When picking up your bundle of furry joy for the first time it can be hard to envisage how important getting some good fundamental puppy training in place can be! When they are small enough that you can hold them in your hand, and all they seem to want to do is sleep, sniff, cuddle or eat…
- Baby it, so the dog has no boundaries and thinks that they can come and go as they please, from which lots of behaviour problems will develop. OR
- They go to a traditional dog training class, aimed at teaching basic obedience to puppies, with a bit of socialisation thrown in.
The common theme running through these two behaviours is that we are approaching the situation like a human, thinking either that the dog is a baby to be looked after as we would a human baby, or that a dog needs to be able to obey what we ask them to do. Not considering what is important to them!
Fundamentals of puppy training
Ultimately, as someone who is taking on a new puppy you need to remember that they are going to grow up very quickly into an adult dog, so the things that you are doing with them in the first few weeks of their life are very formative. You need to keep in mind at all times what is important to a dog. This is namely:
- What might be a danger to them.
- Where the food is coming from and whether there is any competition from it.
- Who is in the pack.
- Keeping the pack safe.
- Keeping the pack in order.
So in order for them to feel happy in your home, with your family, they need to know that these fundamentals are being taken care of first, THEN you can think about being cuddly and playful with your puppy.
How can you train your puppy with these fundamentals in mind?
So having a happy puppy is all about having a puppy who understands its place within the pack, and knows that the pack is safe and cared for by you. Your pup needs to be shown some clear and consistent signals to help him/her to understand that this is in place, and unfortunately you will not learn this at a puppy training class. You will just learn obedience and have an opportunity for socialisation.
A good place to start learning how to achieve these fundamentals is by reading The Puppy Listener by Jan Fennell.
If you would rather have 121 puppy training help, then I can train you as a family how to get the best out of your puppy. This training will cover everything you need to know behaviour wise, and comes with back-up support which lasts a lifetime. I am based in Essex, and cover all the major areas including Southend, Basildon, Chelmsford, Billericay – as well as parts of Suffolk and East London.
Unfortunately it’s not something that can be explained within a blog post, as there is quite a lot to it.
Consequences of missing the fundamentals of puppy training
If you fail to show them in a way that they understand that the pack is safe and they aren’t the leader of it, then it is highly likely that you will end up with any of the following unwanted dog behaviour problems:
- Destructive chewing
- Excessive barking
- Toileting in the house
- Pulling on the lead
- Fear of noise
- Obsessive behaviour
- Dominant/pushy behaviour
- Fussy eating
- Stealing food
- Jumping up
- Nervousness or stress
…because all of these things are linked to the dog not understanding its place in the pack.