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Your puppy is 12 weeks old and all vaccinated up. You’ve been to the pet shop and bought a lovely, colour co-ordinated collar and lead already for your puppies first walk! You are very excited and can’t believe it’s been such a long wait to get to this point! You just know your pup is going to love it. You put on the collar and lead – a bit of a struggle as the pup tries to wriggle free, but you manage it and you set off! The pup walks with you to the garden gate, tugging and mouthing on the lead and dancing around, but as soon you go out onto the road – the pup puts the brakes on. Refuses to walk. Looks upset and tries to back out of the collar. Whines and cries, ears back and tail tucked. You are perplexed! Surely your new pup can’t wait to see the outside world?! Don’t dogs love to go for walks?
Having a dog that doesn’t come back when you call it is at best, annoying, and at worst, extremely dangerous. If you can’t let your dog off the lead without constantly worrying he or she will disappear, try these quick tips!
Having just survived the first four months with her own new puppy, Bramley Tutor Karen Boardman shares her learning curve with us on some rarely mentioned equipment that will definitely help you to manage yoru own new addition!
So, many of you have already heard me rant on this subject, but I'm going to do it again! The lead you use for your dog is like a communication device between you and the dog. Different styles and sorts of leads have different effects – let’s have a look at the differences....
Dog training can be a frustrating affair – the dog ignores you, wanders off, does the opposite to what you expect. “Aaargh!!! My dog’s so stubborn!’, ‘He knows he’s been bad but he does it anyway!’, ‘Why can’t he just remember what we did yesterday?!’ – these are all frequent complaints I hear about dogs from their owners.
This article has been written by Karen Boardman, who currently assists Alex at Puppy School and Puppy University classes on Fridays.
As we enter the darker nights, it’s time to think about getting your dog prepared for the delights of Bonfire night, Halloween and Diwali celebrations! Many, many dogs are worried about or just plain terrified by fireworks. They can be INCREDIBLY loud, and to puppies born after last November this can be a whole new scary thing to cope with. If your neighbourhood is anything like mine it can be like World War 2 is happening in next doors garden….
All dogs love to play. Some rescue dogs or those that didn’t learn the basics when they were pups can struggle to get started, but given the right toy and the right approach, any dog can learn to have a whole lot of fun! Playing with you is always the preferred option, but dogs need to be kept busy and sometimes you just need a break, so interactive toys for solo play are also good.
So exciting!!!! You’ve thought about nothing else, trawling the web to find a breed or type of dog that will fit in to your house, your car and your life style, and now it’s time to find The One!
The exasperated look on my mother’s face told my 7 year old self all I needed to know. She held up the magazine she was reading and peered through the gaping hole cut out of it. ‘Let me guess’ she said, ‘more dog pictures??’
The way to a dogs heart (& brain!) is usually… but not always…. food. In order to motivate your dog into making the right choice (and do what you are asking) food can work really well. It helps to reinforce the message, especially when used alongside verbal praise or a clicker, that the dog made the right choice. Generally, the more the dog likes the food that’s given as a reward, the better the message goes in and the more likely you are to get a repeat of the 'good' behaviour. Win for you - win for the dog.
This video (my first ever on YouTube!) shows a quick and easy game to play with your dog when your out, which helps get your dog's focus on you and helps to build a strong foundation for a reliable recall.
Whether you’ve got a new puppy or have taken on a rescue dog, house training is normally top of the agenda for the first few weeks of living with your new pal. It can be a stressful time, with stained carpets, frayed tempers and frustration all round. So – if this is your struggle right now, put your pup where you can see him, make a cup of tea, and take 10 minutes to read this! Although this advice is aimed at new puppies, aged 8 weeks, the same advice can be adapted to any dog, although the timings might be longer with an older dog, and you might get more sleep…!
When socializing your puppy, take it at the puppy's speed. If he wants to walk away from a person, go with him! He may just need a moment to regroup and build his confidence. It's critical that puppies have good experiences as their own pace, not forced interactions.
Will this be your dogs first summer in your home? Have your puppy spend some time in your back yard today to get used to the sights and sounds of spring. The reason to do this is to teach your puppy not to bark at people, dogs, and other distractions in your neighbourhood.
We've all seen (and maybe owned!) dogs that can't seem to relax - always on the go, seemingly hard wired to be constantly in need of something to do. Dogs like this are masters at attention seeking and apart from driving their owners crazy through constantly being on the heels, can also start to become destructive. Lack of exercise is often the first thing people think of to help this, and in some cases, increasing exercise will help. But occasionally, dogs are in need of other, mental stimulation, and even more frequently, they need to be able to learn to relax. Dogs can become over stimulated, particularly as puppies, and just like young children, spiral themselves into a frenzy when actually they just need to chill out and sleep.