Anyone that has ever had a puppy knows that shoes and other things can become a dog’s play things–some more deadly than others.
Dogs over 12 weeks of age will explore their new surroundings like a wolf would do. At this age, wolf pups begin to leave the den and explore their new world. They also begin to detach themselves form their mother–and your pups will detach from you. This is a critical time for you and your friend and the best things for you to do is to understand your dog, correct him accordingly, and check your ego at the door.
Understanding Your Dog
In order to know your dog you might have to be your dog. To a puppy, everything is big and scary. Don’t make it worse by scolding your puppy for the wrong reasons. If you watch, listen, and learn, you will understand how dogs work and will never have the need for a trainer. Communication is crucial between you and your pup and the only way you will learn to communicate is by watching and listening.
Whining and crying from a pup means he’s trying to tell you something. Its up to you to find out what that something is since every pup is different. Most likely he wants to poop, pee, or eat.
One day, after two weeks of crate training, I noticed that every time my pup wanted to poop he would lift his tail up high and pace back and fourth. How did I pick this up? We were outside playing when he just walked away with his tail high in the air and began pacing, sniffing at the floor, finally pooping. He does that every time, even when we are inside the house. This lets me know to let him out so he can poo in the grass and not in my house.
That was small tale (no pun intended) that should help you understand what clues to be on the lookout for. You will save yourself a lot of hurt and anger if you pay attention to your pup. If your pup makes a mistake, it’s up to you to learn from that mistake because his mistake is your fault.
The worst thing we as humans can do is misunderstand the dog’s intentions. When a puppy encounters another bigger dog, they normally crouch low with their tail tucked in, licking the older dogs muzzle. This is called respect. The older dog will normally stand over the pup with his tail held up high in a sign of dominance without hurting the pup. We as humans see the puppy as scared or the older pup as aggressive but this is all part of the Dog World.
Keep an eye on your pup.
Apply some dog psychology to your training and you will see that a multidimensional experience can be had. A bad experience your dog has now, as a puppy, will last forever.
Dogs are very forgiving and will always wag their tail, but bad experiences will show up in other ways. For example: some pups might pee when excited, submissive, or happy. If you get mad and lose your top over this action, the pup will become a very submissive dog. Instead, help your dog not to do the unwanted behavior.
When a pup begins to chew your shoe give them stern “no” and provide them with the approved toy they can bite. Pups, like kids, experience teething and need something to chew.
If you see pee on the floor and you didn’t catch your pup peeing, do not correct him. Your pup will not know why you are correcting him or he will think you are correcting him for something he is doing at the time you are correcting him. You will have one confused puppy.
The connection between you and your puppy will require a lot of understanding on your part. You wouldn’t slap a baby because the baby is crying, so why would you do that to your pup? Make sure you don’t over use the phrase “no” or else it won’t mean anything to your pup.
The best tools to use are correcting accordingly and rewarding good behavior for a good puppy.
I remember a friend asking me, “Why doesn’t my dog understand that he’s doing something wrong? I hit him, yet he still doesn’t understand. It’s as if he likes pain, why can’t he understand?”
What my friend didn’t understand is that scolding was just making his pup very submissive.
Check Your Ego
It is selfish to think that your dog is the only one that needs to learn anything. As your pup grows, you should be learning along with your pup.
Researching good ways to understand and train your pup will grow your understanding of dogs. Dogs are not hard to understand, but when negativity and egos get in the way, dog training is impossible.
If you want a well-trained dog at your feet while you enjoy a beer and a football game, a good relationship at the beginning is a must. Whatever you put in is what you will get, so put in the right amount now that your puppy is a blank slate. Your puppy is looking to you to teach him what is acceptable in your house.
It’s like Cesar Milan says all the time on the Dog Whisperer:
“I rehabilitate dogs and train people.”