We all want to have well-behaved dogs. We can take them to a puppy class or train at home to teach them manners but what really makes a well-behaved dog? It’s important to understand that we must meet needs for the dog as a whole. Different breeds will have different needs, for example if you own a border collie, you will have different exercise and training requirements than a Maltese. This means proper nutrition, grooming, preventative care, exercise, and training. Each one is an essential part that should not be ignored. Ideally, all of these needs should be addressed as soon as you get your dog, and adjusted throughout their lives.
Our goals as pet professionals are to help you keep your dog happy and healthy. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure” is a quote I repeat to all of my clients, as this relates to all aspects of owning a dog. Regular grooming will keep your dog clean and minimize matting. If you let basic grooming such as brushing and nail trimming slide you risk a negative and possibly painful grooming experience. A negative experience with grooming can make a dog nervous with their feet being handled, or when you have to body handle your dog.
If you get your dog as a puppy, puppy classes can be a fun way to get training off to a great start. Polite Paws’ classes are meant to help socialize your young dog with different dogs, people, and objects. Proper socialization can help create a confident dog. The prime time to get your puppy socialized to different things is from birth to 16 weeks old. Half of that time is spent with their mom, so if you get your puppy at 8 weeks you should be starting that process as soon as possible. Don’t be discouraged if you get your dog when they are older. Training can start at any time, but the sooner the better. Try not to wait until there are problems to seek professional help. Early training can prevent a lot of the negative behaviors we often see such as jumping and pulling on leash. Believe it or not, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Training will build an exceptional bond and relationship between you and your dog. When your dog enjoys learning, the possibilities can be endless. I encourage people to take training beyond basic manners. Often finding something your dog enjoys like agility or trick training can help with overall behavior because you are stimulating your dog mentally by continuing the learning experience and physically by practicing. This helps keep your dog from getting bored and understimulated. When dogs are bored there tends to be an increase in negative behavior like chewing and other destructive behaviors because they don’t have a positive outlet for their energy.
If you find yourself needing help or are looking for something to do with your dog, contact us. Polite Paws offers a variety of different training options depending on your needs and goals to help fix problems or maintain good behaviors. We believe in using positive reinforcement techniques to help you and your dog. Both private and group sessions are available. Start training with our A.K.C Star Puppy class or continue training with our Real World classes. Real World classes meet in a variety of different areas to practice good behavior in real life situations. Life with your dog should be a great adventure, don’t settle for anything less.
Written by Jade Guiggio, ABCDT