How To Build "The Bond" With Your DogWritten by Adam G. Katz
Building bond with your dog is really quite easy. If you recognize that you have a relationship with your dog, then building bond comes down to nothing more than increasing strength of that relationship. And as with any relationship, building a bond requires:
1.) Spending quality time together. 2.) Getting out in world and experiencing life together. 3.) Establishing and promoting a level of mutual respect. 4.) Developing a way of communicating so that both individuals understand other's needs. (Hmmm... maybe I should be writing self-help books for humans???)
Let's take a look at each of these key points to see how they can have a positive affect on your daily dog training: 1.) Spending quality time together. Spending quality time together does not mean sharing a beer with Fido while two of you lay in front of television. Well, okay... maybe it does. But more importantly, it means committing to a series of rituals and behaviors that you and your dog can look forward to. For example, I often throw Forbes (the Pit Bull) in back of truck when I wake up in morning and we go for a drive down to local McDonald's Drive-thru. For most of drive, Forbes is either still wiping sleep out of his eyes, or he's doing guard dog routine if someone walks up to back of truck. But highlight of this morning ritual begins when we get home. It's Forbes' job to hop out of back of truck and take empty McDonald's brown paper bag in his mouth, walk down drive way, around gate, into back yard, and then over to trash can... where he drops bag. Sure, it's a stupid pet trick. But see how disappointed dog is when *I* insist on carrying bag to trash can! From dog's point of view, it's 30 or 40 little things throughout day (that he can help me with) that make his life worth living. And for dog, this is spending quality. It all boils down to being an active participant in each other's lives.
2.) Getting out in world and experiencing life together: It had been years since Bud and Janice's kids had grown and left house for college and later, corporate jobs. Bud had wanted a dog for several months and Janice finally gave in. They decided to adopt a beautiful 5 year-old Golden Retriever and proceeded to train "Mac," using many of techniques I describe in my book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" (To learn more about this book, go to http://hop.clickbank.net/?1greatdog/agkatz). Janice got scared when Bud came back from his first walk around neighborhood with "Mac" and ran into house yelling, "Janice! Janice! You won't believe what happened!!!" "Oh my gawd," though Janice, thinking that perhaps "Mac" had bitten a child, or run away. "What happened?" Janice questioned her husband. "You won't believe it, Janice," said Bud, "I took 'Mac' for a walk... AND PEOPLE ACTUALLY CAME UP AND TALKED TO ME!!!" Imagine that! Here's a guy who had lived in same neighborhood for eight years and didn't know any of his neighbors until he got a dog and started taking it for walks. Dogs are a wonderful excuse to get you out of house and interacting with world around you. It's also one of many reasons that handicapped people like owning service dogs... because it makes it easier for other people to come up and start a conversation. And do you think that "Mac" minded all of attention? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, I think that my dog Forbes is happiest when we're out in world, meeting new people and experiencing new things together. Two best friends, out on town. You should see look on Forbes' face when two or three beautiful women walk up and start rubbing his belly. Even better... you should see look on my face!
The 7 Stages of Puppy DevelopmentWritten by Charlie Lafave
In order to understand why your puppy doesn’t listen to you at times, you need to understand each stage of development a puppy goes through as it matures. Let’s take a look at different stages, but before we do, keep in mind that these stages are generalizations – each dog will progress at its own pace.
Stage 1: The Transitional Stage 2-3 Weeks The Transitional stage generally lasts from age two to three weeks, and it’s during this time that your puppy’s eyes will open, and he’ll slowly start to respond to light and movement and sounds around him. He’ll become a little more mobile during this period, trying to get his feet underneath him and crawling around in box (or wherever home is.) He’ll start to recognize mom and his littermates, and any objects you might place in box.
Stage 2: The Almost Ready To Meet The World Stage 3-4 Weeks The Almost ready to meet world stage lasts from 3 to about 4 weeks, and your puppy undergoes rapid sensory development during this time. Fully alert to his environment, he’ll begin to recognize you and other family members. It’s best to avoid loud noises or sudden changes during this period – negative events can have a serious impact on his personality and development right now. Puppies learn how to be a dog during this time, so it’s essential that they stay with mom and littermates.
Stage 3: The Overlap Stage 4-7 Weeks From 3-4 weeks your puppy begins most critical social development period of his life – he learns social interaction with his littermates, learns how to play and learns bite inhibition. He’ll also learn discipline at this point – Mom will begin weaning pups around this time, and will start teaching them basic manners, including accepting her as leader of pack. You can begin to introduce food to pups starting around 4th week – transition gradually as Mom weans them. Continue handling pups daily, but don’t separate them from either Mom or litter mates for more than about 10 minutes per day. Puppies that are removed from nest too early frequently are nervous, more prone to barking and biting and have a more difficult time with socialization and training. Puppies need to be left with Mom and siblings until at least 7 weeks of age - and preferably a little longer - for optimum social development. Experts say that best time in a puppy’s life to learn social skills is between 3 and 16 weeks of age – that’s window of opportunity you have to make sure your puppy grows up to be a well-adjusted dog. It’s extremely important to leave your puppy with Mom and his littermates during as much of this period as possible. Don’t discipline for play fighting, housebreaking mistakes or mouthing – that’s all normal behavior for a puppy at this stage.
Stage 4: The “I’m Afraid of Everything” Stage 8 Weeks to 3 Months The “I’m Afraid of Everything” Stage lasts from about 8 weeks to 3 months, and is characterized by rapid learning as well as a “fearful period” that usually pops up at around 8 to 10 weeks. Not all dogs experience this, but most do, and they’ll appear terrified over things that they took in stride before. This is not a good time to engage in harsh discipline (not that you ever should anyway!), loud voices or traumatic events. At this time your puppy’s bladder and bowels are starting to come under much better control, and he’s capable of sleeping through night. (At last, you can get some rest!) You can begin teaching simple commands like: come, sit, stay, down, etc. Leash training can begin. It’s important not to isolate your puppy from human contact at this time, as he’ll continue to learn behaviors and manners that will affect him in later years.