Updated: Apr 12
Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time for any family, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. One of the most important things you can do for your new furry friend is to provide proper training from the very beginning and I`m not just talking about your average 'puppy school' where they will learn to 'sit' for lots of treats. Here's why:
Building Trust and Bonding
Proper puppy training helps to build trust between you and your puppy, which is crucial for developing a strong bond. By teaching your puppy that you are capable of providing them with security and safety throughout their life is essential to establishing yourself as the pack leader and showing your puppy that you are in control. This builds a foundation of trust that will carry over into other areas of your puppy's life, such as socialization and behavior.
Socialization plays a critical role in your puppy's training as it teaches them how to interact with other dogs, people, and different environments. By exposing your puppy to diverse experiences and situations, you are laying the foundation for their lifelong confidence and social skills. It is especially crucial during the socialization period that generally lasts from 3-14 weeks of age. However, it's essential to remember that these early experiences shape your puppy's belief system, and if not appropriately controlled, activities that should be fun and enjoyable could be perceived as scary and threatening by your puppy.
*Common puppy training mistake: Taking your puppy to a dog park assuming they will have a great time because there will be other dogs there. This is potentially a huge mistake with lifetime consequences!
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3. Preventing Behavioral Issues
Proper puppy training can also help prevent common behavioural issues, such as chewing, biting, and digging. By teaching your puppy what behaviors are acceptable and what aren't, you're setting boundaries and establishing expectations. This helps to prevent confusion and frustration, which can lead to negative behaviors.
Proper puppy training also helps to keep your puppy safe. By teaching them basic obedience commands, such as come and stay, you're helping them to avoid dangerous situations, such as running into traffic or getting into something they shouldn't. This can be lifesaving in some cases. If you have ever experienced your dog running away you know how terrifying and traumatic it can be for both the owner and dog.
*The worst case outcome without ongoing training from the ages of 3 weeks to 12 months: Behavioural problems so bad you cannot take your dog with you to cafes, parks, high traffic areas or anywhere there are other dogs around.
4. Lifelong Benefits
Finally, proper puppy training provides lifelong benefits for both you and your dog. A well-trained dog is a joy to be around, and they're more likely to be welcomed in public places and among family and friends. Additionally, a well-trained dog is less likely to end up in a shelter or be surrendered due to behavioural issues.
To sum up, proper puppy training is crucial for establishing trust, preventing behavioral issues, promoting socialization, ensuring safety, and delivering lifelong benefits. As a new puppy owner, it's important to invest the time and effort required for proper training from the beginning. This will result in a happy, well-behaved, and loyal companion. However, it's vital to remember that training should go beyond the initial stages, just as education for children continues beyond pre-primary. Ongoing training for your dog is essential to keep reinforcing good behaviors and strengthening your bond with your furry friend.
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