Dr. Ian Dunbar's
Your puppy will grow up very quickly. Know how to train him right and he will become a good natured and well mannered adult dog.
Before you get a new kitten or adopt an adult cat, make sure you complete your education about kitty education. If you are already living with an untrained cat with existing problems, simply designate today as the first day at Kitty College for both of you. Kitten training techniques work perfectly well with adult cats.
Chewing is essential for maintaining the health of your dog's teeth, jaws, and gums. Puppies especially have a strong need to chew to relieve the irritation and inflammation of teething. Dogs chew to relieve anxiety and boredom, as well as for entertainment. Your dog’s jaws are his tools for carrying objects and for investigating his surroundings. Essentially, a dog’s approach to all items in his environment is “Can I chew it?”
Dogs & Children
Babies and children should never be left unsupervised with puppies or dogs. Learning to respect, understand, care for, and successfully control a dog gives a dramatic boost to any child's self-esteem. But these benefits do not come by magic. Children and parents alike must realize that cartoon dogs are fantasy, and Lassie was several well-trained dogs. Both Lassie and Timmy were acting. In the domestic environment, both dogs and children must learn how to act around each other. All dogs must be taught how to act around children, and all children must be taught how to act around dogs.
Fear of People
Socializing a puppy to people is the easiest and most enjoyable aspect of raising a dog. On a regular and ongoing basis, puppies need to meet, play with, and be handled and trained by a wide variety of people, especially including strangers, men, and children.
Housesoiling is a spatial problem. Your puppydog has been allowed to eliminate in the wrong place. Housesoiling quickly becomes a bad habit because dogs develop strong location, substrate, and olfactory preferences for their improvised indoor toilet areas. To housetrain your puppydog: first, prevent any more mistakes; and second, teach your puppydog where you would like him to eliminate.
Leashless-training methods are essential for pet dogs, because they are usually off-leash indoors. Lure-reward and reward-training techniques make training quick, easy, effective, and enjoyable for dogs and their owners. Reward training is as owner-friendly as it is dog-friendly. Since rewardtraining depend on brain rather than brawn, the techniques are easily mastered by all dog owners, including children.
Dogs dig to bury bones, and later to dig them up again. Dogs dig cooling hollows in the summer, and warming pits in the winter. Dogs dig after eavesdropping on private ultrasonic conversations of subterranean critters. Bitches dig dens when they are pregnant. Dogs dig out of boredom, and dogs dig to escape. But by and large, most dogs dig for the sheer fun of it.
Some dogs get extremely worked up when visitors ring the doorbell, or when dogs walk by the house. Some spaniels and terriers bark at the drop of a hat. And our good friend Larry Labrador will bark whenever a leaf falls from a tree three blocks away. Barking is as characteristically doggy as wagging a tail or burying a bone. It would be inane and inhumane to try to stop your dog from barking altogether: "You’ll never bark in this town again!" After all, some barking is extremely useful. My dogs are much more efficient than the doorbell and much more convincing than a burglar alarm. The goal then, is to teach dogs normally to be calm and quiet but to sound the alarm when intruders enter your property. The barking problem may be resolved to our advantage by management and education: first, immediately reduce the frequency of barking before we all go insane; and second, teach your dog to "Woof" and "Shush" on cue.
Fighting With Dogs
Many people have unrealistic expectations about dog-dog social behavior. Dogs are expected to behave perfectly and get along with all other dogs, even though people have difficulty being universally accepting and friendly. However, although people may often disagree, argue, and sometimes resort to pushing and shoving, very few people inflict severe injuries. When tempers flare, extreme physical aggression is strongly inhibited. Really, dogs are not that much different.
Your new puppydog needs lots of attention (companionship, education, and play), but also to be taught how to entertain himself appropriately and how to thoroughly enjoy his time when left at home alone. Otherwise, a social vacuum can be a very lonely place. Puppies and dogs predictably develop housesoiling, chewing, digging, and barking problems if allowed too much freedom and too little supervision and guidance during their first few weeks at home. Puppies and newly adopted dogs may become overdependent if allowed unrestricted access to their owners during the initial time in their new home. Overdependent dogs often become anxious when left at home alone, and they attempt to adapt to the boredom and stress of solitary confinement by busying themselves with doggy activities—chewing, digging, barking—which soon become owner-absent behavior problems. What else is there to do? Severely stressed dogs may work themselves up into a frenzy and spend the day circling, pacing, and panting.
Puppies are naturally noisy and hyperactive. Puppies are exuberant when greeting, playing, and when expressing friendliness and appeasement. However, adult dogs are noisy and hyperactive because they are untrained and have unintentionally been encouraged to act that way. For example, eagerly jumping puppies are petted by people, who later get angry when the dog jumps up as an adult. The dog's only crime? It grew!
New Adult Dog
Adopting an adult dog can be a marvelous alternative to raising and training a puppy. Alternatively, a new adult dog can be a full-time project. Adult dogs can be perfect or problematic—carrying the behavioral baggage of their previous owners. Take your time to search for the right dog for you and only choose one that you know your family knows how to train.
Puppies bite. And thank goodness they do! Puppy play-fighting and play-biting are essential for your puppy to develop a soft mouth as an adult.
Puppy biting seldom causes appreciable harm, but many bites are quite painful and elicit an appropriate reaction—a yelp and a pause in an otherwise extremely enjoyable play session. Thus, your puppy learns that his sharp teeth and weak jaws can hurt. Since your puppy enjoys play-fighting, he will begin to inhibit the force of his biting to keep the game going. Thus your puppy will learn to play-bite gently before he acquires the formidable teeth and strong jaws of an adolescent dog.
When watching puppies in class having a good time playing off-leash and responding happily and willingly to verbal requests and handsignals to come, sit, heel, and down stay, one tends to forget the two most important reasons for attending puppy classes: learning bite inhibition and socializing with people. Offleash classes provide an educational forum for pups to play-fight and play-bite with other dogs and to develop the confidence and social savvy for friendly interaction with people, especially with children and men.
Walking On Leash
By and large, leash-pulling masks the real problem: without a leash you would probably be without a dog. It is indeed a sobering thought to think that most dogs prefer to forge ahead and to sniff the grass or other dogs' rear ends than to walk by their owner's side.
There are some dogs who simply don't want to walk beside owners who keep yanking the leash. However, regardless of why your dog pulls, all dogs need to be trained to walk nicely on leash. If not, they are unlikely to be walked at all.