Develop an optimal relationship with your dog

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Demonstrate Leadership…Don’t Be A Dominant Alpha Or Yeller

Featured image Let’s throw away the saying, “I have to be the Alpha of the pack.” First of all, when you bring a puppy or dog into your home, they become part of your family, not part of a pack. A pack of dogs are dogs that are unrelated and usually means 3 or more animals together. Like at the dog park.

Leadership is one of the most forward-thinking training procedures you can use on your puppy or dog. I am using Leadership in this instance to mean setting boundaries, both physical and behavioral. You wouldn’t let your young child decide what time to go to bed, or let them decide what time to eat, so why do that with your puppy and/or dog?

You don’t need to yell…yelling can aggravate the situation by bring more stress into the situation. If you don’t want the dog to beg at the dining room table during meal times, put the dog away during those times (i.e., crate or tether it). If you don’t want the dog to jump on you and your friends, then don’t let him/her do it when they are a puppy.

Physical boundaries relate to where your puppy or dog can physically go in your home and outside, depending on the dog’s age. Discuss these with your family:

  • Can the dog be up on the furniture?
  • Can the dog beg for food at the the dining or kitchen table?
  • Can the puppy have free run of the house? If not, what room(s) can he have access to?
  • Should the dog wait at the door before being let out?

Behavior boundaries relate to what behaviors are okay for your puppy or dog. Again, discussion with your family leads to compliance from everyone in the family, even the dog.

  • Can the dog jump on you?
  • Can the dog bite you or your clothing?
  • Do you want the dog licking you or your friends excessively? (Do you really believe a dog’s mouth is clean? Not!)
  • Is the dog allowed to pull on the lease?
  • Can the dog chase small animals? (My fear is of skunks!)

Give me a call and we can discuss way to avoid pitfalls and get you on the right track.


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Do’s And Don’ts For Effective Training – AKC

You can teach your dog to do many different things, but there are a few general guidelines that will help make sure your training goes well. The American Kennel Club’s (AKC®) Canine Good Citizen® Director Mary Burch offers the top tips for effectively training your four-legged friend.

Do reward behaviors you like. Observe carefully when training your dog and reward the behaviors that you’d like him to continue. Treats, toys, and your attention are great rewards and can eventually be phased out and replaced with praise.

Do manage the environment. When training your dog, managing his environment will help him succeed and not do something that you don’t like. If you keep your shoes in the closet, your dog can’t make a snack out of them.

Don’t reinforce behaviors you don’t like. Reinforcing behaviors you don’t like is very common, and you might not even realize you’re doing it. Petting and playing with a puppy that jumps on you when you enter the room will more likely than not ensure that he’ll continue jumping on people because you’re giving him the attention he wants. Instead, wait until he’s not jumping on you to pet him.

Don’t forget about exercise. Exercise plays a critical role in preventing many behavior problems. Exercise also helps to relax your dog so he can pay more attention to you during training.