By Courtney Emken
co-written by Bart Emken, CPDT-KA, Jen Larson, KPA-CTP, and Amanda Ott.
As a dog (and puppy) training facility, we’re obviously going to advocate that you get your puppy trained by yourself, a professional, or a combination of the two. We think that training is an integral aspect of a healthy dog-owner relationship.
However, this issue has grown even more important as shelters are experiencing widespread overcrowding in Austin and across the nation. What most people don’t know is that the two most common reasons dogs end up in shelters are:
Puppies who aren’t thoroughly trained or properly socialized while young are more than likely headed to one of these already crowded shelters if their behavioral issues remain unsolved into maturity.
We know it can be tempting to let those cute little furballs do whatever they please, but here’s why you should get your puppy’s training started ASAP.
They Won’t Be Tiny Furballs Forever…
Unless your puppy is an Applehead Chihuahua, they’re not going to weigh a couple pounds forever. Over the course of a few months, puppies can gain dozens of pounds. Behaviors that used to be cute when they were tiny soon can become troublesome and difficult to manage, such as:
- Jumping up on people/furniture
- Excessive licking
- Biting when excited or frightened
- Barking at visitors
If you never teach your puppy the right way to behave, they’ll continue practicing these unwanted behaviors well into their adulthood. Furthermore, when you allow bad habits to develop, they’re only going to get harder and harder to reverse as they become more ingrained.
Many owners have come to us with juvenile aged dogs (essentially teenagers) who were once perfect puppies, but as they got bigger they began to display major problems like:
- Jumping on visitors
- Biting at children
- Soiling themselves
Persistent behavioral issues like these can bring owners to their wit’s end. After months of dealing with a “problem dog” and making no progress, they may think giving them up is their only option. In reality, these problems could’ve been solved right away or even prevented entirely; just by bringing puppies in for training early in their development.
Prevention is especially important when raising a puppy whose breed will become especially large or hyperactive in adulthood. These dogs are most likely to come from groups like:
Work on behaviors that you know your puppy will have problems with. For example, if you have a Husky, you’ll be doing your future self a huge favor by teaching them not to pull on their leash before they’re strong enough to drag you around. It’s always easier to deal with a 10 lbs. untrained pup than a 100 lbs. untrained adult.
Training Is Necessary For Developing A Strong Bond With Dogs
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: training is the difference between a pet and a companion. Training brings you together unlike any other activity. You learn how to communicate with each other and build your relationship upon mutual respect and trust.
When you use positive reinforcement training, you’re not just teaching a dog cool tricks or useful cues. Your puppy will actually learn to associate you with positive reinforcement in and of itself. This creates the kind of bond that can last a lifetime.
If you need help training your puppy, or have questions about how to raise a well-behaved pup, please contact us today. At DogBoy’s, we’ve built our whole community around loving dogs, so we want to help as many puppies get a strong start in life as we can- including yours!
Tired Fetch by L Church
Pulling Pup by smerikal
Training Dalmatian by Maja Dumat