Getting a new puppy is a fun and interesting time. You probably
went to a breeder or pet store or maybe just saw an ad on the
Internet or the newspaper, for puppies, and decided just to check it
out. Before you knew it those little eyes and fluffy puppy fur had
your heart melting and you were headed home with him or her in
your arms. If you are like most new pet owners you had visions of
playing fetch with your dog, of watching him frolic at the lake, and
of cuddling up on cold nights.
However, you probably failed to realize that the behaviors you
dream of in a dog do not come naturally. In fact, the more natural
behaviors for most puppies include lovely little things like chewing
up your favorite shoes, barking every second of the day, and
peeing wherever they are when the mood strikes them. These
behaviors might seem cute at first, or even manageable but, if left
unchecked they can lead to a very bad adult dog.
The problem with puppies that are not trained is that they grow
into untrained dogs. An untrained dog can be a nuisance. All of
that cute little yipping can quickly become loud barking that keeps
you and your neighbors up for nights on end. The little teeth marks
in your shoes can turn into destroyed furniture and a destroyed
home before you know it. Likewise, those cute little puppy poops
are not so cute when the dog is 75 pounds and has the excrement to
Untrained dogs can also be very dangerous. All dogs can bite. It is
in their nature to defend with everything they have, including their
teeth. You have to teach your dog not to use their teeth so that no
one winds up hurt, at least not when they are playing with them.
While we all expect our dog to protect us in a worst-case scenario
situation, you should train your dog to be non-confrontational.
Dogs that pose a danger to the community are at risk of being put
In addition dogs that are problematic for any of the reasons listed
above often wind up homeless. People grow tired of dogs that
never grow up, and then they take those dogs to the shelter. We all
know how sad life can be for a shelter dog and the end that many
of those dogs meet. If you really love your new puppy and intent to
have a long and happy life with it, train her. By training your dog
you teach her how to live in your world and increase the likelihood
that your life together will be long and happy for the both of you.
Dogs have been domesticated around the world for more the
15,000 years. Because of this long term of human companionship
the puppy that you adopt today needs you. Dogs are not truly able
to live by themselves in the wild. They are not adapted to living
outside and foraging for food. Indeed the dog you adopt today
needs you and years to please you. That desire to please their
master is the reason that dogs are so easily trainable.
The dogs that we have as pets have what is called social
intelligence. This enables them to read your visual and verbal cues
and adapt their behavior to it. While each dog will train at a
different pace and through different ways, nearly all domestic dogs
Just like humans, dogs go through a series of cognitive
development. Puppies, like babies, learn to interact with the world
around them at around eight weeks of age. They will also mimic
behaviors early in life, so if you have one well behaved dog your
puppy can learn from it.
If this is your only canine do not worry, they will also learn by
watching you. Just like parenting, dog training is something that
often happens while you are paying attention to other things. So,
those first few months that you have a puppy are an incredibly
important time to really focus on training your dog. It can be a lot
of work but in the end both you and your dog will be happier.