When deciding to adopt a puppy, it is essential to start educating it from the beginning.
What does educating a puppy mean?
It means putting the puppy in a position to express its true nature, guiding it towards behaviors that help it integrate into society, and helping it develop the skills to handle situations in the best possible way.
How should the puppy be educated?
Often, adult dogs with behavioral problems have received an education that is not suitable for their nature. It is not possible to educate all puppies in the same way. Some puppies need support, others need to express themselves more freely, some struggle to tolerate noises, some are very restless, some cannot tolerate frustrations, and so on. Every puppy is different, and it is crucial to take care of this diversity.
Why is it important to educate the puppy correctly?
-Well-being of the dog: Having a balanced and happy dog makes us feel good and avoids the stress caused by behavioral problems.
-Safety and well-being of others: The dog’s behavioral problems can cause harm to other people, dogs, or wildlife. A well-educated and happy dog relates correctly to people and other dogs.
-Relationship with the dog: It is gratifying to have a healthy and happy relationship with our dog. Behavioral problems can interfere with this relationship and cause tension or stress between the owner and the animal.
-Impact on quality of life: The dog’s behavioral problems can influence the quality of life of the owners. For example, if a dog shows aggression or separation anxiety, it could limit the owner’s activities and social interactions.
-Financial costs: Some behavioral problems may require the intervention of an animal trainer or a behavioral veterinarian, which could entail additional financial costs for the owners.
-Home safety: Behavioral problems such as destructiveness can cause damage to the home property, creating concerns regarding home safety and maintenance.
Why does Mindfulpets offer a puppy education service instead of training?
It’s important to clarify the difference between education and training. Educating a dog involves allowing it to develop various faculties to integrate better into domestic life and society. On the other hand, training focuses on teaching the dog specific movements or skills under the trainer’s command.
Mindfulpets believes in starting with education and establishing a strong bond with the puppy. When the coexistence is supported by a solid relationship, teaching specific movements and skills becomes easier.
When does puppy education in the family begin and end?
The puppy should be educated from two to six months of age. After this age, it begins to enter the adolescent phase. At this age, the training phase can begin if the dog is happy to do that.
How Mindfulpets Handles Puppy Education
1. Prevention of Behavioral Problems:
-The first thing done is analyzing the puppy’s weak points, identifying what could potentially cause issues for the puppy. For instance, consider a shy puppy that avoids strangers. It’s crucial to manage this shyness correctly. Forcing the puppy to interact with strangers could lead to fear. Continuous exposure to fear might result in nervous behavior, which could escalate into reactivity and, eventually, aggression.
-The second step involves working on calmness. A puppy can only learn new things when it’s calm.
-Setting up a program of socialization experiences that expose the puppy to various sensory stimuli, considering the puppy’s temperament.
Socialization typically refers to the first 16 weeks of a dog’s life, during which their character is determined. Temperament, character, and behavior are developed during this period and remain throughout their life, influencing how the dog behaves toward family, strangers, other animals, and their environment. Proper socialization involves engaging all five senses, introducing, exposing, and desensitizing the puppy to everyday images, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations. The socialization period conditions the dog for various situations, preparing it to face new experiences and react appropriately to life’s challenges. It’s a crucial time for developing the bond between the owner and the puppy, which will last a lifetime. Good socialization results depend solely on the owner’s efforts, as every dog can become a balanced and trusted member of society only through proper socialization.
2. Supporting Families in Puppy Education Through Relationship Building
The most important aspect is building a positive and trusting bond with the puppy, understanding its needs, language, and play. Families are provided with strategies and techniques to manage:
-Nutrition and puppy grooming
-Moments of restlessness (e.g., jumping, biting)
-Chewing and teething
-Puppy good manners, impulse control and self-regulation
-Leash and off-leash walks
-Interactions with other dogs
-Proprioception (e.g. stepping stones)
-Time spent alone at home
3. Teaching owners to recognize the dog’s requests for help, manage their concerns, and handle physical (e.g., loss of appetite, excessive thirst) and emotional discomforts.
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