Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Puppy Training Begins before You Bring Your Pup Home

I've met a lot of pet owners through the years, and many of them feel that any type of training will break the spirit of their dog. Usually, these dogs have the run of the house and the owners under their control. They have no boundaries, sleep on furniture, eat from the table, intimidate guests, and basically, take over the household.

If you have a small dog, this may be seen as cute, but if your dog is medium sized or large, this type of situation can be a struggle. The lack of training and discipline leads to unhappy animals, and unhappy owners. Oftentimes, the dog has to be given to a shelter or rescue organization if the owner cannot regain control of the pet. No one wins in this situation.

Many times, a lot of the problems can be prevented before they even begin. Choosing the right puppy is the first step when thinking about training. This may seem strange, but not all dog types are suited for certain people. For instance, if you are a shy, quiet person, it is unlikely that an aggressive dog would be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you are an active, outgoing person, you wouldn't want a small, nervous dog. So, it all begins with choosing the right match of puppy to human.

Do your research and keep training in mind. Compare all the different breeds and their qualities, to determine the best pup for you. If you are going to a shelter to find a puppy, take the time to become familiar with the personality of the dogs. Don't judge a book by its cover, look beyond the cuteness of the puppy. For instance, if you want a dog that will fetch (particularly hunting dogs), throw a ball and see if the dog will go after it automatically. My beagle will not chase a ball or a stick, no matter what I do, yet my collie will play fetch all day long. So be sure to look for the qualities you want in a dog right from the start. Also, try to determine if a dog is too aggressive by playing a little rough with him. It's okay if the puppy growls and tugs, but he should stop when you tell him "no" in a firm tone. If the pup won't stop, but gets progressively more excited, then he might be too aggressive to handle as he gets older.

These are just a few ideas to keep in mind when choosing a puppy. Training is very important. Keep it in mind even when choosing your puppy and you will both get off to a positive start. Remember, you will have your dog for years to come, and you want him to be your best friend.

Once you have brought your puppy home, the next step of training is housebreaking. I'll give some ideas that worked when I was housebreaking my dogs in my next blog.

Take a look at this video from YouTube. It pulls at the heart-strings,but the puppies here have been rescued.


  1. Yes, they are sweet. It's good to know they have found their forever homes.

  2. The first thing I plan to do after I get my own apartment is get a dog. I still haven’t decided if I want to get a puppy or an adult dog from a shelter. Right now getting an adult dog from a shelter (that has some training already) sounds like the better option as I don't know that I'll have time for puppy training. Either way this post has good advice I'll remember for when I get my dog.