A new puppy is always a welcome addition to the family. Every dog owner I’ve ever met starts life with a new puppy full of hopes and dreams. They imagine themselves in all sorts of ideallic situations with their dog by their side. And quite right too.
Unfortunately, like most dreams in life, having the sort of dog who can follow you everywhere, needs more than just fairy dust to make it come true. If you want to live happily with your new dog for the whole of his lifetime, it’s up to you to make sure he has the confidence and the life skills to enjoy all the experiences you plan to share with him.
Every dream involves an objective, a plan, a strategy and then some action to make it come true
Let’s start with the objective.
What do you hope to do with your dog by your side?
Let’s start by thinking about all the activities you might like to share with your pup in his lifetime.
- Long walks
- Chilling on the sofa
- Family holidays
- Days at the beach
- Pub meals
- Playing in the park
- Spending time with my friends – either at home, out and about or in their homes
- Agility training and shows
- If the dog can’t come with me, I want to be able to leave him home alone for a short while or with a neighbour for longer periods.
That is my own, personal list. Yours will be different. For example, you might want your pup to grow up to have a job. He might be a gundog, an assistance dog, a rescue dog, a show dog, a security dog….there are so many possibilities for a young puppy but remember, for any dog to reach his full potential at anything, he needs a set of life skills.
What are the basic life skills for puppies?
No matter what role your pup is going to play in the future – friend, companion, working dog etc – he needs to be:
How will you help your puppy learn life skills?
- Happy to be handled. Especially by family members, people he meets out and about, and of course, the vet.
- Confident around other dogs. Not fearful, not aggressive, not so overly enthusiastic that he upsets other dogs.
- Able to behave well in the car (or on public transport depending on how you prefer to travel)
- Relaxed outside of his own territory. In other words, comfortable to walk on a busy street, in the park, in the countryside, in a dog-friendly café or pub – or wherever you want to take him.
Puppies are not born knowing how to adapt to life with humans. But then if you think about it, humans are not born knowing how to live with humans. Young things need to experience life in a secure and controlled environment. They need to be taught how to behave and how to stay safe. We talk about bringing up children but for dogs, we refer to the process as training.
So how will you help your puppy learn life skills? By training him.
What does puppy training involve?
There are two aspects of puppy training and they are equally important if you want a confident, well-rounded and happy dog.
Introducing your pup to the world. Showing him new places, meeting new people and learning how to get along with other dogs, and indeed with other animals. In an ideal world, your puppy will grow up being curious about new sights smells and sounds rather than being fearful. He will probably encounter things in his lifetime that he’s not comfortable with. Socialisation gives him the tools to cope in stressful situations.
Socialisation needs to start from the moment you leave the breeders house with your puppy in your arms and it continues for the whole of the dog’s life. It needs to work with the dog’s character and personality, taking as much time as he needs to feel confident with each new experience.
There’s more about socialisation in this blog https://www.premierdogtraining.co.uk/blog-post/puppy-socialisation-and-the-benefits/
Nobody wants to share a day out with an unruly mutt. Basic obedience training will help to ensure that your dog walks nicely on the lead, sits beside you quietly in the café and manages not to steal ice creams from children. Obedience training also teaches your dog to greet people politely – without knocking them down and smearing muddy paws on their clean clothes. It’s about safety and it’s about good manners.
Puppy classes at Premier Dog Training also cover
- Respond to name
- Making eye contact
- Sit / Down
- Meet and greet manners
- How to play
- Not pulling on the lead
- Come back when called/Recall
Where to find help with puppy training
Puppy training and socialisation starts the minute you leave the breeder’s house with your new pup in your arms. Before he’s even completed his vaccinations you can start introducing him to new people and experiences. Obedience training can start too. Pre vaccination training with a qualified dog trainer will set your puppy off on the right paw. You can have advice on toilet training, not allowing bad habits to develop, puppy proofing your home and much much more. Contact Sean to find out more.
Premier Dog Training in Romford offers lots of help with puppy training. Our classes help you to learn alongside other puppies and their owners. Your pup will gain confidence. And as well as comparing notes with other local puppy parents you will learn a whole host of skills to help you shape your puppy into a happy, well-mannered and well-loved companion for life.
Find out more about our puppy classes https://www.premierdogtraining.co.uk/puppies/
Hints and tips on socialising a puppy https://www.premierdogtraining.co.uk/blog-post/puppy-socialisation-and-the-benefits/