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Crate Training for your Puppy

Why to Crate Train a Puppy

puppy crate training houston tx

Dog crates can serve many purposes, but two stand above all others- potty training and safety.

Anyone who has raised a puppy knows they are like small human children, and must be watched constantly or the puppy could chew up electrical cables, bedding, chew the paint off walls (yes- that too), or swallow small objects that can pose a choking hazard. It is in the puppy’s best interest to be crated when it can’t be monitored, if only to keep the puppy safe.

 

How to Choose a Good Dog Crate

Consider a well ventilated crate large enough for your puppy to stand up and turn around in easily. Bear in mind as your puppy grows (and they do grow fast), he will need more room. It’s usually a good idea to invest in a full size crate adjusted for his expected adult growth! If your dog is a mixed breed, consider the expected size of the larger breed in the mix.

Also, try to avoid purchasing an overly large crate. Too much room might allow for your puppy to make a mess without disturbing his immediate bedding.

Be Patient

Crate Training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog’s past experiences. In the case of shelter dogs, workers sometimes can’t get to the puppy in time; proper training may take longer because the dog is used to eliminating in his enclosure.

Crating and Potty Training

puppy crate training houston txDogs prefer not to relieve themselves in small confined areas or where they sleep. In the crate, your puppy will hold his bladder as long as he can. Bear in mind- that is a very small and underdeveloped bladder; your puppy will need frequent potty breaks.

Make it Comfortable

Don’t think of your puppy’s crate as a cage, but more of a comfy doggy den! Make sure the bottom is lined with soft blankets or other comfortable material. Leave a favorite toy or two in your dog crate. Most of all- never, ever, associate your crate with punishment. In order for your training to run smoothly, you’ll want your little one to enjoy his little den!

Start Small & Familiarize

This is possibly both the most important step to the training process and the most neglected. In order to avoid anxiety from developing, you absolutely must be patient and let your puppy become accustomed to his or her crate. In other words, don’t start off the bat crating for hours at a time unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

Begin by letting your puppy inspect the crate with the door open. After you do this once or twice, start out by creating your pup for short 5,10 or 20 minute intervals while you are in the room. After you’ve done this a few times, you can begin crating and leaving the room for short durations.

If you have to work on Monday, try starting out Friday after you return home. In order to create further pleasant associations, begin feeding your dog in his crate at feeding time.

Be sure to set a potty training/ crating schedule for your puppy to help familiarize them to the process!

Your Puppy’s Perspective

Dogs all too often developed separation anxiety, sometimes to an extreme, possibly even causing injury in attempts to escape or tearing up blanketing to confetti, because owners start out by caging them for day- long periods. Remember, dogs do not understand why they are being caged, and often think their pack- family member and parent has left them, never to return. How would you feel if you were placed in a small cell with no explanation or other human contact?

The entire idea behind this gradual process is to give your puppy time to adjust, showing him or her you will always return and he doesn’t need to worry. Remember to crate various times throughout the day to help your puppy familiarize himself to the process!

Summary

Introduce your dog to the crate.
Begin crating while you are in the room.
Feed your dog meals in the crate.
Start leaving the room.
Slowly lengthen crating periods (with appropriate bathroom breaks).
Begin crating your puppy when you leave.
Crate your puppy at night.

Why Never to Use the Crate as a Punishment

Comfortability ranks right up there with familiarity and patience above. You always want your puppy to form positive associations with his crate at all times! If you crate your puppy directly after chastisement, he will learn ‘crate means my parent is upset; I don’t like the crate because I don’t want the parent to be upset’.

A Small Bladder

Crate training a puppy is different from crate training an adult dog. Even if you have to work, expect to come home to soiled bedding if you leave your puppy crated all day. Small puppies are still growing and developing, and need frequent potty breaks.

On the other hand, it is a good idea to begin crating your puppy overnight. He will probably whine at first, and you probably won’t get a full night’s rest (but that is to be expected for any young puppy owner). Most puppies should be able to sleep the entire night without a potty break by 4 months of age.

  • Barring sleep, puppies under 6 months of age shouldn’t stay crated for more than 3-4 hours at a time (Humane Society)
  • It is said puppies can be crated without potty breaks for their age (months) in hours plus one. Ex.- 3 months = 4 hours
  • In order to properly develop social skills, puppies shouldn’t be separated from litter mates prior to four weeks. Many experts recommend no less than eight weeks.

Ask a Professional for Advice

If you have any questions about the above information, please contact us.  Or if you would like to inquire about training options where our professionals train your puppy for you at our facility, please call us today at 832-930-0073!

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How to Be an Incredible First Time Pet Owner

 

Congratulations on deciding to get your first pet! Pet ownership is a hugely rewarding experience that allows you to build a deep bond with your four-legged friend. As special as those first few weeks and months might be, there will undoubtedly be challenges and some unexpected situations that will inevitably pop up, even if you’ve made all the appropriate modifications to your home.

 

Being a pet owner for the first time can be confusing. Chances are, you might not even know where to begin. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and know that you can do this. In fact, millions of people own pets in the United States alone. You can do this!

 

Now… where to start?

 

Are you sure?

Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’ve already made up your mind to get a pet. Just in case you’re still on the fence though, have you asked yourself whether you’re committed to taking care of a pet for the next several years or even decades? Do you have time for a pet? Can you afford a pet? Is your current living situation suitable for a pet? What will you do if and when your pet develops a serious health condition or disability?

 

Be patient.

It will take time to build a bond between yourself and your pet. This comes with practice – and yes, with making a few mistakes, too. Take it easy on yourself (and your new pet) if the two of you don’t quite have it all figured out just yet.
Training

You know those well behaved dogs you see your neighbors walking down the street? Or the animals in the movies who do the incredible stunts? Those animals (and their owners) have spent lots of time doing something called pet training. Training is one of the most important aspects of pet ownership because it builds trust, communication, and that strong bond we just mentioned above. For best results, consider watching some YouTube videos, getting a pet training book, or even hiring a professional to help you train your new pet.

Goldendoodle Puppy Training in The Woodlands Texas

It’s been goldendoodle mania at Puptown Houston located in The Woodlands dog training facility and we couldn’t be anymore excited about it! Have you recently given into the puppy fever and found yourself owning one of these adorable and intelligent babies? Congrats!!

If you haven’t purchased one yet, think long and hard about the commitment a new puppy can take. A common myth many doodle owners hear is they are “non-shedding”, this simply isn’t biologically possible. All dogs shed, doodles appear to shed minimally due to the fact much their shed hair is trapped into their coat rather then shed onto different surface areas. Due to this brushing daily is very important, as all those shed hairs will turn into mats if not constantly brushed out.

A dog goes through the Woodlands professional puppy training facility for a few different reasons.

Maybe they’re training to be a service dog, maybe they’re being socialized so that they deal with being in public and around people better. Maybe you are just looking for a slightly more attentive puppy! Goldendoodles are known for their energetic personalities, that can sometimes make training at home difficult. Fear not, we are here to help!

Reinforcing the Woodlands Puppy Training

Woodlands puppy trainingSo when it comes to properly reinforcing the Woodlands puppy training, what is it that you need to do? Believe it or not there are quite a few things, and the first one is making sure that you are consistent. You’ve probably heard this from you trainer over and over again but we’re going to say it once again: Consistency. It’s a four syllable word that’s perhaps the most important when it comes to proper puppy training.

If your puppy has been trained in a certain way, you need to keep up that training at home. It might be easier for you to break the routine, but once you do, you’re going to confuse your pet, and they might simply revert to their old ways. It’s a sad state of affairs but it does happen, and it can become irritating, especially if you have to take them through the training again.

For example, if part of their training involves not feeding them scraps from the table, then you should most certainly avoid feeding them scraps from the table no matter how tempting it might be. The moment you break that rule you’re going to be in serious trouble.

Proper Positive Reinforcement

If you want your dog to adhere to the training then you have to continue with the positive reinforcement. You may not have to treat them every single time they follow a command or do as they are told, but you do need to make sure you award them with praise regularly so that they know they are doing the right thing and that they will continue to do so. This is absolutely critical and any professional puppy trainer/trainers would absolutely agree with this logic.

Be in Charge

Puppy TrainingThe final point that we’d like to bring up is that you need to be in charge when you are dealing with your dog, period. One of the biggest mistakes that dog owners make is allowing them to have their own way every once in a while, and we’re going to say right now that such an approach just isn’t going to work. If you allow your dog to push you around, they’re going to keep pushing and they’re going to keep playing on your weakness.

This is not malicious, it is simply the nature of your dog to play on your weaknesses and attempt to gain pack leadership. No matter how close you are to your dog, the fact remains that they still have a pack mentality and they will always be trying to work their way to the top. You cannot let this happen!

Keep these things in mind when you are dealing with your dog at home. We offer some of the best training in the country, but when it comes right down to it, you’re the one that they respect, and you are the one that will have to make sure they are remembering their training. Don’t worry, we’re going to give you the information you need to keep them on the right path, and both you and your beloved pet will benefit from it.

The Importance of Continuing Puppy Training at Home

When submitting their puppy to training, many people make the mistake of believing that once the training is complete, they can simply rely on the training instilled by the instructor forever. Well, while that is a nice sentiment, it couldn’t be much further from the truth.

Think long and hard about what you learned in fifth grade English class, and then ask yourself if you remember any of it. If the answer is no, then you probably need to consider the fact that your puppy is very much the same and with an even shorter attention span. A dog goes through the Woodlands professional puppy training facility for a few different reasons.

Maybe they’re training to be a service dog, maybe they’re being socialized so that they deal with being in public and around people better. Then again, maybe, just maybe you’ve been working on weeding out food aggression. No matter what the case may be, you need to make sure that you’re working on it at home and that you’re reinforcing the training as best you can.

Reinforcing the Woodlands Puppy Training

Woodlands puppy trainingSo when it comes to properly reinforcing the Woodlands puppy training, what is it that you need to do? Believe it or not there are quite a few things, and the first one is making sure that you are consistent. You’ve probably heard this from you trainer over and over again but we’re going to say it once again: Consistency. It’s a four syllable word that’s perhaps the most important when it comes to proper puppy training.

If your puppy has been trained in a certain way, you need to keep up that training at home. It might be easier for you to break the routine, but once you do, you’re going to confuse your pet, and they might simply revert to their old ways. It’s a sad state of affairs but it does happen, and it can become irritating, especially if you have to take them through the training again.

For example, if part of their training involves not feeding them scraps from the table, then you should most certainly avoid feeding them scraps from the table no matter how tempting it might be. The moment you break that rule you’re going to be in serious trouble.

Proper Positive Reinforcement

If you want your dog to adhere to the training then you have to continue with the positive reinforcement. You may not have to treat them every single time they follow a command or do as they are told, but you do need to make sure you award them with praise regularly so that they know they are doing the right thing and that they will continue to do so. This is absolutely critical and any professional puppy trainer/trainers would absolutely agree with this logic.

Be in Charge

Puppy TrainingThe final point that we’d like to bring up is that you need to be in charge when you are dealing with your dog, period. One of the biggest mistakes that dog owners make is allowing them to have their own way every once in a while, and we’re going to say right now that such an approach just isn’t going to work. If you allow your dog to push you around, they’re going to keep pushing and they’re going to keep playing on your weakness.

This is not malicious, it is simply the nature of your dog to play on your weaknesses and attempt to gain pack leadership. No matter how close you are to your dog, the fact remains that they still have a pack mentality and they will always be trying to work their way to the top. You cannot let this happen!

Keep these things in mind when you are dealing with your dog at home. We offer some of the best training in the country, but when it comes right down to it, you’re the one that they respect, and you are the one that will have to make sure they are remembering their training. Don’t worry, we’re going to give you the information you need to keep them on the right path, and both you and your beloved pet will benefit from it.

 

The Basics of Protection Dog Training

Personal protection is very important, especially given today’s social climate, though in truth, protection has always been critical. The one thing that tends to differ from person to person is how they provide themselves with that protection, and in our experience many people rush out to the nearest store to buy a can of mace, a gun, or perhaps a stun gun. These are all outstanding methods of protection, but have you ever considered protection dog training?

The expense might be a bit more elevated with Woodlands dog training specialists, but the rewards are outstanding. You get a dog that is well trained, you get the protection you need, and you get a companion that will be with you for many years. There is nothing better than having a sentient being at your side ready to defend you in the event of an attack and there are so many different spots that will require this type of protection.

Woodlands Protection Dog Training – Where you Need It

sniper_belgian_malinois_protection_dog_2At HomeThe risk of burglary is elevated in urban areas and while an alarm system is certainly beneficial to you, you will find that having a weapon on hand, or some other form of protection is even better.

OutsideYou might be out for an early morning jog or you may simply be walking around the neighborhood. Maybe you’re even going to the store – it doesn’t matter too much, as you’re going to find out eventually. Having protection on your walks both during the daytime and at night is essential and a well trained dog can definitely do the trick for you.

ShoppingWhether you’re at a mall or at the store, there is always going to be a chance of danger and you already know what we’re going to say: make sure you’re properly protected.

Above we’ve listed just a few of the occasions in which you might need that extra layer of protection, but it goes far deeper than you think.

The Ultimate Crime Deterrent

A dog is not always necessary when it comes to stopping a crime against you or your property, in most cases the very presence of a protection dog can stop crime from occurring in the first place. Most would be attackers, robbers, or other unscrupulous individuals are warded off easily when they sense that the dog in question is capable of defending you. In other words, your beloved companion can stop the crime before it even begins, and that’s very beneficial to you, especially if you are the type that likes to avoid confrontation.

Beyond Protection

You don’t need to buy a brand new dog specifically trained for protection. As a matter of fact, we can train your existing family dog, ensuring that you have one that is already familiar with your family, and already one that you love. The most important thing to remember is that your dog will be trained to defend you and your family rather than engaging, which reduces the chance of unprovoked attacks significantly.

Most importantly, while your dog will have a critical skill set that helps both you and your family, they will also be capable of having fun with you. It’s a mutual relationship that is highly beneficial and definitely something you will want to start investing in.

Help from the Professionals

Our trainers are industry leaders and capable of bringing out the best possible potential in your dog. It won’t be long before you have exactly what you need in a canine companion and the ability to keep your world protected. If you’re ready to change the way your dog functions within your family, and if you’re ready to bring about a complete change for your household, then maybe it’s time for you to give us a call and see what we have to offer you. We are without a doubt some of the best dog trainers in the country and we place your protection at the forefront in this comprehensive program.

 

Basic Therapy Dog Requirements and How to Meet Them

Therapy dogs are not service animals but instead dogs who accompany their owners to settings such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.  Service dogs are specifically trained to perform specific tasks to help a person with a disability.  For example, a service dog might be a blind owner’s “eyes” or assist a person with a physical disability.  Therapy dogs bring comfort, affection, and happiness to people in confined situations such as hospitals and/or nursing homes.  They are also brought into schools after a crisis, as demonstrated by a fleet of Golden Retrievers being brought to Sandy Hook Elementary after the devastating shooting which took place there.

Roles of a Therapy Dog

Service Dog TrainingOne of the key roles of a therapy dog is to bring comfort to people recovering from a crisis.  They also assist those with learning disabilities, assist medical professionals in their practice, and serve as a calming element to those with mental disorders.  Therapy dogs are especially known for comforting those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.  In fact, there are several therapy dog programs which train and donate these exceptional animals to veterans.

Dog Power

These pups improve people’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.  Visits from therapy dogs can reduce anxiety without medication and have even generated positive responses and reminiscing from those with dementia.  Cancer patients have had their blood pressure brought down to an acceptable level to receive chemotherapy thanks to visits with service dogs.  Other healing affects associated with these amazing animals are decreases in stress, decreases in depression, decreased aggression, increased socialization, a greater sense of happiness and well-being, increased mental stimulation, and increased self-esteem.

Therapy Dog Training

Believe it or not, therapy dog training is fairly simple and easy to seek out.  For those interested in seeking out this certification, the dog must be at least one year old, healthy, the handler must have good character, and service dogs cannot be registered as therapy dogs.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends the best starting points being the AKC STAR Puppy Training Program followed up with the Canine Good Citizen Certification.  Both of these programs teach basic obedience, socialization, good manners, and being adaptive in a wide array of situations.

The therapy dog test itself is fairly simple and consists of two phases and thirteen tasks called tests.  Phase I covers the entry table or “dog reception”, check in and out of sight, walking around people, group sit/stay, group down/stay, recall on a 20-foot leash, and visiting with a patient.  Phase II consists of testing reactions to unusual situations, leave it part 1 and 2, meeting another dog, entering through a facility door, and reaction to children.

How Puptown Fits In

Therapy DogIf you live in or near The Woodlands, TX, you have the good fortune of being able to bring your dog to Puptown Houston to start their training.  We start off by teaching future therapy dogs basic obedience with fundamental commands like sit, stay, come, and leave it.  We also offer private classes, group classes, and “doggy day camp”.  With your permission, our expert trainers expose your dog to a wide array of environments and other people and animals by taking them for walks, to dog-friendly spots, hiking, outings in the park, and interaction with other dogs to develop socialization.

We understand that this crucial first step means a future therapy dog will be well-prepared for and comfortable in nearly any situation thus focused on preforming its job and taking care of its human.  Puptown’s professional dog trainers use programs that are in direct accordance with AKC obedience recommendations thus offer your pooch a great start if you want to get him or her certified as a therapy dog.

Good canine manners and obedience training are only part of having a future therapy dog.  The third piece of the puzzle is socialization and while this is easiest to teach a puppy of young dog, it can be learned by dogs of any age.  As you can see from the therapy dog tests, socialization is a huge part of the certification process and critical when introducing a dog to different individuals and environments.

Your dog will most likely be facing a multitude of people, places, and situations in their life and needs to be prepared for the outside world.  Once more, entrust your pup to our training specialists to familiarize your dog with a variety of scenarios and distractions.  This also helps our trainers to identify any fears or phobias and help your dog overcome these obstacles.  So if you are interested in training your pooch to be a therapy dog, contact Puptown Houston today to begin your fulfilling journey.

 

Training a Puppy for a New Baby at House

Training a PuppyIf your household has a new puppy and you are also preparing for a baby, you definitely have a lot of work on your hands.  Or maybe things have gone the opposite direction and you have just brought home a baby and you also got a puppy.  Either way it is crucial for a puppy to receive great training as early as possible but with a baby in the mix, you need to train your puppy to play well with the other little one.  This goes beyond basic obedience training as socialization is also crucial to the mix. Learn more about training a puppy.

If you live in our near The Woodlands, you have the good fortune of being close to the training specialists at Puptown Houston.  The reason we recommend professional dog training beginning as early as six weeks old is due to this being an “imprinting age”.  During this time your puppy will learn things that will stay with him/her for a lifetime.  This is the ideal window for a puppy to learn things like agility, basic obedience commands, house manners, potty training, and most importantly, socialization.  Our “doggy day camp” while being trained with positive reinforcement methods and sharing the company of other dogs.

Obedience and Socialization

Believe it or not, basic obedience can help tremendously when a puppy interacts with a baby.  Commands like sit, stay, come, and leave it could ensure safety if a puppy gets scared or uneasy from unfamiliar sounds, smells, or movements.  After all, human babies can almost be like puppies in their behaviors, which is where socialization comes into the picture as your puppy might very well consider your baby to be another puppy.

Once more, Puptown can help out with this to help teach proper play behavior.  We offer unique classes and training to make sure you will have a well-behaved dog. With your permission, our training includes taking your dog to several different places where they will encounter a variety of people, situations, and other animals.  Socialization cannot be taught in a ring which is why Puptown exposes dogs to real-world situations as part of their training.

Our expert trainers take puppies and dogs on different “vacations” like to parks, stores, and other dog-friendly areas to teach them how to be polite and well-mannered in a variety of different situations.  We believe that learning should be versatile, realistic, and practical rather than taking place entirely in an isolated training ring.  We strive to familiarize puppies with a variety of environments and distractions, which can also help in identifying and overcoming any fears of phobias in dogs.  This is where one can see the advantage of proper socialization when it comes to a puppy interacting with a baby to prevent a potentially harmful reaction from sudden moves or sounds.

Overcoming Aggression

training specialists at Puptown HoustonAnother behavior we focus on correcting is food aggression.  This is defined as a form of resource guarding in which a dog becomes defensive when eating.  In fact, aggression can go beyond the food bowl and extend to toys and other prized possessions.  And if a puppy loves a bright, bouncy squeaky toy, there is a chance that a baby could adore it just as much.  You can certainly see the potential problem here as a dog defending a prize can elicit anywhere from a mild reaction like a growl to a severe response such as biting.  If you see any such behavior, it is critical that behavior be stopped before a very serious situation arises.  As Puptown is built around positive reinforcement in correcting undesirable behaviors, we are fully prepared to help your puppy overcome aggression and will do so with great success.

While this behavior is easiest to address in puppies during the imprinting age, we can certainly help dogs of any age overcome this behavioral issue.  And we understand the importance of making sure kids are safe around family pooches of all sizes and ages.  And it’s not just kids, dogs need to be well-behaved and good canine citizens around other people and animals in general.

Having your dog attack someone or another dog can have devastating results and our goal is to do everything we can to keep this from happening.  So if you are ready for a beautifully behaved pup contact us at 832-930-0073 or at info@puptownhouston.com.  If you would like a first-hand look at our unique facility drop by 12725 Iouetta Rd., Cypress TX 77449.

 

What Happens in Dog Obedience Classes?

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the American Kennel Club (AKC) highly recommends obedience training for dogs and puppies.  These canine companions are sources of great joy and can bring their owners years of love and happiness.  Yet a well-behaved dog takes this experience to the next level and sometimes you might even think a person is inside that four-legged body. Read More…

What You Need to Know About Service Dog Training

A therapy dog is an entirely different animal (pun intended) and in order to truly perform its job, a therapy or service dog needs to undergo extensive training to be properly registered and ensure it provides the necessary assistance to its owner.  The training is a two-fold phase as it involves good canine citizenship in nearly every scenario possible and being attentive to owner needs. Read More…

Three Benefits of Puppy Obedience Classes

There is nothing like a new puppy.  These adorable furbabies are warm, loveable, cuddly, and utterly irresistible.  As cute as your new puppy might be, it won’t be quite that cute when it starts behaving badly.  A dog can bring incomparable joy, but this usually happens when he or she is well behaved.  Remember, even if you think your puppy’s behavior is nothing short of precious, other people might not share your opinion.  Even when you are at home a dog needs to have good manners when it comes to having guests and let’s be honest, your dog christening an indoor potty spot might not be cute at all. Read More…