“National Puppy Day” was created in 2006 to recognize the need for potential pet owners to adopt puppies from animal shelters, rather than shopping at local pet stores. In recognition of the holiday on March 21, Michael Schaier, Canine Expert and Owner/Head Trainer, Michael’s Pack, is providing basic training tips to help guide you through the first few months of puppy ownership.
Puppies are lovable animals that can help reduce stress in owners and bring joy to families. However, raising a puppy is a bigger responsibility than many people realize.
Below is a list of training tips to keep in mind if you choose to adopt a puppy on “National Puppy Day”:
Puppy Proofing — Bringing a puppy into your home is a lifestyle adjustment. Be sure to lock up cabinets, keep sharp objects and poisonous products (such as plants, medications, and chocolate) out of reach, and vacuum often.
Crate Training — First and foremost, make sure you purchase a crate for your puppy that is spacious and provides comfort. Crate training helps with housetraining and reminds puppies of their boundaries.
Redirection — Dogs tend to pull on leashes for three reasons: It is a natural reflex, excess energy, or the actions of their owners. If you have a dog that tugs on the leash while you’re taking a walk, train them to walk correctly on the leash by changing his/her direction. Be sure not to put pressure on the leash because that will harm your dog. When your pet begins walking straight with no pulling or tugging, always praise them verbally or give them their “go-to” treat.
Positive Reinforcement — Always reward and praise your dog for good behavior. Puppies will learn quicker by being rewarded with a treat or their favorite toy after coming on command, “sitting,” or “staying.”
Positive Boundaries — In order to ensure boundaries, make sure to enforce them positively by not letting dogs play or sit wherever they want. Do not allow them on furniture, beds, around the dinner table when people are eating, or near the toilet where they may attempt to sneak a drink.
Michael has also included a few suggestions for raising a happy puppy:
Give Them A Purpose — Most dogs, at one point or another, were bred to perform certain tasks. Dogs feel content when they have a purpose, since they are technically unemployed. Make sure to teach your puppy its purpose in life by prioritizing tasks, such as walking, playing, and practicing commands (sit, stay, come, etc.) throughout the day.
Exercise — Countless puppy owners are unaware of the importance of exercising. It actually correlates with positive behavior. Frequent exercise will help keep your puppy calm and centered, reducing typical puppy behavior such as nipping, jumping, and chewing.
Love/Affection — Express a ton of love and affection towards your new puppy as they get acclimated to their new home. Like a human baby, they need a lot of nurturing and attention to be content.
“It is crucial for the public to be aware that there are many wonderful puppies and older dogs available for adoption. Rescuing a puppy from a shelter helps save lives,” says Mr. Schaier. “It is also important that new owners review basic training tips in order to give their pet the best life that they deserve and to make owners’ lives less stressful.”
About Michael’s Pack
Michael’s Pack provides private and group dog-training sessions that are based on positive reinforcement, coupled with holistic methods. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced sessions are offered, both at the Mineola training facility and in private residences. The author of Wag That Tail: A Trainer’s Guide to a Happy Dog, Michael Schaier holds the following certifications: AKC-C.G.C: American Kennel Cub — Canine Good Companion Evaluator; ABC-D.T: Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer; and CPDT-K.A.: Certified Professional Dog Trainer — Knowledge Assessed.
Photo @ http://www.nationalpuppyday.com/index2.htm