Working at an Animal Hospital, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of puppies walking through our door since the COVID-19 “stay at home” restrictions continue. The un-routine circumstances are allowing for people to be home more, making more time for new ventures. It just so happens that adding a cute fluffy friend to the family seems to be a new fad during this pandemic. This is why we title puppies born in this time, “Pandemic Puppies”. The term means nothing harmful, just some veterinary lingo.
Train, Bond, Repeat
If you recently got a puppy or are thinking about adding one to the family, it is important to start training from your very first day together so you start forming a bond. Training your dog from their first day with you will set them up for success by equipping them with the confidence and socialization skills they need for every situation.
Before you start working with your pup, there are some important training tips to remember. These tips will help you and your dog kickstart a successful training routine that you can keep building upon.
GOT (bad) DOGS?
...or just energy? The antidote to every hyperactive dog is simply exercise. If you are noticing that your dog’s attention span is almost non-existent, their built up energy may be causing them to struggle during training. So, how much exercise does your pup really need everyday to succeed? It all depends on the breed, age, and weight. However, you’ll be amazed at just how taking your pup for walks, hikes, or runs daily can cause their temperament to make a complete 180.
Providing your pup with daily exercise will make them healthier in more ways than one. Obviously, their physical health will improve and they will be able to maintain a healthy weight. However, their mental and emotional health will also improve by giving them something constructive to do (such as an exercise routine) so they don’t become destructive around the house or around strangers. Exercise will ultimately discourage unwanted behavior.
High Value Treats
One of the simplest, yet most effective training methods for your pup, is FOOD! It is important to choose a “high value” treat when working with your pup who is new to training. As this method of positive-reinforcement training, treats should include anything as simple as cooked chicken or hotdogs. The purpose of high value treats is to offer them something that smells delicious and that they do not get often. This will increase their motivation, response, and focus during training. Good luck!
Let's Talk Dog
An important thing to remember when training is that dogs learn through association.
For example, if your pup does something good, you get excited and give them a treat. But, if they do something bad, you should not react at all, ignore them, and do not reward. They will start to associate your reactions with their behaviors.
In order to successfully train your dog, it’s important to understand your dog. You should start by getting to know everything about your dog by monitoring their actions, especially during training times. How does he or she learn best? What does your dog enjoy most? What triggers their bad behaviors and when do they behave best? Monitoring all of your pup’s behaviors will help both of you grow your bond and know how to work best with each other to help build a solid foundation for training.
By combining these techniques, my hope is that you and your pup will start your training together on a successful foundation. As always, feel free to reach out and tell us about your pup. We LOVE meeting our clients and hearing their stories. Until next time!