You and Your Puppy.
Getting a new puppy makes for a fun and interesting time! You probably went to a breeder, a pet store or maybe saw an ad on the Internet or in a newspaper, and decided to just check it out. Before you knew it, those adoring eyes and that fluffy bundle of cuteness had your heart melting and you were headed home with a puppy in your arms. If you are like most new pet owners, you had visions of playing fetch, of watching him frolic at the beach, and of cuddling up on cold nights.
However, you probably failed to realise that the behaviours you dream of in a dog do not come naturally. In fact, the more natural behaviours for most puppies include lovely things like chewing up your favourite shoes, barking every second of the day, and peeing wherever they are when they need to go. These behaviours might seem cute at first or even manageable but if left unchecked they can lead to a very bad adult dog.
The problem with puppies that are not trained is that they grow into untrained dogs. An untrained dog can be a nuisance. All of that cute little yipping can quickly become loud barking that becomes tiresome as it keeps you and your neighbours up at nights. The little teeth marks in your shoes can turn into destroyed furniture and a destroyed home before you know it.
Untrained dogs can also be very dangerous as they become unpredictable. All dogs can bite. It is in their nature to defend with everything they have, including their teeth. Your pet needs to learn that its not appropriate to use their teeth so that no one winds up hurt, at least not when they are playing with you. While we all expect our dog to protect us in a worst-case scenario, you should train your dog to be non-confrontational. Dogs that pose a danger to the community are at risk of being put down.
In addition dogs that are problematic for any of the reasons listed above often wind up homeless. People grow tired of dogs that do not behave, then these dogs due to no fault of their own, can end up in a pound or being abandoned. We all know how sad life can be for a pound dog and the fate that many of those dogs meet. If you really love your new puppy and intend to have a long and happy life with it, training is key. By training your dog you teach them how to live in your world and increase the likelihood that your life together will be long and happy for you both .
Dogs have been domesticated around the world for more than 15,000 years. Because of this long term human companionship, the puppy that you adopt today needs you to care for it. Domesticated dogs are not truly able to live by themselves in the wild. They are not adapted to living outside and foraging for food. Indeed the dog you adopt today needs you and yearns to please you. That desire to please their master is the reason that dogs are so easily trainable.
The dogs that we have as pets have what is called social intelligence. This enables them to read your visual and verbal cues and adapt their behaviour to it. While each dog will train at a different pace and through different ways, the majority of domestic dogs are trainable.
Just like humans, dogs go through a series of cognitive development. Puppies, like babies, learn to interact with the world around them at around eight weeks of age. They will also mimic behaviours early in life, so if you already have one well behaved dog your puppy can learn from it.