“It’s Almost Like Raising a Baby!” – Pittsburgh Puppy Training – Pittsburgh Dog Trainer – Three Rivers Dog Training
Last week, I had a new client named Keri say this to me as we were progressing through her puppy’s first lesson. Apart from growing up with the family dog, Keri had never had a dog of her own, and most certainly never raised a puppy.
“This actually makes a lot of sense.” she said as I was explaining my puppy training protocol. “There are obviously huge differences because dogs are not humans, but approaching the training where you are just guiding the puppy to more rewarding decisions and experiences…it’s almost like raising a baby!”
Keri adopted her puppy Coco at eight weeks. The day she picked up Coco was the same day that she called me to set a date for puppy training. We were all very excited to get Coco started on the right foot/paw to solid behavioral training, that would inevitably prepare her for an easier, happier transition into adolescence and adulthood.
Sometimes when I receive initial inquiries about my puppy training program, I am asked if I will help train the dog to eliminate outdoors, or if I will teach the dog his/her’s basic commands (ie: Sit, Down, Stay, etc). While these important elements of training are included, I as a trainer try to go beyond teaching simple commands or cutesy tricks.
Training a puppy is all about guidance. The puppy does not know any better and needs to learn what is appropriate behavior and what is not appropriate. Through a reward-based system that I customize and determine after an in-home consultation and assessment, I work on teaching appropriate behaviors and encouraging the puppy to choose these appropriate behaviors on his/her’s own volition. Through training, the owner establishes themselves as head of the pack, though not through dominance tactics or a harsh punishment-based regimen, but by leading the puppy toward success and eliminating situations where the puppy is destined for failure. The puppy experiences rewarding situations and then continues to do it, because it ends with praise and comfort, not failure and anxiety.
When I train a puppy, I get any of those typical pesky puppy problems (potty accidents, chewing, nipping, separation anxiety, hyperactivity, etc) out of the way, but I also make sure that with the basic obedience and commands, comes a structure of focus and consistency. That way, everything the puppy learns through his/her’s basic training sticks with them as they grow older and face new experiences and challenges.
Going back to Keri and Coco…we have some time until we meet again for their next puppy training session, but I have already been getting steady updates on the positive changes in the house! Coco is learning to trust her owner, but also be a confident dog that is not overly attached to Keri. Accidents are becoming less and less, and Coco is understanding boundaries and happily choosing to respect them, because then she gets her favorite thing – lavish praise from Keri!
If you have any questions about puppy training or need to set something up for your own puppy, do not hesitate to give me a call at 800.649.7297. I am ready to work with you and set your puppy up for a successful life!