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Archive for the 'Dog Training' Category

Puppy biting!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

The new puppy really has been a joy but one of the issues we are working with now, as most puppy owners will, is biting.

Biting…This is a tough one. As I have young children I need to get this issue resolved quickly. As with anything consistency is the key. There are a few techniques that I find to work pretty well.

When puppy is biting my hand I push my fingers depp into her mouth. She of course finds it unpleasant (but no painful) and she backs off the hand and I give lots of praise.

Puppys learn what pressure is too hard from their litter mates when the sibling they are biting yelp. It also works with humans, when she bites make a high pitched “yelp” and that will help teach the puppy that biting is not a game and is painful.

Another technique that works is when the puppy starts getting excited and biting turn and walk away or just put your back to her. She will learn that biting means “no fun” very quickly.

You can also try grabbing the muzzle and holding the mouth together use a command “no bite” or “out” or whatever command you choose and will be consistent with.

A combination of all of these techniques may be necessary but just remember to stay consistent.

The new puppy is on her way! Now what?

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Well, the time has finally come. After MUCH time, research, and thought we finally found our puppy. What a roller coaster ride! We went back and forth with so many breeds. We looked at so many litters. We finally found a beautiful light yellow (almost white) labrador retriever. If you would have told me 6 months ago that we would be getting a lab puppy I would have said no way. Its funny to think of the journey from 6 months ago to now that brought us to this perfect puppy. We are so excited!

I have a large family, there is me (of course) my wonderful wife and 5 fantastic children. The family dynamic is changing all the time and a breed that might have been good for us 10 yrs ago may not necessarily be the best breed for us today. I think thats one of the main factors that pushed me to the labrador retriever.

Mine was not a unique choice. The labrador retriever has been the number one breed registered with AKC for more than 10 years. There is a reason its such a popular choice. A well bred labrador retriever will be extremely intelligent, very adaptable, great with children (old and young), and on and on.

There are other breeds that fit this description but the for personal taste and opinion the lab is what we decided on. It may just be that the puppy that melted our hearts happened to be a lab but I would like to think I had something to do with the decision.

I say shes on her way because shes coming from a breeder out of state that is driving her here this Saturday. It has been difficult to not jump in the car and go pick her up myself but we have kept ourselves busy getting ready for her.

Its been a while since we have had a puppy so Im trying to mentally go through all the things to expect and make sure we have a plan when we bring her home. We are going through the house trying to use our “puppy eyes” to make it safe for her and safe for everything we dont want puppy teeth marks in. We have the crate, coller, leash, bed, we picked out what puppy food we want to feed her, we have shampoos and brushes, cleaners for accidents we hope not to have.

It really has been fun getting ready for this new member of our family. Saturday can’t come soon enough. I plan on a semi weekly, if not weekly blog with whats going on with the new pup. What issues we may be having and how we are resolving them. What is working well and what is not going as well as we would like. I hope that it will be helpful to others going through the same experience. This is the most critical 2 to 3 months of the puppies life to help mold her into the perfect family member. I am so excited to get started! I hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Psychological Damage

Friday, June 19th, 2009

One of the points I always try to drive home to people getting a new puppy is how important it is to keep self control and not lose your temper to the point that you hit your dog. We have all seen the dogs that are scared of everything, some to the point of submissive urinatation. That result could have come from one short fused owner that got upset over a chewed up valuable or an accident on the new carpet. One moment that you allowed yourself to hit your dog may cause a lifetime of cowering fear and submissive urination.

I understand that we are human. We have tempers and most of the time if we could have taken a second and not just reacted we would have handled the situation much better. It is the same with kids. The difference is that when we make a mistake with our kids, they are intelligent enough to know that we do make mistakes but still love them. Dogs arent so easy to forget that blow up and every time your hand goes up quickly they are going to remember getting wacked and cower or run away.

None of us want to make mistakes. None of us want to ruin our dogs. My advise is to try to plan ahead for every problem that you might run into and plan on how you will react. “If Fido has an accident on the carpet I will firmly correct with a loud NO and take him out to where he should go to relieve himself. If he finishes in the right area I will praise like crazy.” Try to think up anything that might happen and then plan your reaction. Its always easier to make the right choice when a situation arises if you have already decided how you will react.

It wont be easy but I promise you that it will be worth it. You and your dog will obviously have a much better relationship and be much happier.