I recently adopted Tucker, my 4-month-old male border collie and lab mix, as a friend for my 3-year-old dog Polo, another male of the same mixed breed. Upon meeting Tucker I was taken over by his rambunctious behavior, but I figured he was a puppy and that this was something normal, and as time went on he’d begin to adapt to our family and his new brother Polo.
Socialize, socialize, socialize! This is an important part of the new puppy experience, but there is more to your puppy’s first year than just a starter class. Most pups are relinquished to shelters after they are 6 months old. Why? Adolescence, of course!
This month kicks off with the Fourth of July being smack dab in the middle of the week. This means lots of partying and fireworks all week long. But, before I talk training and management tips for having company over, mom recommends we share a few gentle reminders to maintain a fun but safe environment for you and your own inquisitive canine.
Sometimes, parents view puppies and dogs as human "kids" who wear fur coats. When humans have this inappropriate idea, we can actually set both our dogs and our children up for total failure. That’s not a good thing! When we think of our canines as kids, our tendency is to raise the bar too high in our expectations of them. When I explain to my clients that dogs don’t have morals and they don’t feel guilty about anything they do, I see lots of raised eyebrows. Think of it this way; dogs think and behave like the animals they are. When an animal chooses to do something, or to not do something, it isn’t because he’s deciding if it’s ethical. He chooses to do what works for him in his daily effort to stay safe and survive. So with that in mind, let’s talk about setting some rules to raise our dogs and children together safely while they’re sharing the same space under your roof.
It’s really important for all of us who live with dogs to provide both physical exercise and mentally stimulating activities for dogs. We need to be challenging our dog’s mind by directing his attention to interesting stimuli rather than his having to create ways of exercising and entertaining himself inappropriately. After all, dogs were originally bred to do a job of some kind, whether it’s herding sheep, hunting birds and other prey animals, performing in the show ring, protecting property and even sitting pretty on the laps of royalty.
It pays to look deeper, however — a lesson I learned after coming home from the day job, ready to divide the cookies I’d baked the night before into individual bags for my graduating dog training class that night. The previously sealed bag was on the floor of the kitchen, torn, with nary a cookie crumb in sight. Except the few that clung to my Labrador Retriever’s whiskers. My dog had counter surfed. At age 9. For the first time
Inquisitive Canine talks about how to Take Your Dog To Work!
More great training advice from Inquisitive Canine on sibling rivalry!
Does size matter when two dogs are sharing a home? Not always. Learn what the common causes are for friction between dogs in the same home and how to address some of them.
May 20 - 26 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week in the USA, and the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge is on all across the world. The goal of the Challenge is to educate 50,000 children during the month of May about safety around dogs.