So, You Think You Want a Puppy!
Everyone, at one time or another, has had a puppy bring a smile to their face. Puppies are the ultimate "clay." They can be molded into loving, and considerate companions or they can remain "lumps of mud."
In wild dog packs, a puppy's education begins from day one. They are taught the life lessons necessary for survival from almost every member of the pack.
Most of these things are instinctual, however the pack directs the instincts of the pups in order to teach them the survival skills necessary for a long and healthy life for, not only the pup, but the pack. It is a cooperative system that focuses on the needs of the whole rather than the individual.
Adults in a wild pack will allow the pups to bite on and "attack" their ears, tails and face. These adults would never allow another adult to do this, as it would be adverse to pack protocol. However, by allowing the pups to do this type of behavior, the older males know they are ensuring the survival of the pack by allowing the pups to develop the necessary skills for the task.
On the same note, the adults of a pack will not allow pups to engage in activities that do not follow pack protocol and natural selection because, once again, this will affect the whole. The adults will be consistent with their directions when the pups violate protocol. They have to be. Their natural instincts tell them their survival depends on it.
"How Does This Affect Your Puppy?"
It is really no different with domesticated dogs. They instinctively know they must learn the skills and tasks necessary for survival. The difference is, the expectations of a family pack and a wild pack are different. Let me give you an example.
We've all done this. We see a new puppy, pick him up, and allow him to lick our face. This is cute when your German Shepard puppy does it, but as he gets older, it tends to lose its novelty.
What normally happens is the dog is later punished or corrected for something he was once rewarded for doing. I can guarantee a dog is incapable of rationalizing this. It violates the instinctive learning process inherent in dogs. They will become confused and lose confidence. And none of it is his fault!
Dogs, be they wild or domesticated, naturally show affection and appreciation to other pack members through the "grooming" process. They feel the instinct to "lick and pick" to show their appreciation. It's a natural instinct.
It's pretty simple. If you know you don't want your puppy to lick faces when he is an adult, then direct the instinct in another direction rather than trying to correct it later. You wouldn't teach your kids to run through the house with knives in their hands, so why teach your puppy a behavior that will later need to be corrected? Common sense.
Now imagine not knowing how to communicate and express your needs or desires. You are in a new city where no one speaks your language and you are expected to respond, on command, to things that are completely contrary to your instincts. How confident, happy and secure do you think you would be?
This is the position most dogs are placed in when they are brought into a new home. This is also the time when dogs learn what will get them in trouble, like going in the kitchen or walking on the rug. The dog is left with little confidence or sense of security. What a rough way to start!
Now, six months after our new dog has come into the house and three pairs of shoes later, we start a conventional training program (to correct our dogs "bad behavior") that places little and or no emphasis on your dogs natural desires, instincts or environment. These programs train every dog essentially the same, regardless of breed or individual "pack" dynamics.
Since the human members of the pack assume the majority of the pack roles, it's imperative they live up to "pack protocol" and complete their tasks. Remember, the dog is at the bottom of the ladder. If we, as the owners, do not live up to our "pack role" then dogs will do what they instinctively know to do and act out.
"What Can You Do?"
All too often, I work with people whose dogs have bad habits that can be directly linked to things the owner had done to encourage the behavior as a pup. There are so many things we do as dog owners that adversely affect a puppies' future behavioral development.
The Instinctual Development System is a process that will allow you to raise your puppy using their natural instincts and directing their behavior preventing unwanted behaviors before problems occur. It focuses on proper preparation, realistic expectations and understanding the learning process of a puppy. It will show you how many of the fun and common games we play with our pups detrimentally affect their behavioral development.
By following my Instinctual Development System, you will:
Be able to find reputable resources for obtaining a healthy dog
Know the best individual dog to pick from a group or litter
Effectively prepare your home for your dog's arrival to eliminate future problems
Properly introduce a new dog to one living in the home
Achieve and maintain optimum physical health for your dog
Learn the ability to recognize behavioral issues and correct them before there's a problem
Redirect destructive chewing
Develop a dog that loves to respond to your commands and training
Eliminate additional "refresher" training cost
"Train Him Right as a Pup!"
Using my "puppie system" with your new pup will always be easier than retraining him later. You can have a well-behaved, happy dog - who always feels safe within his family pack if he's trained using these natural techniques.
For private telephone coaching or consultations with me, using the Instinctual Development System please click here for your free 20 minute initial consultation!