Puppy Training During a Pandemic
At Potter Paws many of our classes, including puppy training, are going ahead but with the slight tweak that we currently meet on Zoom for group classes. For those of you who have recently had a furry little addition to the family, this isn’t as strange as you might think…
Lots of new dog owners look at me quizzically when I tell them puppy training can be done virtually, but I want to let you in on a little secret: puppies that have started their training on Zoom (or an online course) and then ended up coming along to in-person classes have better foundations than the ones we see face-to-muzzle in the first place. But why?
What is puppy training all about?
Well, puppy training is about getting your dog used to responding to you, your voice and your instructions. However, put an excitable four-legged ball of fur into a field with some similar little creatures and what happens? That’s right, puppies find it more difficult to focus and become easily distracted by each other!
Play and socialisation is, of course, really important for puppies as well, but it’s much more beneficial (and less likely to result in a negative experience) if it’s done once they are able to focus on their owner and respond to some simple cues which allow you to stay in control of the situation.
When we train you and your pup virtually, we focus on getting the basics sorted. The focus and connection are part of this, along with getting used to being on a lead and, of course, forming a bond between you.
It’s playtime, not crazy time
Play between any dogs, but especially puppies, does need to be controlled in order to make sure all parties are comfortable, and no-one is going to end up having an unpleasant experience. If one dog is more timid or uncertain whereas another is confident and full on it can potentially cause a problem, by instilling a fear of other dogs or of playtime. If your puppy can learn to wait to be properly ‘introduced’ to another dog, rather than bowling towards them, all feet, tongue and fluff, then both dogs can have a sniff and interact if they both decide that’s what they want to do.
And this is exactly what puppy training in the safety of your home allows. You and your dog (and all the other members of your family) can form a bond, learn cues and how to work together to ensure lots of fun times can be had without getting out of control. By the time we see you at an in-person class, you’ll have a more confident companion who is able to control their excitement and get the right things from socialisation.
Targeting your training
Online puppy training also enables us to focus on particular scenarios – such as being troublesome around the house – be that chewing, jumping up or barking at the doorbell. With puppies, there is a window of opportunity when it comes to training them in the basics – the younger they start, the better and, of course, by using Zoom, they don’t need to have had their injections so they can attend almost immediately after you get them home.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need any special equipment to train your puppy. In fact, if you learn how to train them while at home on Zoom, it’ll be easier for you to recreate your training whenever you want to top up on the skills.
So, if you’re worried about lockdown impacting on your puppy’s behaviour, just get in touch and book a training session. All you need is you, your pup and a desire to learn. Visit us at https://www.potterpaws.co.uk/
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