Puppy rules or how to live with a puppy!

October 21, 2009


Arabella's puppy now doing well in the show ring!

Arabella's puppy now doing well in the show ring!

Dogs are pack animals, which is why they live so well with us in our family units, which to them equates to the ‘pack’.  The most successful packs in the wild are those where there are clear rules, boundaries and constraints; every dog knows its job and what it can and can’t do.  Their survival depends upon clear rules and consistency. This in itself offers the dog a sense of security.

To give a dog the best possible start within our ‘pack’, we too need to clearly outline and instigate rules and boundaries.  Without these, our dog begins to display unwanted behaviours such as play-biting, jumping up uninvited, stealing and behaving like a real ‘wild child’!  Often we try to fix the actual problem but the underlying causes remain the same and the behaviour never really disappears.

Here is my list of suggested rules, which would remain in place until the dog is at least 2 years old:

  • Restricting the dog’s area when he or she is left alone
  • Not allowing the dog on furniture
  • Ensuring the dog moves out of our way when required – not us stepping over the dog or around it
  • No one is to play rough or ‘fighting’ games with the dog
  • Do not allow the dog to play fight/play bite with other dogs living in the household
  • No ‘tug of war’ games with the dog
  • No jumping up uninvited
  • No feeding the dog from the table or plates
  • All food and titbits should be ‘worked’ for, for example asking the dog to Sit for his dinner or titbit
  • Not constantly responding to the dog’s demands for attention – they do not require constant entertainment
  • When returning to the dog, ignoring him or her for at least 5 minutes before greeting (displays leadership skills and reduces over-excitement at your return)

Without rules and boundaries, your success in training your dog will be limited and you will not experience the true joy of a well-adjusted, well-mannered dog, which you can be justifiably proud.

If you experience problems in successfully instigating your rules or do not understand why any of the above are suggested, please contact me.

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