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Old 04-07-2007, 02:03 AM   #1
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Default How To: Avoid Common Mistakes with a New Puppy

How To Avoid Common Mistakes With That New Puppy.

How to gain control of "out of control puppies" is one of the most commonly asked training questions in pet discussions.

Puppies are so cute, cuddly, soft and friendly that the first thing we all do is make a fuss over them. If we would just stop and think before we act, we could nip unwanted behavior in the bud before it even begins.

When a puppy wakes up or approaches us, we often speak to them in a high pitched, almost whining voice; (dog language for "lets play"). For some, this immediately causes them to dissolve into a bundle of perpetual motion. The truth of the matter is, they are just as happy to see us if we speak in a normal tone of voice and calmly give them a gentle soothing rub down.

When they're doing something they shouldn't; we often speak to them in a deeper than usual or excited voice, getting them all fired up and ready to roughhouse. When they're biting us we shrilly tell them "no" and push them away with our hands, making our hands an exciting moving target to chew on or chase.

We often make the mistake of fussing over them when leaving them alone (a great way to create separation anxiety) and making an even bigger fuss when we return as if they were human infants. In the long run puppy and owner are much better off if these situations are handled calmly and quietly and without unnecessary excitement.

Another common mistake is encouraging that cute tiny puppy to jump up on us so we can pet him instead of bending over to reach him. By the time that pup is 5 or 6 months old we'll be posting in a forum asking how to correct a behavioral problem with jumping that we've actually been encouraging all along. It's cute when they're puppies but not when they weigh 50 or so pounds.

If we could remind ourselves at all times to remain calm and speak in a normal tone of voice around the pup, except during extreme playtimes; they'd grow up as calm, well behaved dogs who seldom ever needed corrections for jumping, barking and displays of unwanted excitability! They'd seldom suffer from separation anxiety either!

The above doesn't mean that we should never "roughhouse" with a puppy. It is simply meant to point out that we need to be aware of the things that we're doing that might contribute to problems as the pup gets older. After all; the average age of dogs dumped in shelters is 6 months. The usual age when the mistakes have been compounded and the dog is considered to be "too wild and untrainable". The truth is that the majority of pups that are "untrainable" have been trained very well and are exactly what the owners have made them!

All puppy temperaments are not created equally. Some pups do well with enthusiastic praise--others are just as happy with a calming chest rub and a calm quiet, "good dog".

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