It’s always an exciting time when a beautiful puppy joins your family!
Introducing a puppy into the family can be equal parts magical and challenging. You may have experienced raising or babysitting kids, but a training puppy is a whole different ball game.
Fletcher Vet’s Puppy Preschool gives you and your puppy the essential training tools so your pup is a well-mannered, obedient and friendly companion.
Head of the pack: Claim your place as leader
Dogs are naturally pack animals. Your dog’s behaviour will be a reaction to your behaviour as the leader of pack.
We use the BARCS acronym to secure your place at the top of the hierarchy.
B – Boundaries
A – Attention
R – Reinforcement
C – Consistency
S – Stimulation
Showing leadership when training and socialising your puppy is very important, especially when they’re between 6-18 weeks old and perceptive to new experiences.
Dogs feed off our energy, so remain calm and consistent, and ignore unwanted behaviours.
Dealing with unwanted behaviour
We all want to avoid the awkward apologies about the yapping dog in the backyard or the excited pup jumping all over guests.
Our top tip for dealing with unwanted behaviour like biting, jumping and barking is to ignore them and give a reward when the bad behaviour stops.
Another behavioural problem is digging, and it probably means your puppy is bored. You can reduce this destructive habit by increasing their exercise and stimulation through games or by getting a sand pit.
Training a polite puppy
If your puppy can obey fundamental commands like sit, stay, come and roll over, it will make your life much easier. Walking well on the lead and toilet training are also goals to aim for. No one wants a smelly surprise in the loungeroom or a runaway puppy.
Walking on the lead
With lots of patience, consistency and reinforcement your best mate could be walking side by side in next to no time.
Try this while holding on to the lead:
- Sit down and hold the lead without pulling. Reward.
- Stand up. Reward.
- Slowly and gently pull the lead without moving puppy. Reward.
- Take a few steps. Reward.
- Don’t pull or tug on their neck.
This part of puppy training is a bit like toilet training a toddler. It’s going to be messy and frustrating, so you’ll need to be prepared with lots of encouragement and paying them close attention.
Key signs that a puppy has ‘the urge’ are:
- Excessive sniffing or circling on one spot
If you see these signs (or if they’ve just had food or water) take them outside and make a big deal of anything they produce and offer a treat. If an accident happens, ignore the incident and watch out for signs in the future.
A healthy dog is a happy dog
This is the part of Puppy Preschool that really matters. Health Care training will show puppy parents how to care for your dog at home and to recognise the signs of an emerging illness.
At home check ups
We show you how to check the condition of their ears, eyes and mouth while giving them a cuddle. We also guide you in comfortably cutting their nails and groom their coat while checking for fleas and ticks.
Any irregularities can be an indication of an underlying illness. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, drop into the vet clinic. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
When to see the vet
Puppy Preschool is a valuable bonding experience for you and your dog. Learn from our experienced trainers and create lasting skills that will benefit the entire family.
We hold classes over a consecutive five-week period on Tuesday or Wednesday nights from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.
Puppies between eight to 16 weeks are welcome to join and your pup must have received their first vaccinations to be eligible to attend.
Bookings are essential as class sizes are strictly limited. Cost is $150 for the 5-week course.
Call us on 4955 6670 to register.