Five Things You Should Know About Getting A New Dog
1. Until the age of 16 weeks old, puppies are learning sponges! During this phase of development, puppies learn quickly and easily - you might be amazed at what they can learn during this time. Take advantage of this great opportunity for some easy training!
2. Puppies need to be socialized to tons of new places, people and experiences, and the earlier you start, the better. At the same time, you should ask your veterinarian whether it's safe to put them on the ground where other dogs have been. Until your puppy receives his third set of shots to protect his immune system, there's a risk of him contracting a disease such as parvo. Also, puppies go through a "Fear Imprinting Phase" during which scary experiences can make a life-long impression on them. Socialization vs safety is a balancing act!
3. Your new adult dog has one main question on his mind: "Am I safe?" He is concerned for his physical well being, his security, and his food (and his ability to mate, if he's intact). He doesn't know and trust you yet, and he has no idea that you intend to care for him. He may even be coming from a bad situation where he didn't feel safe. If your new dog is exhibiting puzzling behavior, ask yourself, "Could this situation/behavior be fear-based? Am I asking him to do something he's uncomfortable with?" These situations can be an opportunity to demonstrate to your dog that you are indeed trustworthy.
4. If your new dog growls, he's communicating the only way he knows how. Don't punish him for it - be glad he didn't go straight for a bite. A growl means, "I am extremely uncomfortable right now; please back off. I don't want to bite you, but I will if I need to in order to be safe." Heed the growl. The same is true if the dog "freezes." Lower the dog's stress level immediately. You don't need to win this battle, because you risk losing the war if you push it. Let your dog know that you'll respect his communication. Once you and your dog know and trust one another, you'll be able to read different types of growls, such as play growls and complaint growls...but that comes much, much later in the game.
5. Your dog operates on instinct (see #3 and #4 above). As an animal, he's programmed to do certain things, some of which we humans don't like! If he doesn't obey you, it has nothing to do with whether or not he loves you. If he chews your slippers, he's not trying to get even with you. If he's bossy, it's not about him trying to be the alpha dog. It's about him acting like an animal, doing what comes naturally, and being who he is - even if who he is seems annoying at the moment! Your job as an owner/trainer is to understand his animal instincts and then convince him that it's in his best interest to forego them in favor of what you want him to do...then you can live together in harmony!
If one of our training packages doesn't meet your needs, individual sessions are available.
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Getting a new dog? What an exciting adventure! Like all great adventures, it may be a little daunting. At Wagging Tails Training, we want to help you prepare before and after the big day! Instead of winging it and hoping for the best, why not start out with a professional, credentialed trainer by your side to help guide you through your first few weeks with your new family member? Whether you're bringing your new dog home soon or they've recently arrived, our popular Welcome Waggin™ Package can help smooth the transition for you and your new dog!
We also offer a package designed for the budding dog trainer in you! Learn to train the dog you've already got (or any dog for that matter) by enrolling in our five-session Train the Trainer Program. Using your dog's unique personality, characteristics, and "issues" as a case study, this in-home program will teach you how to use scientifically based (but fun) reward-based dog training methods. Your dog will be an active participant and will receive the training he/she needs as an added bonus!
If your dog isn't housebroken, we don't have to tell you what a problem that is. It's a difficult and frustrating situation to live with. Sadly, our animal shelters are full of great dogs whose owners gave up on housebreaking altogether because they didn't know what to do. If you're serious about doing what it takes to housetrain your dog, there is hope! Our Tinkle Tamers™ Program is just for you.
We'll work with you and your family in your home, at a time that works best for you. Our professional, reward-based dog training services are customized to your needs and are delivered by an experienced, certified professional dog trainer whose goal is to help you and your dog begin a hassle-free, long-lasting and rewarding relationship.
Manners Training: Individual sessions in your home for basic "obedience" and problem-solving
An unhousebroken dog is a huge source of frustration for dog owners everywhere! It's baffling, it's unsanitary, and it's embarrassing! Help is here!
The Welcome Waggin'™ Package will help you get off to a great start with your new dog or puppy, before or after you bring him home!
The Train The Trainer Program is designed for people who enjoy working with their dog and want to understand the "Why?" of dog training.
The Train-The Trainer Program: In-home lessons for you and the dog you already have
The Tinkle Tamers™ Program: In-home help for housebreaking your dog
The Welcome Waggin™ Package: In-home consultation right before and after you get your new dog