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Old 11-18-2007, 11:10 AM   #1
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Default Bringin Up The Puppy To Adult

http://www.la-spca.org/education/dog...y_training.htm

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Who can fathom the mind of a puppy? Squirrels drive them crazy, garbage is their favorite snack, and immediately after chewing your one-of-a-kind, handmade leather jacket into confetti, they can give you a look of such innocent love and adoration that you forget all about it. This kind of behavior can baffle and frustrate even the most conscientious of dog owners, and rightfully so. When you bring a puppy home, she becomes part of your family; you need to be able to trust her with your home, your belongings, and even your children. That’s why controlling your puppy’s behavior is the key to having a peaceful relationship with her.

To have a dog that makes a good, dependable companion, you’re going to have to spend some time training. There’s no other way for your puppy to know that chewing on an old knotted sweat sock is acceptable, for example, while chewing on the Irish lace tablecloth is not. She needs to be taught appropriate behavior calmly, gently, and--most important--consistently. As soon as you get your pup, you can start teaching her how to obey you, how to act around people and other dogs, and generally to be the best-behaved dog ever.

The alpha owner
Though we’ll never know exactly what your pooch is thinking when she chases her tail until she gets dizzy, we do have some insight into how dogs think about relationships. Wild dogs live and hunt in packs, and to your dog, you and the other members of your family are fellow pack members. This is an important model, because in every pack there are structured power relationships between members. If dogs have no dominant--or "alpha"--leader in their human "pack," if they learn that they can jump up on the couch when they want, drag you down the street on the leash, and get treats when they beg for them, some of them may decide they are running the show. Puppies who are never disciplined may begin aggressively testing their boundaries when they reach doggy adolescence. They may start ignoring commands, jumping up where they’re not supposed to jump, and protecting their food or their "territory" with growls. In extreme cases, they can begin biting.

In order to have a peaceful, manageable relationship with your dog, it’s important that you establish your position as the leader from the beginning. You do not have to use physical intimidation to do so, however. Some trainers have recommended that owners establish their dominance through a show of physical force ranging from an alpha roll--flipping a dog over so her belly is exposed--to actually biting a dog on the muzzle. This can leave a dog feeling threatened and defensive, and may even provoke an attack. You don’t need to raise your voice either; shouting can also make dogs nervous and provoke aggression.

The fact is, these aggressive displays of dominance aren’t necessary. Most dogs are perfectly happy submitting to a leader; they actually gain confidence and a sense of security from having someone to follow. The job of a good pack leader is to project a sense of strength by using a deep, steady voice, reacting calmly to situations that make the dog nervous, and giving rewards only for good behavior. Training your dog to sit and lie down is helpful as well. Having her repeatedly take a lower, submissive position at your command reinforces your dominant position. If you’re still having a hard time, consult a trainer experienced in establishing dominance without aggression.
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:32 PM   #2
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What a great read shep. It will come in very handy to any puppy owners on the site without a doubt. Well done!
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