Trained dogs often seek to please |

Trained dogs often seek to please

Nadine Lober

It seems that many Vail residents are acquiring new puppies recently. I have been asked about educating our new, four-legged family members and how early it should begin. Training a puppy is very important – not only in order to have a well-behaved dog but also to increase your dog’s mental capacity. A trained dog usually seeks to please their owners and has a better chance of staying out of trouble. For example, if a trained dog wants to get their owner’s attention they tend to go through their reservoir of tricks – sitting, waving a paw, fetching a toy, etc. But an untrained dog might jump on you, chew a piece of furniture or even urinate in the house. Training a dog allows you to bond with your new pet and spend quality time with them as well. Dogs like praise – at least most breeds do: some breeds, such as an afghan, might be too aloof to worry about their owners feelings and some other breeds are so stubborn that professional training might be required. Overall, puppies are like children, they need discipline to understand what is right and what is wrong. The more time you spend training your puppy, the better-trained adult dog you will have, and a better companion. One of the most important words of advice in training is consistency, especially in a family with children. If one of the family members lets the puppy get away with bad habits then this will delay the training or even offset the training.Usually a puppy is not released to his new home until he is eight weeks old. A common question is when to start this valuable training, how much and how often.You can start training your puppy the minute you get him. A puppy’s attention span is very short, that is why will sometimes they start to eat their meal, hear a noise that distracts them and run to check it out, without finishing the meal. The training sessions should not last too long, maybe five or 10 minutes at a time, and two or four times a day. Some of the specifics of training will be discussed in next week’s column. Dr. Nadine Lober at Vail Valley Vet (970) 949-7972.Vail Colorado

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