Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Puppy behaviour.

So, you have a new puppy and you may be having issues such as:

• Toilet training problems.
• Puppy aggression.
• Nipping / biting.
• Night time barking.
• Feeding / diet concerns.
• Unsure how to socialise your pup.
• Wanting to start basic training.

A puppy visit could be your solution!

Having a puppy is one of the nicest things that you could experience, and people have them for many reasons. Most of course simply want a companion dog that fits in well with the family be it on holiday or on leafy Sunday walks. Others may have other roles lined up for the dog, say a dog to run with, do agility, obedience work or a hunting dog. The vast majority of these dogs will live in the home, and will need to start off on the right foot in terms of fitting in with our rules and ideas of human living.

However, many people soon begin to lose that warm feeling when they see and experience the behaviour that such a cute furry ball can show! It is perfectly possible to bring things quickly back on track and this is why I offer a special puppy visit.

There is already a great deal written on puppies, their early days, weeks and months, and sensible approaches to choosing the right breed or type for you. I won't be going into great detail here for this very reason, but I do want to high-light a few things that could save you unnecessary heart ache now and into the future. I see my puppy visits as an excellent opportunity to address the element of prevention rather than cure later on once the wrong behaviour has become learned and indeed a real problem.

I offer a special puppy visit whereby we can take a few hours to go through each of the areas you may be finding problematical, and to address them in detail leaving you feeling confident on how to handle and deal with behaviour which you may find surprising in such a young dog. I have spoken to many a distressed owner of very young dogs that are at their wits end as to how to deal with a few issues that have grown and are making the experience a misery instead of the joy it could be. It needn't be this way...
For example, such young dogs can be doing some (or all!) of the following behaviour:

• Biting / Nipping problems
• Aggressive play or behaviour
• Chewing the house to pieces
• Barking at night - broken sleep patterns (great fun for you when you need to go to work and the dog can sleep   all day!)
• Toileting in the 'wrong' places
• Jumping up problems
• Grabbing and holding of clothing
• Harassing the older dog / cat
• Rudimentary training

A number of these can start by finding a particular behaviour amusing or funny, and then we continue not fully realising how this could be a problem for you later on.

Here is a brief guide as to how to create a well mannered pup:

• Socialisation should be your main thought from the very beginning. This period begins to close down at approximately 12 weeks, and the brain is less receptive to new experiences. Therefore from day one introduce as much variety as possible. Dogs and people of all ages and sizes, shapes etc. Be sure the dog is safe at all times, and that you are able to quickly intervene if things get ‘out of hand’. Some keywords for you to consider: Dogs, People, Cars, Buses, Livestock, Pubs, Towns, Traffic, Your local vet…simply drop in for a pleasant hello and leave again! Ignore proper socialisation at your peril!

• Now is the time to introduce simple training. Sit, Down, Come and Stay is a good start, and the introduction to the lead and collar whilst walking with you in the home and garden and then outside as you progress. Keep it short, fun and simple.

• Be sure your dog remains on a good brand of food and that you are avoiding the supermarket end of brands…these contain many unnecessary additives that can affect behaviour and do not meet the dog's nutritional requirements.

• Set up good early practice with toilet training for a reliable dog into the future. Feel free to call me for further advice.

• Be sure that you dog is showing good manners, and don’t let your pup get away with behaviour you would find unacceptable in the adult dog; start as you mean to carry on.

• The use of a crate for your puppy is invaluable. I can provide high quality crates at less than shop prices…a free guide would be provided also.

• Be sure your dog will allow full body inspections and grooming. Start now with short sessions to prevent future problems.

I can be
Contacted at any time for one to one puppy visits in the comfort of your own home. Please call free of obligation for costs and further details.
All puppy visits are followed up with free on-going advice and support via telephone or email for the life of the dog.

Nick Jones MCFBA
Alpha Dog Behaviour


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