Bear’s Big Puppy Tip: Training is just as important as choosing your new puppy.

We often take a long time in choosing a new puppy or rehoming a dog; however, training and behaviour modification programmes can often be over-looked, devalued due to “free advice” and criticised for bad workmanship.

Over twenty years I have helped owners professionally with training and behaviour modification programmes and one of the questions I ask is about training.

Dog owners can be very enthusiastic when the puppy or new dog arrives in the home and they either consider classes or 1-2-1 (both have advantages, and both should be considered as not all classes suit all puppies or dogs and some puppies and dogs need a class to help with further training).

The new puppy or new dog is considered part of our family, we form a special bond with them and we share a great deal of time with them. They are given a very special status as family members and companions and it is important that their training is given the same level of priority.

  • So how long should you go to training for? To get it really right you will be training and practising your training right the through your dog’s life.
  • Can I look at videos free online? Yes, you can, but does it really show you what and how you should be teaching your dog – watching something and then carrying this out is very different and having someone there to observe, guide and explain is more important. They can also show you how to proof your training, how to make it more challenging and how to adapt your training for you and your dog.
  • Your dog or puppy is just an individual as you are and therefore training needs to be tailored for you and your dog. This does not mean this just is taught 1-2-1, you can and should get this level of training in a class situation.
  • Should you get free advice without signing up to training classes or 1-2-1? For you, to receive the right advice for you and your dog/puppy the trainer should assess your level or training and this helps with the amount of work that needs to go into your training programme.
  • Training a puppy is very different to training an adolescent dog and again very different to training an adult dog. Progression is important throughout your puppy/dog’s development.
  • My dog has the same behaviour problems as the dog down the road, but the advice I was given by the owner who had someone in help is not working. It won’t all dogs are different and require different levels of behaviour modification to help them. And yes, you need to put in lots of hard work to help the dog with any behaviour problems.
  • Why can’t you give me a little advice, I don’t need a full training programme and you don’t need to see the dog. Sorry, but yes, I do, assessments on training and behaviour are vital in getting the right help and the right programme – there is not such thing as a little advice, I need to look at the dog as a whole, holistically, environment, and so on.

Carrying out a full training programme with a qualified trainer can help you and your dog to reach its full potential throughout its development stages and/or settling into the new home.


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