New Puppy Advice,
copyright (c) 2021 Frania Shelley-Grielen. All rights reserved.
Having a new puppy in your life includes all that sweet, warm, funny
puppy-hood and all the steps in teaching your little one how to navigate
the human world with you. A new puppy client asked me to help. My
follow-up advice will benefit all new puppies and owners too:
It was wonderful meeting such a sweet, little puppy and seeing how invested
you are in her welfare. Thank you again for allowing me to work with you
both. Your puppy and your relationship with her will benefit from clear and
- Regular walks with your puppy will help socialize her to the big outside
world, offer her opportunities to explore it and sniff, aid in house
training and teach her to walk on leash. Giving puppy enough time to
smell cannot be emphasized enough, let her sniff and sniff and sniff, it's
how she "sees" her new world. Avoid choke, prong or head halters
which are painful, inhibit learning due to stress and can damage
puppy's anatomy. Select Y shaped harnesses instead that attach in the
front. Make sure your leash is 4-6 feet long, no extending leashes so
puppy can learn to walk with you and no chain link which can be tough
on human hands. Vary your walks to offer new environments.
- Your puppy is a baby and does not come to you housebroken. She is
still growing and cannot fully control her bodily functions; she needs
frequent (hourly) walks to eliminate and to learn where you would like
her to do her eliminating. We often ask so much more of this canine
species than our human babies in this regard-who get to wear diapers
for years and then still require extensive potty training!
(More on housebreaking tips.)
- Your puppy can learn that biting is a game with her humans and with
teething coming on (generally between 4-7 months) if not effectively
addressed this is a game that puppy, much to their confusion will not be
allowed to still enjoy when older. Frequent and regular puppy play
groups will develop much needed puppy socialization skills and help
to develop bite inhibition with conspecifics (other puppies). For her
human interaction in this regard, redirecting your puppy with a one
word redirection, offering a toy to bite or chase when she is about to
bite or is biting will help if done consistently and repeatedly.
- Your puppy needs a large variety of toys to bite and play with at all
times. Pay attention to the type of toy she favors and offer puzzle toys,
balls to chase (thrown by you) and chew toys. Your puppy will also begin
teething so keep thinking chew toys to add to her toy chest and to help
ease the pain of new teeth.
- Offer meals in a puzzle toy to maximize time spent in meaningful canine
endeavors channelling all the right things puppy is meant to chew on
- Jumping is a natural behavior to garner attention. Greet puppy by name
to acknowledge her and then ask for a sit when you enter a room or she
enters one you are in. Always, always praise the response. Make sure
she has heard you and has time to process the request first. You can
stand if seated you see her getting ready to jump and ask for that sit
or turn partially away if standing. The instant all feet are on the floor
turn and praise her. This must be repeated over and over. She can not
unlearn a behavior on one trial, especially one which she took so long
- Offer praise constantly for all the good, quiet behavior and "put it on
command:" tell her "Good Quiet" or "Good Girl" for being just that,
"Good Sit" when she is sitting, etc. Your puppy's gentle nature will be
impacted seriously by aversive corrections. Avoid fear and displace-
ment behaviors by focusing always and only on positive training methods.
- Dog parks, puppy kindergarten or puppy training classes are key for
puppy's socialization around other dogs and people. Learning in a group
setting affords social learning, observational learning and utilizes the
model rival method for humans and non-humans.
- Crating because? For house training remember to keep crating to a
maximum of an hour- this method utilizes the natural instinct of a dog
not to foul their denning area, in the natural environment, the animal
would be free to leave at will to eliminate. To build on this for house
training, we are encouraged to take baby puppies out every hour or
two (about how long they can "hold" it) to allow for relief and train
for the locations we would like puppy to choose for voiding on their own.
Avoid using crates as cages to contain puppies long term and to prevent
them from interacting with their environment - if you do not begin to
teach puppy how behave in your home outside of the crate, how can
they begin to learn?
Make sure crates have extra comfy dog beds and toys to increase appeal
and drape a portion of the crate with a sheet to cut down on visual
stimulation, be careful with this, makes sure there is adequate airflow
-if it seems to exacerbate a negative reaction -stop immediately!
- Think of an area of the home which has you in it or in sight (no garages
or basements!) for a temporary long term confinement area while puppy
is growing (your office area) and add classical music to soothe her. A
classical music radio station also offers soothing human voices to the mix.
The right approach to individual training or group training classes will make
all the difference in how your puppy learns the canine manners expected of
her in this human world. Study after study shows the benefit of using force
free, positive methods.
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|"Offer praise constantly for
all the good, quiet behavior
and "put it on command:"
tell her "Good Quiet"or
"Good Girl" for being just
that,"Good Sit" when she
is sitting, etc. Your
puppy's gentle nature
will be impacted seriously
by aversive corrections.
Avoid fear and displacement
behaviors by focusing
always and only on
positive training methods."
copyright Frania Shelley-Grielen
copyright Frania Shelley-Grielen
|Ask me about puppy training
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