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Error-Free Puppy Raising™ Tips

by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Getting Started Week 38 - Rank and Serial Number, Please!

Canines learn from example.  If you don't want your puppy to dig, then don't allow him or her to watch you dig in the garden. You may plant a flower just to have your puppy dig it up.

If you DO want your puppy to chew something new, then you pretend YOU are chewing on it. Your puppy is more likely to follow your example if your puppy sees you as a social leader.

Nature intended social learning for survival. In fact, social ladder climbing is also innate behavior. 

The more your puppy sees you as a social leader, the more your puppy will be eager to imitate you and learn from you. The military  framework of social status is similar to how canines relate to one another.  In the canine world, in each situation, you are either above me in rank or I am above you. Size matters but is not the final say for higher ranking status. In fact, you will see pup's respond better to a low, growly male voice than a high tone female voice.

Canines know we are not canines but will determine, "Am I in control of this situation or do I need to defer?" Canines are watching our every move to figure out the family social structure. Who is telling who what to do in this family? Asking your puppy to  sit is like asking for a salute.  It's a gentle reminder that you are higher in social status.

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