Puppy Training

Tips to Properly Socialize Your Puppy

Teaching your puppy to socialize with other animals and humans from a young age is crucial for both his happiness and safety, as well as those around him. A puppy that doesn’t know how to properly socialize can often feel anxious around new people or pets, causing him to act in undesired ways such as barking, jumping, and showing aggression

If you don’t know where to start with socializing your puppy, we’ve got you covered! Here are some tips from the experts to make sure that your dog is both well-trained and socialized.

Start By Realizing Why It Matters 

A socialized dog is a safe, friendly, well-behaved dog. Dogs have innate protection instincts that trigger when they’re confronted with anything they believe is strange. Familiarizing them early on with a variety of other breeds will help them feel more comfortable—and more safe, and therefore calmer—as an adult. 

Make a Commitment

Socializing your puppy won’t happen on its own! If you’ve realized that this needs to be a priority, find ways to do it, such as attending puppy meetups and visiting dog parks. Then, put it on your calendar—often—and don’t let yourself cancel. 

Familiarize Yourself with Your Dog’s Body Language 

The point of socializing is to manage your dog’s inherent triggers. He’s going to be stressed when you first start, so bring treats and prepare to be a calming influence on him. If your dog is letting you know through tensed-up muscles and frequent barking or growling that it’s too much for him, know when it’s time to take a break and try again in a few days. 

Sign Up For a Puppy Training Class

This comes with two distinct benefits! The younger your dog is, the easier it will be to train them—so working with professionals to ensure your dog knows how to sit, stay, and heel will be a lifelong investment that pays off more if you begin very early. Secondly, puppy classes usually are taught in midsize groups of dogs and owners with several professional dog tutors helping keep order—which means your dog will have a safe space in which to learn how to play nicely with other dogs while keeping his main focus on you! 

Key Takeaways

Dogs are complex creatures. They love, they grow, and they learn. That said, all dog owners need to forget the old adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Regardless of your dog’s age, they are able to learn new things, especially if you take them to one of the best puppy training classes around. At Argos Dog Training, we offer a variety of dog training courses in Boston including group sessions, private training, and beyond. Give us a call at 617-302-7467 or fill out an online form and we’ll have your pup enrolled in no time! 

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What to Do If Your Dog Wakes Up Too Early

For many people, sleeping through the night can be difficult as is it, especially if you’re already basing your sleep schedule around children and then add a barking dog into the mix too. It’s important to ensure that you establish a healthy and consistent sleep-wake schedule for your pup, so that you both can get a restful night’s sleep!  Teach your dog to wait until you say it’s time with the following tips and tricks.

Consider his Health

First, you’ll want to make sure that your pet isn’t waking up too early because of an underlying medical condition. Dogs have very few ways to let us know that something is wrong, and being awake when no one else is might just be the only method of sounding alarm your dog has! Talk with your vet to make sure your dog is healthy before trying other options.

Get Plenty of Exercise

If your dog isn’t sleeping through the night, try to tire him out completely the evening before. If he’s exhausted enough, his body will naturally require a full night’s sleep to recharge. Try taking him for additional walks, playing fetch, or letting him run around the yard for a few laps.

Use the Bathroom

Let your dog out for his last bathroom opportunity later in the evening. Especially if your dog is younger, he might not have the capacity to last for hours and hours during the night—so, the later you let him out, the longer you’ll naturally have to sleep in. 

Remove the Triggers

Reduce the triggers for wakefulness around your dog’s crate. It’s simple- if your dog doesn’t wake up, he won’t wake you up! Adding in a white noise machine, a crate cover, or a baby gate if he’s not crated to restrict his movement will help him understand that bothering you isn’t an option. 

If all else fails, work incrementally to train him to wake up later. Figure out what his stimuli are, or set a new stimulus (such as the sound of your alarm clock) around when he usually wakes up. Then, move that stimulus later by five minutes every few days, and refuse to get up a second earlier! 

A Dog Trainer Can Help

If you need assistance training your dog, not only with sleeping but everything else — then give us a call! Our trainers at Argos Dog Training use effective techniques to teach your dog proper behaviors, skills, and beyond. Check out our list of dog training courses, including group classes, private sessions, and more in Boston MA. Fill out an online form to request a consultation or give us a call today at 617-302-7467!

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Tips to Socializing Your Puppy

Adding a puppy to the family is often one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the new puppy snuggles and fun of having a new friend, but it’s important to remember the responsibility you have as his owner! In addition to teaching him training commands such as come, stay, sit, and rollover, another important part of what he’ll need to learn is socialization skills. Teaching him to properly interact with other dogs and humans is crucial to ensure he’ll be a happy and well-adjusted puppy. It’ll prevent him from developing fears such as riding in a car, being scared of children, acting inappropriately around house guests, etc. Proper socializing skills will help develop him into a well-mannered companion! Check out our tips to learn how you can help him in learning this important skill. 

When to Socialize 

Between the period of 7 weeks to 4 months old, your puppy goes threw a socialization period that will shape his personality and how he reacts to the outside environment as an adult. Taking advantage of this highly impressionable time is key. Exposing him to as many new places, situations, and people as possible during this time will open up his mind and make a big difference in how he’ll react in the future. 

How to Socialize 

Introduce him to new things: As a puppy, everything is new! Allowing him to explore, and introducing him to as many new sights, sounds, and smells as possible is key. Bring him to all different places, such as the beach, the playground, the woods, and let him take in the scents and sights. Allow him to meet children, seniors, boys, girls, babies, and all different types of people. Let him play with other dogs, cats, and beyond. The more you introduce him to as a puppy, the better of he’ll be! 

Make it Positive: The most important thing to remember when doing these new things with your puppy is making it a positive experience! It’s natural that he may be a little scared and apprehensive with new things, but encouraging him that it’s safe and acting excited will help him. Dogs have a great sense for reading our emotions, and if his owner is excited about it, he will be too! 

Involve Other Family Members: Since you’re trying to introduce your puppy to as many new things as possible and build his confidence, it’ll also help to have other people take part in this socialization process. If he realizes that you’ll always be there when experiencing something new, he may start to rely on you as his “safe space.” Teaching him that he may experience these things no matter who he’s with will be helpful. 

Puppy Training Classes 

As a new puppy owner, it can be overwhelming to teach your dog all these new skills on your own! Leaning on the help of a professional can be highly beneficial for you both. At Argos Dog Training, we offer group and private training sessions to help your dog learn socialization skills, among many other commands. Check out our training programs, and contact us today to get started! 

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Tips to Stop Your Dog From Biting

When training your puppy, there are many commands, behaviors, and tricks he’ll need to learn. It can be overwhelming for both you and him, especially if this is your first fur friend. However, it’s important to stay consistent and teach him the necessary skills before bad habits form. For example, if you have a biter, you’ll want to nip this behavior in the bud as early as possible. We have some tips to help you to get your puppy to stop biting.

Say NO 

Although some dog trainers will tell you that using the word “no” is never the way to go. While we don’t want to scare our dogs, it is necessary to make it clear what behaviors are unacceptable. Firmly saying “no” when your dog is biting can be an effective way to get the message across. It’s important to make sure it doesn’t come off as giving him the attention that he desires.

Turn Your Back or Walk Away 

Often times if your puppy is biting you, he’s seeking attention. Therefore, if you want him to stop, it can be effective to either turn your back or walk away. Essentially, you’re giving him the cold shoulder. Once he realizes that this behavior is not giving him the attention he wants, he’ll likely stop and try a new method. 

Say Ouch

When your puppy bites you, sometimes it can be effective if you yelp or yell “ouch” in a high-pitched voice. Letting your dog know that he’s being too rough is key. He doesn’t want to hurt you, so he’ll feel bad if he thinks he did. After yelling ouch, turn away and ignore him for a short amount of time to see how he reacts. For some puppies, this can get them more riled up, so you’ll want to test this method out and see how it works. 

Contact Argos Dog Training

These are just a few of the ways you can try to get your puppy to stop biting. If you’re still having trouble with this behavior, our trainers are here to help! We offer private dog training to give your pup the one on one attention he may need. Check out the other dog training options we offer here, and get in contact with us today! 

 

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Using Positive Reinforcement for Dog Training

Training your dog is an essential, and sometimes challenging, part of his puppy days. However,  using positive reinforcement can be a highly effective tactic during training sessions. Just as us humans like to be congratulated when we’ve done a good job on something, dogs react especially well to a little praise. It is fairly simple to use this tactic with your dog, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order for it to be successful. Use this guide for your next training session and see how your puppy responds!

Timing is key

It’s important to keep in mind that dogs have a short attention span. Because of this, the reward needs to be immediately following the action that you are happy with. This will allow them to associate the positive reaction with the specific behavior and they will likely remember it next time. If you, for example, wait until you go home to give them a treat, they will not remember why they are getting the treat.

How often to give treats

If you do choose to give treats as positive reinforcement, it’s a fine line you walk with how many and when they should be given. Since the end goal is to get him to do the behavior on his own without a treat, you don’t want him to become reliant and only react when he sees treats. When your dog is first learning a behavior, use “continuous reinforcement,” rewarding him every time he does the behavior. Once he starts to learn the behavior, switch to intermittent reinforcement, only rewarding him every few times. Use a variable schedule of reinforcement, so that your dog doesn’t catch on and only respond when he knows a treat is coming. If you switch it up, he will learn that if he keeps repeating the behavior, eventually the treat will come.

Be consistent

One of the most important things you can do to make training painless for you and your dog is to be consistent. If you reward your dog from staying away from the table at dinner time, but then invite him to come and eat your scraps after dinner, you will cause confusion. Your dog doesn’t have the ability to know when dinner is over, so it is unfair to assume that he can differentiate when he is allowed vs. when he is not. Layout ground rules with your family and stick to them at all times.

Contact Argos Dog Training

Positive reinforcement can be highly effective when training your dog. If you need assistance or more tips and tricks, contact the experts at Argos Dog Training!

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