Dog Tip #3

Now that you have picked your dog and brought it home its time to start training them.

Do not wait to start training till another time! Start as soon as you get them home! I cannot stress this enough. Training them when they are puppies is a lot easier then trying to retrain them at a later time. Even at 7 and 8 weeks old Geordi and Shadow started learning sit and Stay that first night home.

Sit, Down, and Stay are the most often used commands anywhere in a normal household. My two Sit and Stay for their meals; if they are not sitting and staying they don’t get fed. I taught this to them because I didn’t want to struggle to feed them (I.E. trying to feed around their heads or being jumped on with the scoop in my hand). They also have to Sit and Stay to come in from outside, especially during winter! Shadow being three, does all the routine stuff without being told to do so most of the time. Geordi still being a puppy, has to be reminded every once in a while.

Now most places don’t let you start taking puppies to training classes still they around 12 weeks old and have had the big shots like Bordetella (Canine Cough) and DHLP-P (Distemper Parvo Combination). The rabies shot can’t be given to till they are 6 months so don’t worry about that one to much. Once, your dog has had though shots and you are ready to start formal training (which I highly recommend) you need to find a place. Petco and Petsmart both offer training courses from basics to tricks. These places are great if you just want bare bones. Shadow went to Petco for her first training course and it was taught well and has good information and training.

If you do what I did and find a local trainer, research them. Don’t be a afraid to talk to them before signing up for classes. Some places use clickers instead of treats, don’t allow prong collars or chock chains, or the instructor doesn’t rub you right. Also, with the social media such a large part of marketing now, check and see if they have a FaceBook page and if they do what are people saying about them. I love my trainer and I always go back to her every time, and I don’t blink an eye at the ~$90 a class that I pay.  I know it is worth every dollar!

The moral of the post: train early, train often, and get help! Don’t be afraid to go back and repeat courses. I have, and I learn something new or increase my ability to do certain things every time.

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