Pet Training

Dog Training The Village Vet
Jan 31, 2023

Puppy School

If you haven’t already done so, sign up to puppy school.  Proactively socialising your dog is a critical step in managing good dog behaviours going forward, is important for their developmental milestones and an excellent opportunity to nurture communication between you and your dog.

Ongoing Training

If you need help with training after puppy school finishes, speak to us about signing up with a trainer. Always ensure your choice of training is based on positive reinforcement and uses the dog’s natural instincts to encourage socially acceptable behaviours.  

General Dog Behaviours

Generally speaking, a stimulated, well exercised and socialised dog will significantly reduce “unacceptable” behaviours such as digging, chewing, jumping up etc.

Communication

Work on building good communication between you and your dog and take time to understand what their behaviours mean.  

Talk to your pet!  Communication encourages good dog behaviour and makes pet training successful.
Communication: Talk to your Dog

As a pet owner you have a responsibility to learn what their “signals” mean (one bark might mean “come see”, continuous barking might mean “someone is here” etc) just as you are teaching them what your signals mean (hand up might mean “sit”, hand down might mean “down” etc).

Routine

Just like us, dogs need routine. Set routines that you stick to. Routines help ensure that your pet is calm and happy.

Positive Reinforcement

Dogs are highly sociable and will seek out your attention as a sign of your acceptance.  

Encourage good pet behaviour by using positive reinforcement for ongoing pet training.
Use Positive Reinforcement to Encourage Acceptable Behaviour

As a very general behaviour tip, if a dog is exhibiting an unwanted behaviour (jumping up, begging, etc) ignoring your dog, avoiding eye contact and physical touch will work as an effective way of not re-enforcing that behaviour.

We never recommend negative reinforcement. It just increases stress and anxiety in your pet and affects the trust and bond between you and your pet.  

Conversely, if your dog is doing something good (sitting nicely, waiting patiently etc) then praise, eye contact and a reassuring verbal commitment towards them will reward the dog and reinforce this good behaviour.  

Digging

Digging is a normal and instinctive behaviour in dogs.  However, your dog might dig for many different reasons.  These are:

  • Relief from boredom
  • Playing
  • Instinct
  • Trying to escape
  • Seeking protection

Make sure you have met your dog’s basic needs that would lead to boredom or frustration:  Exercise; socialisation with other dogs; interaction with their family; chew toys/kongs; shelter, water and a safe bed area.

If you are certain that your dog is fulfilled but digging is still an issue, think of constructing an “acceptable” digging spot and help this along by burying food and toys for the dog to find.  Remember to positively reinforce their choice of digging location when they opt to dig here. 

Bonding Time is Special

Most of all, enjoy this time.  Bonding time is a special time for both of you so make the most of it, take it slowly and enjoy every moment.  Remember you are building the foundation for your life together from here on.

Remember we are here to help. Give us a call anytime if you think your pet’s behaviours are in any way health related. Book online at The Village Vet or call us directly at the Pymble Clinic on 9499 4010 or Killara Hospital on 8350 5678.

Bonding is critical to successful pet training
Be Sure to Enjoy Each Other’s Company

Sources

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