So... You are thinking of getting a puppy

No training is instant and it all requires hard work, repetition and consistency to take effect.

Even those of us who have had dogs all our lives are shell shocked by the care a puppy will need, the nights we spend awake trying to train them into sleeping patterns, the countless mistakes we make costing us a new pair of shoes or sofa, and the new routine of toilet every hour or accidents on the kitchen floor. By bringing a puppy home you are adding to your family and many will liken this to bringing home a baby except this baby wont cry to let us know they want something, and already knows how to walk. Their development is much faster than a toddlers so while this is a blessing in some ways, I could understand why so many people struggle to keep up with a furry baby that doesn’t know English and is already able to do as it pleases.

This blog is designed for guidance purposes only and aimed at puppy owners intending to get a head start or who have already been shell shocked by their new puppy arriving home. If you don’t know what to do you are already doing the right thing by looking at this blog. These training methods are what I like to call the common sense methods. Have you ever asked a question and the answer seemed so simple you thought why didn’t I know that already…? Well that’s what often happens with dog training, we don’t use magic or sorcery, there are lots of styles and techniques out there, and it’s about finding what’s right for you but they should all boil down to the same thing…. Praise! Praise! Praise! Positive reinforcement is how humans and dogs learn best.

Most people believe they will bring a dog home and it will know how to play fetch, walk on a lead or sit on command…. For those people I have some very shocking news for you… dogs can benefit from being shown everything and skills such as these take lots of time and practice to master. You will need to learn how your puppy learns best and perhaps even need to change some things yourself before your puppy will start to show improvement & learning.

I have a cockapoo, she’s 4 years old and was breed with a working cocker spaniel and miniature poodle, she would make a fantastic gun dog! but not so great in the park and I let my guard down for just a second then she’s off chasing birds and anything that moves close to the ground…. Come to think of it… or up a tree or in the air. She is often compared to a cocker spaniel on speed and has taught me so much about patience, technique, thinking outside the box and love! She is hard work but I wouldn’t trade her for anything. I have had German shepherds and other mixed breeds in the past, and have taught countless people in obedience from puppy level all the way to problem solving what you might call severe cases, after completing my behaviourist and trainer status qualifications. While demonstrating with my dog playing in a field or even just walking around the park, If I had a pound for every time someone said ‘I wish I could get my dog to do that’ or ‘my dog won’t do that’ I wouldn’t be writing this blog and you would find me on a boat in the Bahamas feeding liver to my dog while my husband swims with the pigs in the sea. So to cover a couple of fundamentals lets set a couple of things straight…

1. Dogs don’t understand English until you show them what a word means.

2. An old dog can learn new tricks.

3. You can achieve any behaviour such as bringing a ball back even from the most stubborn, distracted or lazy dogs.

4. If they are not getting it, look at what you are doing wrong and change your tactic

5. And lastly dogs can look up…

Before you pick a puppy

So you want a puppy and you have an idea on the breed… perhaps you like the way it looks or you aim to work with your dog in shows, agility, shooting or perhaps you just want a great companion for you and/or the whole family. These thoughts are the foundations to picking the right dog for you. For instance you perhaps wouldn’t pair a Great Dane with gun dog training due to their size or a German Shepherd for agility due to their hip dysplasia risks. To pick the right breed of dog for you, you must first consider how you would like your new family to interact and how much time you can offer your puppy. Active and working breeds including some popular cross breeds will need lots of walks and play to ensure they don’t have too much energy and their minds are challenged every day or they become mischievous.

To avoid behaviour problems later on you can help yourself now by choosing a breed that will fit in with your life style. For example if you choose a Cockapoo because they look completely adorable, you might need to consider the behaviours of both the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, and was it bred with a working Cocker Spaniel?.... you could end up with a dog that loves cuddles and nothing more than to sleep all day or you could have something so acti