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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.  Service dogs have to stay calm and well-behaved in different environments and around other people/animals.  They also must be ready to do their job at a moment’s notice, no matter where they are or what is going on around them.  There is no doubt that these dogs are heroes and exemplify the indescribable bond between people and animals.

If you live in or near The Woodlands, TX, you have the good fortune of being able to bring your dog to Puptown Houston (http://puptownhouston.com/) 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 service 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 training philosophy falls directly in line with AKC obedience recommendations.  The AKC (American Kennel Club) recommends obedience training to prevent and correct nuisance behaviors such as jumping on people, digging, excessive barking, and chewing by providing physical and mental activities for your dog.  Training also deepens the bond between a dog and their owner, a crucial part of a service dog’s specialized education.  Finally, obedience training helps to ensure a dog’s safety and happiness while nurturing better companionship.  Not only will Puptown provide this first phase of training, we also offer service dog training.  To learn more about this secondary stage of instructing your service dog, contact us at 832-930-0073 or email us at info@puptownhouston.com.

While we do love all dogs, there is no doubt that some breeds make exceptional therapy dogs.  Some of the most popular choices are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, Belgian Malinois, Australian Shepherds, and German Shepherds.  Scores of other breeds can be service dogs and we will be happy to make recommendations so you can find your perfect match.  Service dogs need to be highly intelligent, have a low prey drive, and be good with both strange dogs and strange people.  A service dog also needs to be the right size as small dogs can get underfoot and very large dogs are difficult to travel with.  Also note that these optimal therapy dog breeds are already “working dogs” who have performed exceptionally as police dogs, search and rescue dogs, customs and border protection dogs, guide dogs, and even seizure alert dogs.

Therapy dogs are frequently associated with combat vets suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) but are immensely helpful to people with a wide array of other conditions.  Service dogs assist people with physical, neurological, and/or psychological disabilities that result in difficulty performing even the most mundane of tasks.  They help people overcome limitations while increasing a person’s independence and freedom.  Most importantly, a service dog provides an alert before the handler experiences an episode from their disorder or provides assistance if and when necessary.  In addition to those with PTSD, service dogs help blind people walk, deaf people to answer the door or phone, provide reassurance to those who have survived sexual assaults, and some dogs can even alert their owner when that person is about to have a seizure or a dangerous glucose change in the case of diabetics.  For people with severe, even life-threatening allergies, service dogs can be trained to sniff out the dangerous allergen to make sure their owner does not come in contact with it.  There is no doubt these are extraordinary animals that deserve the extraordinary training they will get at Puptown Houston.

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If you are in need of a service dog and live in or near The Woodlands, TX, bring your future therapy companion to Puptown Houston for the best training in the area.

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…

Let a Dog Training Specialist Socialize Your Puppy

When it comes to a new puppy, early training is the key to a well-behaved pooch and overall good canine citizen.  Socialization means polite interaction with other dogs and people, which can be a big relief when it comes to having your puppy out in public.  The last thing people want to worry about is their dog hurting or scaring a person or another pooch.  At the same time, you want to make sure your dog is properly acclimated to the elements they will encounter all of their lives.  You also need to get your dog accustomed to being along, i.e. without their human by their side every moment. Read More…

Three Factors that Might Affect Puppy Behavior

Here at Puptown Houston in The Woodlands, TX  we understand that various behaviors can provide additional training challenges with your new puppy.  Our Woodlands puppy training specialist actually specialize in behavior-based, positive reinforcement training.  So not only can we help identify these behaviors we can help your pup overcome them.  It’s all about consistency and communication, and not just for the dogs.  We also train a dog’s human to help them work with their canine companion when not at Puptown for optimal results.  Read More…

Training Your Puppy the Right Way

Do you live in or near The Woodlands, TX?  If so you are fortunate enough to be close to one of the top-notch puppy and dog training businesses you can hope to find:  Puptown Houston.  For more information have a look at their terrific website.  If you have a new puppy and you want to train this little one correctly from Day One, Puptown is your answer.  Their Woodlands dog training specialists use behavioral and social based training to shape a well-mannered and well-trained pup which will be nothing less than an outstanding canine citizen plus a beautifully behaved companion for some very lucky humans. Read More…

Pros and Cons of Dog Whistle Training

Loacted in The Woodlands, Texas, Puptown Houston offers positive reinforcement training for dogs of all ages.  My teaching dogs to associate praise and correction with certain behaviors, these top-notch professional dog trainers understand that there is only 1.3 second window for a pup to understand desirable versus undesirable behaviors.   These trainers offer group classes, private training, and even doggy “day camp” to teach your puppy or dog how to be a well-mannered caning citizen. Read More…

Using Treats to Train Your Dog

The best way you can train your dog or puppy is through positive reinforcement.  Not only is this an effective training method, it also allows you to form a special bond with your pup.  Training is about developing good manners, obeying commands, and teaching your dog to be a good canine citizen.  It is also a way for you and your dog to learn about each other and build a relationship based on love and trust.  A dog can be an irreplaceable companion and quickly become a true family member.  This is why training is so critical in that you teach your dog who is the “alpha” while the two of you develop mutual respect for each other.  And one of the easiest ways to train your puppy or dog is with a variety of treats. Read More…

Working with Your Puppy at Home to Make Sure Training Sticks

If you are in the market for the best puppy training in Woodlands, TX, look no further than Puptown.  We work with pooches off all ages, from young puppies to dogs in their “golden years”.  You see, we are avid believers that a dog is never too old to learn new tricks, or even to behave politely.  Almost any dog can be a well-mannered companion, and even though we offer a very effective training program through positive reinforcement customized for each dog we train, training does not stop there. Read More…

Three Behavioral Traits to Work out of Your Small Dog

Small dogs can be the perfect companions for a large segment of the population.  If you cannot handle a medium to large dog, don’t have much space, want to potty train your pup to “go” indoors, or simply prefer a smaller dog, you have countless options when it comes to choosing your furbaby.  Yet while small dogs do have their upsides, they also have some very specific behavioral problems. Read More…

Teaching Your Dog to Deal with Distractions in Public

Woodland sdog training expertsLet’s be honest, your dog is going to be exposed to a lot of things in their lifetime.  This includes distractions like other people, animals, and things that might scare or ‘trigger” your dog like sirens, loud voices, and even thunder (a lot of dogs are terrified of storms).  Good training can help your dog ignore a lot of these distractions and consistently behave well.  Our Woodlands dog training experts  incorporate this as part of our training for dogs of all ages.  Our “no approach fits all” training style helps us to understand what distracts one dog instead of another and why so we can provide individualized training for great results.  To learn more please visit us online at Pup Town Houston.

Dog obedience classes are a must to ensure you have a well-mannered, socialized dog that is a great companion and faithful friend.  You want to make sure that your dog doesn’t “walk you” or find its way into a harmful situation.  This is why training, including ignoring or avoiding distractions, is so important for your dog.  Not to mention you don’t want your dog to hurt another animal or even worse, a person.  If you aren’t ready to enroll your pup in classes just yet, here are some tips on teaching your dog to overcome distractions and be a good canine citizen.

Understand Triggers

As simple as this sounds, it is important to know what your dog finds particularly fascinating.  Some dogs can’t resist the urge to run up to another pup while others love to chase squirrels or other small animals.  If your dog has a penchant for sniffing holes in the ground, this could be a potentially dangerous behavior as this could be an insect nest or home to a poisonous snake.  And if you think a high-pitched siren makes humans wince, imagine what it does to Fido’s senses!  Once you know what your dog’s triggers are, you can figure out the best way to help your pup not give them a second thought.

Set up Success

When helping your dog overcome distractions, develop a series of steps like levels 1-5 to help your dog reach its goal.  If you are teaching your dog to sit, begin in a quiet environment until your dog has the command down pat.  Then gradually introduce a series of distractions while you are giving the command to help your dog ignore the outside factors and focus solely on you.  Start off with a very mild distraction like having the TV on in the background and as your dog completes each step, move your pooch to the final step, like being outside next to a whole family of squirrels while successfully sitting on command.

Positive Reinforcement

Woodlands Puppy TrainerAs you have a level of 1-5 for your dog’s distraction factors, find a level 1-5 of treats for your dog with 1 being something they love and 5 being a treat your pooch will dance and do backflips for.  As your dog completes each level of overcoming distractions, increase the level of treat to increase positive reinforcement and a greater reward for a greater level of difficulty.  Increasing the positive reinforcement is an effective way of holding your dog’s attention no matter what distraction may arise and you want to make sure you and your dog are prepared for any situation.

Create Distance

While you are teaching your dog to ignore distractions, an effective tactic is to create distance from the distraction.  Let’s say your dog loves to chase squirrels and you realize you need to help your dog overcome this behavior.  While you are in the first steps of helping your dog ignore this distraction, put as much distance between your dog and the squirrels as possible.  When you are in the final steps of training, move your dog closer to the squirrels.  By desensitizing your pup to the distraction, the goal is to reach the point of said object no longer being a distraction.

The same principle can be applied to dogs who are very eager to make new friends as you should be cautious of a new dog until you are familiar with its personality.  By shrinking the stimulus area, you are not only teaching but also protecting yourself and your dog during this important learning experience.