As a new dog owner or an owner with a busy life, you may be questioning what type of support you’ll need to raise your new puppy. Raising a happy dog on your own isn’t impossible, but a training plan and the guidance of a professional trainer can set you up for success early on. Too often owners make the mistake of waiting until their puppy is peeing on the carpet, howling in their crate or showing signs of behavioral issues before they reach out to a trainer.
77% of all dog bites are children.
At first glance you might think there must be more dangerous dogs in the world than you thought. But, contrary to popular belief, it’s not “bad” dogs that are biting kids. The bites come from dogs we know and trust around our kids; it’s all too often that we hear “She/He’s never bitten anyone before.” While having a well trained dog can help, dog bites aren’t always due to a training issue.
Whether you’ve just brought home a new puppy or are realizing you need help training your adult dog, knowing what types of trainers are accessible to you is essential for every dog owner. Our Top 3 tips on choosing a trainer help you understand what qualifications you should look for in a trainer and what services are available to you. Keep reading to learn what you need to know to choose a trainer that is best fit to meet your dog’s current training needs.
While the pandemic sent our lives into a tailspin, your pup likely reaped the benefits of quarantine. Mom or dad home all day, what could be better? More belly rubs, walks and cuddles on the couch than ever before. It’s been a year long howliday for your happy dog!
But, as we approach post-pandemic times your dog will need help transitioning to you going back to the office for your nine to five. Here are our top tips to help your dog have a successful and stress-free transition back to your “normal” work schedule.
All dog owners know that taking their dog for walks is a necessary part of dog ownership. It is healthy for our dogs to have time outside to relieve themselves and move their bodies. But, what you might not know is that not all walks are created equal.
Taking a walk around the neighborhood or leashing up for a quick potty break doesn’t provide all the benefits of walking that you and your pup could be enjoying!
Walks do have the power to reduce your dog’s stress levels and alleviate behavioral issues by allowing your dog to engage in healthy, natural behaviors. Unfortunately, walking down a busy street or taking your thousandth trip around the same neighborhood doesn’t provide your dog with the freedom or novelty needed to reap the many benefits of walks.
So, what takes your walks from boring to beneficial?
Whether your dog is over excited by guests in the house or seems too bored to engage with you, your dog’s arousal level plays a key role in training. The term “arousal” refers to how excited your dog is in reaction to a thing or an event - this can include a wide range of physiological reactions from sleeping to bouncing off the walls! Owners often struggle with the latter; how do you keep your dog from relentlessly jumping on guests, barking like a maniac at the mailman or endlessly running along your fence line?
At Happy Dog's we start by educating our owners on arousal, provide strategies to manage their dog's reactions and teach owners how to train and reinforce their dog for being relaxed.
When your dog rummages through the garbage or barks at the mailman, once again, it can be easy to feel like your dog’s behavior will never get any better. At Happy Dog’s our goal is to help owners help their dogs to be successful at behaving in any situation. This means changing the environment, your actions or your training to influence your dog’s behavior in a positive way!
There are lots of reasons why your dog might have trouble behaving well. The environment may be over stimulating which makes it hard for your dog to focus and remember training cues. The behavior you’re asking for may not have been reinforced frequently enough. Or, your dog may be too anxious or uncomfortable to behave well or calmly in whatever situation they’re in. Whatever the reason, there are actions you can take as an owner and trainer to help your dog succeed in any situation.
All dogs love to play.
You can probably think of a few examples yourself. You’ve seen the joy in your dog’s face as they chase their favorite toy across the yard. Or, you’ve watched their tail wag wildly while playing with another pup. Dogs love to play in all sorts of ways and play provides all sorts of benefits for your dog’s overall health.
Play is one of your dog’s basic needs.
Play allows your dog time to socialize with other dogs or time to engage with you. These interactions are crucial for your dog’s wellbeing and can strengthen your relationship with your dog.
Having a positive perspective on training can help you build a happy life with your dog. At Happy Dog's, we know that every dog is capable of being well-behaved and happy, but this is more than using rewards to reinforce good behaviors. How you think about your dog’s behavior matters too!
Your dog has motivations, emotions and thoughts that drive their behavior - for better or for worse. Understanding why your dog acts the way he or she does allows you to encourage the behaviors you’d like to see. When our dogs seem to misbehave, it’s likely not for the reasons we’d think! Dog’s do behaviors that are rewarding, and learn to avoid behaviors that aren’t rewarding. While your dog may appear “stubborn”, “naughty” or seem to “deliberately” disobey you, they’re likely responding the way they are for a good reason.
Happy Dog’s Head Trainer, Piper, shares her Top 5 Things to Teach Your Dog. These are the cues and behaviors Piper uses with her own dogs every day and considers to be essential for a happy life.
5. To Come Back when Called
When your happy dog takes off running down the road, you’d love to be able to call them back with ease. But, as many owners find out the hard way, your dog would much rather keep chasing the fuzzy-moving object, substitute cat, squirrel, chipmunk, skunk, or neighborhood punk on a skateboard as needed.