When we read the article by Lea Leskošek, instructor and founder of the dog school ”Lepo vzgojen pes”, we couldn’t help to connect with the author, because we have the same view on education.
We are publishing tips and gidlines, that will definitely help many new dog owners:
There is almost no better feeling than the moment we bring home a new puppy. We are full of love, tender and in some almost blissful state. In the first days or weeks, the puppy will do all sorts of pranks that we will find funny and extremely fun.
But think about what this behavior will look like when this puppy reaches its full weight and size. Will it still be funny? Do you think it will be easy to change the behavior that he knew as a puppy and practiced well through the period of growing up?
The most common mistakes that dog owners make with their puppy at the very beginning of their life together:
We think the dog will outgrow the behavior!
The dog does not go through the phase of biting his shoes, but actively learns what brings him comfort and what discomfort. If a puppy learns that jumping on us brings him satisfaction or attention, he will persistently do so even in adulthood.
If, as a puppy full of energy, he learns that digging holes brings him pleasure, he will do the same as an adult dog. It’s the same with barking at a postman and chasing a neighbor’s cat. So if your dog always finds something to chew on, put away shoes, socks and other things that are interesting to him, and replace them with his toy or something suitable for biting. If your puppy is interested in everything that moves, direct it to play and the ability to learn self-control.
We do not set rules and restrictions and give the puppy too much freedom at the beginning!
Setting limits is part of parenting, and parenting needs to start on the first day a puppy comes to our home.
The most important thing a dog needs are clear rules, expectations, and consistency. If several people live in a house or apartment, we must all do the same and expect and demand the same from the dog. The myth that a dog obeys only one person is completely misguided. The dog will consider anyone who makes it clear to him what he expects from him, and will be consistent in doing so.
If one member of the family decides that the dog can be on the couch and the other is absolutely against it, this will greatly confuse the dog and bring conflict and uncertainty into the relationship. Therefore, it is best to set rules and restrictions before you bring your dog home. To make it easier to learn these restrictions, it is definitely recommended to use a house box and a space where the dog will not be exposed to various “dangers”, such as poisonous plants, electric cables, shoes and other inedible things for the dog.
Limits and limitations also include learning what YES means and what NO means. If you only say YES to your dog all his life, he will never know what he shouldn’t do, so it’s important to teach him that the word does NOT mean that you don’t want something or that he can’t do something. This can come in very handy in key situations where a puppy could do something that would endanger his life.
This also includes walking on a leash. Most new owners
it does not pay too much attention to this at first, which is one of the major mistakes. The puppy is fairly easy to teach to respond to minimal pressure on the leash and that this means he has to stop and slow down. However, once the behavior is anchored in the dog’s brain, it is harder to wean him off. So start a nice walk on a leash as soon as the puppy comes to you. Reward a nice walk and don’t confirm the pull – when the dog is pulling, jumping and forcing, simply stand still and wait for it to calm down. You can reward a calm state with food and by moving forward again.
Lea and I always tell the new “dog parents” that it is much easier if the dog, whether a puppy or an adult, is initially limited in space and earns the privileges of free walking around the apartment, sleeping on the couch and in bed alone.
Tip: Whether sleeping on a bed or a kouch is a privilege that a dog deserves with nice behavior.
When a dog respects us and the relationship is based on trust and respect (that is, it does not run into other dogs, people, it does not ignore us when we call it, it respects us, and we offer it everything it takes to satisfy and make a happy dog ), we give him all the privileges, including sleeping on the couch and / or bed. However, it is much more difficult to limit the space of a dog that is already accustomed to a certain lifestyle.
We forget to get the dog used to different grips and touches of different parts of the body!
A puppy who has not yet had a negative experience with touching different parts of the body can learn in a very pleasant way what a certain part of the body means by touching the part, naming it and rewarding the dog.
In this way, we slowly get the dog used to this manipulation and the dog is comfortable and it pays off, because in the end there is always a reward, such as touching the paws to get used to cutting the claws, touching the ears outside and inside to clean the ear. butter or removing foreign bodies, combing hair and brushing teeth.
Lea teaches all her dogs to allow themselves to lie on their backs and relax in this position (making it easier to trim their claws, inspect their paws or x-rays if needed).
Too little or too much socialization!
For puppies, there is a rule that reads “100 things in 100 days” (feeling, smell, sound, person, dog, etc.). It may sound like a lot, but in reality it’s one new thing a day.
In the hectic world we live in, this is almost impossible, but we still need to try not to expose the dog too much, especially in the first week when he is with us, because he doesn’t even trust us because he doesn’t know us yet. .
When we get a puppy, of course we want to show it to all our loved ones, but for the puppy in the first days such a large number of new people is completely too much. It is also a mistake to think that we need to take the puppy to the city immediately and along a very busy road. There will be time for all this.
First, build a relationship with the puppy, let him start to trust you, and then gradually get to know him with the world. But if you want to show it to the whole world in any way, here are Facebook and Instagram :-).
But I also encounter the other extreme when puppy owners don’t socialize at all. If you live somewhere alone, you have to take the time every day to get the puppy used to various things that your home environment does not offer.
A truck or a garbage can, a pram, rollerblades, cyclists and the like – things that are everyday to us can be awful for a dog, as it is the first time he meets them.
When we talk about socialization, it is necessary to emphasize that socialization does not mean that a dog can come into direct contact with a new thing, person or dog. It is best to teach him to see the thing, use his nose from afar, and only when he is calm does he go to get to know the thing, the man or the dog (with permission).
Special care is needed when meeting new dogs. Get to know your puppy only with familiar dogs, see also the energy level and size of the dog, as a large dog can injure a puppy in play.
The best for puppies is guided socialization between peers and dogs who know how to behave around puppies to get the most good experiences.
Too much physical activity and too little mental stimulation!
I often meet owners who tell me that they have been walking with their three-month-old puppy for two or three hours a day for an hour, playing and going crazy at home, and the dog is still full of energy,… preferably hanging by their pants, he bites them on the hands, barks, and does all stupid things.
It’s absolutely too much physical activity
With this, we also teach the puppy that he will always have fun with us. You can use food for this purpose to teach it different things. Food is also a great motivation to overcome fear, as the puppy also goes through such a period.
Puppies can build a mini polygon with various obstacles, such as paper bags, shaky ground and crates to climb on. Place a laundry hanging rack on the floor to learn how to lift your legs and not be intimidated even if the wire below moves. Show him a pool full of balls. Once they are used to this, we play various sounds at work, such as dog barking, firecrackers, fireworks, concerts, etc.
For additional ideas, you can help yourself with brain games found in the dog shop.
Tip: It is necessary to work with the puppy several times a day, short and active trainings that employ his brain, that is, mentally stimulate him, build body coordination, build a relationship between us and the dog and build the dog’s attention to us.
Browse your hand through the dog bowl!
There is a widespread belief that if you browse your dog’s bowl while he is eating, there will never be a problem with growling and guarding food. And as many times as I’ve heard this, so many times I’ve also met a dog owner who did just that and it happened to him that the dog didn’t let him near when there was food in the game.
Remember : “Even a dog loves to eat peace!”. So: if you feed him from a bowl, let him eat nicely, without anyone scouring him for food. However, if you want to ensure that he does not develop a desire to keep food, you can throw a treat in the bowl while eating.
Also, have control over his feeding. Before offering him food, let him sit down and calmly wait for you to place the dish on the rack. Only when he waits quietly do you give him the order to start feeding … let this be his great reward for waiting. Sometimes take his bowl from him, and repet the steps. But not allways.
In most cases, food aggression alone is not the only problem that owners face, but is only the result of our inconsistency with the restrictions mentioned above.
Expectations too high!
Owners often wonder why their three-month-old puppy still pees in the house.
What can we expect?
We follow the following rules and have no or very few “accidents”:
• We take the puppy to the need every time he wakes up and after every game or activity
• We have a box for the puppy, in which he is, when we don’t have time for him or when he needs to rest. Every time we take him out of the box, we take him to the need
• in the first week, we set an alarm clock at 2-3 o’clock at night to take the puppy outside, and some of them last the whole night
• we don’t give him too much water and food in the evening (after 8 o’clock – pm)
• Every time I put him in the box, I take him out.
For the end
Not all owners make the same mistakes or all the mistakes listed. However, these are the most typical mistakes that can make it difficult for us to coexist with our puppy when he comes of age. Eliminating or being aware of these mistakes are small steps that bring us great results.
Think about all the mistakes described to see where you are giving in and where your upbringing is going well. A puppy can be loved by a man as his own child, but a puppy has different needs than a human. If you want to live in harmony with him, you have to be aware of that. He is not your child, he is a dog, and has dog needs.
For a well-behaved dog, however, it is not enough to know only the most common mistakes that should be avoided. It is also important to learn how to communicate with the dog, how to guide him, help him with certain things, etc. That is why there are a variety of dog schools, trainings and schoolings available on the market, where dogs learn a lot, and even more owners.
Author: Lea Leskošek