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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.

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.

 

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…

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…

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…

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…

Is Your Dog Ready for the Real World? – Socialization Tips that Will Help

Good canine manners and obedience training are only part of having a well-trained 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.  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.  Dogs take a lot of time, money, patience, and persistence.  Hopefully you thought of these things before you got your furbaby and if you cannot devote these needs to a dog, you might want to consider your choice of pet.  If you can provide these necessities you are most likely ready to be a great pet parent.

Dog Training Woodlands TXNew puppies and even old dogs can always learn new tricks, it just takes some work.  So if you are in the Woodlands, TX area and looking for dog training experts, look no further than here at Puptown Houston!  We believe that training begins a moment a dog is born and we start teaching dogs (entirely off leash) at just six weeks old.  Our philosophy is simple:  all dogs, regardless of age or breed, are able to learn.  Sure some dogs learn faster than others but the same holds true for people.  Puptown offers an individualized approach to each dog instead of a “one size fits all” training method.  We offer obedience training, behavior modification, plus therapy dog and protection training.  We even offer drop off services for “doggie day camp” as we understand that pet parents have busy schedules.

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.  And we don’t just train pets, we train their owners too so they can continue to work with their dog and home and understand what their canine company specifically needs to learn necessary behaviors.  To give you an example of what our Woodlands dog trainers teach dogs, here are four socializations tips that can lead to a well-mannered pooch.

Being Around Other Dogs

If you want your dog to get along with other dogs then your pooch must be able to interact with other dogs.  Part of our training method at Puptown is to let pups run and play with each other to interact, make friends, and learn how to behave with other dogs.  Like people, dogs tend to accept what they feel is a pleasant encounter.  We feel like lettings dogs simply be dogs is a pleasant encounter as they experience sights, smells, and sounds they deem “safe”.  Not only does Puptown achieve this by introducing your dog to other pups, but also by taking your dog to various places and expose them to different people.

Trust

Let’s be honest, a puppy or young dog is easier to socialize as an older dog will require more time and attention to this training.  From the age of 3-20 weeks, puppies are in a sensitive period in which they are generally accepting of new dogs, people, and places.  If a dog experiences any trauma during this period, it can make trust and acceptance much more difficult, especially if the dog is not removed from a bad situation as it gets older.  This mistrust can be overcome, but it will take a lot of work and patience.  Proper socialization can eventually instill that trust in a dog that will lead to good socialization.

Behavioral Reinforcement

Dog Training Woodlands TXWhile trying to socialize your dog, behavioral reinforcement is a must.  A dog only has a window of a few seconds to know if an action is “good or bad” based on how their handler responds to the behavior.  If a dog is rewarded immediately following the successful completion of a command, the dog realizes this is a “good” behavior and they will be rewarded for it.  If a dog is (gently) reprimanded for a behavior in that short window of cognition, the dog will learn this behavior is undesirable thus “bad”.  Unless someone acts within the window of cognition, a dog will not understand why it is being rewarded versus disciplined.

Step by Step

No matter how old the dog is, socialization must be taught as a series of steps.  Begin by introducing your dog to just one dog then gradually move up to letting your pooch run about in a dog park.  The same goes for people, start by introducing your dog to one person at a time.  Keep a pleasant, relaxed voice when working with your dog and keep interactions brief at first, gradually increasing the times.  Socialization should be enjoyable for your dog and yourself and don’t doubt for a second that your dog isn’t picking up on your thoughts and feelings.  After all, if you can’t build a trusting relationship with your dog how can you expect him/her to build such a relationship with anyone else?