By Justin Paynter
For those of you who have read my previous articles, you were introduced to Annie, my Brittany puppy . She is no longer a little pup, but an energetic ten month old who can go all day. I am proud to say that I can bring her in public and she behaves pretty well. She will stay when I tell her, wait at doors for me to go through first, and come when called.
Is she the most amazing dog ever? I think so, but I may be biased by the work I’ve put in.
I started Annie’s training when she first came home. I would hold her until she stopped squirming, not let her get her way when she whined, and show her that I was in charge. Once I had established this relationship the real training could begin. As with most puppy owners, I wanted a dog that would perform basic obedience commands. I decided that puppy kindergarten would be a good start. Many of the various Pet Life stores work with a trainer who holds classes in store. Here Annie was able to socialize with other dogs, as well as learn the foundations of basic training.
I spent about ten minutes a day training her at home, and using a lot of training treats. She really loved the Zukes Mini Naturals, and at 3 calories each I could use quite a few with her. Often I would do two training sessions a day, one before work and one after work. Training sessions don’t need to be long, but they do need to be consistent. Your pup’s attention span won’t last an hour, so go for quality! We are all busy people, but spending the extra few minutes a day will make the difference between an unruly dog and a dog you can be proud of.
Training your dog should be fun for both of you. If your dog becomes distracted then it might be time to stop the session. You don’t want to yell or get upset as your dog will read your emotions and become upset too. Never raise your voice because you want your pup to respond to your normal tone of voice rather than only when you yell at her. End each session on a fun note with some play time that will leave your pup excited for the next training session. Smile! Laugh!
Justin is a store manager in our Stratham, NH location. Come in and visit him and ask him how he and Annie are doing!