• Chewing

    Hi all, George here. You know, one of the most common complaints I hear about puppy behavior is chewing. Specifically, chewing on things they shouldn’t be chewing on. It’s certainly understandable to be frustrated by this.

    First, it is important to understand that dogs do not see with the same acuity that we do. If a dog had a brain capable of reading a newspaper, they still could not do it. Sometimes it may be hard for your dog to differentiate between what is appropriate and not appropriate for chewing

    Rather than teach your dog what they can and cannot chew, it is much more effective to raise a dog that is not allowed to pick up anything off the floor and may only chew on objects you give them. As your dog’s master and owner, you must assume the position that you own everything and you are the master of the universe. To your dog, you own it all, and are in control of all. Simply withhold your dog’s toys by keeping them secure in a drawer or closed box and retrieve a toy, present it to your pet for playing and chewing and reward and praise them for this proper behavior.

    Never forget, you can control your dog’s behavior by controlling your own.

    Be sure to check back often for more tips and tricks on giving your pet the happiest and healthiest life possible. George Domsic is the owner at Benchmark Pet Services, and has more than 40 years experience in the field of dog training and psychology.

  • Jumping and Biting

    Hi all, George here. Today we’re talking about jumping and biting. First and foremost, it is important to understand what your dog is doing when they jump and nibble on people. Jumping and biting is a way for your dog to assert dominance in the group. In order to maintain the order of the pack, which is required for proper training and behavior, jumping and biting must not be allowed.

    When you are training your puppy, and you witness an unsavory behavior, you must ask yourself: Would I let a full-grown dog do that? If the answer is no, then you should not let your puppy do it. This is true of any behavior, not just jumping and biting. By ten weeks of age, your puppy is fully neurologically developed, so bad behaviors should not be written off as “puppy behavior.”

    When a dog jumps up on us, the natural reaction for most people is to bend down to pet them, back away, or at the very least, push them off. However, this reaction is exactly what the dog is looking for. This tells your dog you are submissive and they are dominant. The correct reaction would be to maintain proper posture, and to not back away. With your hand, simulate a bite on the neck of the dog and push the dog down and away. Remember to never back or shy away. By following this advice you are asserting your dominance. (To learn about proper posture, check out our dog training videos on our YouTube channel.)

    It is important to remember that the most effective way to control your dog’s behavior is to control your own.

    Be sure to check back often for more tips and tricks on giving your pet the happiest and healthiest life possible. George Domsic is the owner at Benchmark Pet Services, and has more than 40 years experience in the field of dog training and psychology.

  • Crate Training Your Puppy

    Hi all, George here. Today we’re going to talk about crate training. Crate training is a very important part of the training process for your puppy. Dogs are den dwellers, so most importantly, it simulates their natural living conditions. Your puppy’s crate should be somewhere that they feel comfortable and secure. It is not meant to be used for punishment.

    Giving your puppy a crate where they feel comfortable is the first step in housebreaking your pet. If they perceive the crate as their place of comfort, they will feel naturally inclined to keep it clean. Eventually, this logic will extend to the rest of the house. Using the crate as punishment, however, will create anxiety around the crate, which will undermine the effectiveness of the crate as a training tool.

    Training a puppy requires constant attention, and accidents happen when attention wanes. If you are unable to give your puppy your full attention, put them in the crate until you can. You should not feel guilty about putting your puppy in its crate. Using the crate does not mean you are ignoring the puppy’s needs. In fact, the opposite is true. You are acknowledging the puppy’s need for attention, and are preventing the anxiety a puppy will feel when alone in a big house.

    Be sure to check back often for more tips and tricks on giving your pet the happiest and healthiest life possible. George Domsic is the owner at Benchmark Pet Services, and has more than 20 years experience in the field of dog training and psychology.