- Growth Stages in Puppies (Many people consider a dog mature at 2 years, but with our breed, the Doberman, it seems like three years in when they get there)
- Critical Periods in Puppy Development
- Incomplete listing of things that are poison to your puppy
- House Training Tips
- Crate Training (be sure to scroll all the way down, they have specific instructions on this article)
- A listing of all sorts of link in regards to puppies
- Socialization strategies
- Tips about your new puppy
So you have a new puppy what training to start with right away-Pandemic Series Day 28 of Social Distancing
Puppies can do more than human babies can do, but do remember that these are babies. Everything is new to them. In this article, I am going to attach some basic puppy links of the things that you might not know about puppies, how they develop and how they mature. The real purpose of this article is how you go about training a puppy the right way, and with the knowledge that these are babies.
Glossary of Dog Training Terms
Did you know that dog trainers can use the same term, but the terms means something completely different to another individual trainer ? It is true, and it makes communicating in dog training terms very difficult and sometime unnecessarily hostile.
The reasons for this are many. There are scientific terms and definitions, there are method terms and definitions, and there are words that are very general and encompass a broad spectrum of possibilities.
Early on, I made myself a glossary of dog training terms that are the meanings as I understand them to be per my prior experience and training. It does not mean someone else's other definition is wrong! It is just nice to understand what each other's definition is, and what your own personal definition is. Sometimes two people are saying the same thing, but arguing about it due to the misunderstanding of what each person is actually trying to say. I give to you my personal glossary of dog training terms:
Have you decided you want a dog or puppy? Now what? Day 18 of the Pandemic and we are starting to approach the bunny slope of dog training.
Some of you already have a dog or puppy that you would like to be working with. I hope that I have some readers that have not yet selected their dog or puppy. This is truly the beginning of where you would ideally like to start. As with life, things very rarely go as we expect. However, we can try to stack the odds in our favor. It is not a perfect science by any means.
We have done a fair number of articles in the past on considerations when selecting your new dog or your additional dog that is new to a pack. Here are the links to those articles below:
So you have decided you want a dog? This is a listing of the many things to think about before selecting you new best canine companion.
I have loved animals since childhood. In my adult life, I enjoy my time spent with dogs. I love doing things with them that they love doing. My motivation comes from a place that wants to provide my dogs with the most enjoyment possible. I am the rare person that has not, in fact, met the dog she wouldn't like. Professional dog trainers told me that when I worked enough dogs, I would find some that I did not like (dogs that is). This has not happened, though I will admit to liking some dogs less than others. This usually just has to do with more time spent with a dog/owner team over another. I like them all, and I appreciate them all. I like the ones who are bomb proof to the most behaviorally challenged dogs that I have had the pleasure of meeting.
Many people want the dog to fill up a spot of incompleteness in their lives. People may feel their child needs a companion or responsibility. Some people think that getting a dog will make them exercise more, as those dusty machines in the corner have not motivated them to do. For some a dog is a replacement for children they can't have or adult children that have left. Sometimes people think too much about what they dog will do for them, and do not consider what must be done for the dog OR the spirit in which care should be done.
Start on the bunny slope of dog training or Pandemic Day 17 what else do you have to do?
In the past (before I knew how to train my dogs and before I even had an inkling of dog training), down hill skiing on vacation was the most relaxing thing for me. This was true even though I was a $hit skier, and had to take lessons every time to improve myself. I feel like it is the same reason that training dogs (and just hanging with them too) relaxes me. FIRST of all you have a goal to reach. SECOND to reach the goal you need skills and a plan to obtain those skills and THIRD if you don't concentrate on that, you are going to fall off the mountain! 😂 Okay, maybe it is just that you don't get down the mountain the way you wanted OR you get hurt on the way there (by your own self).
So the first time I went skiing with my husband on vacation, I took for granted that you put on the skis and magically down the mountain you went. I mean I had skated when I was thirteen, right? Thankfully, we did have a ski instructor who came with us (and somehow ignored all the obvious signs that I had no idea what I was doing----which included riding up in sub zero weather holding onto my gloves instead of having them on---sliding backwards on my skis before getting onto the lift). Long story short, we got down several hours later, by the instructor (from the top of the mountain mind you), skiing backwards while I held onto his ski poles in front of him. Clearly mad skills HE had and strength. I needed to start on the bunny hill first, and then the advanced bunny hill, and so on before you even think of starting at the top of the mountain.
Pandemic Day 17's dog training tip: Bring you and your dog to the bunny slopes first. More of that soon, since I have some time on my hands.
Follow Mannerly Mutts Dog Training's Facebook page for tips on how to handle the bunny slope.
House Training Tips
I get a fair number of calls a year for house training advice. I give out a lot of tips for free.
Here are a list of tips that I give to owners that are seeking to housebreak their dog:
Equipment: 15' long line
Chuck-it type ball (easier for puppies) OR other favorite toy
STEP 1: Have your puppy near you on the long line. You can have the line short at this point to keep them near you.
STEP 2: Throw the ball as you say "get it".
STEP 3: (Super important for the bringing back) Wait until your puppy latches onto the ball before saying "let's go". DO NOT say "good boy" or "let's go" until they have a grip on the ball.
NOTE: If they don't go after the ball, first make sure you have not picked out a time the puppy is tired or has already trained enough. Remember you want to do this when the puppy is fresh and ready to go. If they are, but something has just distracted them or inhibited them, go towards the ball yourself with the puppy. They will normally go and grip it after this.
The approaches to training dogs, including behavioral modification, are almost endless. Which ones are wrong? Well nothing is wrong per say, as they all have different strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps the only bad thing you could do is to use only one approach, when more than one is necessary to your dog. On the other hand, everyone has to begin somewhere.
The more you understand what these approaches are, the more understanding you will have when working with a dog trainer or by yourself with your dog. There is a lot to learn in dog training, which is why there is no complete definitive book on the whole scope of dog training. There can't be as it is always training and evolving as people learn more about dogs and how they learn or change perception.
Human chain of responsibility in pet dog or working dog professions and ownership
I love all dogs. I love behaviorally challenged dogs, "bomb proof" dogs, sick dogs, healthy dogs, old dogs, puppies, smart dogs, not so smart dogs, hunting dogs, guarding dogs, small dogs, big dogs, long haired dogs, and short haired dogs. A strength and a weakness that I have is a fondness for all things dog. Many other humans share this trait with me. Many organizations share this trait with me.
Whether it is a owner, rescue, trainer, family member, veterinarian, boarding kennel, or neighbor there is something in addition to the responsibility to our dogs that is our primary responsibility. That responsibility is to ensure the safety of other living things around us as well as our canine companions. If we can not do that, there are some tough choices that need to be made. They are not fun, they are not cool, and most of all they are not easy. Sometimes they are the right thing to do. Sometimes they need to be done because the canine owner has not met the dogs needs responsibility, and is not going to in the future.
Puppies (and some adult or adolescent dogs) are in need of much learning and guidance. One of the most important things to do is to socialize your puppy well in the critical early weeks and months.
The first thing that you want to check is that your vaccinations are up to date, and that it is safe to take puppy out to areas with other dogs and puppies. Take a moment to have a discussion with your vet about the best plan.
Author, Robin Rubin
Owner and Head Dog Trainer in Maine, Robin Katherine Rubin, started her Maine dog training business in September 2004. Our dog training facility is located in Southern Maine in York Beach and we help families enjoy their dogs more, making sure they listen reliably and resolving unwanted behaviors.