Formal Canine Training
In another article on this website I explain my reasons for not encouraging formal obedience training for puppies under less than roughly six months of age or after they have lost their baby teeth. These are guidelines only but are applicable to most dogs.
Around the time your warm and cuddly puppy loses his or her baby teeth and the permanent teeth come in, you will likely begin to notice another less favorable change in your dog. This rather sudden and often not so subtle transformation is not always for the better. Frequently people call me and are somewhat distraught over the fact that their puppy, that same puppy up until just a few weeks ago, was so easy to work with and seemed to want to please has suddenly completely derailed and barely resembles the puppy of just a few weeks before. If this happens to you don’t be alarmed. This is a normal (although often difficult) phase of your dog’s life. Those of us who raised teenagers or who has been a teenager (all of us) will recognize what is happening. Your puppy is growing up. He is now entering his teen years. Need I say any more?
Now is the time to begin your formal education. Yes, you may have taught your puppy to sit, stay, lay down, and he may even have came to you when you called him when he was just three or four months old. What happened to all that teaching? Oh, it is still there, however now your puppy is being replaced by a maturing dog. Your dog now will explore what happens if he disobeys you. If you break any one or more of the four fundamentals of a dog’s education I have developed over the years, then for sure your dog will win and you know where that leaves you – on the opposite side of winning.
Ah, but there is hope. Even though your dog may have metamorphosed from a willing student into a belligerent and taxing four legged demon there is hope.
Understand that between the ears of this creature there have been some major changes taking place as well. Some of them are what you are witnessing however what you cannot see but need to know is that his attention span (ability to focus and learn) has increased from seconds to several minutes. Although outwardly your dog may display undesirable behaviors the good news is that he is now capable of learning for longer periods of times. Now is the time that I can shed light on your dogs behavior and help you and your dog learn and develop together while you form that lifelong partnership we all so dearly yearn to have with our dog.
Although it is estimated that dogs have been domesticated for some ten thousand years or more their pack ranking instincts are still quite strong. What you are witnessing is a power struggle within the pack. Your pack! Your dog, now maturing mentally is hard wired to establish his rightful place within the pack. If you don’t provide leadership – he will. So why do I wait until a dog is around six months of age to begin formal obedience. It is because that long ago I learned that all the puppy training in the world will not change the fact that when your dog begins to mature he will directly or indirectly begin to challenge your authority. My puppy orientation provides the tools you need to get to this point and at minimal cost. Now though is when I really begin to earn my pay. It is at this point of a dog’s life that I can really make a difference. It is now that I help you understand why your dog has changed and may be acting in ways that you find intolerable. Once I help you understand the “why” of a dogs behavior, then the “what” to do is so much easier. This is where I come in, being that your dog is mature enough to learn for more than a few seconds at a time, your hard earned money is now better invested in a trainer such as myself who will respectfully and patiently coach you until you understand how a dog thinks, learns, and more importantly, how to teach and form a partnership with your dog that is everlasting.
Let the K9 Kounselor teach you how to create balance when all that surrounds you is unbalanced.