Puppy Training Tips

The Game of Dogs: What are The Rules of Playing with Your Puppy

Playing games with your puppy is more than just hanging out and spending time together. The activities and rules you choose can help your new friend get to know you better, develop their cognitive thinking and, of course, get much needed physical and mental stimulation. For grown-up dogs, playing becomes an important activity, that helps them stay healthy and feel involved. It’s crucial to be thoughtful and careful when playing with your puppy. Some owners may accidentally contribute to developing bad habits in their dog, even without realizing it. This is exactly why you’ve got to pick the games the reinforce elements of training and ensure your dog’s consistent positive upbringing.

 

All puppies feel the urge to grab, bite and chew nearly every single item laying around your home. Hunting and destroying these items is something their instincts tell them to do. First, try not to tempt them: hide the shoes, close all drawers and cabinets, roll up the curtains, etc. Second, make sure to get your puppy an appropriate chew toy, something like a Nylabone or a rubber Kong toy will do the job.

 

The key is to redirect your pup’s attention away from the stuff you don’t want to be damaged. For example, if your pup is developing an interest in shoes and slippers, you can spray them with a deterrent like Bitter Apple spray. Try to engage your pup in a game and put their toy in the spotlight. If you find a chewed-up item with your pup sitting innocently next to it, you’ll have to do a better job supervising them. Punishing your dog after the fact will not make sense to your puppy and will just confuse them.

 

When you start teaching your pup to play fetch, start with 2 identical toys. As the dog brings a toy/ball/rope back, throw the second toy. When your pup drops the toy in his mouth to chase the toy you threw, pickup the first toy. Repeat until your pup is predictably dropping the first toy at your feet before you throw the second toy. Another simple game to learn for your pup is Find It. While playing, you can hide a toy or a treat and ask your pup to search for it. Be flexible, start easy and gradually complicate the task.

 

Training your puppy is a serious, long-term commitment. Don’t feel frustrated when your little friend doesn’t get everything perfect immediately. You can always consult with our certified dog trainer Heather, and together we’ll be able to develop an individualized training plan consisting of games and commands for you and your pup to learn and enjoy. If you wish to learn more, contact Lead the Way K9 Training and fill out our contact form online!


Raising the Perfect Puppy, Part 3: Creating Rules & Boundaries

Puppy Sitting Down

Whether you live in the city of Charlottesville or farther out in the country in Staunton teaching your new puppy good manners and how you expect it to live in your home sets the stage for your relationship. It is so important to start teaching your puppy the rules and boundaries from day 1. This is probably the most challenging aspect of puppy raising for many families because they get a new puppy with the expectations that the puppy will be lots of fun, love to cuddle and be loved on, and will take only minimal effort to train. The phrase, “Love is not enough” is 100% accurate when it comes to raising a puppy. Raising the perfect puppy is all about setting yourself and your puppy up for success right from the beginning by being proactive, setting up good management systems, and being patient but persistent. In the final part of this blog series, I will lay out the last piece of the foundation on which you will build the perfect puppy. (more…)


Raising the Perfect Puppy, Part 2: Socialization

Puppy Going Down Slide

Raising a puppy is a lot of work! It takes time, effort, a little bit of skill, and lots of patience. If we can lay the foundations at an early age for good behavior to build on as our puppy matures, we will be infinitely more successful at having a wonderfully happy, well-rounded, balanced adult dog. This blog aims to give you a step-by-step guide to help you in your puppy-raising adventures with the hopes of helping you avoid some of the common mistakes and pitfalls dog owners usually end up paying for later on in their dog’s life.

What is Socialization? Socialization is exposing your puppy to new things in a way that teaches them to handle living in our modern, human world with confidence. It is introducing your puppy to a variety of people, animals, sights, smells, sounds, textures, environments and experiences. The experience should be enjoyable and fun for your puppy not scary or overly stressful.

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Raising the Perfect Puppy, Part 1: House Training

puppy looking up

Raising a puppy is a lot of work! It takes time, effort, a little bit of skill, and an abundance of patience. If we can lay the foundation at an early age for good behavior to build on as our puppy matures, we will be infinitely more successful at having a wonderfully happy, well-rounded, balanced adult dog. This blog aims to give you a step-by-step guide to help you in your puppy-raising adventures with the hopes of helping you avoid some of the common mistakes and pitfalls dog owners usually end up paying for later on in their dog’s life.

Let’s talk about house training! House training is more than just teaching your dog the ever important concept of where to go to the bathroom, but it also encompasses teaching your dog to respect your things and your house itself. Let’s break this oftentimes frustrating process down into smaller pieces.

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