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Archive for March, 2007

Advantages of Self-Training Your Dog

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Who Should Train Your Dog?
It is an undisputed fact that training your dog is a necessary requirement for her proper socialization and installing good habits in her. However, it has always been a point of debate as to who should be in-charge of training your dog. There are various methods for training your dog. You can train her on your own, take her to classroom training sessions or hire a professional trainer to train your dog.

All the aforementioned methods of training have their advantages and disadvantages. People supporting any of the methods have a strong case to support their preferred method. It is true that formal and classroom training methods have some advantages because of the involvement of trained and experienced professionals. However, nothing beats the joy and pleasure of training your dog on your own.

Moreover, it is not possible to take your dog to formal training classes and dog socials until she gets all of her shots. This means that she cannot attend the formal training classes until the age of 6 months. You cannot leave her untrained until she becomes 6 months because if you do so, you are may have an ill-mannered and rowdy dog. Secondly, the classroom trainings are general in nature and do not keep in mind the specific requirements and temperament of your dog.

Early and personalized training is necessary to prevent a host of possible behavior problems. However, you can go for classroom training at a later age to train your dog for special tricks. Formal training comes in handy if you want to train your dog for show purposes.

Advantages of Personalized Training
Now you have just two options for training your dog. You can either hire a personalized trainer or train your dog yourself. A personalized training program would design the training objectives and training sessions according to her needs; her breed and personality characteristics; size and type of your home and your family members. However many dog owners have difficulties in finding a qualified personal trainer for their dog. Moreover, some people are not able to afford a personal trainer because of budgetary constraints. In such cases and even otherwise, self-training is often the best option to train your dog. 

Self-Training- The Best Option     
The best training option that you have for training your dog is to do it yourself. Many dog owners are apprehensive about training their dogs. They consider dog training a time consuming, specialized job and do not feel equipped to handle dog training. However, this is a misconceived notion.

Dog training is a specialized job but it is very easy to pick up training tricks and tips. With some basic understanding of dog behavior and keen interest in the well being of your dog, you can easily learn how to train her. This book will cruise you through all the necessary steps for dog training and help you to commence your training with relative ease.

Dog training is not only a simple but also an enriching experience. By taking time to train your dog, you are doing a great favor to yourself and the dog. Remember that your dog is unique and no one understands her better that you. You are the best judge for her training requirements and are sympathetic to her limitations and special needs.

Training is the best way to establish a bond of love, care and mutual respect with your dog. Training sessions will bring you closer to your dog and she will become more responsive to your commands and gestures. Dog training is an emotionally enriching and educational experience.

By training your dog, you will acquire better insights into dog behavior. You will become better equipped to provide care and affection when she needs it. Training will also establish a line of communication with your dog and she will be in a better position to understand and respond to your commands. Dog owners who train their puppies themselves seldom have complaints such as if “My dog does not listen to me” or “she refuses to come when called”.

When you train you dog on your own, she gets to listen to your voice more often and responds to your commands immediately. The dogs that receive training in classrooms or by professional trainers are at times delinquent in their behavior.

They respond perfectly to commands of their trainers but may not give the same response for your commands. This is primarily because the dog recognizes the trainer as her owner and not you. Self-training is consistent and avoids confusion for your dog. She learns the meaning of each command and understands your facial expressions and gestures.  

By training your dog, you are establishing yourself in the alpha role for her. She will consider you her leader and become subjugated and responsive to you. If your dog does not consider you as her alpha, she will not respect you.

This lack of respect is the basis for many behavioral problems. The dog also needs a hierarchical structure and requires someone to whom she is accountable. Training sets up the required hierarchical structure. Therefore training is a perfect way of establishing natural and not enforced respect for you in the dog’s mind.  

Dog training is a rewarding experience not only for her but also for you. Dog training is fun and brings you emotionally closer to your canine friend. Training is a perfect way of keeping you fit and healthy. When you train your dog, you get much-required workouts and exercise. Moreover, dog training is a good stress buster and a perfect way of chilling out after a long and hectic day.

By training your dog, you not only save money and avoid inconvenience for yourself but also do a great favor for dog lovers and the entire dog community. Puppies trained by their owners have very few chances of developing behavioral disorders. However, the puppies that do not receive adequate training bring about a bad name for themselves and the entire dog community.

Dog Obedience Training Video

Friday, March 30th, 2007

This is a great video only about four minutes long about puppy training.


When to Start Dog Training

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Dog training is a kind of insurance whereby you can have a well-adjusted and well-behaved dog when she grows up. The most important dog-training question is when to start training. There are no set rules that define an appropriate age for dog training. Dog training is an ongoing and continuous process. Dog training begins from the day you bring her home and will continue as long as she lives with you.

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The best age to train your puppy is when she is young. Research has revealed that dog’s brain develops adequately at the age of seven weeks. The age of 7 weeks is ideal for commencing dog training. By this age, the dog’s brain is capable of understanding and responding to training commands.

The age of 7 weeks until 16 weeks is the Critical Socialization or Learning stage for your dog. Habits that your dog picks up at this age are going to stay with her all though her life. This age is the cradle for basic behavior patterns in your dog.

Some breeders believe that training should commence from the moment she opens her eyes and begins to walk. However, it is not good to separate the dog from her mother and littermates before she is 6 weeks old. Therefore, the ideal age to commence dog training is from 6-12 weeks.

Considering the above-mentioned parameters, it is important that you adopt a puppy not before 6 weeks and not after 12 weeks. If you adopt a puppy after 12 weeks, you are losing the critical socialization period. Ideally, you should start training your dog after she is six-seven weeks old. This would provide you 9-10 weeks to install good habits in your dog and make her accustomed to living with humans.

It is possible to train a dog even after 16 weeks. Most of the formal dog-training sessions commence after she is six months old. However, by this age, behavioral problems that she has already acquired become deep rooted and you will have to put in extra time and effort to correct them.

Training for young puppies should include house training, fear and aggressiveness control, chew training, and basic commands like sit, come, stay, and familiarizing her with leash and collar. Begin with simple training and adopt a soft and gentle approach when your dog is young. She is going to lose attention and get frightened if you adopt a harsh training regime.

Another important consideration is the duration and timing of training sessions. Initially, begin with brief training sessions. At young age, your dog’s attention span is low. Do not bore her with lengthy and serious training sessions. Lengthy and harsh training sessions will make your dog averse to learning.

The goal should be to achieve at least 15-30 minutes of training every day. You can achieve this by small 3-5 minute sessions spread all through the day. Spread training sessions evenly throughout the day and try to incorporate training in whatever she does.

Make training fun and not a boring activity for the dog. Make her sit before she eats, before you open the door and before you take her out for a walk. Be creative and make every activity of your dog a learning experience and a precursor for establishing good habits.