Dog Training And How To Start Off Right

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Dog Training And How To Start Off Right

by Michael Russell

Very few things are as cute as a puppy. If well selected and properly trained, the puppy will grow into a dog that will give the owner years of enjoyable interaction with the animal. The question is; What factors really do matter in choosing and training a dog? We have all at some time met a dog that behaves badly. Given the choice, most will prefer a dog and a relationship with that dog that is harmonious and free of the kind of trouble that a poorly behaved dog can bring.

The first issue to consider outside of the particular breed that you favor and their general temperament, is the selection of the puppy. Some jurisdictions will not allow a puppy to be separated from its mother till after 8 weeks of age. This isn't a bad idea considering that the puppy learns crucial social skills from its mother during this early period of growth.

Some advisors suggest a series of three tests when actually selecting the puppy. The first test is an interaction test. Is the dog willing to interact with you? Will it trust you, come up to you and allow itself to be touched by you? This is essential to the development of a healthy relationship with the dog.

The second test is an intelligence test of sorts. It involves engaging the dog in play. Does the dog concentrate well on the playing? Does the dog show alertness in the play? Obviously the play has to be simple, given that the dog is only a puppy, but there has to be some kind of indication that the brain of the dog is functioning well.

The third test is the test that some people have trouble with; the dominance test. If the puppy will not allow you to dominate it, then you will have trouble later on, particularly with a large or aggressive breed. The way that you test the willingness of the puppy to be dominated by you is to lay the puppy on it's back and hold it down with your hand on it's belly. If the dog struggles a bit at first, that's O. K., but if the dog continues to struggle and will not let you hold it down, then there is a problem.

A dog that strongly opposes being dominated by you as a puppy will not change it's ways later in life. You will have trouble training that dog and controlling that dog as long as it lives. Save yourself the grief and select a dog that allows you to dominate it.

The next step after selecting the puppy is to train the dog. This is the stage where some dog owners fall down. A puppy needs a great deal of social interaction and a good part of that is showing it how to behave. Another way of describing that is to call it training.

The problem is that in order to be effective, dog training needs to be as consistent as possible. Obviously the best way to learn how to train a dog is through expert guidance; whether it be a dog trainer, or a dog training manual. Yet that training still needs to be carried out consistently. Teaching alone will not compensate for failing to apply the training in the same way over and over.

If the goal of the reader is to select and raise a well behaved dog, then the additional effort necessary to achieve this goal is the price you'll have to pay. Once the dog has grown beyond being a puppy, the results of this effort will show. A harmonious and enjoyable relationship with your dog will be your reward.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Dog Training

Michael Russell - EzineArticles Expert Author

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