When should you start training your new dog?
The long and short answer is…” Immediately”!
First impressions are important with humans, but imagine what they are like for a dog… They are brought out of familiar surroundings and put into a whole new life. Sometimes they are changing from no dogs to multiple dogs. Sometimes they have to be a quick study on children and how they move and make loud noises. You never know what a dog has encountered in it’s life so you want to slowly introduce it to all of it’s new surroundings without causing some sort of emotional trauma.
As if this isn’t enough pressure,” You have to start teaching it how to act appropriate immediately???”. Yep!
Starting at square one and teaching your new dog to be calm for things can be priceless. The fewer times they get to practice the wrong behavior, the fewer times they will need to practice the right one for it to become muscle memory. If we always sit for a food dish…then we ALWAYS sit for a food dish. There has just not been another way. It can also decrease any anxiety when you give them positive structure. I know I like knowing what is expected of me when I go somewhere new…
Now, realistically we are not going to get everything perfect the first day, or even the first week, but we can always try our best. Just picture the way you would prefer your new dog to act, in any given situation, and practice getting closer and closer to accomplishing that behavior. Maybe you want them to sit before getting their leash put on. You might start with a few seconds of standing still the first time, then a sit with a second of sitting the second attempt. Just gradually increase the criteria in increments and you will eventually reach your goal.
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Helping your four-legged family members live in our two-legged world.