Teaching obedience to your puppy
Previously, I talked about 75% of a dog’s behaviour being inherited from the parents. In those first 200 days, you have the opportunity to mould things. If you are a good trainer you will often correct problems early in the life of your dog. If you do nothing, the status quo will remain or get worse. If you have difficulty with training, you will exaggerate any unwanted behaviours and ‘fix’ them in your dog.
Your next step is an obedience club, where qualified instructors will help guide you and your dog through the very basics of training. They are great organisations, where the whole family can become involved, and so they should, after all, that thing with the waggly tail is part of the family isn’t it? I’m sure your children go to school, so should your dog!
Instructors will advise on things like leads, collars and harnesses. They teach walking techniques and handy tools like crate training. As your pup grows into a mature dog, you may be interested to go further into the fields of agility, fly-ball and tracking. The fun you can have with your dog is endless, and the social interactions of like-minded people can make for lifelong friendships.
There is so much more to say on refining training techniques we could go on and on. Etiqueh, my Belgian Shepherd’s greatest motivation is a ball. It’s her training reward. She came from Sweden at the age of four and travelled out with a much younger dog as company. She was originally owned by a young couple who lived in a small apartment. Life for her was not good. She spent from 6am to 6pm alone in that place. Bored beyond belief, she started to bark. She is still a ‘barker’. She will always be anxious. Will I ever eliminate the problem? I doubt that I will, but control it I do, simply with a hand signal like a policeman on point duty, and my eyes. I only wish she had been mine for those first 200 days, how much more at ease would she be with life.