10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Dogs

  1. All Puppy Schools Are Not Equal

    I don’t know about your experience, but the puppy preschool we attended was full-blown chaos. Heaps of fun, sure. But we spent the next year unlearning the bad habits picked up there. When I finally found a good dog trainer, he shook his head. He’d seen it all before.

Now I know there should be a method to the madness. It’s not enough to throw a bunch of puppies in a room together and call it socialization. You don’t want a puppy preschool that simply lets the pups play and roughhouse in an unstructured way, with much excitement and little control.

As I learned, if it’s one big free-for-all, your puppy will quickly come to associate other dogs with going bonkers. That association lays the foundation for a whole host of problematic behaviors later on. It can be the reason your dog turns into a wild thing when you’re out walking and he spots another dog on the opposite side of the street. Dogs mean crazy play, right?

What you actually want is for your dog to see you as the most exciting thing in his world, and always his best option for where to place his attention. So, don’t automatically sign up for the first puppy preschool you’re offered. Look around, ask questions of the trainer so you understand their approach and know how the classes will be run.

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