No puppy? Even older dogs can learn new tricks!
So you’ve decided to bring a new furry friend into your lives and your home! That’s wonderful! If you have chosen a puppy, or even an older rescue, it will probably need some training before it is fully integrated into your lives. It can be difficult for first time puppy owners to know how much training your puppy needs.
The good news is that the amount is totally up to you- so long as you and the dog are both comfortable. Certain situations may require more training than others, of course. If you have small children, or require specialized training for a support animal, you may need to invest extra time or even seek professional training. Most people can really get by just fine with dog that is house broken, comes when called, and who doesn’t jump on guests or the furniture. Whatever additional training you would like for your puppy to have is up to you.
Even if you don’t have a puppy, knowing simple training techniques can help you better manage your dog. If your dog barks more than you would like, teaching him to “speak” on command can lower their incentive to bark otherwise. If you can teach them that barking under the right circumstances gets them a cookie, and the wrong circumstances doesn’t then you’re well on your way to adjusting their behavior. Similar techniques can be used for dogs who jump on people, by teaching them to “hug”- but only on command. This technique keeps the focus on praising your dog’s positive behaviors as opposed to reprimanding them for their negative behaviors, which can be less exhausting for everyone involved.
There are numerous resources available online to help you train your dog, and it is important to find the training method that works best for the both of you. Some dogs are highly food motivated, some like toys, others just want to be showered with love and attention. No dog is the same, and no training regimen can be expected to work the same for all dogs. Experiment and find the solution that works best for you and your faithful companion.
If you do decide to get professional help training your dog, Seattle Canine Club hosts Karma Dog Training, who offers obedience classes on Sunday afternoons from 1:15 to 2:15, right here at our 4th Avenue location in Sodo. Your first class is a free trial!