Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Training Your New Puppy

Every interaction with your puppy is a training opportunity.

The first few days of bringing your new puppy home are extremely important. Don't let the excitement of your new puppy sway you from the rules you have set in place. It's very confusing to a dog to allow them on the furniture or to jump up on you at first and then later decide that you don't like it. You must set your boundaries from the start and stick to them.

It will be very tempting to let your puppy out of his crate and up on the bed with you so that he doesn't cry all night, but by doing this you are starting a whole new set of problems. By letting your puppy out when he whines and cries you are teaching him that when he fusses you are going to give him what he wants meaning whenever he wants out of his crate, back inside, up on the couch, up on your bed, your food at the table, or anything else, he is going to whine and cry and bark because he has learned that doing so gets him what he wants.

If that doesn't convince you to want to keep your pup in his crate, also remember that by allowing him freedom at night you are setting him up for failure because your puppy does not know how to hold his bladder all night and you are likely to wake up to a big mess the next morning. Not to mention all the items your puppy will likely find to chew on in order to soothe his aching teeth and gums.

It's hard to ignore the crying of your new bundle of fur. Your new puppy has just been taken away from his mom and litter-mates. He is vulnerable and impressionable. What he needs now is security and routine. It sounds like a good idea to take a few days to spend with your new puppy, but this is actually the worst thing you can do. Your puppy needs to get used to the routine of the household from the start. If you are gone during the day or night, your puppy needs to get used to this right away. Otherwise he's going to be even more confused and upset when he's been used to seeing you all the time and suddenly you are gone. This creates separation anxiety in dogs and can become an extreme health problem if not addressed. To help your puppy sleep better through the night, think about getting a Snuggle Puppy which is a soft puppy toy with a warmer and a heartbeat that helps your puppy to not feel alone and mimics being back with his mom and litter-mates.

Remember, your puppy is very impressionable. Puppies learn very quickly when given the proper instruction. Never hit your puppy or give harsh reprimands. Your puppy does not mean to misbehave, as he is simply being a puppy. And if he does something wrong it is because he has not been taught the rules. Teach your puppy to play with his toys. Make them fun and exciting. If you catch your puppy chewing on furniture, tell him "Off!" and immediately give your puppy a proper chew toy and praise him for chewing on it.
Grannick's Bitter Apple Spray works great as a chew deterrent. This no chew spray has a taste most dogs find unattractive and will help stop your pup from chewing on the item that has been sprayed.

If you don't catch him in the act, don't do anything, your puppy will just be confused. Many people believe their dogs know when they have done something wrong because they look guilty, this is not true. Dogs do not feel guilt, that is a human emotion. The dog looks that way because he knows you are angry and he is trying to send calming signals by crouching down and giving you sideways looks so that you will not hurt him.

When training your puppy, remember these key things:

  • Be patient.
  • Be consistent.
  • Be confident.
  • Use treats/toys.
  • Try the replacement theory.
  • Hold the leash properly.
  • Utilize confinement (the crate).
  • Learn from others (socialization).
  • Stop the biting (teach bite inhibition).
  • Use discipline, not cruelty.
For all of your puppy supply needs such as toys, chews and treats, visit Mickey's Pet Supplies.
Take 15% off your first order with code FORPUPPY. with any order from our For Puppies category, excluding Orijen Puppy Food.

For more tips on training, go to or email Heather at

Monday, May 9, 2016

Does your dog have a Jumping problem?

Most dogs engage in friendly jumping as a way to greet people or play with them. First and foremost, most dogs have been trained to jump-up since puppyhood. When the young pup jumped and pawed, most people patted it on the head and scratched it behind the ear, because they were too lazy to bend down to puppy level. And then one day the dog dutifully jumps-up to greet its owner, who in turn greets the friendly furry with a whop on the butt or a knee in the chest. The dog’s only crime? It grew!

Pawing, licking, and jumping-up are all friendly appeasement gestures – the dog’s way of saying “Welcome home. Pleased to see you. Please accept my presence. Please don’t hurt me.” By punishing your dog for jumping up, the dog has two reasons to show deference – the initial reason and the fact it must now appease an angry owner. And how does it try to appease the owner? By pawing, licking, and jumping-up! This is one of the many paradoxes in training – the more one punishes the dog, the more the behavior increases in frequency.

In the case of jumping on guests, jumping must be prevented 100 percent of the time, but you may not be capable of doing so 100 percent of the time. Let me introduce the concept of “training mode” and “non-training mode.” Training mode is where you actively work on the exercises you have been assigned when guests arrive, and a non-training mode is where you practice management, perhaps having the dog crated in another room when guests arrive, rather than actively attempting to train. You should be in training mode 80 to 90 percent of the time, and in management mode infrequently, such as during a dinner party when training is impractical.

The dog must have a clear understanding of the alternate behavior you prefer. In this case, a Sit or Sit-Stay is an appropriate alternate behavior. The stronger the sit and sit-stay behaviors are by the front door without guests present, the more likely the dog will be to perform the behavior when guests are present. It is essential you reward your dog for being calm in the presence of people.

Begin practicing the Sit and Sit-Stay cues at or near the front door when no guest is present. Make sure the dog gets plenty of obedience practice in all greeting locations he has failed in before or where he is likely to greet guests in the future. Working basic obedience exercises around mild distractions (e.g., opening and closing the front door) will also teach the dog to focus on you and help develop impulse control. This will be beneficial when you begin working with visitors.

Once you see your dog has begun to understand the cues in the appropriate places, test them out! Upon returning to your home, instruct your dog to sit, and delay greeting the dog until it does so. If your dog sits, gently praise the dog. If your dog does not sit, keep trying until he does. Do what it takes – take hold of the dog’s collar and keep hold until the dog complies. This is no more difficult than routinely dealing with the dog in everyday distracting situations. Only this time, you shall persevere, and eventually, your dog will sit and be suitably praised for its trouble. Other reprimands and punishments are neither necessary nor advisable. Your dog will soon learn he has to sit before you will begin to say hello.

Once your dog’s exuberance has waned following the customary display of sniffs, licks, wags and wiggles, slip out of the house by the back door, ‘return home’ via the front door once more and request your dog to assume the appropriate position. This time, however, it should be much easier to get your dog to sit as he is not nearly as excited by your return because he has only just greeted you seconds beforehand. After greeting your dog for the second time, leave and repeat the procedure a third time, and then once more and so on. Your dogs performance will improve with each repeated re-entry.
Post by Heather at