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Puppy Training in Calgary

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Common Mistakes

The biggest mistake we see made with puppies is not having enough positive experiences in their socialization period which ends roughly around 12 weeks of age.

  This usually means you only have 4 weeks to do lots of socialization.  There is the issue of not being fully vaccinated but if a person waits until the dog is fully vaccinated then they miss out on this key period. There are ways around this such as setting up play dates with dogs you know that are vaccinated. You can also open the door or back hatch of your vehicle and work on commands with your puppy while they experience the surroundings such as traffic, people and dogs. This is all done from the safety of your vehicle. You can use their food, toys or attention to link positive things to their new environment.  

Lap dogs most commonly fall into this problem as people tend to keep them more sheltered in the home when they are a puppy. They are small, can be exercised in the house and may even use potty pads in the house.  This is largely why people think of the iconic little yappy dog.  They are often under socialized and fearful of everything so they bark like crazy from fear of new surroundings.  In some cases this can lead to lunging and biting which can be a big problem.

Let me tell you some stories from my experience on the importance of proper socialization as a puppy.  A friend of mine has a colleague who got a Wiemaraner puppy and she was paranoid about the dog being exposed to anything outdoor prior to getting all of its vaccinations even to the point of not letting anyone come over to see the puppy as they may bring disease with them.  This puppy grew up to be extremely fearful of everything and became aggressive over this extreme fear to the point that no one can come over to look after the dog if the owner is away.  This lady, so long as she has this dog, is trapped from going anywhere or having any company over.  This is such a severe case that it may take years of proper training to overcome what could have been prevented with 4 weeks of proper socialization and the dog will likely never be as good as it could have been if these preventative steps had been taken.

I have had several different clients who have either not had the time to socialize the puppy when they were younger or the owner got sick (short term disability) just as they got the puppy and these dogs grew to become very fearful and aggressive towards people, dogs and some other things.

So if you take anything from this, understand that you want a properly socialized dog.  When you have a properly socialized dog, obedience training is a piece of cake.  Without it a person may need to do months and sometimes years more of training to reach the same level.


Myth of Dog Parks

We hope this reaches as many people as possible because this is the most commonly practiced myth out there today.  Many people think they need to take their dog to the dog park to socialize them properly.  This can cause a lot of problems.  Yes a dog needs to socialize to other dogs but in a positive and controlled manner.  Dog parks are uncontrolled in which you have no control over the other dogs that are at the park.

Most dogs at the park are good and not a problem. Some dogs can be dominant by nature or there may be some socialization problems with others. Many dogs we work with got attacked one time at the dog park and developed aggression problems shortly after.

The other issue is that not everyone is on the same page when it comes to proper behaviour. Some will stand by as their dog attacks another and other people do not even like a dog approaching their dog. If everyone agreed on what was acceptable it would make things go a lot smoother. Until then you will want to use caution.

If you want to properly socialize your puppy these are the best ways to do that:

We can’t recommend enough on how important it is to properly socialize your puppy in a positive way.  You can end up with two completely different dogs if you go the route of socialization or no socialization or bad socialization.  Dog parks we usually recommend you steer clear of unless you have a nice quiet neighbourhood one where you know all of the other people and dogs or going to them at quiet times where you can see dogs from a long ways off and have exits to take if you see a dog you are worried about.

Dog Park Etiquette

We often see things regularly and come to accept them as normal. The most clear terms we could give would be this:

“Would you do to the other owner the same thing your dog is doing to theirs or their dog is doing to yours?”

As an example, some dogs may ram another dog from the side. This is rude play. Imagine if you were at the park and a stranger spotted you and came running over and rammed you to the ground with a blind sided hit. Your chance of being friends with that person is slim.

As another example imagine if you were at the park and a stranger came running up to you face to face and started sniffing you and then sniffed your rear end. You might feel a little uncomfortable.

These are behaviours a dog will do if they are challenging another dog. It happens lots without incident but if it is done to the wrong dog it can trigger bad fights.

Proper behaviour consists of dogs stopping at a distance from each other, dropping into a play bow and then going for a game of chase. It is a nice request.

Puppies are one of the greatest things in the world.  They are cute, cuddly, curious and they all seem to have their own personality.  Your puppy is very impressionable at this age and puppy training is very important and should be started the very first day you bring your puppy home.  How you raise your puppy will make a very large impact on the demeanour of your dog later in life.  

Dogs are a pack animal and thrive on structure and leadership.  It is very easy to become their leader in a kind and calm way.

If your puppy chews, nips, has potty accidents in the house or you suspect someone is giving your puppy Red Bull because no animal should have that much energy then we are here to help.  Raising a puppy is extremely easy and stress free with the right tools and knowledge.

It may come as a surprise but you can train a puppy right from day one to have zero accidents in the house and never chew any of your favourite shoes or pants.

Puppies are one of our favourite things in life and we want to ensure that you have the best time possible with your puppy.

For puppy training in Calgary give us a call if you have any questions: 403-224-2224.



Potty Training and House Broken - Would you like to have a dog at 5 months of age (and even sooner for some dogs) that you can trust to leave loose in the house to not have any potty accidents or chew on anything?  This is all possible with the right steps.