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We tend to forget these days that dogs are pack animals. Many of us may have just one dog, or even two. But we don’t see them as they were in nature. Left to their own devices, dogs join up into a pack, often of related animals. Like their wolf cousins and ancestors, dogs have a hierarchical structure to their packs, with leaders, assistants, subordinates and followers. In nature dogs would learn everything they need to know, including dog manners, from their mother and other pack mates.
To live in our world of cars, buildings and cell phones, we have taken dogs almost completely out of their natural world. In many places they exist without even having fields and forests anymore to share with their humans as they did only 100-200 years ago. The only way they can exist in our world is if we teach them the skills they need to understand it and to thrive in it. This means we have to socialize them to the human world and to the people in it.
Socialization means much more than learning a few commands. Socialization is learning, from birth, to accept humans. Good breeders begin socializing puppies from the day of their birth, picking them up and holding them, stroking them and talking to them, getting them used to sights and sounds in the house. This should continue for the first seven weeks of life, with puppies being introduced to new things each week.
From the age of 8 weeks to 12 weeks, the time when many people get their new puppy, puppies are going through a fear imprinting stage. This means that it is very easy at this time for anything that frightens the puppy to be remembered for the rest of their life. New owners should take special care during this time to bolster their puppy’s confidence. Do let puppies see new things and introduce them to new places and people. Give them time to see that there is nothing to be afraid of. Give plenty of praise when the puppy is brave and curious about things. Try not to encourage your puppy to be fearful at this time or reward fearful behavior. If a loud noise or something frightens your puppy, instead of cuddling the puppy take him to see what it is and show him that it’s okay. Dance, laugh, be positive instead of petting the puppy for being fearful. This is the difference between a fearful adult dog and a confident one later in life.
Introduce your puppy to many different people during this time to help him learn that he has nothing to fear from strangers and that he can meet them and be friendly. Take him for short rides in the car. Introduce many strange things at this time, such as umbrellas and the vacuum cleaner if he has not already encountered them. Let him see normal things in unexpected places in the house. Make sure he gets used to being groomed and bathed during this time. And, of course, make sure he learns some leash training. This is helpful since he will be going to the vet for his shots during this time. Makes these pleasant experiences for him (especially bathing) and your future experiences will be much better.
Exercise basic common sense, of course. Don’t allow your puppy to put himself in any danger while encouraging him to be confident. Don’t allow him to wander where other animals have left droppings. Remember that your puppy is not fully vaccinated yet so limit his socialization time with any unknown pets. Don’t make your puppy do anything that is frightening for him. Puppies at this age will remember things forever. You want to encourage confidence, not ask them to do more than they can cope with. And, remember that your puppy is just a baby at this time. He needs lots of sleep and several small meals during the day. You should only have a couple of socialization sessions per day along with things that occur on their own.
The socialization period continues until dogs are about 20 weeks old. By that time their basic personality is in place, though socialization can continue for months. You’ll begin to see your puppy making his own decisions about what he wants to do, what he likes and doesn’t like, what frightens him and what he’s confident about.
Early socialization is an extremely important time in the life of every dog. You can help your dog adapt to living with humans by working with him during this time and make your future life together a very happy one.
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Here are the things to take along which are considered necessities: the identification card and dog show ticket, a water pan (although you can always use the cardboard ones supplied by feed companies at most shows), a sponge and towel, a bench collar and bench chain or wire bench crate, a show lead, and finally, a comb and brush. If you use a tack crate (a crate with drawers), these very useful and necessary articles may be permanently stored in the drawers and will always be ready to go. If you do not use a tack crate, you will probably “latch on” to an old brief case or small overnight bag which will accompany you to shows, and these things can be stored in it and will always be ready to go.
Here are some things you can also take along if you wish: trimming tools, a bucket (if your water pan is large enough perhaps you will use that, but if your breed is a large one, which may need a lot of cleaning up, the bucket will come in handy), a first-aid kit (you never know what may happen), a thermos of water or coffee, lunch, and a change of shoes for your weary feet. Everything in this list may be prepared the night before and placed with the necessities.
In the morning, exercise your dog carefully. If you have a pen for him, fine; otherwise don’t turn him loose; he may wade through a puddle, or, worse, he may chase a passing cat and make you late for your arrival. I have seen this happen to a friend of mine: the dog decided to take off one morning before a show and they didn’t catch up with him until it was too late to go to the show at all.
Watch to see if your dog evacuates. If he doesn’t, you will want to give him the opportunity to do so immediately upon arriving at the show. If not then, try again before he goes into the ring. Your dog will show better for you if this act has been performed. However, it happens that no matter how many opportunities you may give a dog to evacuate before he goes into the ring he will decide that right now, in the ring, is the time. If it happens to you, don’t die of embarrassment. Remember, it has happened before to others. Just try, if possible without interrupting the dog, to maneuver him to the side or end of the ring and stay there until he has finished. When he has finished, go on with whatever you were doing.
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I know exactly how it can be, you buy that brand new, nice smelling, affectionate dog and you really want to offer it everything beneath the sun. It is a natural reaction for any individual whom looks at a sweet, small puppy to shower him or her with every little thing they would like, however this can certainly cause a few undesirable behavior and produce even more work for you. Now it will be a very good plan for you to get started in your own puppy dog training soon, and let your dog fully understand who is in charge.
As the owner you have to develop a relationship with your new puppy. The relationship you develop has to include a stable foundation, as well as your own puppy needs to learn that you are the leader! Simply by giving in to those puppy dog eyes every time your dog cries, you are just demonstrating to your pet that he is in charge, that he is the boss. In the event that you grant your puppy free reign in and around your house, your dog will never learn self-control, discipline, and will lack respect for your entire family.
A dog not possessing respect for their master will be the hardest achievable circumstances to have. By simply giving into your own pup, he may mature to become an even much larger monster, with absolutely no behavior training, rowdy as well as a lot of instances aggressive towards some other pets along with individuals. Most dog owners who possess these puppy dog training issues, often times simply give them away to shelters or even worse, simply abandon them. I do not wish this to take place to any pet therefore carry out with your puppy dog training.
In order to achieve control and respect via your very new pup you must challenge him or her with some primary commands. These types of commands need to be comparable to Sit, Stay, Down, and so forth. You should help make your puppy sit prior to he will go outdoors, or goes for a walk. Make your pet follow some important commands just before his routines and he will probably soon understand he has to comply to you before he or she receives everything that he wishes. Keep in mind that pups love a challenge, so turn this kind of instinct into a positive effort for you. Get your own puppy to pick up their toys, sit, fetch tennis balls, anything that places you in control. As a result of making your pup comply with several primary instructions on a daily basis, he or she will probably quickly understand that if he or she complies to your request, he will get a treat.
Or perhaps he will get his favorite toy, or go for a stroll. The faster your own puppy can pick up on this partnership you are creating with him, the quicker you will find benefits throughout your puppy dog training. Whenever your puppy follows through along with your instructions you should continually encourage him highly enthusiastically! When your puppy recognizes that he pleased you, your dog will certainly want to carry on with this kind of behavior over and over repeatedly. You never want to yell or discipline ones canine throughout your puppy dog training due to the fact that this particular kind of actions will certainly just set you back, and also make your pet plan to rebel against just about any command you require of him.
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Just about everybody loves a puppy. What’s not to love? Okay, maybe there are a few things — like accidents in the house, chewing your things, nipping…
Here are a few things that you should know about your new puppy:
1. When you bring your new puppy home he doesn’t know very much. He’s spent most of the first weeks of his life living with his mother and siblings, who are dogs. That means he knows some basic dog things, like how to whimper and bark to get attention. He knows how to poop on papers. His breeder may have taught him a few things but there wasn’t time to teach him very much. Your puppy is pretty much a blank slate. It’s up to you to teach him everything he needs to know.
2. Your puppy is a little animal, not a small person in a furry suit. He has animal instincts and will always react as an animal when he doesn’t know what to do. That means that your puppy can bite and scratch and hurt somebody if he’s not supervised and trained. He needs training while he’s young so that he doesn’t grow up to be a badly-behaved dog.
3. Puppies need socialization. Socialization is the process of introducing your puppy to the big, wide world and everything in it. Your puppy needs to go places, see new things and meet people. He should learn that new things and new people are good. Socialization teaches a puppy to be confident and helps him later in life. Puppies that are well-socialized tend not to develop behavior problems later on.
4. You should begin training your puppy early. You can train a dog throughout his life but it’s always easier and advisable to start training a puppy when he’s young. Teach your puppy good manners and some basic obedience skills like Sit and Come. You can take him to Puppy Preschool or Puppy Kindergarten classes where he can learn some simple obedience and enjoy some socialization at the same time.
5. Your puppy will most likely chew on things so you should try to “puppy proof” your house as much as possible. Put away your shoes and other things that he can reach. When your puppy chews on things take them away. If you catch your puppy in the act of chewing on something he’s not supposed to chew on, you can correct him (no physical punishments). Otherwise, if you don’t catch him, you should let it go. There is no point in correcting a puppy or dog for something that has already happened. Your puppy or dog won’t know why they’re being corrected.
6. Puppies may nip, bite too hard when playing or simply get too raucous. When they do, you should stop playing with them and ignore them. If they continue, you should call a time-out. Time-outs work with puppies just as they do with children. If your puppy nips you, you should yelp and let him know it hurts. If he even touches his teeth to your skin, yelp and don’t play with him. If you stop playing with him whenever he tries to nip he will stop nipping.
7. If you have children teach them that they can’t mistreat a puppy. Tell them not to stare at a puppy or otherwise make the puppy uncomfortable. They puppy may lunge at them. And, if they run away screaming from a puppy, the puppy will chase them. Not all kids are happy about that fact. Children under six should be supervised when they play with puppies.
8. Puppies may whine and bark and whimper for attention. Sometimes you will have to ignore them, especially if you want to get any sleep.
9. Do make sure that your puppy gets all of his vaccinations on schedule. See that he takes heartworm preventive and flea medication if he needs it in your area. Your puppy’s health and well-being depend on proper veterinary care. You should also make sure that you are feeding him a good dog food with meat protein sources.
10. Puppies are adorable and they will make you do whatever they want.
Those are a few things you should know about puppies. Have fun with your puppy and may he (or she) grow up to be a wonderful dog.
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