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Puppy Training Secrets: Food Matters. A lot.

Don’t you wish your new puppy came with a manual that told you exactly how to train a puppy? A puppy’s natural activities of running, chasing, biting, chewing, peeing, pooping, jumping, digging and barking can take you to the edge of your sanity if you are not prepared to deal with them. The truth is your new puppy doesn’t know anything about living with you or any other human.

Remember, your puppy came straight to you from living with its littermates. The litter was probably kept outside or in the garage and allowed to pee and poop everywhere! Or, you puppy came to you from a shelter because the original owner either was too lazy and stuck the puppy out in the back yard, or didn’t really know the correct way to make a puppy successful at living in a home. Now it’s up to you. You must teach them how to co-exist with humans — peacefully — so that all family members can enjoy your new family member.

Training a puppy not to pee or poop in your home is perhaps one of, if not, the highest priority concerns of most new puppy owners. Not just stopping accidents, but preventing them in the first place! Can you imagine never having a single potty accident because you’ve learned how to housebreak your puppy – and with no potty accidents? This is very possible. It comes down to understand the few simple things you can do to be proactive in your puppy training instead of being reactive. Just think how less stressful that will be on your puppy and you!

I’d like to share a secret with you that few trainers teach. Food can play a huge role in expediting your house breaking process. What’s so important about food? Every aspect of food is critical, everything from what kind of food, the ingredients (the order of ingredients) as well as the ingredients themselves. All of this information actually gives clues as to the value of the food you’ve just purchased. Also, how much food and believe it or not – how you prepare it. If you know what ingredients make up a high quality dog food, it will expedite your puppy’s housebreaking process, your puppy’s rowdy behavior. Yes, the food you feed your puppy has a major impact on his behavior. The food you feel also affects your puppy’s quality of life, thus preventing you from being faced with months of frustration.

Having trained 20,000 dogs and counting, we have found that puppy owners who start off on the right foot with their puppy have few to no behavior problems as their puppy becomes a dog and are happy with the relationship they have with their dog.

Let us help you take your first step to a well-trained puppy so that you too can begin experiencing all the joy, fun, laughter and love that your puppy was meant to bring into your life and home! You would love that – wouldn’t you? Remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

Jim’s  Nose to Tail Puppy Training is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him because you know how to teach him.  You empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.  The result – one awesome puppy and one happy family. 

(C) Jim Burwell 2010

Dog Behavior: Dogs Fighting Again?

Dog fights amongst canine housemates continue to be a serious concern to peaceable owners. Today I just returned from a lesson with two cute female pit/mix pups – both just under 12 months of age. The initial call was that they had gotten into a fight causing a trip to the vet with punctures. This was the first of a couple of serious fights. Unfortunately the owner did not see it start and is not certain who started the fight and over what they were fighting.

Last week I completed another lesson with two somewhat recently adopted, older, more mature female dogs who had not previously lived together. When the larger of the dogs attacked the smaller one, I got a call from the new owners to sort things out and help them to understand root causes and how to proceed to fix the problem.

Here’s the commonality with the two households:

  1. No structure, therefore no leadership
  2. No consistent training, therefore no commands to which to redirect
  3. No consistent walking for exercise and leadership – constructive management of energy while also reinforcing leadership
  4. Constant dog-initiated petting and doting – all unearned
  5. Both dogs in each household were females
  6. A detailed evaluation of relationships between the dogs starting the fights and their respective owners revealed more attention to the larger dog than the smaller dog who received the brunt of the fight.
  7. A recommended test done in both homes mentioned above, indicated that when the “doting owner” in both households was not at home and the dogs were allowed to be free in the homes while the other owner was present, no fighting occurred. In fact, all got along peaceably.
  8. When the doting owners returned to their respective homes, the competition and the games began again. Fights reoccurred.

So, what’s the message here? Many fights between canine housemates happen in the presence of the owner – and sometimes guarding the owner as a resource. What’s the answer? Put structure back into your relationship with your dogs – you probably both need it and can benefit immeasurably from it. If you are not sure how to go about doing this, give me a call. Keep your dogs separated until you can put a program into effect – and during the program as well.

Remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

(C) Jim Burwell 2010

What’s your dog training problem?
Ask me a question in the comments below!