In my opinion, the most important lesson to learn is to respect your puppy as a dog.
Dogs have derived from wolves many thousands of years ago. Dogs remain 99.6% genetically wolves. Humans have lived in harmony with dogs and vice versa for all that time, because both the species are hunter/gatherers. A strong relationship has developed between dogs and humans resulting in the term "man’s best friend".
A dog's historical role
Many types of breeds have been bred over the years for our specific needs such as hunting, retrieving, catching vermin, barking, guarding, herding, rescuing, to swim and as companions. It is important that a suitable breed is chosen to fit you and your family’s lifestyle and that the dog is able to enjoy what he has been bred to do.
When I was growing up, the dog lived outside in the quarter acre back yard, was able to wander the streets, and ate left overs with some dog roll and bones. Mum was a stay at home mother so the dog was seldom left alone. The dog was treated as a dog and knew exactly how it fitted in the household and was confident and well- adjusted.
Modern life for dogs
Modern day living gives us smaller or no section, ratio of small to large dogs has increased, tighter council restrictions with regards to dog control and oodles of choice regarding foods. Plus, the day is often spent inside, alone as family members are working or at school. Our lifestyles are usually much busier than 30 years ago.
The puppy that comes to your family at 8 weeks has a huge transition to make - from their mother and litter-mates to our human family. The puppy suddenly needs to learn another language – the human language – verbal and body language. The puppy needs to learn the household rules and routines. They need to know how to fit in.
Simple life, few choices is best
It is therefore very important to keep the puppy’s life simple, give it few choices. Do not put all the human complications and emotions on to your puppy. And please do not treat the puppy as a substitute baby. Remember, a puppy is not naughty – just that it hasn’t been shown the correct behaviour.
I look forward to helping you and your puppy deal with this modern day so that you can watch the puppy develop into a chilled out, and confident dog.
Contact Margaret to discuss your puppy's training needs