Who's Training Who

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Playing with your Puppy

The Stay Command

Chewing Behavior

Surviving the Heat

Taking your Dog Running

Swimming with your Dog

Coping with Car Sickness

Puppy Play & Exercise

Vaccinations

Creating a Safe Haven

Basic Obedience Training

Training a Dominant Dog

Understanding Pack Mentality

Training Do's & Don'ts

Dog Doesn't like Socializing

Dog Friendly Lawn Care

Help for Grieving Dog

Spaying & Neutering

Ground Rules on Growling

Who's Training Who?

Before Bringing Puppy Home

Harmful Foods

Does Your Puppy Have Worms?

Living with a Puppy

Teaching Puppy Commands

Cleaning up after Puppy

Puppy-Child Bond

Time & Finances

Sharing Your Home

Puppies Get Stressed Too

An Independent Puppy

Dealing with Fleeing Pup

Pups Adolescent Behaviors

Socializing Your Puppy

Clear Communication

Leader of the Pack

Is your puppy training you?
If your puppy nudges your hand do you immediately stop what you're doing to play with him? If so, he may be the one training you. Puppies automatically repeat behavior that is successful so if you are indulging your dog in this behavior you may be setting patterns without realizing it. If your puppy barks and you jump you are letting your puppy know that 1) you are not in control and 2) that barking gets him what he wants. You are training him in bad behavior. The longer inappropriate behavior is accepted, the more your puppy believes this behavior is appropriate and it becomes the norm.

You’re the leader of the pack
Dogs are pack animals and it's important for your puppy to know that you are the leader of the pack and that he takes his cues from you. During adolescence many puppies challenge the lessons they’ve learnt and you must make sure that you continue being consistent about the behavior you expect from your puppy. Puppies need boundaries and if they sense from you that they can set the guidelines for play or walks they will rely on commands such as nudging your hand for a treat or barking to let you know they want a walk. Because puppies are so cute this is a very easy trap to fall into, but with a little patience you can reestablish your role and set boundaries for your puppy.

Puppies are very sensitive to the signals we give them and your puppy needs to know that you are the "alpha dog". The following pointers will help you establish your role in the hierarchy, and discourage his bad behavior.

Your puppy should respect you: It's easy to spoil him by showering him with affection and letting him dictate to you. And, affection is wonderful for puppies, but if you give in to your puppy's every whim then he won't learn self-control. And he won't respect you. If he doesn't respect you then he will have no desire to do anything for you. Just as children need guidance from a parent, your puppy needs guidance from you. He needs you to lead the way and to do this you can't let your puppy dictate your actions to you.

Don't scream at your puppy: Never lose control. Your puppy knows that the alpha dog doesn't have to scream to get attention, and if you scream at him he will question your position.

Think about one year from now: Some of your puppy's bad behavior may be endearing now but will it still be endearing when he is 3 times his present size?

Remember, good puppy parenting requires consistency and clear rules.

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