Living with Your Puppy - Establishing Pack Structure
07-19-2012 -- 2 Hours, 31 Minutes, 22 Seconds
Every new puppy owner has the same image of what they want their new dog to be like as an adult.
First and foremost, everyone wants a great relationship with their dog but beyond that, those who plan on keeping their dog in their home want a calm, well-mannered, obedient house dog that minds and respects their family and friends.
Those who plan on keeping their dog outside want a calm well-mannered dog that is respectful to the family and is quiet in the yard or kennel. They only want their dog to bark at strangers that come near the home.
New dog owners think the road to success only involves obedience training and house training new puppies.
Don't get me wrong--puppies need to be house trained and they need obedience training--but these are only two small parts of a much larger program needed to produce calm, obedient, well-mannered, respectful house dogs that have a good relationship with their owners.
Let me give you a few facts to think about which will help make my point.
We start with the misconception of "how obedience training leads to a well-mannered house dog."
The best training system there is (which is operant conditioning or training with markers which we will talk about later) involves multiple short training sessions throughout the day.
Training 4 or 5 times a day for 2 to 3 minutes in a session is much more effective than training one 20 minute session a day.
Training 5 times a day for 3 minutes at a time is 15 minutes. What about the other 23 hours and 45 minutes in the day? What happens with those who happen to get a challenging puppy - one that bites, barks, is a little wild or a little too independent?
Local obedience classes teach very specific behaviors:
Walk on a leash
The problem with young puppies is they cannot and should not be expected to perform a behavior (like a down stay) for long periods of time. With training we can expect compliance for up to 30 seconds but not much longer.
We compare puppies to 2-year-old children. What do we expect in compliance from human babies? Not much. The same goes for our puppies.
Many new dog owners totally miss this very valid point.
What do we do when they misbehave?
As professional dog trainers, we teach people that they cannot and should not administer corrections unless a dog refuses to perform a command that we are 100% sure the dog knows and understands.
This translates into "we don't correct puppies" until there is no question that the puppy knows and understands a command but refuses to do it. That usually means after the dog is much older. This age is different for every dog and that's only assuming the owner has done a good job of training.
The heart of the issue: how to manage your puppy all day?
Neither you nor your puppy can or should train all day and leaving a pup or young dog to their own devices for long periods of time isn't realistic either. What should you do with all that time? This DVD will give you an understanding of how to effectively manage your puppy's time and turn natural instincts into acceptable behaviors. You will learn how to build a positive working relationship based on your puppy's natural desire to belong to a family group or "pack." We will show you how to redirect your pup's natural tendencies to bite and chase, how to create rules based on your expectations and how to set yourself up for success. Our dogs are valued members of our family and investing the time and energy into the foundation of rules and good behavior will help to create the family dog we all want.
Leerburg Training DVDs, Puppy Training, On Demand