Follow along with me to the Fox46 Charlotte studio to help owners navigate puppyhood. Every interaction you have with your puppy ultimately shapes their behavior into the dog they will be one day. On this particular segment, I share just a few of the things that you can do to help start your puppy off on the right paw!
I highly recommend that anyone starting off with a puppy seek the help of a professional trainer or behavior professional who teaches obedience to best guide you through making good decisions to set your puppy up for a lifetime of behavioral success. Even if you are a DIYer and you’ve seen all the videos or had dogs prior, it’s always a good idea to have a pair of professional eyes on you to help see the things that you may not see.
Safe socialization early on is really important for the social development of your puppy. Group training classes, playdates with known-to-be-vaccinated dogs and puppies are critical for learning how to communicate effectively between other animals as well as develop those friendly traits that we all desire our canine companions to have. There is a genetic component to how friendly with others your dog will end up being, however, as pet parents, it’s our duty to set them up environmentally as best we can for social success.
Tethering is your friend. No really – like, your best friend! Using a handsfree leash like this one: https://amzn.to/2siRe8B gives you every opportunity to not only build a strong bond faster with your dog, but to also reward and remove reward at every given opportunity. With your pup right there at your side, they learn to look to you for guidance and you learn to encourage the best behaviors your puppy presents you with. Bonus – it can really speed up potty training too! Doing this causes them to repeat desired behaviors. Take up part of their meal in the morning and use it as reward for good behavior all day. They will need a quiet rest periodically but when they are awake, tethering is one of those tools you need in your puppy tool box.
Nonverbal communication – it should be your new jam if you are raising a young puppy. As humans language is our primary method of communication, however, our canine compadres are very tuned into their scent and sound to an nth degree, comparatively. Over-verbalizing can cause them to ignore you or, to listen occasionally rather than the first time you ask. For most cases, that’s not a huge deal, however, imagine your dog accidentally got out and is in the road. As a car is approaching and not slowing – perhaps a texting driver – it’s imperative that your dog comes the FIRST time you call him because all you have is seconds between life and death. It’s difficult to appreciate your dog responding to your directive the very first time you give it, until faced with a situation like this. The idea is that when you do speak, they listen – they don’t tune you out because it’s hard for them to differentiate the words that they know among the sea of sentences you are verbalizing, and, they have a positive association with their name, meaning, you don’t use their name in a corrective manner.
*Special thanks to Fox46 Charlotte and the Good Day Charlotte team for inviting me to highlight the importance of starting your puppy off right. Starting the relationship and training process early on can drastically reduce the chances of future poor behavior issues in your canine companion.The full interview can be viewed here: https://www.fox46charlotte.com/video/647683
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Additional resources in the video:
Learn to Earn by Dr. Sophia Yin: https://amzn.to/2Gi5Po6
Perfect Puppy in 7 Days by Dr. Sophia Yin: Perfect Puppy: https://amzn.to/2NUbbtP
Our videos are about communication, behavior, health, training, and obedience skill work. This is so much more than dog training, this is about understanding your dog’s behavior and learning to communicate in a way that they understand.