There is nothing more wonderful than welcoming a new family member to your home. Everyone is excited and most of us are well prepared and get stuck into toilet training and training basic skills like, come and sit quickly.
The next 2-3 months the status quo is great. I like to think of this as the Honeymoon phase. Every time the dog responds to us and goes to the toilet, in the correct place, we feel reinforced, our efforts are validated. Our puppies know their names and are fantastic at coming when called, sitting for their food and at the doorways. The household has come to terms with the mouthing and everyone is offering the puppy appropriate toys to teeth on, rather than shoes and socks etc We are having fun, “I am enjoying my puppy and I love this pup” moments are occurring frequently.
But after 4-5 months these moments start to fade or reduce in frequency. Our puppy is far more distracted by life and the bond that was unbreakable in those earlier months is starting to deteriorate. Can you believe my pup is starting to choose to chase the bird, sniff the grass or stay playing with their pup mates over coming back to me!
Things at home are better, they still relax at your feet and lounge around resting, when you are around but any interruption like people coming, someone mowing the lawn, they are starting to bark, rush to the fence/ door and generally are over excited not responding to the simplest of skills.
I hope that by saying this out loud that you realise this is a common path. I want you to know that this is part of a normal development that your puppy is growing a seeking out more to do.
What happens next is important
Choice One ….. hope they grow out of it ….. Not advisable… Same old routine
Choice Two ….. provide more for them to do. Mix up the toys in the yard, invest in several foods dispensing toys and stick to your daily routine
Choice Three….. provide more both in what they do at home each day and what you do with your dog. Keep the interest, keep the fun, keep the learning mental stimulation happening.
Now whilst I would love you all to enrol in our classes, that is not possible, Unless you live close to Sydney harbour. It is imperative you get to class. Your pup needs you to become more skilled. you need to learn how to keep this delicious, cute and adorable beas,t calm and well mannered. You need to get that recall stronger so when you call,. Your pups says, “Coming now” even with distractions around.
You need to get a hold on how to train Loose lead walking.
And you need to be able to have fun with your dog in the company of other dogs and other people.
When you were choosing your dog, you had so many ideas of what you could do together and what you wanted for your dog and you. Start realising your potential as a team and get to class. Start having that fun.
What should a good class look like
- Small numbers of dogs to instructor. 1 trainer to a maximum of 6 dogs
- A Qualified instructor. A Cert IV in Companion animal is a minimum (having an obedient dog does not make you a great trainer)
- A curriculum that is designed for pups your age.
- Lots of space for you to train without other dogs in the class sabotaging and distracting you from your training.
- A trainer who insist that you use food or play to reinforce the great decision your dog is making.
- Homework to do each week, with assess to teaching instructions
- Video feedback from your trainer so you are not practicing the wrong thing for a week
So, if you are in Sydney. jump on board here .
If you live in another location check out this list of fabulous instructors.
It is important to start the conversation ” Where can I train my dog? ” ” What do you train?” ” How do you train the dogs ” and now you start to ask those 9 questions and ensure you get the best for your dog as you would any other family member.
This is your pup and you have plans for the fun you are going to have together. Start realising those dreams.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me or like the Let’s Go Fido Facebook Page to stay in touch with engaging posts, training articles and lost of ” My dog rocks photos and stories”