Teaching good manners and boundaries can start as soon as your new puppy/dog comes home. I generally start puppies in basic dog obedience at 4 months of age. Since the classes run 1 to 1 1/2 hours, the younger puppy would not have the attention and concentration before that time. Your puppy should also be completely vaccinated at 4 months of age and would be safe taking a class.
- Dogs can learn at any age, just like people. I've had dogs as old as 12 years of age in class, and they did great. The bad habit patterns are a little more set, so it may take longer to change, but for a lot of behaviors, dogs can and do change.
- Actually, it is best if everyone participates in classes. When a family takes part in their dogs education, commands, messages, the intent is more consistent which helps their dog be more successful. Children will need supervision to help them be successful with their dog.
- Training gives your dog boundaries. It teaches them what they can do and can't do and that builds security and confidence. Training can be fun. If you are clear on what you want them to do, and then praise when they do it, they will develop into happy, secure, and well-behaved dogs.
- Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs so it's important to provide chew toys for them at all times. Letting your dog's mouth on your hands or fingers is never appropriate. Playing tug-of-war with your dogs teaches her that when she gets excited it's okay to use her teeth with you and this may also lead to pulling on your close our body parts. Purchase a chew deterrent solution like Bitter Apple from the pet store. If she is biting your hands, spray your hands with the Bitter Apple keeping your hand still and calmly telling her no. When she stops, praise her, and then give her dog chew toy and praise.
- You want to see relaxed bodies and tails and it looks like they are clearly enjoying the interaction. You want to see them coming back for more. If either dog acts aggressive plays too rough, seems tired, over-stimulated, afraid or tries to back away, stop the play.
- Yes, your kids are invited to attend. If they are old enough, they can help with the training and they can also sit and watch or walk with you as you work your dog.
- If you miss a class, I can catch you up to speed the following week. Reading your lesson assignments can help you practice what was learned in the class that you missed. Clients can also call with questions about the missed class, and I will do my best to help you out. If you can call ahead of time to say that you will not be able to attend, a makeup class will be offered.