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10 Puppy Training Myths – That Can Endanger Your Family
There are many myths about puppies and puppy training. These myths can come from many sources; online as well as through word of mouth. They can come from people with very good intentions, but inaccurate knowledge.
Some of these myths can endanger you, your family, and friends.
If you are a new puppy owner, or soon to be, these myths can be extremely confusing.
This report will dispel the most common puppy training myths and a few other odd myths that I have heard along the way. My intention is to help you get started on the right paw.
This report will arm you with some great information to help you get started on the right path to puppy training and puppy parenthood.
The training process takes patience and consistency, but what you will get out of it is a relationship with your puppy that is one of unconditional love and a lifetime of enjoyment.
I have had dogs in my life for as long as I can remember. I knew at an early age that I wanted to be a teacher, little did I know where that dream would lead me. Teaching dogs and pet parents has been one of the most rewarding careers I could ever imagine.
I truly enjoy sharing with you what I have learned through the years. I hope this will help you with your journey to pet parenthood and help make it an easy one.
Myth #1 – I Heard Dominance Training Was The Best Training Method
This advise has been given to many new puppy owners; “Show Them Who’s Boss”. I have seen people do this by pinning the puppy down like it’s a wrestling match, and hold them till they feel they have become submissive. Well, I was horrified to see such an act on a puppy.
Truth – This will cause your puppy to distrust you, but worst, can irreparable harm the puppy-owner relationship and possibly the puppy too.
This can also lead to your pet having anxiety and behavior issues, and can go as far as your puppy becoming aggressive towards you, other family member, and visitors.
Your goal when training is to build a trusting and caring relationship. This can only be achieved through positive reinforcement training.
Myth #2 – I Heard Rubbing My Puppy’s Nose Where He Soiled Will Potty Train Him
Truth – Rubbing your puppies nose in his own excrement will not potty train him, EVER. This was an old method used a long time ago.
I actually watched in horror when my father did this. We ended up with a mean dog. My brother and I were not allowed to play with him as we would end up getting bitten.
I also watched the rolled up newspaper used for discipline which would become shredded paper from the dog attacking it, while he was getting swatted at, and this was a little dog. It’s memories I do not care to remember.
Going potty is a normal behavior for a puppy. The problem is not going potty, it’s WHERE he went potty. Rubbing his nose in it will just lead your puppy to become more clever in hiding where he goes. This goes right back to positive reinforcement training.
When your puppy is outside and potties in the right place you need to praise and reward him. When you have a puppy, always be prepared to treat and reinforce the positive behavior.
Myth #3 – I Heard My Puppy Is Misbehaving To Be Spiteful
Many people believe that their puppy, pees in the house, barks excessively, or destroys things just because he is being spiteful.
Truth – All of this misbehavior is a cause of other problems. Incorrect puppy potty training methods, anxiety, fearfulness etc.
Being spiteful is a human trait similar to getting revenge.
Puppies and dogs don’t think like this, they have a much simpler idea about life. Your puppy is not being spiteful.
Myth #4 = I Heard My Puppy’s Jumping is a Sign of Dominance
I was told that my puppy is jumping on people because he is trying to be dominant.
Truth – A puppy jumps because he is trying to reach you or your visitors mouth to lick it. In the canine family this is a sign of submission. He is trying to tell you he is not a threat, just the opposite.
Have you ever noticed a dog lick another dogs mouth. They did this to show they are not a threat, and they didn’t need to jump because most dogs are at the same height.
You may have even noticed a smaller dog stand on his hind legs to lick a larger dogs mouth, this is to show he is not a threat, and would like to be friends.
Humans are much taller, so in an effort to show the same towards you they need to jump. Mind you, they’re also happy to see you.
Now we don’t want to be tackled at the front door every time we come home. Again, simple positive reinforcement training will help this situation.
As a puppy owner always have treats handy.
***Keep in mind that treats do not always mean food, it can be a favorite toy***
***If you do use food keep it to small low calorie items and consider this intake when it comes to feeding time.***
When you walk in the door ask your puppy to sit. When he does treat him, praise him, and pet him. After a while you will notice that he will automatically sit when you walk in the door. He will be looking for his reward and your greeting. Remember he is happy you are home.
Myth #5 – I Heard That I Should Not Allow My Puppy To Growl
Truth – You need to determined why your puppy growled in the first place. Did someone step on his paw or tail by mistake?
If it’s because he’s been hurt, understand why your dog is growling before you take action.
Growling is a warning sign. Your puppy can’t speak and tell you exactly how or what is happening, so he growls, something is unpleasant to him.
Think of it this way, if someone steps on your foot by mistake don’t you say OUCH. (Rumble, Rumble, Growl)
If he growls when you pet him in a certain spot, get him to the vet to be sure there are no injuries. If you make your dog stop growling, which is a warning sign, he may go straight for the bite.
If the growling is due to resource guarding then you need to get a trainer involved.
Either way you need to check with your vet or seek out a trainer if it wasn’t a case of mistakenly hurting him.
If you still insist on stopping your puppy from growling them promise me this, for the rest of your life you will never mutter under your breath when someone cuts you off in traffic. That’s human growling 😎
Myth #6 – I Was Told Table Scraps Are Bad for My Puppy
Truth – There are certain human foods that a puppy should NEVER eat. Chocolate is one of them, and it’s a big one, because it could actually kill them. The fat from the steak, well, neither you or your puppy shouldn’t be eating that.
Certain human food that is prepared properly for your puppy, can actually be healthier than their regular puppy food.
The first commercially prepared dog food was created in England back in the 1800’s.
What do you suppose puppies ate before commercial pet food was invented? Table Scraps.
In earlier years, dogs had a purpose, they had a job. That job was protecting the home, some even herded livestock. They were working dogs and it was very important to keep the dogs healthy for them to work.
Be very careful with this there are several things that humans eat that puppies and dogs should not.
Myth #7 – My puppy is chewing on my personal items and it means he just doesn’t like me.
The Truth – Puppies chew for several reasons. When they are teething it comforts them. They chew when they are bored and sometimes it’s just plain fun to chew.
If you don’t want your personal stuff chewed on, put it away or put it up.
Then redirect your puppy’s attention to chewing on something that is acceptable.
Be sure to have several chew toys handy. When puppies are teething chewing helps to relieve the discomfort.
Make sure you have a durable chew toy.
A great example are the Kong toys that are hollow in the middle.
I purchased two each for each of my puppies. When they are teething not only does the chewing help but if something is cold it will help the discomfort as well.
Fill the hollow part of the Kong toy with yogurt (this is a good human food – just make sure it doesn’t have artificial sweetener in it, peanut butter is good also, but get the raw, unsalted kind) put the filled Kong in the freezer overnight.
This is why I suggest two for each puppy. There is always one in the freezer.
Be sure to place a towel down for your puppy to lay on while chewing this. As the yogurt or peanut butter starts to thaw it could get a little messy. With the frozen stuff in the middle your puppy has got a while to chew on this, and you have time to put your stuff away.
Myth #8 – My puppy has completed training class, she is trained for good now.
Truth – Don’t let that cute diploma you just received from a 6 week training class fool you. Yes you will have the basics down; sit, stay, down, come and wait for example.
Training a pup, even after he or she grows into an adult is a lifelong commitment. Not only that, if you attended puppy classes this was one environment, one scenario.
How will your puppy react to your command to sit when a bicyclist goes by. If they don’t obey in this scenario your puppy and you could both be in danger.
A puppy needs to be exposed to many different distraction and in different environments and this should consistently be reviewed. After a while it won’t even seem like training anymore, it will just be a natural everyday activity. You’ll ask him to sit for his dinner or you’ll be asking her to heal on a walk.
This should be taken one step at a time. When you find they are not obeying a command that they did so well on in class, go back to the point they did obey and slowly bring them into different environments and introduce different distraction,s one at a time, until they understand and obey you.
Myth #9 – Puppy training class will fix my puppy’s behavior issues.
Truth – These are two completely separate issues. Training a puppy to sit, or walk on the leash properly is different than a behavioral problem.
Examples of behavioral problems are; fearfulness, excessive barking, escaping etc.
These problems need to be address immediately and it is always best to make sure that there are no medical issues causing the behavior.
If the vet gives you a clean bill of health, then it is time to work with a professional dog trainer, that handles behavior issues, and you need to do this right away.
This is something you should never think will work itself out.
Be sure to speak with the trainer and explain the situation, in detail. Realize that most cases of correcting behavior issues is a slow process. If you get right on it, it can be corrected much more quickly. Never let a behavior problem go on without getting professional advice immediately.
Be patient, and be consistent. The sooner you start correcting the behavior the better. If you let it go to long you will have a really long road ahead of you.
Some behavioral issues can even be dangerous to you and your family; such as resource guarding.
Unfortunately, when these issues are left unattended and uncorrected, these puppy becomes one of the many statistics.
They are the ones that ends up at the shelter. I don’t think I need to go into detail about what will happen to a puppy or dog brought to a shelter with behavioral problems.
Myth #10 – I was told not to start training my puppy until he or she is 6 month old.
Truth – While you do not want to expose your cute puppy to any diseases. You want to make sure that he or she has been fully immunized before exposing him to other puppies.
A good breeder will start working with the puppies early on, and generally will not relinquish a puppy to a new home until 8 weeks of age.
Training at home can begin at 8 weeks of age.
You can work on simple training commands such as sit, and down at home, until your vet gives you the all clear for socialization, and being around other puppies.
You absolutely will start potty training as soon as your puppy comes home.
Remember this is a little puppy, take it one day at a time and pack a lot of patients. The rewards of proper training will be amazing!
Training your puppy is a lifelong commitment. The rewards are great if you put in the time to train properly.
If you are a new puppy owner, or soon to be, and would like to learn more about puppy training, sign up at my website and you will be the first to know when my next training book is available for free download
Thank you for taking the time to read this report. I hope that I have given you the knowledge you need to get puppy training started correctly, and dispelled some dangerous as well as some very odd myths people have about puppies and puppy training.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email and I will do my best to get you the information you need.
This post is authorized by the author for sharing.
Copyright © 2014 Suzanne Dean, ABCDT
Until next time, Pawsitively Yours, Suzanne Dean, ABCDT TheDogTrainingLady
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