The importance of setting boundaries with your new puppy

Why Early Puppy Training Makes All The Difference In Your Pup’s Life

Early training for your new puppy is essential to help her learn her place in your home as part of your family. How quickly you begin this training can determine how long it takes for your little dog to adjust to new experiences both inside and outside the family.

Your new puppy’s first primal instinct on entering her new home is to find her place in your “pack” – and she will do this by testing the boundaries you set for her.

Your job, as leader of the family “pack,” is to mimic the mother dog’s actions and do the same. You have to set the boundaries on when and where your new puppy eats and sleeps. She needs to be taught that the only place she can urinate and defecate is outside the house, and she needs to receive this information from the first day she sets foot in your home. If she bites, nips, or barks inappropriately, it is up to you to gently reprimand her and show her how to behave.

Your puppy’s canine ancestors traveled in groups of 8 or 10 dogs. This “pack” was ruled by the most dominant couple – the alpha male and female – who gained power by proving their strength and courage during the daily travails of living in the wild. The alpha male determined where the group would hunt, where they would rest, and who would eat first. The alpha female controlled the other females and disciplined the pups.

Watch a litter – or even a group of unrelated puppies – playing together. You’ll be able to distinguish the more dominant puppies from their more passive siblings by their behavior. The “alpha” puppies will growl and “bark” at their brothers and sisters in a form of communication that says, “Listen to me!” Their submissive littermates tend to be quieter and to follow the stronger puppy’s leads.

As the litter matures, you’ll see some of the more adventurous pups attempt to strike out on their own and explore their surroundings. The “alpha” mother dog, with her gentle pulls and nips, nudges them back into place, establishing boundaries and a sense of appropriate, safe behavior for her puppies.

For that “alpha” puppy who gets excited to the point of not listening during training sessions, you may want to try giving her an all-natural herbal tonic developed to relax her in about 20 minutes. Given orally, tonics made with aspen and cerato Bach Flower Essences reduce general anxiety and increase attention span in dogs. Additionally, the herb Skullcap, included in the tonic, works as a mild natural sedative. Helping your new, highly-strung puppy remain calm enough to pay attention during training is necessary to make her an acceptable member of your family.

The newest member of your family needs to learn how to walk on a leash, how to act appropriately with other people and other animals, where she can go and explore in your yard and house, and where and how she is allowed to sit with you and the rest of her “pack.”

Most dog training experts will tell you to teach your new puppy using treats as a reward for good, correct responses. As a pet parent, you’ll want to make sure these treats are full of the nutrition needed by a growing puppy without all the chemicals and fillers found in commercially-processed treats and foods. All-natural peanut butter treats enhanced with fresh fruits and vegetables can be given during regular training sessions as healthy, low-calorie rewards.

Dogs love the smell and taste of real peanut butter, and with its Omega-3 fatty acids, extra protein, and Vitamin E, an all-natural, organic peanut butter is perfect to use on just your finger or stuffed in a Kong as a special reward to keep your active puppy occupied.

With consistent, kind training, your new puppy will learn to turn to you for guidance when she is unsure what to do or how to behave – a necessary step in puppy development that assures you of a well-behaved dog for years of loving, canine companionship.

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