. Domestic dogs must learn to inhibit their biting toward all animals, especially toward other dogs and people. The narrow time window for developing a "soft mouth" begins to close at four-and-a-half months of age, about the time when the adult canine teeth first show. Providing your puppy with an ideal forum to learn bite inhibition is the most pressing reason to enrol him in puppy classes before he is eighteen weeks old.
Preventing Adolescent Problems
To ensure that your well-rounded and well-schooled puppy remains a mannerly, well-socialized, and friendly dog throughout adulthood, your dog needs to meet unfamiliar people and unfamiliar dogs on a regular basis. In other words, your dog needs to be walked at least once a day. Your puppy may be taken for rides in the car and to visit friends' houses as early as you like. Start walking your puppy as soon as your veterinarian says it’s safe to do so - usually after their second vaccination.
Interested in more information – you may download the full book from Dr. Ian Dunbar.
Go to: http://www.siriuspup.com/free-downloads
COLLARS and LEADS
Do not train your dog on a collar that cannot be adjusted. This type of collar moves around the dog's neck sending mixed messsges when training. Consider:
Puppies: Martingale lead and collar. Clipper World.
Young dogs and adults: Limited Slip Collar - Adjustable 35 to 55 cm - New Loop design. A Limited Slip is a security collar - designed to tighten if a dog pulls on the lead making it difficult for a dog to slip its collar. This unique "Clip on" design means you can adjust the collar to exactly fit your dog's neck - because this collar is not fitted over the dog's head. Available - Black Dog Products. blackdog.net.au
Crate training is a new concept for many, but is a very effective training tool for adult dogs and puppies. It may take a little time and effort to train your dog to use the crate, but it can prove useful in a variety of situations. For instance, if you have a new dog or puppy, a crate is a fantastic way of teaching it the boundaries of the house and keeping it safe. When you’re travelling in the car, visiting the vet or any other time you may need to confine your dog (eg. after surgery or if it has been injured), it’s much easier and safer if your dog has been trained to enjoy being in a crate.
How big should my crate be and what type should I get?
A crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lie down. Cockers require a medium size crate. Crates can be plastic (used on airlines), wire (collapsible, metal pens) or collapsible fabric crates. It is not recommended to leave your dog for long periods in a fabric crate unless you are certain that your dog will be happy and calm inside it and will not scratch its way out.
I don’t like the look of a crate! What will my dog think?
A crate is intended to be a ‘safe haven’ or ‘security blanket’ for the dog. By nature, dogs like small, enclosed spaces, especially when they are feeling a little bit unsure. By providing your dog with an area where it can ‘escape’ and know it won’t be bothered, it can readily seek out this area when it needs a bit of a break or time-out.
Training your dog to use the crate
The duration of crate training varies from dog to dog. It will depend on the dog’s age, temperament and past experiences. It is very important to remember that your crate should be associated only with something pleasant and training should always move at your dog’s pace. Always vary the length of time that your dog will spend in its crate, especially during training. This will prevent your dog from ‘expecting’ to be let out at a particular time and reduce any issues such as whining or scratching at the crate door.
Introduce your dog to the crate
Place the crate in a central part of the household (living room, TV room, etc). Make the crate inviting and comfortable for your dog. Usually, dogs will go over and investigate. When your dog goes near the crate, reward it by throwing a food treat into the crate or near its entrance. Repeat this every time the dog goes near the crate. If the dog settles down inside the crate, reward this behaviour either with your voice or with food rewards. You want the dog to view the crate as a wonderful place to be, full of goodies and fun. You don’t want to shut the door of the crate just yet. Your dog needs to understand that it can come and go as it pleases, therefore reinforcing it as a good place to be.
Feed your dog in the crate
Begin giving your dog its regular meals in the crate. Place the bowl inside the crate and encourage the dog to enter. If your dog readily enters the crate at dinner time, start asking it to go in and then place the food inside the crate.
As the dog becomes more comfortable eating in the crate, you can introduce closing the door. Start by closing the door as your dog eats its meal. Make sure you open it before the dog finishes its meal. As you progress, gradually leave the door closed for a few minutes at a time. Soon you should have a dog that will happily stay in its crate after a meal. If the dog whines; ignore the behaviour and try to reward it or let it out as soon as it is quiet. Next time, make sure the dog is in the crate for a slightly longer period of time.
Increase the length of time spent in the crate
Once your dog is happy in the crate for about 10 – 15 minutes after finishing its meal, you can start to confine it to the crate for longer periods. Get the dog into the crate using a command such as “crate” or “bed”. As the dog enters the crate, give it a treat, praise it and close the door. Quietly sit nearby for a few minutes and reward the dog for remaining calm and happy. You might even want to open the door and give the dog a rewarding treat-dispensing toy such as a Kong. Continue with your daily activities and return regularly to reward the dog, either verbally or with a food treat, for its calm behaviour inside the crate.
Start with short sessions and gradually increase the length of time that you leave the dog inside the crate. This may take several days or weeks.
Crating your dog at night
Once your dog is happy spending time in its crate with you around, you can introduce it to crating at night. Make sure your dog has toys or treat-dispensing toys with it to initially settle it into the routine. Keep the crate in a familiar, central area so the dog feels comfortable and settled. With young puppies or older dogs you may need to take them out for toilet breaks during the night. By making the crate a ‘fun’ and enjoyable place to be, night time crating should be an easy transition.
Too much time in the crate
Be careful that your puppy doesn’t spend too much time in its crate. While it is a fantastic tool for toilet training puppies and preventing destruction, a dog of any age should not spend all day in a crate while you are at work and again when you go to bed. This can affect your dog’s muscle development and condition. Young puppies shouldn’t spend more than 2-3 hours in the crate without a toilet break as they cannot last that long without relieving themselves.
If your dog begins whining in its crate, the best thing to do is ignore it. For a young puppy, whining may occur because it needs to relieve itself, so quietly take it out to the toilet on a lead, making sure not to play with it. Place it back into its crate once it has gone to the toilet. Remember that any sort of interaction, positive or negative, will be a ‘reward’ to the dog, so ignoring the whining is best. However, make sure that you reward the dog appropriately when it has settled and is quiet. Using a towel or sheet to cover the crate if the whining persists can also help settle the dog.
By following these steps, you can train your dog to not only love its crate, but also see it as a safe haven. Your dog’s crate can be a place to escape for a much-needed rest, a break from kids or other dogs, and even a portable home that will always be familiar no matter where you are.
Consider attaching a pen to the crate which will give your puppy a safe bed plus an area in which to play and toilet. Check out Vebo pet supplies.
The aim of a good puppy preschool program is to encourage your puppy to become a well-socialised, relaxed member of your family and to provide you with all the information required to raise a happy, healthy dog.
The critical learning and socialisation period for puppies is approximately 4 to 17 weeks of age, due to the plasticity of your dog’s brain (i.e. learning ability). Puppy preschool is designed for puppies 8-17 weeks of age. The only pre-requisite to successfully enrol is that all puppies must have had their first vaccination in order to attend.
Studies have shown that puppies who are not exposed to other dogs and people during the critical learning and socialisation period may develop fearful and/or aggressive responses to making new acquaintances later in life. If you miss the 17-week mark, it is not detrimental, but it can be more challenging to train and socialise your dog with unfamiliar people and animals if it has not been socialised during this period.
What are the benefits?
Puppy preschool should provide you with the tools required to start your pup off on the right track and add to your enjoyment as a pet owner. It can also be a great way to recognise the difference between normal puppy behaviour and actual behavioural problems and how to modify them or prevent them from accruing in the future.
The learning outcomes when enrolling into a puppy preschool program may include:
General health care advice.
Diet and exercise information.
Environmental enrichment strategies.
Basic training like sit, drop, the recall, mat training, stand and wait.
Socialisation and interaction with people and dogs.
How you can be a good leader.
Puppy toilet training tips.
How to read canine body language.
Handling tips for grooming and health.
Guidance around how children and puppies should interact.
- Addressing any problems like mouthing, barking and jumping up.
Why does a puppy need socialisation?
Socialisation offers your puppy the best start to life, allowing them to grow into a confident, trainable and manageable adult dog. Socialisation is about exposing puppies to unfamiliar dogs and unfamiliar people in a safe, positive, non-threatening and rewarding way. It exposes them to variety of new and different breeds (e.g. dogs with pointy or floppy ears, breeds that are a lot larger or smaller, etc.) It also teaches puppies to read other dogs’ body language, helping them to distinguish the difference between play and other communication.
A good puppy preschool class will make sure that the puppies engage in compatible play by pairing two or three dogs with a similar level of confidence and personality so the experience is positive for both dogs. Matching an energetic puppy with a timid peer is not an enjoyable (or beneficial) experience for the more passive puppy — and rough play can result in injury. The trainer should allow your puppy space to let new experiences soak in, especially if your puppy is timid or shy.
Look for a trainer who uses positive reinforcement (PDF) training methods. Positive reinforcement is teaching your dog to perform an action in order to get a reward (e.g. food, praise or toys, playing fetch, or whatever motivates your puppy). By using positive reinforcement you can change behaviour by rewarding the behaviour that you want (e.g. sit), and ignoring (not rewarding or acknowledging) the behaviour you want to change (e.g. jumping up), this is called negative punishment.
So be sure to find an accredited positive reinforcement trainer to provide the best guidance necessary for you and your puppy during this critical period.