Important Puppy Training Information.
We recognize that getting a puppy can be exciting and frustrating. Puppies are delightful, cute, funny and highly entertaining. Unfortunately, they do not come with an owner's manual. We are changing all of that. Below is information on what we believe are the most important skills you and your puppy must master.
Read the PPG's Position statement on Puppy Socialization. Yes go ahead a register your puppy in a puppy class as soon as possible.
This is a great article featuring a round table discussion on the risks and benefits of early puppy socialization. Ian Dunbar says " The risks are minimal to non-existent and the benefits are positively HUGE, namely, learning bite inhibition (via dog-dog play-fighting),socialization with people (during off leash play), handling by strangers, and owners learning to train their pups in a controlled yet extremely distracting setting (integrating training interludes into play, so that rather than being a distraction to training, play with other dogs becomes a reward for training). Plus, it is a fun night out for dogs and their human families"
The PPG has developed for its members and for PPG clients a great puppy socialization checklist to support our position statement on puppy socialization. Download a FREE copy of this training tool.
Dr.Ian Dunbar has also made this book available as a free PDF download
You can also download Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy by Dr. Ian Dunbar. Click here to access these puppy books.
The Puppy Nipping Guide.
Since puppies are born without hands, the only way they have to explore the world is with their mouths. And you may have noticed that your puppy is quite the explorer. Everything goes into those little mouths, including your fingers, and those baby teeth are like little needles. Ouch!
It's completely normal for puppies in their litters to bite each other in play. When they engage in this "bitey-face" game, they learn a little about how to inhibit the strength of their biting. If one puppy bites another too hard, that puppy probably will yelp and stop playing. If that happens enough times, the biter learns to apply less pressure. If you need help teaching your puppy appropriate mouth behaviors then download our Puppy Nipping Guide
The Proper Use of Food In Dog Training.
Why should I use food when training my dog? Surely if I ask my dog to do something he should just do it? Dogs are thinking, feeling, intelligent creatures. Though they are not little people in fur suits, like us they will do things that are fun and rewarding and avoid things that are not. Asking your dog to do something ‘just because you said so’ is like your boss asking you to work for no pay. How motivated would you be to do it? You could force your dog to comply, but what would that do to your relationship? How would you feel about somebody who forced you to work? On the other hand, if you set up the game that your dog understands as “If I do what you want, you’ll give me a treat,” it’s a relationship-building win-win situation. The dog is motivated to learn, and both of you can enjoy the training session. You love your dog, so why wouldn’t you want to use a training “tool” that gets him excited and makes him happy? Download this handout
Socialization and Vaccinations Go Together.
Pet parents are now aware of the necessity of providing dog/dog socialization opportunities for their puppies. Nevertheless, when and how to do it is still misunderstood largely because many veterinarians, as well as breeders and pet-store owners, advise new pet parents to avoid socializing their new puppy with other dogs until the age of four to six months in order to avoid exposure to illnesses that vaccines protect against. Download our education piece on the importance of both vaccinations and socialization.