Canine Health, Dog Stress and Training go hand in hand

Be the Alpha Dog.

To understand how puppies and pack animals behave and why is the primary tool in training your puppy for life. I am not going to tell you how to teach your puppy how to sit or stay or come, I will however, teach you and your family how to be successful teachers and leaders to your puppy. Although the information that follows can be used on an adult dog it is intended for Labradoodle and Australian Labradoodle puppies.

All puppies will, within a group of humans or other puppies, try and determine and/or control their place in the pack, be it the leader, second in command or a follower. In my opinion, it is not the responsibility of the puppy to be the leader, to have complete control, or perceived control over the group. This is like assigning a 5 year old child to be leader of the family. The weight on his or her shoulders would be tremendous. The puppy should be, after all, a dog. This to me means alert you, the leader, to potential threats, but not feel the need at all times to protect everyone and the property when you are home. Leadership is a high stress job and after all you want a loving puppy dog, a playful companion not a stressed out, always on alert, attack dog. If you did you would have purchased a different breed. Stress, in dogs, just as it does in humans, also leads to illness.
A dog bred and trained to be a pack leader eventually becomes an adult dog and behaves unlike a family companion. This dog will growl at someone or another dog if they touch its food or toy. It will bark beyond a simple warning bark and may even move into the ultimate protection mode of itself and its “things”.

What are some simple steps to tell your puppy you are the pack leader? Just teaching it to wait is one of the many keys.

  • Wait at the door. Place your dog in the sit and ask him to wait for the command to go through a door, even a wide open one, until you give him permission to move forward.
  • Wait for your dinner. Place your dog in the sit and ask him to wait to eat his meal until you give him permission to eat. This is especially great for kids with parental supervision.
  • Wait to get in car. Make your dog wait outside of the car while the door is opened, hatchback is lifted, or tailgate lowered, until you give him permission to jump in.
  • Wait to get out of the car. Ask him to wait or stay in the vehicle while car door is opened, hatchback is lifted, or tailgate lowered, until you give him permission to jump out.
  • Wait to get out of kennel, crate, or exercise pen.
  • Wait for your leash. Place your dog in the sit and ask him to wait calmly to go out for a walk while leash is attached to collar.
  • Wait and ask to be petted. If the dog nudges you for attentions ask him, do you want something, please sit, or give me your paw before being petted rather than jumping up, pawing, or nudging you for attention.
  • Wait and ask for permission to jump on sofa or bed. Dog sits and waits to be invited onto furniture instead of jumping up uninvited.
  • The best training advice is to find and secure two types of dog trainers. One trainer is found by attending a class. Classes provide a few things. They get your puppy socialization. It is easy to teach a puppy to sit privately at home but try and get him to sit when 10 other puppies and lots of smells are around with humans talking at the same time. Two, hire a personal trainer to come to your home. These trainers can actually see your environment and understand why Rover is actually doing what he is doing. They can see that he likes that specific sofa because it is near the door and window. Be sure and get references on a personal trainer. Find one that has an understanding of behavioral training versus basic commands. Basic commands can be taught in the larger class. Many times your breeder can provide references as well.

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    4 responses to “Canine Health, Dog Stress and Training go hand in hand

    1. Good information. I think it also helps to have places in your house that they are not allowed to go. (Your own den, so to speak)

      This seems to help keep them in their place and they are perfectly happy as long as they know what the rules are.

    2. I have a 6month old labradoodle that is a F1. I did see his parents, the mom was lab and the dad standard poodle. I have 2 big issues He.sheds like crazy, and has so much gas. Any one out there can help me?

      • Most first generation (lab to poodle) shed, some a little and some quite a bit. As for gas, usually a change in food and even beano helps.

    3. thanks for information its very usefull

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