The New Puppy! Now What? Guidebook
This is a great introduction to traininng and a great assistance to those needing up to the minute, effective training information for a new arrival in the home
Table of Contents
Part One: preparing For Your Puppy
- A New Life
- How Puppies learn
- Growth and Development
- Feeding Your Puppy
- A place of safety
- Puppy paperwork
- Final preparations
Part Two: Life With Your Puppy
- Collecting your puppy
- Making introductions
- Silent nights
- Clean and dry
- Out and about
- Beginning the puppy recall
- Exercise and play
- Biting and growling
- Communication and bonding
- Being polite
- Towards obedience
Part Three: Problem Solving
- The noisy puppy
- Destructible behaviour
- Horrible habits
- Guarding food
- Neutering and Sexual Maturity
- The Disobedient Puppy
How Puppies learn
THE ABILITY OF our canine friends to learn amusing tricks, and even to carry out useful tasks on our behalf, is part of their enduring appeal. We can teach dogs to herd sheep, retrieve lost items, dance to music, guide and assist their disabled owners, and even to detect total strangers buried in the rubble of an earthquake zone. Dogs are very good at learning a wide range of skills. Teaching a puppy right from wrong ought to be straightforward enough. Yet as attitudes towards dogs have changed, there seems to be increasing confusion over how to teach our puppies what is and is not acceptable. Dog owners may be faced with conflicting advice. Training with food or other rewards may be dismissed by traditional-style trainers as too soft or permissive, whilst traditional-style methods may be dismissed by others as too harsh. Puppies learn very fast indeed. They learn from you and from other members of their family, but they also learn from interacting with everything else around them. We all want our puppies to ‘sit’ and ‘come here’, to ‘lie down’ and to ‘stay’. Yet in the first few weeks in their new homes, what many puppies are learning is to ‘whine’ and ‘jump up’ and to ‘snatch’ and ‘bark’. Fortunately, we have a great deal of control over this process, provided we understand how it happens. For great results, you need to be clear how the mechanism of the learning process works – preferably before your new puppy sets foot inside your home.
The learning process that has evolved in dogs and in fact all species is very straightforward. Inside your puppy’s brain, the consequences of every single action he carries out are recorded and allocated to one of three categories. Those categories are:
● Good (things just got better)
● Bad (things just got worse)
● Indifferent (nothing changed)
Which of the three categories those consequences fall into will determine how your puppy will behave next time he is in the same situation. Let’s look at some examples. If your puppy pokes a tennis ball with his nose, it is quite likely to roll along the ground. If there is a bit of a slope, he may even get to chase after it. Things just got better for the puppy and his brain records a good consequence. Next time he sees a tennis ball, he will be likely to poke it again. On the other hand, if your puppy pokes a bee with his nose, he may get stung, in which case things just got worse for him. A bad consequence is recorded, and the puppy’s brain will look out for similar situations in the future. Next time he sees a bee he will probably leave it alone. Timing is a crucial factor in this process. If your puppy pokes a bee and it flies away, then returns and stings him later, he will not connect the two and will probably
poke a bee again in the future. The consequence, good or bad, must accompany the puppy’s actions or follow very closely to have any effect. This is all obvious and applies to people, too. If what we do is followed by a bad thing, we don’t do it again. If what we do is followed by a good thing, we do it more often. But what about our third category of outcomes? What if the outcome is registered by the puppy as ‘indifferent’? What happens if nothing changes? If your puppy pokes a large rock with his nose for example, rocks being what they are, he is unlikely to get a reaction. His brain adds the experience to the indifferent category.
But here is the interesting part. If there is no outcome, if nothing changes following the puppy’s actions, his behaviour is less likely to occur in the future. The effect is, in fact, the same as if the puppies behaviour had been punished. If repeated, this lack of outcome results in a process called ‘extinction’ because over time, the behaviour that it follows will die out. Here is a summary of our three outcomes and their influence on your puppy’s future behaviour.
● Good outcome = increased behaviour
● Bad outcome = diminished behaviour
● Indifferent outcome = diminished behaviour
The way in which these three outcomes control your dog’s future behaviour is no accident. The ability of your dog to record, and act on, the consequences of past behaviour has evolved to make sure that any behaviour that is beneficial to the dog will increase. Any behaviour that is not beneficial to the dog dies out, enabling the dog to preserve his time and energy for more productive activities. Puppies do what works for them.
When you first get your puppy, lots of things are new to you and your new arrival, a good, clear guidebook will get you off on the right track.
This fanatasitic guidebook written by certified professional dog trainer Dr Carla O’Donnell helps you with much of the basic early trainning and socialisation needed to teach your pup how to live happily in our human world (and it can be a very confusing world for pups).
Techniques are based on respect, clear communication and generous rewards that all work together to create a mutually enjoyable way to live with and enjoy dogs, whatever your goals. Training with easy to implement instructions and further suggestions.
Topics covered include, Socialising your pup, Early training, House training, Teaching not to bite, Preventing Stealing and Food guarding, Digging and Jumping up, Diet and Behaviour and Building confidence.
This is a great introduction and a great assistance to those needing up to the miunte effective training information for a new arrival in the home.
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The ultimate guide to raising and caring for your new puppy!