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How to Teach Your Puppy Their Name

How to Teach Your Puppy Their Name

How to Start Teaching Your Puppy Their Name: #1 Step - Have a bunch of yummy treats ready to give your puppy as rewards! #2 Step - Wait until your puppy is looking away and then call their name in an excited happy tone. Use praise and treats to encourage them to come to their name. #3 Step - Have treats on you and randomly call out your pups name throughout the day, reward them when they come of course! Trouble Shooting Response to Name: If your pup isn't responding when you excitedly call to them, try mixing up the rewards you're using. You want to make certain that you're using a reward they find highly valuable. Usually treats that are extra smelly and extra squishy are a safe bet! The next thing you'll want to adjust if they're still struggling, is your setting and surroundings. Are you in a quiet place or somewhere where they're being easily distracted? Adjust your settings as needed. In the beginning it's normal for your dog to become easily distracted, try moving to a quiet living room or even a bedroom if needed. Next up, you'll want to begin playing the name game with them. The name game is exactly what it sounds like. You'll want to shout out their name and expect their attention. When they give you their attention, always be sure to praise and reward that good behavior. Important Things to Avoid: #1 Keep Their Name Paired with Only Positive Associations Avoid pairing their name with bad associations like "Rover, No!" or calling their name with a bad association like "Rover, quiet!." #2 Don't Say Their Name Multiple Times If you get in the habit of calling their name multiple times like "Wally, Wally, Wally!" Then you're dog will start expecting their name called that many times in order to respond to you. #3 Don't Practice in a Large Area When you're starting out, you want to minimize the amount of distractions your puppy has around them. Don't start in a crowded party area or a busy dog park. Stick to your quiet living room, work up to more difficult environments. #4 Don't Get in the Habit of Saying Their Name Before Every Command If you get in the habit of saying their name before every command, it becomes an expected part of the command. For example "Rover sit" , "Rover stay," Rover come." If you teach these commands with their name attached, they become an expected part of the command. Meaning, Rover may not understand the command being asked of them if his name is not attached to the command. #5 Be sure to Mark & Reward their Correct Responses Immediately! Dogs are especially responsive to positive reinforcement training! This means that any time you'd like to see a behavior repeated, mark it with a positive word and give them a treat immediately after. Dogs are very live in the moment types of creatures. If you for example, asked your dog for a sit, then got up to get them a treat from the next room over. Be aware that they are likely not to make the connection to what it is they are being rewarded for. This is why keeping treats all over the house is so helpful with young pups! That way you'll never miss out on an opportunity to reward a behavior you'd like to see again.

The Top 5 Commands to Teach Your New Puppy

The Top 5 Commands to Teach Your New Puppy

#1 Come Teaching your puppy to come when called is one of the most important commands you'll ever teach them. Come is a life-saving command that can be used to avoid danger, like for instance if your dog slips their collar running after a cat on a busy street. When teaching come to a new puppy, keep in mind that you may also have to teach them their name. Puppies don't automatically understand what a name is just because they hear the word repeatedly. It's crucial to teach them that when they hear their name, you're talking to them. Teaching come should start in a quiet low distraction environment, like your living room. At first you'll simply want to take a few steps back and encourage them to come towards you, when they do, you'll want to praise and reward them. This process should be repeated in various settings and with distractions present for it to become a reliable command. # 2 Stay Stay is arguably just as vital as "come." It's another command that you'll want to prioritize in your training. Stay can be used in a multitude of settings and it's a great command to use to counteract an undesirable behavior. For example, for dogs who have a tendency to jump, it can be used to keep them in a stationary position so that they're not able to perform that behavior. Stay can also be used to counteract any sort of herding or chasing behavior your dog does. Certain herding breeds have a tendency to want to "herd" people, especially small children. Having a solid stay command will prove very useful when you need to interrupt a behavior like this that could be potentially dangerous. # 3 Sit While sit is not as crucial as come and stay, it is still a top priority for new dog owners. Sit is a very easy command to teach and when your dog is able to learn a skill like this, you're also teaching them how to learn new skills in general. Sit can be taught in as little as 5 minutes. It is important to note that you want to avoid using physical direction (like pushing their butt down.) The main reason for this is that when you train a dog with physical instruction, they then become dependent on that interaction. For example, if you dog thinks that sit should happen when I feel my owners hand on my butt, then what happens when you're across the room? Or the park? This is why teaching with verbal commands is highly recommended. We also suggest pairing verbal commands with hand signals, like moving your palm downwards. # 4 Leave it Leave it is a command that you'll want to have in your back pocket for those times when your dog starts barking at the neighbors, when you pass a dirty tissue on the sidewalk, when your dog discovers the kitty litter box, and SO much more. Leave it will be especially useful when you're able to generalize it to other behaviors. First you'll want to train your puppy how to leave a treat alone, then you can work up to toys, and more difficult items. Once your dog is able to respond to this command inside your house, you can then start using it outside. You'll want to practice using it in your yard, parks, and while out on walks. The more practice your dog has with this one, the better! It's a great way on introducing obedience training with an impulse control related skill. # 5 Drop it In the event that your new puppy decides to pick up that dirty tissue you pass on the street or the treasures inside the cat's litter box, you'll want a reliable "drop it" command to save the day. You can drop drop it and leave it in the same way, the only difference is with leave it, you'll want to be sure you never actually give them the item you're telling them to leave. This is because later on if you tell them to leave some deer poop for example, you don't want them to think the "leave it" command means I hold off and stay for a second, then I get to have it. Drop it can be used with all of items your puppy will likely want to pick up including your shoes, your shoe strings, your sweater, etc. In the beginning you'll want to be sure that you are rewarding them heavily when they drop an item they aren't supposed to have. This is mainly important while your puppy is developing good habits, but later on in your dog's life you'll want to phase our the heavy rewards and instead use praise and proper expectations to manage these situations. These top 5 commands will get you and your pup started off strong! At Dogs of Denver, we are happy to help you on your way. For more new puppy training tips, we recommend our Obedience Training Course. If you have questions about how to get started, contact us to get some further direction.

How to Find the Best Puppy Training in Denver

How to Find the Best Puppy Training in Denver

Making Your Pick Choosing the right trainer for is a very personal decision and Denver offers various options to go with. There are countless ways to train puppies, and just like with teachers, not all trainers agree on the best training methods to use. This is why doing your research to find the best fit for you is imperative. There are two distinctly different types of training in the dog raising world right now, positive reinforcement based and punishment based or "pack mentality" based. Depending on which type you go with, your experience will be drastically different. Positive reinforcement trainers are those who use praise and rewards to teach puppies how to go potty outside, be calm in their crate, listen to commands, and communicate effectively. Where as punishment based trainers, also sometimes referred to as "balanced trainers," use force, intimidation, and "corrections" to stop a dog from doing the behaviors they don't like. It's extremely important to understand the differences before selecting the best puppy training option for you and your new family member. The American Kennel Club and Companion Animal Psychology both recommend. ALWAYS looking for a positive reinforcement trainer. Primarily because the techniques used are based on the science of animal learning and they have the benefit of building the dog and owner's bond. Punishment based training also had the huge downfall of potentially making the problems worse. These types of trainers typically use physical actions to get the dog to listen, like forcing their butt down to get a sit. They're also commonly known for using harmful training tools like e-collars, choke chains, and prong collars. Although 20+ years ago these methods would have been considered "normal," times have changed. In 2021 we now have numerous alternatives to choking or shocking our puppies. The gentler leader, for example, is a great alternative for those dogs who have a hard time with pulling. This tool causes absolutely no pain and is even more effective than the previous used tools. You also don't run the risk of accidentally damaging your relationship with your dog or even worse, cause your dog an injury like a collapsed trachea. How Will I Know if They are the Right Trainer for my Dog? Other than making sure they are purely positive reinforcement trainers, the best thing to do is simply ask them. Ask them about their training methods and ask if they use any type of harmful tools to teach. Be upfront about the fact that you will not be ok with any other type of treatment for your new puppy. Most trainers who are in fact positive-based, will usually proudly come out saying so. Looking at their previous clients reviews is another great way to gauge their interactions with others and see if you find any red flag language like "forced the dog to submit" or "assert dominance." These terms will never be used by positive trainers. Be sure to give a fair assessment of their reviews because sometimes it is the clients who are voicing these words and they're not always coming from the trainers. Should I Take my New Puppy to a Training Class? While training classes can be a good options for socialization, they often don't give the same results as one-on-one training. This is mainly because classroom settings can be overwhelming for a new puppy. They do often cover the basics like sit, stay, come, but they don't usually have the dedicated time to answer any questions you may have as a new puppy owner. Especially considering questions around potty training and crate training, since these aren't things your dog would be able to learn in a training class. However puppy training classes do provide the right environment for your dog to make friends with strangers and other dogs as well. This is a process known as socialization. It has been determined by experts to be a critical stage in your puppies' life. They should be interacting with other dogs in order to learn proper dog greetings and play styles. This also gives them an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe and caring environment rather than a free for all at the neighborhood dog park. Trainers should always be monitoring the puppies when they are training or playing near others in class to ensure all inappropriate play is broken up. This the best way to go if you do need to get them in a class situation. Ideally, getting them started with one-on-one training lessons is going to give you the best, most effective training results. Our trainers are all certified and we have several puppy training options in the Denver area. Let us help you give your puppy the best head start in life! Contact us today to get started.

Why Isn’t My Dog Listening?

Why Isn’t My Dog Listening?

Are you frustrasted with your dog ignoring you? Not quite sure what you're doing wrong? Dogs of Denver is here for you! Our trainers are experts at figuring out what the problem is and solving it. If you're at your wits end and need the help of a professional trainer in the Denver metro area, Contact Us! We can get you back to feeling good about your relationship with your dog again. After all, they are meant to be our best friends. 1. They Might Be Too Distracted ➢ Dogs should be taught new skills in a distraction-free environment, or a low-distraction environment. Starting somewhere like a quiet living room for example is wonderful. ➢ Once your dog has the behavior down you can then start moving to more distracted environments. But remember every time you change the environment you have to reteach the skill from an easier level. ➢ The reason for this is that dogs don't generalize well. Meaning, just because they know how to sit in your living room doesn’t mean they know how to sit in the park. This is why it’s important to teach them skills in many different environments. ➢ Once they have practiced in a variety of settings we can then increase the level of distractions. For example, we can practice sitting in a park with dogs at a far distance and then practice sitting in a park with dogs within 10 feet. ➢ These exercises must be done in steps to achieve the best progress. If you go from asking for a sit in your living room to asking for a sit in a crowded dog park, your dog will likely not respond. 2. They Might Not Be Motivated ➢ When you’re asking for a behavior from your dog who may be distracted by their environment you should always offer them something to engage their attention and make it worth their while. ➢ In the later stages of training your dog should be able to follow instructions with ease but in the beginning stages you want to entice them to listen to you over any and all other distractions. We do this by using high value rewards. ➢ High value rewards are the things your dog finds more valuable than anything else. These can be treats like real chicken, cheese, or hotdogs. These can also be your dog’s favorite toys like a tennis ball or tug toy. ➢ Find the things your dog loves most in the world and use these as their rewards. 3. You Might Not Be Giving Clear Signals ➢ If your dog looks like they are giving you their full attention but they are not responding to your request, they might not understand your signal. ➢ Go back to practicing your signal for the behavior in a distraction-free environment to make sure your dog understands the behavior you are asking for. ➢ Whether you are using a hand signal or a verbal cue, make sure you are being consistent with your delivery of the signal. ➢ Dogs are very intune with our body language so even slight adjustments in our movements while giving the signal can cause confusion. How to Set Your Dog Up for Success ➢ If your dog is struggling with the behavior, go back to where they were previously successful and build up difficulty from that point. ➢ After asking for the behavior, give your dog a few moments to process your request. ➢ If they are not responding adjust the circumstances before asking for the behavior again. For example, if you call your dog to come from play with another dog and they don't, move closer to them before asking again. ➢ Reward them for small steps in the right direction. For example, if they look up at you when you call them, praise them and then call again. If you've gone through all of the above steps and are still struggling, getting in touch with a professional trainer might be the logical next step for you. Dogs of Denver is here to help get you back on your feet!

Looking for Dog Training in Englewood, CO?

Looking for Dog Training in Englewood, CO?

Today Were Explaining the Keys to Crate Training If you're looking for a dog trainer in Englewood CO to help you with potty training your puppy, we can help! Our trainers are masters of potty training and can get you on the right track in no time at all. You can read more about us and our training services here. We've been helping new puppy owners all over the Denver metro area for years. Check out our service options & book with us today! Main Points of Crate Training ➢ Crates are designed to resemble dens that wild dogs would make. Your dog’s natural instincts are to find a den to make their safe place. They see their dens as somewhere to be comfortable, find solitude, and sleep. Make their crate a happy place for them to be. ➢ Crates are an excellent potty training tool because dogs don’t like to go potty in the same space they sleep in. This teaches them to hold it until their potty break outside. ➢ If you don’t like the idea of keeping your dog in a crate, you can always phase out the crate after potty training is complete. ➢ Crates keep your puppy safe from getting into trouble or possibly damaging items around your home while you’re away. ➢ Crates should ​never​ be used for punishment and you should ​never​ force your dog in their crate. This will create a bad association with the crate. If a dog starts to fear their crate, they won’t want to go inside it and you may end up having to force them in every time. Instead use treats and their favorite toys to entice them to go in. ➢ Dogs can hold their urine and stool for the same amount of hours as they are months old. For example, a 5 month old dog can hold it for 5 hours. ➢ Limit their time in the crate. If your dog can only hold it for 5 hours then be sure that they are not spending more than 5 hours in the crate. ➢ Dogs are social creatures, they can become depressed and anxious if they are kept in a crate too long. Be sure to get the help of friends, family, or a dog walker to make sure your dog's needs are being met. ➢ During potty training the crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie back down. If they have enough room to go potty on one side and then sleep on the other, they will. After potty training you can make it bigger and more comfy for them. The crates that can expand as the puppy grows work fantastic for training. Step 1 - Introducing Your Dog to The Crate ➢ Place the crate in a common area of your home where you spend the most time, like a living room or kitchen. ➢ Allow the dog to investigate on their own. Don’t rush the process, we want them to have positive feelings about their crate. ➢ Place some favorite treats and toys inside for them along with a soft blanket or towel. ➢ Give them the opportunity to go in and out by leaving the door open at first. Encourage them to enter the crate with praise. If they don’t want to go all the way in at first, that’s ok. This process can take a few hours or a few weeks. Let them go at their own pace. ➢ If it takes a while for them to warm up to their crate and you need to leave them somewhere safe while you’re gone, you can set up baby gates to puppy proof an area if needed or use a small puppy proofed room. Step 2 - Getting Your Dog to Love Their Crate ➢ It’s normal for your dog to be uncomfortable about being separated from you at first. We have to teach them that being in the crate is ok, that they are safe, and that nothing bad is going to happen. We do this by making their crate a wonderful place to be. ➢ Start this process by feeding their meals inside of their crate. This will build their positive association with the crate. ➢ Once they are comfortable going inside, gradually increase the time they’re in there. Start with a minute or two. Build up to longer periods of time. ➢ Put the dog in their crate for small periods of time throughout the day when people are around. If the dog is only put in the crate when you leave they will start to think that the crate means my humans are leaving and I’m going to be all alone. ➢ Puppies need 15-20 hours of sleep a day so giving them a nice cozy place to nap is a great way to let them get used to their crate. You can leave the door open at times when you are home so they are free to come and go. Step 3 - Troubleshooting Crate Training ➢ It’s normal for dogs to whine and bark in the beginning stages. But it’s important for them to learn how to soothe themselves in this experience. Dogs can develop separation anxiety if they don’t learn how to cope with being left alone. ➢ Although it may be hard, you will only encourage these behaviors if you give in and let them out. Once they learn that whiny and barking will get them out they will continue these behaviors. Give them some time to soothe themselves. ➢ However, if you are unsure if they are whining for attention or because they have to go out, always take them out to be safe. Once you become familiar with your dog's habits it’ll become easier for you to tell if it’s a call for attention or for a potty break. ➢ Talking to them or yelling at them to stop is still giving them your attention, even though it’s negative attention, any form of attention will encourage your dog to continue. ➢ Consider moving the crate into your bedroom for bedtime. Your dog could benefit from the comfort of being near you. This will also make it easier for you to know if they need to go potty. ➢ When leaving the house don’t prolong goodbyes, keep them short and sweet. This practice will encourage relaxed behavior for your departures and won’t draw their focus to the fact that they are being left alone. ➢ For dogs with separation anxiety using a crate is likely not a good choice. If your dog is panicking in their crate and not able to soothe themselves then consider other options. Baby gated areas and exercise pens can be a good alternative to a crate. You can also consider a pet sitter or doggy day care. If you're struggling with crate training, both our Obedience Courses will help get you the training you need. You can Contact Us today to schedule your consultation or book your training service.

Positive Reinforcement VS. Punishment-Based Training

Positive Reinforcement VS. Punishment-Based Training

What is Positive Reinforcement Training? Positive reinforcement training is the practice of training your dog through praising and rewarding their good behavior. These methods of training have been thoroughly studied and scientifically proven to be the most effective. Positive reinforcement training focuses on building a strong bond between you and your dog. Creating this relationship results in your dog listening to you and respecting you because they truly want to. How Does it Work? Positive reinforcement training uses classical conditioning and operant conditioning to train dogs how to perform behaviors, how to socialize well with others, how to feel comfortable in their environment, and how to positively interact with the world around them. Classical conditioning is practice of pairing positive reinforcement like treats with new experiences like meeting other dogs. Through operant conditioning, behaviors are learned by repeatedly rewarding desired behaviors. Operant conditioning is the practice of giving your dog the opportunity to work for a reward like asking for a sit and then giving them a reward for sitting. Once the dog understands that doing a certain behavior earns them a reward, they continue to perform the behavior. Alternatively, undesirable behaviors are prevented and managed using techniques that reduce their frequency and then extinguish them altogether. Positive reinforcement training uses scientifically backed animal learning theory. Both the Dog Trainers Association of America and the United States Humane Society recommend these training methods over any other training method. Dog Obedience Training should be a top priory for any new puppy or dog in your home! Building a relationship through obedience training gets your life together started off on the right paw. We use positive training methods to teach your dog new skills, how to handle new situations, and how to listen to you. Positive training methods have been scientifically proven to be more successful than other teaching styles. We never use force, fear, or intimidation to train. All of our lessons are filled with praise and fun, so training is enjoyable! We strive to make training with your pup a great bonding experience. What is Punishment Based Training? Punishment based training is the practice of training your dog by punishing bad behaviors through the use of intimidation or inflicting pain. Many people are unaware that dogs only have a 1-3 second learning period after they have done a behavior to understand whether it was good or bad. This is why punishment is an extremely ineffective way to train. It is very unlikely that your dog will understand what it is they are being punished for. This is also why we have to be quick with our praise and treats when we use positive reinforcement training. Punishment based methods were mainly used throughout the 80’s and 90’s until studies brought to light how significant the negative effects were. Sadly, there are still some trainers who use these methods which has made it hard for the public to know which methods they should really be using to train their dog. Why Punishment Can Have Disastrous Effects If your dog fears you due to repeated punishment, you will not have a dog who is eager to work for you or do what you ask of them. You will instead have a dog who is afraid to respond to your requests because they fear punishment. A dog who is fearful is much more likely to bite and have major aggression issues down the road. Many dogs who develop fear of humans because of repeated punishment end up in the shelter system. There is a fine line between punishment and abuse. Punishment does not have to be out of cruel intentions but it can have extreme effects. For example, if a person came home to an accident on the floor and then grabbed their dog by the collar, dragged them over to it and yelled at them, they might not mean any harm by this. They might just intend to teach their dog not to go in the house. The problem is from their dog's perspective they have already passed the time period where they can even remember why they are being punished and are now only learning to be fearful of the person. Repeated experiences like the one just described can create a dog who is afraid of human hands coming towards their face or their collar. Since dogs most commonly bite out of fear you can see how this can quickly turn into a dangerous situation. Now imagine if a child goes up to that dog and tugs on their collar, this is a recipe for a bite and it’s likely they’ll now be another dog who ends up in a shelter. Dogs who are frequently yelled at, physically restrained, or caused pain by prong collars or shocking devices, have a high chance of developing fear, anxiety, and aggression. All of our trainers use positive reinforcement training techniques. We do not support the use of any harmful training tools like prong collars, choke chains, or electronic collars. These tools were developed before we had the knowledge that we do now about how dogs learn. Using fear or painful tools to train can cause a lot more harm than many people realize. To the untrained eye many of the old techniques look like they work just fine. But what we now know is that down the road there are many behavior issues that can arise after they are used. For example, you may see a trainer use a shock collar on a dog to stop them from barking but if this dog gets overwhelmed enough and becomes fearful you may now have a bite to deal with instead of a bark. It's always vital to find the source of the behavior, figuring out why a dog is acting a certain way and changing that emotion is how we can best help them. We stand by our positive reinforcement training methods and their effectiveness. All dogs who go through our training programs will be trained with the best training techniques available. Contact us now to get your dog trained by one of our certified trainers now.

3 Most Important Things to Teach Your Puppy

3 Most Important Things to Teach Your Puppy

# 1 Priority Training for Your Puppy - Potty Training One of the most important lessons to start with is potty training your puppy. Before you even enroll them in a puppy training class, this first initial challenge will come up. This training should begin as soon as you bring your new puppy home. If this is your first ever puppy or your first puppy in a long time, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into the whole process. The best way to start out is by creating a schedule and sticking to it! Keep in mind that when puppies are 8-10 weeks old, they can only be expected to hold it for about 2 hours, so that means lots of potty breaks. In addition to having a strict schedule, utilizing a crate can be extremely helpful during this phase. Having your pup safely secured in a crate is one of the best ways to prevent them from having accidents when you're not able to directly supervise them. The crate can act as a sort of baby sitter while you wash the dishes or run to the supermarket. In the times where you are able to supervise them, it's always best to give them a chance to go outside before allowing them to roam in the house. Be sure to block off any areas of the house where they could wander off to and have an accident without anyone noticing. In the beginning it's best to keep their world small. In addition to the crate you can also use a play pen or baby gates to give them a "puppy proofed" area to play in. Starting this training early is a huge step in your puppies life with you. We recommend getting started with one of our private puppy training classes to get the holy grail of potty training. #2 Crate Training Your Puppy Some new owners love the idea of a crate while others cringe at the idea of keeping their pup locked up. Whether or not you plan to keep your puppy crated is of course up to you. However, even dogs that aren't crated as adults can still benefit from using one for a few months as a puppy. Having a new puppy in your home often leads to many things becoming chew on, peed on, or destroyed. The first few months can be tough as you figure out just how many things look like chew toys to your pup. Things that you would have never imagined like remotes or glasses can become your dogs new favorite toy. Not to mention all the shoes and socks that they discover. Even something as harmless as a sock can quickly turn in a $1,000 vet bill if they accidentally swallow it. Some puppies will gravitate towards phone chargers or electric cords which can end up causing even more harm. At the end of the day, using a crate temporarily to keep your puppy safe can literally be a life saver. You wouldn't leave an infant free to roam around the house by themselves, that's where the beauty of a crib comes in. You can think of your dog's crate as a sort of crib. Their crate should never be used for punishment. It should always be seen as a safe place from them. Keeping them crated means that while you're not able to watch them, you can rest easy knowing that they won't be chewing on electric cables or fishing wrappers out of the garbage. Having that security and safety is a huge benefit to crate training. The other major benefit to crate training is the way it can speed up your potty training process. The crate enables you to predict when your puppy will need to go potty. The reason this works so well is because dogs typically don't like to eliminate in the same area that they sleep in. This means that while they're in the crate they learn how to hold it and your job is simply to take them immediately outside as soon as they exit the crate. Creating a predictable crating and potty training schedule really helps to move this process right along. Another great advantage to crates is their ability to safety transport your dog from one place to another. For example in the car, on a plane, or into a grooming facility. Typically both veterinarians and groomers will also have your dog in a crate-like structure during their stay. This keeps them safe from the other animals around them and gives them a quiet place to relax and hang out while they're waiting their turn. If your dog is already accustom to being in a crate then this is usually an easy transition for them. However, if this is your dogs first experience with a crate, it can turn into an overly emotional event fairly quickly. After you can trust that your dog won't have accidents around the house anymore or destroy things in your absence, the crate can become just another tool that gets stored in your garage for a rainy day. Maybe you'll need it for a road trip or a plane ride someday but it doesn't need to be a part of your house after it's served it's purpose. On the other hand for some dogs, the crate can become like a sort of bedroom to them and they actually prefer it to be around so that they can go into it to relax. #3 Socializing Your Puppy Socialization for your puppy should be something you think about well before you even bring them home! It is one of the most important parts to bringing up a well-rounded pup. The reason socialization takes such a front row seat in your training is because you have a short period of time while they're still young to properly expose them to new things. This is what's called the "socialization period." Some experts say it ends at 3 months while others say it could be as long as 6 or 7 months, but all experts agree no matter the age that the golden rule is: the sooner, the better. Puppies have the wonderful ability to quickly bounce back from things that scare them or startle them. This is one of the main reasons socialization is crucial for young dogs. This is the time period where they should be interacting with as many new dogs, people, and environments as possible. Dogs who have been exposed to an abundance of things while they're young, have a much better chance of being comfortable lots of things in the future. If on the other hand they're not exposed to lots of new things, you can start to see some anxiety or aggression related behaviors develop later on in life. The good news is that this is completely avoidable for most dogs. All you have to do is get them out into the world as much as possible! We cover how to get your puppies properly socialized in all our our puppy training classes. Contact Us to learn more!

How to Train Your Dog Effectively

How to Train Your Dog Effectively

Having a dog is one of the best joys in life. But sometimes, your dog may need some guidance on how to behave. Behavioral issues can occur at any time, especially if your pup is stressed or experiencing a change in environment. The best way to train your dog is through positive reinforcement. This training technique focuses on a reward system. Basically, your dog gets a reward for good behavior, while bad behavior gets ignored. The positive reinforcement reward system is easy for you too. One of the biggest advantages is that you’ll get to spend more time making memories with your best friend and less time trying to fix their bad behavior! Read on to learn about positive reinforcement and other training methods. Keep Boredom at Bay Bad behavior is often triggered by a lack of mental or sensory stimuli. Dogs who are bored behave badly for attention more often than those who are happily occupied. Examples of boredom-related behaviors include excessive barking, digging, or jumping. Essentially, your pup is just trying to get your attention. Keep your dog’s mind stimulated with positive training sessions that help them burn energy and have fun learning at the same time. Implementing more outdoor playtime can also decrease boredom and help to keep your dog from acting out. Whenever your dog shows positive behavioral traits, reward them with treats and praise. The behaviors that you reward are the behaviors that will be repeated. Focus on Fun It’s easy to focus on performing fun tasks with your dog. After all, dogs are intelligent creatures who value quality time with their humans. Boosting this quality time in fun ways shows your canine that good behavior equals more fun with you. Use fun and playtime as one of your rewards to them. You’ll notice your dog’s behavior change drastically once they recognize their new reward system. Their eagerness to learn and get rewards will often times outweigh their need to act out. Build Communication A key component of positive reinforcement is communication. Even though you can’t speak the same language, your dog can understand how you feel. They can, in fact, pick up on body language and tone of voice. However, it’s easier for them to perceive positive praise rather than negative actions. For example, let’s say you reprimand your dog for peeing on the couch. They can understand you are upset, but not necessarily what you're upset about. So, they will most likely still urinate on the couch, just not when you are around. With positive reinforcement, you would reward your dog for peeing in the backyard with a treats and praise. They’ll then associate a reward with this good behavior and seek to do it again. Strengthen Your Relationship These days, our dogs usually become an extremely important family member. They are some of the best companions because of their loyalty and trust. You can have a relationship with your dog just like you do with other people in your life. Positive reinforcement training helps you to strengthen this relationship with your canine friend. You and your dog are more likely to enjoy each other’s company with communication, fun, and rewards. Much like a human relationship, a dog’s relationship with you should be appreciated and nurtured. Dog & Puppy Training in Denver The best way to instill positive reinforcement is through patience and consistency. If you need help with this or other types of training, Dogs of Denver Training Co. can help. Contact us with questions or concerns regarding dog & puppy training options.

Behavior Benefits of Chew Toys & Puzzles

Behavior Benefits of Chew Toys & Puzzles

The Behavior Benefits Chew toys and puzzle games provide your dog with physical and mental stimulation. Studies show that dogs with adequate mental and physical exercise are not only healthier, they also have less behavior problems. These toys provide your dog with something to focus on and direct their energy toward which will in turn reduce those unwanted behaviors such as barking, whining, and being destructive. Decreases Stress, Anxiety, & Boredom Chewing releases serotonin in your dog's brain which produces a calming effect. When dogs are anxious they will often seek out things to chew to relieve those feelings. Boredom can also lead to these similar unwanted behaviors. When a dog is bored they will find things to fill their time that us humans don’t always approve of like digging up the garden or barking at everyone who passes the house. Having something to entertain themselves with while they are at the same time relieving anxiety is a win-win situation. Chewing Helps Teething & Prevents Dental Issues Chewing eases painful gums in teething puppies. Freezing a chew toy is a great way to provide your puppy with a toy to both occupy their time and soothe their gums. Chewing will also provide dental benefits throughout your dog's adult life. Chewing scrapes away tartar and cleans teeth which leads to healthier mouths and better breath. Picking the Right Chew Toy or Puzzle for Your Dog Instead of feeding your dog from a food bowl use your dog’s daily kibble in a toy that will provide entertainment for hours. We recommend toys like Kongs, Treat Balls, or Bob-a-Lot toys. Puzzle games like snuffle mats and puzzle feeders are also fantastic options. Find out which toys your dog really loves. You’ll be able to use these throughout their entire life to help with their behavior and boredom. Beware of toys with pieces they can chew off and swallow. Monitor the size of chew toys and bones that reduce in size over time. Be sure to take them away when they get small enough to swallow. Using your dog's daily diet for these toys instead of additional treats is not only cost efficient, it makes your dog's weight easier to maintain. Keys for Kongs Kong toys are undoubtedly one of the best chew toys out there. Their design makes them indestructible to most dogs and easy to fill with food. When stuffing a Kong make sure it’s not packed too tight. You can start with some loose kibble to make it easy for your dog at first. To create a long lasting chew toy you can stuff it with some of their kibble that’s been moistened with water and then pop it in the freezer overnight. In the morning you’ll have a tasty treat that will last for hours. Keeping a handful of these toys in the freezer will make leaving them with a self-entertaining toy an easy thing to fit into your morning routine. Kongs can be stuffed with peanut butter, biscuits, honey, cheese, and many other treats. But keep in mind your dog’s weight management when selecting your stuffing.

Private Dog Training vs. Group Classes

Private Dog Training vs. Group Classes

When it comes to getting Dog Training Services in Denver it is incredibly important to go with a company you can trust. Once you find a company who fits you and your dog well, the next question is what service should you go with? Knowing the pros and cons to different dog training options is the best way to make an informed decision about your dog's training. While training classes were once all the rage, the modern person simply does not have the time to fit in driving to an hour long class where they may or may not learn the training skills they were seeking in the first place. The best way to meet both yours and your dog's needs is often times private training lessons. Group Classes Can be Challenging If you've ever taken a puppy to group training classes then you know, it's not what you would imagine. If you haven't, think about what a class full of high energy pre-schoolers looks like, typically complete chaos. Now these are puppies we're talking about so just imagine how much more complicated things get. The list of things that get in the way of your dog's learning can become incredibly lengthy. Trying to keep your own puppy focused can be tough enough without adding in accidents from dogs who got a little too nervous, barking dogs who just can't seem to calm down, and even aggressive dogs who have not been properly socialized and are now a danger to others. With everything going on in a group class, the best of instructors will try their hardest to keep all of the dogs on track and engaged. But the truth of the matter is, there's usually only one instructor there. If you have a classes of 10 or 15 then it would be physically impossible for them to take the time to make sure every dog is learning. All it takes is one dog who won't stop barking through the class or two dogs to get into a fight and they'll have to stop the entire class to address the problem at hand. To no fault of their own, managing a group training class can become overwhelming for the instructor, and underwhelming for the hopeful owner looking to get their pup started out on a good path in life. Why Professionals Recommend Private Lessons In the early stages on your dog's training, they will be more likely to make mistakes and they will become more easily distracted. These are two of the main reasons why private lessons are usually the best choice. Making mistakes while learning is all a part of the learning process. Dogs are not born knowing how to come when called or how to walk nicely on leash. Mistakes are necessary for learning to take place. We teach them skills over time with a trial and error process. The problem with group classes is that there is no room for mistakes. The instructor won't have time to go around to every dog and help fix the problem they're having. They have a certain amount of time to teach a behavior and then they have to move onto the next one. If your dog didn't get the lesson in that allotted time, they have now fallen behind. Sometimes a simple adjustment of your body language or tone of voice is enough to correct the mistake, but if your instructor doesn't have time to help show you the correct way, then it's a lost cause. With private lessons this is never the case. Your trainer will be working with your dog one-on-one to make sure they learn the correct behaviors and skills. When they make mistakes, your trainer will help guide them to the right decision. There's never any rush to move on to something else without making sure that all the essential training is covered. Private Lessons Avoid Distractions Private lessons provide the opportunity to learn in a distraction-free environment. When your dog is starting to learn anything new, there's always a heightened risk of distractions derailing the training. It's very common for puppies to become easily distracted especially considering they have such a short attention span in the first few months. When you work with a private trainer, you don't have to worry about distractions getting in the way of your dog's learning. Starting out in a quiet, familiar environment gives dogs the very best chance to succeed with their training goals. Private lessons enable your dog to learn in their own home environment, where they can be empowered to learn more, and be surrounded by the people who love them most. Find out more about our Private Dog Training Services, or sign up for an evaluation to get advice on which training is best for your dog.

Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

Check out these healthy and delicious homemade dog treats to help your pup love learning! Recipes Include: Peanut Butter Paws, Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies, Playful Pumpkin Bones. Peanut Butter Paws INGREDIENTS 3 cups old-fashioned oats 1 banana 1/3 cup peanut butter 1 egg 2 tbsp flour (optional) INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Add oats to a food processor for 2 - 3 mins, until oats are almost flour consistency. Add peanut butter, banana and egg to food processor. Mix until dough looks uniform. Roll the dough out to roughly 1/8" thick. Use 2 tbsp flour if too sticky. Cut treats out with paw print cookie cutter and place on baking sheet. Bake for 16 - 18 minutes, rotate trays halfway through.​ Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies INGREDIENTS 2 cups whole wheat flour 1 cup oats ½ heaping cup of peanut butter ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1½ cup warm water INSTRUCTIONS Preheat the oven to 350°F Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Mix all of the dry ingredients into a medium size bowl. Add in peanut butter and warm water. Mix everything together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently a few times. Roll out the dough ¼ to ½” thickness. Cut the dough lengthwise into strips, and then crosswise into bite size squares. Lay them on the parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes. Playful Pumpkin Bones INGREDIENTS 2/3 cup pumpkin puree 1/4 cup peanut butter 2 large eggs 2 1/2 – 3 cups whole wheat flour INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In mixing bowl beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed until uniform. Add additional 1/4 cup flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using bone shaped cookie cutters, cut out bone shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.​

Top Ten Training Tips

Top Ten Training Tips