Finn, my handsome dog has reached 6 months old, no longer a puppy. He has lost some of his puppy cuteness. He will now start his teenage stage, but don’t worry I won’t expect him to start slamming his bedroom door in my face and tell me he hates me. Well, I hope not anyway.
What I will expect him to do , is to become a little bit more naughty, pushing boundaries and unwanted behaviour such as jumping up and pulling on the lead. As the owner, this is up to me to sort out. I want to have a well behaved dog so I am going to have to put the time in.
The number of dogs who are put up for rescue because owners can not cope with their teenage tearaway. I believe that if puppy owners were given the right guidance from the start then there would be less difficult dogs waiting to get rehomed.
At this stage, some dogs go through a fear period, he may be reactive or scared of things that haven’t bothered him in the past such as unfamiliar objects or strange people. This is on my mind when I am out with Finn, the other day he was very interested in a mobility scooter he was clearly wondering ‘mum what’s that’, before he had time to react (i.e bark) I gave him a gravy bone, his fav, so he could recognise the positive nice thing of a yummy treat with the scooter and he wasn’t bothered. This could have gone so differently if I hadn’t reacted so quickly.
I have trained and played with Finn since he was 8 weeks old and we have a great relationship and I want that to continue especially as I going to do agility and gundog training with him.
It does piss me off when I hear owners say ‘I don’t have time to train my dog’ well sorry buttercup you are letting your dog down. If you have time to go to the gym, watch a football match or go down the pub. You have time to train and play with your dog. You could even do it while watching Coronation street. Just 10-15 mins a day playing with your dog will improve your relationship with him and hey it might just listen to you,
Dogs are selfish and very clever, they always ask ‘what is in it for me?’ and I don’t blame them but we can use this to our advantage by using treats to get them to do what we want them to do. If you want to keep his attention in a busy park then use high value treats and this doesn’t mean running out to get the most expensive treat you can find. Just some chicken, sausage hot dogs that kind of thing. Carry them around with you and your dog will not leave your side. This is your secret weapon.
To answer the question, you should train your dog the whole of their life. Dogs love to learn and I can guarantee you will have a better relationship with your dog, so get off your arse and spend time with your dog.
If you want your dog to enjoy an adventure while you are back at work then book a free 15 minute discovery call with me to find out how I can help.
I’m off to put a lead on it