Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
From 9 February 2009 Issue
There Is No One Size Fits All
When many people envision getting a new dog, they create this picture perfect thought in there mind of bringing this precious little fur baby home and watching the ball of fur in all of itís cuteness waddle around the room investigating. Most times this is correct; at least for the first ten minutes of bringing the pup home. Then the deeper investigations start. The pup settles and begins to explore not only the home, but his/her limits. What many people leave out is that training begins from the very first moment you bring that pup or dog home. With proper care and training they will bring you a life of commitment, loyalty, unconditional love, warmth and the list could go on and on. But, it is up to you to do your part in playing the correct role as leader, caretaker and friend.
From day one you need to use their name for positive things such as feeding, walking, playing, etc. Donít use their name when reprimanding which must be done in order for them to lead a balanced life.
For training a pup, the crate is your most invaluable tool. It first and foremost is for the safety of the pup. You donít want them getting into things that can be harmful, or chewing something that can become tangled in their intestinal tracts. I tell my clients all the time, ďYou wouldnít let your baby just crawl all over the house without supervision. Having a playpen is your tool to help you watch your child. The crate is no different for your pup. Just as a child grows out of the playpen once they learn, so can the pup.
Building a bond and developing socialization is your second step. It is easy to build a bond; a daily game of fetch, a daily walk, getting your dog used to being brushed and having nails clipped, a daily training session, etc. Taking your dogs as many places as you can with you is important as well. I have taken my own to not only the vet, but to pet supply places, the library, the bank, home stores and flea markets. We have trained when all puppy shots are done outside of the grocery and at department stores where they meet people of all ages, hear car horns, doors open and close, and millions of smells fill the atmosphere. Your dog should become familiar with many life experiences.
Next comes real training. There are an abundance of training resources available to the general public today. You can find various ways of training your dog to come, heel, sit, stay, stand, rollover, or down. The main thing I as a trainer urge you to do however is know that there is no ďone size fits allĒ way to training. There are many trainers who will show you there way. It is then up to you to decide if this way will work for your particular dog and you. There are always many factors to be considered such as; type of dog (herding, sporting, working, hound, toy), family situation (calm, excitable children running around, lots of people coming and going), disposition of dog (excitable, calm, nervous, fearful), size of dog, age of dog, age of owner, exercise needs, work and home schedule, your own handicaps if any, etc. that can all play a part into your training.
I will tell you that a major part of training is motivation. Without motivation, you will not succeed in your training. Just like we go to work to earn a paycheck, we would not work long without this motivation. The same rings true for your canine friend. Without proper motivation he/she will find there own motivation and outlet. Remember that you are the source of all things good. Food can be a good motivator. Instead of throwing a dozen toys out for your dog to rummage through and grow tired of, use these as motivators. Another major part of training is attitude. Never say try, just do and tell yourself that your canine friend and you together will always find a solution to any problem you may face with patience, consistency and understanding. It behooves you to always become as educated on your friend as possible.
A pupís attention span is short so only work with them for short periods of times, gradually lengthening this as they grow. If you are adopting an older dog treat he/she as you would a pup; small steps lead to big achievements. Now pick a method of training that you like and give it a fair try. If it doesnít work then choose another until you find the one that works best for your particular dog and situation. Most importantly do not blame the dog for your failure in implementing these methods. Iíve yet to see a dog that was incapable of learning. It is up to you to become educated, become observant and to find methods of training suitable to both you and your dog. You cannot force a dog to become something that it is not regardless of the method of training you use. They did not ask to be thrust into your crazy lifestyle.
I leave you with these last few words; remember to do your homework before bringing any pup/dog cat/kitten or animal of any kind into your life. Make sure that you are honest with yourself on the choices you make as to what type or breed would best suit your situation, abilities, and time. Then be prepared and aware of the commitment it will take for the lifetime of that animal to make sure that it will not end up in some overcrowded, dirty shelter abandoned, scared and alone. Even if you give the animal up, always be prepared to take it back in.
Written by/copyright Marie Williams~
Email: Signaturew@AOL.COM .
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