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Beneficial Tips to Socialize Your Dog

It is extremely valuable for a puppy or dog to socialize with other puppies or dogs. This ensures that your puppy is happy, confident, and well-adjusted in new environments and situations. The best time to socialize your puppy is between 10-16 weeks old when they are young and eager to play with others. As the puppy grows older, it is harder to help them feel comfortable socializing. Despite this, it doesn’t mean that you should stop taking them to socialize with other canines. We have listed some tips to create fun and positive experiences for you and your furry friend.

  1. Introduce socialization gradually A large number of new pets and people can feel overwhelming for your young puppy. In turn, this may cause your puppy to feel nervous or scared around dogs in the future. Instead, plan a small doggie date or take your puppy to introduce to the neighbors.
  2. Go on daily walks. The environment outside of your house provides substantial stimuli for your puppy. This includes cars, the mailman, neighborhood dogs to help ease your puppy into their new environment.
  3. Change it up. Expose your puppy to a wide variety of people, rather than only the individuals in your family. Your canine will grow to be comfortable with your family, yet nervous when meeting new people. When your puppy begins to feel scared, remain confident and calm.
  4. Take car rides. Even though your puppy may not be socializing with another, car rides provide beneficial stimulus. There are many new environments and smells that they will see when they stick their head out the window. In the beginning, travel short distances to help your pup become comfortable in the car and prevent any potential messes to clean up. 
  5. Attend puppy classes. You may begin taking your puppy to classes when they have begun to receive their vaccinations. Do not hesitate to talk to your vet beforehand. It’s important that you and your pup are safe. When you attend puppy classes, your canine learns basic commands and becomes exposed to new puppies and individuals. 
  6. Don’t force a scared dog. If there is a scenario or environment that is causing your puppy to become nervous, allow your dog to decide what to do. Most often, our dogs rely on their intuition to keep themselves protected against others. Your dog may decide to meet the new dog or walk away. Never force your dog into a situation that they may not want to be a part of because it causes them to become more nervous or skittish. 

It takes time, love, and patience to train a well-behaved puppy. Remember practice makes perfect and the more often that you socialize your puppy, the more positive interactions it will encounter. If you’re looking for more tips for you and your puppy, read our previous blogs “Helpful Tips to Housetrain Your Dog” and “Helpful Tips to Teach Your Dog How to Sit”.

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Helpful Tips to Housetrain Your Dog

It can feel rather intimidating at first when you realize that you will need to potty train your young puppy or newly adopted dog. Housetraining will require patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. It’s important to initially instill good habits and create a strong and loving bond with your furry friend. To give a strong start in the right direction, here are some tips for housetraining your canine.

Tips to Support You and Your Furry Friend

  1. Manage your expectations. Remember that you are potty training a puppy and accidents will occur. Often, it takes about 4-6 months for your puppy to be fully housetrained. When considering this, it’s important to utilize patience. If you feel frustrated, don’t hesitate to take a deep breath and step away. It may be better to lose the opportunity to correct the behavior than to respond in a negative fashion. 
  2. Limit the space. The recommendation is to not give your puppy the ability to run around your whole house yet. Instead, utilize one room or an area of a room and gradually expand their area once they are more responsible. Access is limited by doors, baby gates, or exercise pens. This aids you in containing the environment that your puppy has access to. 
  3. Maintain a regular feeding schedule. Find a schedule that works best for you and remain consistent at it! This helps you in knowing when your puppy last ate. Do not keep the food bowl in their area if they did not eat all of it, especially if you leave for a period of time. 
  4. Reward the correct behavior. When you take your dog outdoors to pee, bring treats with you. As soon as they are done, praise them and give them a treat. 
  5. Take them to the same spot each time if possible. When you take your puppy to the same spot, their scent may prompt them to go. Similarly, the repetition and familiarity of where they are at may aid in this too. 
  6. Create a housetraining schedule. It is important to remember that puppies have smaller bladders and that they may need to pee more often than older dogs. But all puppies and dogs are different and you have to remain observant in how often your dog needs to go potty outside. Once you have seen how often your puppy needs to go, this supports you in creating a schedule. For example, in one day you may need to take them out between 6-10 times. After you’ve figured out a schedule that works well for you and your canine, strive to keep it consistent. 

Closing Thoughts

When potty training, it takes time and patience. Don’t lose hope! Your puppy or dog will learn the habit and be a pro at housetraining in no time. When it feels that your canine is straying and not retaining the behavior, return to the basics and start again. Each dog is different and takes its own individual path to learn the correct behavior. For additional tips in dog training, go read Introductory Dog Training Tips and Helpful Tips to Teach Your Dog How to Sit!

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Helpful Tips to Teach Your Dog How to Sit

Last week, we discussed introductory dog training tips to get you started if you’ve bought or adopted a new furry friend. If you haven’t read that blog post yet, what are you waiting for? Go read it! Now that you’ve read it, we’ll be discussing one of the first commands that you’ll be teaching your dog, which is ‘sit’. This is a great place to start and is an incredibly valuable command for your dog to know. Once your canine knows this command, it will be effortless for you to tell your dog to sit when meeting new people or to sit before you cross a street. In addition to this, the more that you work with your dog the stronger your bond will be with them!

Soul Dog Bodhi being such a good boy and sitting.
  1. Prepare to incentivize with lots of treats! Initially, you will award your dog with a treat each time they sit their backend down. It is recommended that you hold the treat in your hand and place it close to your dog’s nose so that they can smell it. After this, you will slowly move your hand from their nose to their forehead. Your dog will watch the treat by lifting their head up and sitting their rear down. Once they sit, reward them with a treat!
  2. Lure your dog with treats before adding in the verbal cue, “sit”. This process may require some patience with your canine as they learn the command. It is not a bad sign if your dog requires the treats to incentivize them for a long period. They will learn the command in time!
  3. It is recommended that you never push your dog’s hind end down. When this occurs, it may be intimidating and confusing for your canine. It may also negatively impact the remainder of your training session. Instead, return to using your treats as an incentive. 
  4. It is achievable to make sit your dog’s default behavior! What this means is that when your dog comes over to greet you, they will automatically sit down. Or when someone comes over to your home, they will sit down in preparation for the front door to open. By doing this, you will want to have treats in an easy-to-reach area. For example, you could carry some in a treat pouch that you wear around the house. Award your canine whenever they walk over to you and sit!

There are a number of tips and resources available to teach your dog how to sit! Once you perfect this command, you’ll be ready to move on to another one! Additionally, an American Kennel Club (AKC) YouTube video is linked below. YouTube videos are a great resource if it is more beneficial to see and hear how to teach a new command. In no time, your dog will be great at listening to the command and sitting!

Also, do you want to learn more about the incredible accomplishments that dogs have performed? This well-trained dog, Pickles, helped save the day back in 1966. Read more to find out what he did!

Additional Resources:

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Introductory Dog Training Tips

The idea of training your dog, especially if it’s your first dog, can feel extremely daunting at first. If you take it one step at a time, it may feel less intimidating and become more enjoyable. The act of training strengthens the bond between you and your canine to create a life-long relationship. Here are some tips to help get you started in your initial training of your puppy or older dog.

Nugget loves his toy bone!
  1. In general, many dog’s mental abilities are similar to a human child aged 2 to 2.5 years old. With this consideration, it is important to adjust your expectations when training. It may take some time for your dog to understand the command that you are teaching them
  2. Do your best to maintain a positive attitude. Your dog will recognize when you are upset, especially if it is in response to something they may have done. Instead of possibly getting angry, take a moment to count to ten and decide if you are still angry over your canine’s behavior. Is there an opportunity to utilize positive reinforcement in the moment or future to adjust the behavior?
  3. Remain observant of your patience when training. Many dogs learn at a different pace and may not learn the command quickly. In addition to this, you and your dog are communicating in different languages. By approaching each training session with a calm demeanor and patience, you will achieve success with your canine.
  4. Keep treats with you when you are with your dog. When they are learning a new command or you are reinforcing positive behavior, reward them with a treat quickly. If the treat is not received within seconds, your dog may not know why they are receiving a treat or you may be rewarding incorrect behavior. By promptly rewarding your dog with a treat, it will assist in positive reinforcement and strengthening your bond with them.
  5. Choose a training time and area that allows you to train your dog without distractions. Place your cell phone out of reach and perform the training in a quiet area. This will help your canine focus on your commands and enhance the quality time that you both spend together. Another benefit is that you will not feel rushed when training and your dog will not feel overwhelmed with the new information.

Training a dog is a constant process and you will often positively reinforce the commands that you have taught throughout their lifetime. If your dog’s behavior begins to falter, it will be valuable to begin scheduling regular training sessions again. With our attention and training, our dogs can reach their full potential and demonstrate incredible feats. Check out our previous blog posts on Buddy the German Shepherd and Barry the Saint Bernand to read more about incredible canine’s!

Rowan giving you “puppy eyes”!