Dog Behaviour Advice - Dog Advice Articles
DIY Puppy Training Part 3
Some more rules
Many owners make the point that all dogs are different in character. This is partly true but most dogs normally fit into three distinct types. The first is the dominant dog. The second is the middle of the road dog and finally the timid dog. Add to this is the requirement of the owner. Most professionals or working dogs competitors are looking for the dominant dogs. Owners looking for family dogs find the middle of the road dogs more suited here but some families do find they end up owning either a dominant or a timid dog.
The method of training would alter slightly in that dominant dogs do need more firm control whilst timid dogs need extra encouragement. A puppy that shows signs of being timid needs to feel less apprehensive. Often many owners will try to protect such puppies instead of building their character and removing their fears. Other owners do try to encourage such dogs to become more forward but then stop because in the middle of such training the puppy becomes confused. It is still timid yet is encouraged in meeting people. Unless the training continues the puppy will come forward but when it becomes nervous, it can often bite in fear.
How can we improve a timid puppy into the more middle of the road type?
The pull game is one that is very useful in such cases yet in dominating dogs can create a problem. If you have a dominant puppy then if it regularly wins at pulling, walks about with the pull toy in its mouth, and may even refuse to give it up to you when you demand it then it learns it can beat you. This is not advisable in any dog’s character.
Humans are the Alpha males and females; dogs are not. Allowing them to learn they can become higher in the hybrid human/dog pack then this creates problems and problems that can become dangerous.
On the other hand if you have a timid dog that is reluctant to come forward and play then pull games can lift their character by teaching them skills that will give them self-assurance. Using a pull game for timid dogs it is possible to let them win most of the time and helps build their confidence. When their puppy’s character has improved, the owners can begin to win most of the time and will confirm human control.
Another game is the chase game. Pretending to run away from the puppy often gets them to come forward more. If you assume the position of Play Bow, this is an invitation to play. This is where you are on all fours and dipping your arms so your head is lower than the puppy’s this should encourage a timid puppy to play. If you then appear to move away, it should begin to chase after you. Wrestling and playing roughly with them in the home also builds puppies up and as outsiders would never be so rough with them they are more prepared meet other people.
I do remember PC Trevor Ellis of Manchester Police Dog Section politely reminding me recently that dogs do not have toys. Humans have toys and we let our dogs play with them. They are not their possessions. Dogs that have possessions have status symbols. This may not be a problem with some less dominant dogs but any dog that refuses to give you back your toy will rank itself higher and have little respect for its owners as Alpha leaders. Here again we can have major problems when the dog is older.
When I first got Winston, very often he would not to give me the ball back and held it tightly between his teeth. I always would take it off him and now, even though reluctantly, he does drop the ball into my hand when I command him to do so.
From the start of our puppy training, we are the Alpha males and females. Never let your dog assume this roll as this creates potential dangers. All humans are the leaders so it is important not to over fuss the puppy to the point it feels it has more authority above us. To improve their authority dogs like to find a high place where they can sit above our hight. Very often, such dogs will sit at the top of the stairs most of the day on their throne.
Trying to become the boss is sometimes a problem for new dog owners as this is a roll when you look at a puppy that is so sweet we humans should never need to act like. It is almost against our human nature to be so firm but we must with all our dogs. I know and have seen many handlers including professionals take a dog round the back of a shed and kick the proverbial from the dog or as publicised in the press some years ago of new professional dog handlers hanging dogs from a fence with a choke chain and lead until the dog understands who is in charge. This is unfortunately where they have failed with their method of training and in anger have had to resort to violence.
Getting ready to take your puppy training
We are now at the point that we have our 8-week-old puppy and have been to see our vet for the second vaccinations and a check over. Confirm with the vet that we can now take our puppy out to socialise.
Your vet may prefer you to carry your puppy for a while just to give the vaccines time to work and then you can put them down onto the ground. Carrying puppies is fine for the smaller breeds but some larger breed puppies even at 8 weeks are quiet heavy.
Make up a bag with kitchen roll and good baby wipes along with some plastic bags just in case there are no bins available. Also, have some titbits if you wish to use them and some water.
I had to clear up for Osito the other week and walking back from the bin a voiced called me over to their car. I expected they would ask for directions but no, it was to offer me a baby wipe as they said it was good to see people clean up after their dogs so would I like to clean my hands. That was nice of them and it shows people do appreciate us dog owners clearing up after our pets.
You will now have your puppy with a collar and a retractable lead of at least 5 meters. Try to purchase those that use cord and not webbing. The problem with the webbing type is they vibrate in the breeze which puppies find disconcerting. For the smaller puppies purchase a lighter model but for the stronger dogs chose those with stronger cord.
People, children, and other dogs love to see puppies as they all have that adorable factor. Everyone loves to come and meet them so this is where puppy training for sociability begins.