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Before bringing a new
dog home, it is helpful to think about what rules
you want for the adult dog long term. For example,
it is a mistake to allow a Great Dane puppy to sit
on your lap on the couch if you do not want the
adult dog to get on your furniture. Dogs don't
realize the rules have changed because they grew
into bigger dogs! The more consistent you are
in teaching and reinforcing the rules, the easier it
will be for your dog to learn and respect them.
Sounds a little like raising children doesn't it? The rules should be fair, clear, and
Recommended rules for dogs
The best time to begin
teaching house rules is the
day your bring a new puppy
or dog home.
Set up for success -
If you do NOT want the dog on
your furniture, begin by sitting
on the floor when you want the
puppy or dog on your lap.
Provide enough exercise - Dogs need a
amount of exercise each day.
Rule of thumb is to
walk the dog one city block for
every ten pounds of body weight.
Or, apply the same rule that is
recommended for humans, daily
walks that incorporate thirty
minutes of aerobic exercise
every other day. Don't be
mislead if you have a large
backyard. Just like people, dogs
need the mental stimulation of
getting out of their immediate
environment. In other words,
your dog needs to experience new
smells, sights and sounds as
much as he needs the physical
work out. Less active dogs may
need less aerobic exercise. Rule
of thumb is to walk until the
dog is panting and be home
before the dog stops the walk on
3. Insist on
compliance - Do not ask the dog to comply with a request or
instruction unless you are willing and able to follow through and insist
on compliance. Insistence is not done in anger or with brute force.
If the dog does not comply, gently move the dog preferable using a
head collar and leash not your hands. If the dog does not comply, do
NOT use treats to lure (different for obedience cues). Instead with hold your attention and give
the dog a "time out" by you walking away or putting them in another room for a few minutes, then try
again. This is for things such as putting feet on the counter or up
on furniture and you want them off.
Come back and work on training the
"off" cue after the time out or when
you have time.
4. No table scraps
- NEVER give the dog food from the table unless you
are prepared to have a dog that begs. Just
like people in Las Vegas, the dog will be reinforced
by intermittent rewards. It only takes a few table
scraps to start the dog on a lifetime of begging
when you are seated at the table.
- Teach your dog "contented confinement" from day
one. Introduce the kennel as the dog's most comfortable, safe den
where good things - such as toys, treats and praise - always happen.
Read more on kennel training...click
6. Prevent bad
behaviors - At about three months of age, begin
to teach the dog to accept "close tethering." Keep the dog is on a leash attached to any solid
object near you. The goal is for the dog to learn to
simply relax, rest, and be in "park" mode. A person
close by. Read
more on close tethering...click