The Importance of Starting a Conversation with Your Puppy Early

47a6df38b3127cce985480de038c00000033130AZsmzRk3ZNmkADogs think very differently than we do. When they are small, they are adorable and cuddly, and innocent in their thinking. But, as they mature their play drive starts to develop, and slippers, TV remotes, shoes and anything they can sink their teeth into becomes fair game. For us, these things SHOULD NOT be chewed. For them, they have no idea what a shoe, slipper or remote is, except that it is on the floor and it feels good to chew on. And so the frustration begins.

If only we didn’t have to go through the chewing stage, life with our new puppy would be great, right? Actually, as we get past the chewing stage, we usually enter the ‘I have an opinion’ stage. This stage can come with many different types of behavior such as barking at the window when people walk by, counter surfing, pulling on the leash, and the most frustrating of all….jumping on people.

It is at this point in a dog’s maturity that owners start to reach out for help. Understanding how your puppy thinks will help you to guide them through some of these very normal stages. When you learn how to become a good leader, you will choose the direction of your dog’s behavior. It all starts when you learn to develop a language that you both understand. Instead of letting them chew on that shoe they found, give them something that they are allowed to chew on. Instead of allowing them to jump on people, don’t let them answer the door with you. The earlier you start these positive conversations with your pup, the quicker they will understand how to act in these situations. Feeling proud of what your pup can do right is a far better feeling than the frustration we feel when our pups are doing wrong.

Jody Cracco
Playcare Dog Trainer

Interested in working with Jody? Enroll in the Doggy Playcare training program or sign up for a 50 minute training session on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Get your training questions answered in a 1-1 session or choose to watch a session and take home some tips! Click here to register and learn more.