Our Got Puppy. Now What? puppy troubleshooting seminar was a great success today, with lots of puppy owners attending, bring great questions and excellent observations.
Not only did we offer this seminar FREE, but we also recorded the event, broadcasting it via Facebook Live.
You can watch the recording here:
Here’s a link to the presentation used as it’s tricky to see it on screen.
We didn’t really stick to a structure and were led by the questions and topics brought up.
Lots of free goodies to help keep happy puppies in forever homes
This webinar will help you to develop a program, starting from before puppies are born, to help them build resilience, coping skills, good recovery from arousal, and become social, happy, confident and trainable companions (that, most importantly, stay in their homes forever!).
Not only that, if you want a really in-depth covering of puppy development and associated research, the online area is comprehensive, with a capital C!
At a glance:
- four part recorded webinar
- over two hours long
- costs €50 for access to webinar in two formats, and comprehensive resource centre online
- to purchase access please email email@example.com
- can be accessed from all over the world – all you need is an internet connection (options to download for offline access too)
Who’s it for?
All trainers and behaviour professionals will benefit, and this is especially for breeders, fosters and puppy rearers.
Really, anyone who will be in contact with a litter of puppies, for any length of time, so is perfect for rescue organisations.
Puppy Behavioural Development Webinar
We talk a whole lot about puppies, and the importance of early interventions cannot be over-estimated. Puppies need careful, structured and appropriate enrichment or challenge early in life to ensure that they have the best chances of growing up to be safe, and happy adult dogs.
Research continues to show that interventions must be implemented earlier and earlier, so by the time a puppy owner gets their puppy at 8-10 weeks of age, there should be a whole lot of vital work already done.
Sadly, the concepts related to this area are generally poor understood, with most people not intervening until there is some sort of serious behaviour problem affecting their relationship with their dog.
Behavioural tendencies are present as a result of a tricky mix of genetic influences, and environmental conditions (how puppy is reared). But behaviour is also most likely to get dogs killed – dogs become unwanted because of their behaviour.
We hear talk of giving dogs a second chance, when they have found themselves unwanted, but how about we emphasise giving puppies a first chance instead?!
Getting started as early as possible helps to make up for anything that might be lacking in the genetics department, and aims to prepare puppy for all the experiences and stresses it will face throughout its life.
This four part webinar is over two hours long, and packed with information and ideas to help give puppies the best start, and a first chance at a long and happy life with their humans.
- Concepts behind this program
- Contributors to behavioural development
- Challenging the system
- Developmental markers & building the program
Goals of this webinar:
Taking this webinar will help you:
- understand requirements to support puppy behavioural development
- recognise behaviour markers indicating puppy’s requirements as they develop
- develop awareness for contributors to behavioural development
- review reliable research on puppy behavioural development
- understand commonly used terms relating to this area
You will get:
- access to the recorded webinar in slideshow and YouTube formats so that you can view it or download it
- webinar includes lots of video of puppies at various stages of development
- discussion of behavioural markers that indicate required and beneficial interventions
- access to the online resource centre
- online resource centre includes references to all research discussed in the webinar, training clips and information on important concepts discussed
- comment/discussion facility so that the learning can continue
If you would like to purchase, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you sorted as soon as possible. What better way to start the New Year than with learning and adorable puppies…
Regardless of whether getting a puppy or new dog around Christmas is actually a bad thing (for that puppy or new dog), is up for debate; arguing the point is not relevant now.
If new puppies are in new homes, which they undoubtedly are, we want to keep them there by supporting new puppy owners, giving them the best advice and helping them avail of the best resources on puppy care.
We have a FREE trouble-shooting seminar for all puppy owners in January to help, and make sure everyone gets off on the right paw.
When – Saturday 6th January, 2018
What time – 2pm-4pm
Where – at the AniEd centre in Glasnevin, Dublin 11; just off J5 M50
What will we cover?
It will be two hours of puppy-people’s questions. All those niggling, puppy problems and behaviour mysteries will be discussed, so that puppies and their families can stay together in peace and harmony.
We will cover topics such as:
- what puppies need to know
- social experience – puppy and people
- social experience – puppy and other dogs
- social experience – puppy and other animals
- environmental experience – growing puppy brains and building confident, resilient puppies
- puppy’s first walks
- travelling in the car
- importance of mental exercise
- care with physical exercise
- puppy nipping, biting and bite inhibition
- puppies & children
- management – prevent unwanted puppy behaviour
- crate and confinement training – benefits and pitfalls
- alone training
- night-time training
- passive training – catch your puppy doing the right thing!
- Park your Pup – teach your puppy to relax and settle, and be ignored
- preventing resource guarding
- handling and grooming comfort
- toilet training
- playing with your puppy
We have lots to cover, and no doubt there will be more to discuss.
Who should attend?
This is vital for new puppy owners, if even if they have had puppies before. There’s nothing like going from an adult dog to a new, young puppy!!
We will be discussing puppy training & behaviour relating to puppies five months and younger.
This will also be great for those thinking of getting a puppy so that they can be prepared.
Pet professionals and veterinary personnel are welcome to come along too, as they will often be in positions to advise puppy owners.
This is a people-only event, and requires booking so we know how many to expect.
You can book by emailing email@example.com, messaging our Facebook page, or calling and leaving your details (01 8308380 or 086 044 9275).
We are closed for Christmas and New Year’s but will make sure to respond to all bookings for this event as soon as possible. Rest assured, that if you have contacted us and left your details, you have a spot on this seminar!
Please share, far & wide so we can get the best support to new puppy people, and prevent an onslaught of unwanted, difficult puppies in 2018.
This will not be news to you, at all, that dogs love sniffing. Sniffing isn’t just a fun past-time for dogs, it’s essential behaviour that they MUST do for behavioural health.
Not only that, sniffing can be a great training tool.
Sniffing for training
Dogs pull on lead for lots of reasons:
- they’re excited to be out and about
- the world is an exciting place
- they have twice the number of legs we do
- they want to get sniffing and sniffing and sniffing
- they want to get to things
- they want to get away from things
- we have trained them to pull
Pet owners spend lots of money on all sorts of, often times, scary equipment and lots of time on training exercises, to improve their dogs’ loose leash walking skills.
Changing the dog’s motivation for behaviour, and reducing his expectation (that crazy behaviour is required) will help to prevent pulling behaviour, making walks more enjoyable for all.
Is there a time or area in which your dog really, really pulls?
Do you find it difficult to get your dog from point A to point B, on lead?
Are there particular distractions that you find difficult to manage?
Establishing Sniffing Stations will help:
- to get your dog out the door, without too much craziness
- to get your dog from the house to the car, or from the car to the park or from one spot to a very exciting place
- your dog get passed, toward or through particularly distracting situations
- your dog get to another person or dog in a calmer fashion
- to get a dog from a kennel to an exercise area
- to get a dog to an exit (or entrance)
- the dog to associate good things with potentially distracting or worrying triggers
- your dog’s focus on you to increase
Start with your dog on lead, and use really yummy food rewards.
- say “Go Sniff!”
- drop a couple of treats to the ground, across your dog’s eyeline if possible but just point them out if he misses them
- let your dog eat the treats
- repeat approx. every two metres
We start out with Sniffing Stations close to one another, and can move them further apart as the dog improves, or closer together for really tricky distractions.
If you know that you need to move the dog over the same short route, make more permanent Sniffing Stations.
Use double-sided tape to secure little bowls or even lids to each spot. Pre-load with treats for each trip.
For more temporary but pre-loaded Sniffing Stations, use little pieces of double-sided tape at each station and place treats on each one. This will also take the dog a little longer to eat, so is great to get dog past tricky distractions.
(Securely stick tape so that the dog doesn’t take that too!)
Teach sniffing on cue
Put sniffing on cue:
Sniffing is a handy training exercise because:
- your dog loves to sniff (and is already really good at it)!
- sniffing is a polite dog behaviour and can be used to diffuse the tension between two dogs at a distance
- sniffing is a calming behaviour for your dog
- sniffing can help to divert your dog’s attention away from a trigger
- sniffing can be used as a release cue, to let your dog know they they can go be a dog again
- sniffing can be used to keep your dog busy or entertained when you are otherwise engaged
- sniffing can be used to help your dog calm after excitement
- sniffing can be used as a reward, after recalling for example
- sniffing can be used to help your dog form more pleasant associations toward some trigger
Sniffing as a past-time
Make sure your dog has lots of opportunities to sniff. Forget about taking your dog for walks, instead make outings about sniffing.
Take your dog on a sniff, rather than on a walk. Who’s walk is it anyway!?
So much of training and living with dogs is about doing, doing, doing, action, action, action.
Sometimes it’s important to take time, to be, and allow the dog process the environment.
Give them time:
The brain errs on the side of caution and tells the body to expect danger, as a default setting. That means we have to do lots of work to give the brain and body time and relief to gather information to facilitate a change in attitude.
The time to reset the brain is during a puppy’s first few months of life, and then to continue this in a structured manner over puppy’s first year. But we need to get that first few months right. Dogs who don’t cope with this well don’t need to have been abused or have had particularly bad experiences in early life. All it takes, is lack of exposure, lack of time to information gather.
We don’t get this behaviour developmental stage back again – we get one go, so we need to get it right.
Information Gathering for Puppies
This is especially important for puppies, who are just learning about the world. And often explains why puppies and young dogs will suddenly plant themselves in the middle of a walk, unwilling to move on.
In a Puppy1 class Minnie takes some time to engage with a ballpit puzzle, and Ellie prefers to sit back and watch the goings-on.
Providing puppies (and all dogs) with time to choose how they wish to respond, helps to reduce stress and helps to build confidence.
Information Gathering for Dogs
In this clip Simon, on one of his first trips to AniEd a couple years ago, before he was rehomed, is out for a walk in a busy business park.
Simon, given his rough background, can be a little overwhelmed in some situations. This is our first walk together – that’s why he’s panting plus we had just had some ball fun inside too.
We came across a man mowing a lawn in behind a fence and another man with a forklift working. We moved across the road so that we were about 15-20m away from the action. As soon as he spotted this activity he stopped and I made sure to keep the leash loose. We just waited while he processed the noise and activity.
Notice his rapid head movements as he watches the scene and note his mouth becoming tighter at times as he concentrates on the activity. Listen for his big sigh as he gathers as much information about something that might cause him a little concern.
As soon as he’s ready to move on I mark (YES!) and reward him. That it looks calm and a bit boring (let’s be honest!!) is good – it means that he could relax enough so that he could just watch the goings-on without experiencing too much concern.
Let your dog take it in…
When your dog encounters something that interests them, especially if it causes them to be excited, to be scared or spooked, causes them to lunge, pull, whine or bark, give your dog some time to process that trigger.
If your dog is already reacting like this first move far enough away that your dog is able to give some attention to you and so that they don’t react that way anymore.
But, when you encounter something that you think might be of interest to your dog give you and your dog plenty of space from it.
Keep the leash loose and allow your dog to process any information that he can from what he is seeing, hearing and smelling.
Things won’t seem as scary or interesting to your dog if they have had some time to find out a little more about it.
This is really important for puppies, who are learning about the world, and for dogs who are worried or ‘reactive’ on leash.
It’s not always about “training”
You don’t need to jump in there with treats or cues straight away. Take the time. Don’t encourage, don’t nag, indeed, you don’t need to do a whole lot.
If your dog can’t information gather, you’re too close, you’ve stayed too long, the trigger is too intense. Distance is your friend, and there’s nothing wrong with packing it in and trying again another day.
Things to try, and not to try:
- keep your distance
- give your dog time
- if you notice your dog stiffening, become more tense, or having difficulty moving away – help them. Move away excitedly, call to them, keep it jolly. Try not to put too much pressure on the leash as this tends to escalate things. If needed, move them along with brief, gentle pressure, and then use your jolliness to keep them moving with you.
- never drag a puppy who has stopped
- don’t attempt to lure a dog toward something he is unsure of or scared of. Don’t even encourage them to approach – give them time to choose.
- You don’t need to understand their hesitation – just listen to your dog!
- after some time information gathering, get ’em outta there, moving in the other direction
- too much exercise for puppies and growing dogs is damaging – review your exercise regime, and think of outings more for exposure to the world, rather than physical exertion
- don’t make puppy’s world too big too soon.
While puppy is on vaccination hold, bring them in your arms to new places on foot and in the car. Remember, they have little choice when in your arms so don’t expose them to new things, people or animals when restrained.
When they start going for walks, expand their world a few metres each day, starting at the front of your house or garden on the first day, then a couple of houses down the next day and so on. Rather than marching, try playing with toys, doing sniffing searches for them, and letting them range on lead (safely).
If you have difficulty moving a reluctant dog or puppy, give them some time (might take several minutes) and then encourage them to follow you back the way you came. You can move in a big arc to go in your intended direction too.
Learn to ‘listen’:
Teach a hand targeting behaviour, to encourage movement in a non-confrontational and low-pressure manner:
Make it fun!