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Dog Training

The first fact anyone owning a dog or a puppy should be aware of, is that they are pack animals and have a strong social instinct. When you bring a puppy home it is in effect joining your pack (your family). You are the dominant leader of the pack - and you want things to stay that way. Your height and the fact that the dog will be dependent upon you should ensure that. However, dogs are like children - they will try to get away with what they can, you need to be firm and consistent. Most dog breeds are quick learners - but they won't learn much if you are not consistent.

Housebreaking

A puppy will show various signs when it needs to go to the toilet; typically pup the will circle the floor and sniff the ground looking for a suitable area to do their business. You should watch your puppy carefully over the first few days so that you will be aware of these signs. If you keep your pup on a consistant feeding schedule using the same brand of puppy food you should get a fairly good idea when your dog needs to go to the bathroom. If you must change change the puppy food brand do it gradually over the period of a week.

When the puppy is unsupervised (at night or when you are away) it is best to crate him. When purchasing a dog crate, find one that will be comfortable and spacious enough for him - remember you may need the crate when the pup becomes an adult dog - so bear that in mind too. Puppies will usually go to any lengths not to soil their immediate quarters. When crate training a puppy it is best to begin when you are at home and can be near him, this way he will fell more secure when you are away - before crating the pup make sure you have given him the opportunity to go to the bathroom (especially if you have just fed and watered him).

Teaching a puppy where he can go to the bathroom can be more difficult. It is best to find a phrase like "poo-poo" and use it consistently when you need him to go. Also take take him to the same spot again and again - and don't forget to praise your puppy when he does what you want him too. Going outside may not always be practical - especially in some regions during the winter In this case you can train him on puppy pads or newspapers. If he will be an outdoors dog you can change the spot later. Finally, if you have a secure and fenced yard get your puppy a doggy door.

Note* - If your pup goes to the bathroom in his doggie crate, there may be other problems. This can be caused by dog diseases or infection and by various parasites.

Housebreaking Bad Habits

Puppies are great chewers - and can damage your property pretty quickly or endanger themselves by biting on electrical cords. The best way to prevent this is to ensure that they have plenty of chewy puppy toys, and dont forget to encourage them on those toys. Remember old shoes are not toys, if you give your puppy old shoes to chew upon he may mistake any shoe for a toy. All dogs respond well to praise. If a puppy damages your home never hit him, but be prompt, firm and loud (make sure you get the pups attention and that he knows you are angry) to respond. and again be consistent. when you are out don't forget to crate your puppy (see above). Most puppies will grow out of the phase where they indiscrimnately chew on things as they approach adulthood. If your dog still exhibits a need to chew furniture and other household articles then it can be due to stress, boredom or loneliness. Make sure your dog gets the attention it needs. If you are really desperate, there are various products available, that can be applied to things you don't want your puppy to chew that taste awful but are not harmful.

Basic Dog Obedience Training

Obedience training requires repetitive and consistant proceedures. All dogs can be trained basic commands, although some are easier to train than others due to traits specific to a breed - so the methodology and amount of persistence needed can vary. For instance some dogs for instance hound dogs can be easily distracted by scents, others get bored easily, and the more intelligent ones tend to have their own agenda. The amount of time spent on a training session will ne dependant upon the specific breed and even dogs of the same breed will respond slightly differently. Always associate a word or phrase with an action, make sure to reward your dog once in a while - and always praise your dog when he learns something new. One thing that is certain is that all dog breeds will respond to praise and treats.

Advanced Agility & Competitive Training

Agility competitions amongst dog are fairly common and consist of various obstacles that a dog and its handler must clear. In these kind of competitions both the dog and the handler must work as one. The handler will decide on the best way to handle the course and be able to direction to his dog with out distracting him from the course. This kind of competition requires a great understanding between man and dog - much like that seen between herding dogs and shepherds. If you are a novice and want to do this professionally it is important that you get trained before training the dog. Once a canine has learnt to respond in a certain way to commands it is difficult to retrain them - so it is important to get things right the first time. There are plenty of good dog trainers out there that will train both man and beast. If you intend to pursue it as a hobby there are plenty of good dog training books out there.

Field Training

Some dog are more responsive to advanced training that others. For instance most herding dogs already have an in built instinct to herd and may start herding small children and other animals given the chance. In fact many Border Collie trainers let their adolescent dogs into a field with sheep to see how strong their herding instinct is. If you are planning to use your dog as a working dog as well as a family pet then be sure to select an appropriate breed first. If that dog breed has an instinct for a particular task it will be much easier to train that dog for the purpose you have in mind. Also be aware that some breeds can be averse to water so if you spend a lot of time on or by the water get a dog that loves to swim or make sure you expose him to water activities at a young age as this is something difficult to change in an adult. Also bear in mind that many breeders breed confirmation and field dogs. A puppy who comes from a field-type breeder is more likely to excel at the task you have in mind.

Although properly bred field dogs already have the instinct for a particular task they still require proper training to bring the best out of them and it is best to hire a professional dog trainers unless you plan to do a lot of reading and research.

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