Our series of the worst mistakes new dog owner’s make has arrived at our 7th entry. This mistake is characterized by a dog’s innate ability to be the cutest thing in history when he is a puppy.
Because dog’s are so stinkin’ cute when they are young, it is very easy to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to unwanted behavior and training. Who hasn’t been mesmerized by puppy breathe while the puppy is biting your fingers? While this mistake stems from our basic human nature–things that are cute rock– it is important to begin training a puppy as soon as it comes home.
Procrastination due to a puppy’s age is fraught with long term issues. It is easy to overlook problematic behavior at 10 weeks, but when a dog get’s older, and bigger, the behaviors we thought were cute at one time, just become annoying and/or dangerous.
The good new is that training a puppy is fun! Most crucial skills that a human needs to teach a dog can be taught with games that are a blast for both. My favorite game to play with puppies is called the “box game”. It isn’t training in the sense that you are teaching a pup a certain skill, it is designed more to teach a puppy how to learn from you. This is a great resource on how to play the game for those interested.
The best part of playing the box game with a puppy is that there is no way you won’t be laughing most of the time! So the first time dog owner will be able to enjoy their new addition while building the skills the puppy will use to learn for the rest of their life!
If you are interested in getting started with clicker training, I recommend the products below as a set of tools that will have you well on your way to a happy, healthy, and well behaved pup! I also recommend Kikopup’s Youtube channel for fantastic video guides to all sorts of clicker training skills!