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Start training your puppy at an early age if you want a well-behaved pet

Start training your puppy at an early age if you want a well-behaved pet

Dogs can make the most fantastic pets for families, couples and singletons. However, your wriggling, bundle of fun puppy soon grows into adulthood and training your pet is an important aspect of dog ownership that should not really be neglected. Teaching your puppy ground rules in the home and letting him recognise that good behaviour is an expectation at home and outside will help you achieve far more enjoyment from owning a dog and ensures trust is built up between you.

Reasons to train your dog

Dogs can be disruptive and boisterous in the home and outside if they’re not disciplined from an early age. They need to understand their place in the household as they are pack animals and can begin to think of themselves as “pack” leader of the entire family. This can cause problems, particularly if you have younger children or vulnerable people in the home.

Teaching your dog not to jump up or steal or beg for food are important training tasks that you can start from the day your new pup enters the home. Barking, mounting, jumping on furniture, destroying toys, pawing and mouthing are also undesirable behaviours for dogs, so kicking off your puppy training by establishing rules in the home is a good way to ensure your pup develops manners and discipline.

Socialisation skills

Socialisation is important for pups. Whether with other dogs and pets or with humans. And, enrolling your puppy in a reputable training school is one way to ensure good behaviour. You won’t be able to take your dog to classes until he’s had all his vaccinations, but you can get in touch with the instructor beforehand and pick up some useful training tips to follow in the meantime.

Puppy socialisation is recommended by the Kennel Club, and should be carried out by both breeders and new owners. It can help puppies settle better in their new home and should be carried out until your dog is at least 16 weeks old. You can source a socialisation plan direct on the Kennel Club website if you want to learn more.

Socialisation planning helps ensure your pup receives important learning at the most critical development phases in his life. It includes common household noises and going out to meet other dogs and new people. Socialising your pup from this early age helps ensure he interacts well with other dogs and people, both in the home and when you’re out and about.

Dog training classes

You can start training your pup from a very young age, but won’t be able to take him to regular dog training classes until he’s had all his vaccinations. You should display continual patience with your pup, although he’s eager to learn and wants to please you, he won’t pick up all the essential skills straight away.

Going to recognised training classes can help your dog even more with socialisation and he can also learn from the other dogs. Some of the behaviour learnt at classes includes walking on the lead and to heel, responding to his name and coming back when called, sitting on command and learning to stay in one place when told to do so.

Good quality dog treats can be ideal positive reinforcements to help your dog learn and are used to treat good behaviour and learning of commands. You do need to ensure the treats offered are suitable for your pup, however, as some treats are not recommended until adult teeth are in place.

Continuing to reinforce lessons and training commands in the home and while out and about is much easier when you utilise positive reinforcement techniques. And, you’ll be amazed by the speed your young dog learns, when he knows a tasty treat reward could be the likely outcome!

A well-behaved dog will give you hours of enjoyment and fun, so establishing good behaviour and putting the ground rules in place while your puppy is young is important. Check out more useful positive reinforcement dog training tips on the Bounce and Bella blog. We supply a variety of tasty dog treats, including grain-free treats and treats with added vitamins or Omega supplements. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more about the reasons our healthy treats are the ideal training solution for your dog.

Photo: Yellow dog by molajen licensed under Creative commons 4
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The healthy use of treats to train your dog

We all want to help our dogs to be the best furry friend they can be, which usually means undergoing a period of training at some stage during their life. Training with treats is one of the most commonly accepted methods of teaching a dog, whether it be a puppy or an older dog. The positive reinforcement created by using treats allows a dog to associate the desired behaviour with a reward, creating a Pavlovian response that manifests in a learned behaviour. Treats also help to develop a great bond between dog and trainer, especially when the trainer is also the owner!

However, what often gets overlooked is the importance of using treats healthily in the training process. Good nutrition is crucial to general canine wellbeing and the longevity of a dog’s life. Check out the tips below to see what you can do to ensure your dog is getting the best training with treats possible:

Tips and advice for healthy treat training

1. Use a proportional reward. A dog learning a new behaviour for the first time deserves a bigger reward than a dog sitting on command for the 20th time. Smaller treats are perfect, as they can be more easily tailored for this purpose. At Bounce & Bella, our treats are practically sized to help prevent over-feeding.

2. Make them earn it. Rewarding a dog when their behaviour isn’t quite right is not only unhelpful for training, it creates an expectation for treats that can lead to overeating. Whilst the pups may be quite happy with this arrangement in the short-term, long-term it is not good for the dog or the trainer.

3. Quality is key. Many dog treats do not contain a good nutritional balance. This is acceptable occasionally, but when treats are given out on the scale that training can require, the consequences can get serious when the ingredients aren’t right. Bounce & Bella treats are made with a blend of 80% freshly produced poultry and 20% potatoes and chicken gravy – that’s it!

4. Use grain-free treats. Grain-free treats aren’t unnecessarily bulked up – your dog is only getting the best nutrients without any of the unhealthy clutter! Dogs are unable to fully digest grain, leading to a number of undesirable health effects including weight gain. Grain-free treats keep your dog fuller for longer, preventing over-eating. Other benefits can include a healthier coat, reduced stool size and less shedding – switching to grain-free is a no-brainer!

4. Try to be consistent with the type of treats you give your dog. Sometimes we can’t resist those big eyes, and a scrap of leftovers or a spare ingredient makes its way to our furry friends. Whilst this is fine on occasion, it’s important to remember not to allow this to become a habit during the training process. Keep the nutrition balanced and both dog and trainer will win.

5. Had a busy day? Have a lighter dinner! If your dog has been working hard all day learning new behaviours, chances are they’ve had a lot of well-deserved treats in the process. Balance that out by reducing the portion size of their next meal, to ensure a healthy weight is maintained.

6. Keep hydrated. As with humans, keeping the fluids coming is really important for dogs. Water not only hydrates a dog but aids with the digestion of all those treats. The water should always be clean, so make sure it is changed daily and give that bowl a rinse out every now and then.

7. Finally, don’t force it. If your dog has clearly had enough and is just looking for more treats rather than working on the training, it’s time to call it a day. Being stubborn can be normal for a dog in training, but it’s something a trainer themselves should avoid! If a dog is no longer motivated, they risk losing the positive reinforcement of training with treats.

Given the sheer volume of treats often required throughout the process, it’s clearly vital that a dog’s health is taken into account when choosing the type of treats to use. Thankfully, Bounce & Bella’s, small grain-free treats are perfect for dogs aged 16 weeks and over, once their adult teeth have developed.

Photo: by Emery_Way licensed under Creative commons 4
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Top five common mistakes to avoid when training your dog

Top five common mistakes to avoid when training your dog

There is a huge amount of information available for the best way to train your dog, with many plans and strategy guides, all of which suggest something different. While you might be overwhelmed by this sometimes contradictory information, it is important to know that the things not to do when dog training are pretty much set in stone, whatever strategy you are using. These mistakes will cause frustration for both you and your dog and are likely to have a big impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of your training. Here are some of the biggest mistakes that you must avoid when training your dog, as compiled by our experts…

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The best healthy treats for your dog

The best healthy treats for your dog

We love to give our dogs a treat, they are our best friends after all. When it comes to giving your dog a treat, whether it’s for general love or for training, then it’s important that the treats you are giving them are healthy and appropriate for them. There are certain foods that dogs simply cannot be fed, these include chocolate, avocados, grapes and lots more. However, there are plenty of healthy dog treats for your furry friend. Keep reading to check out the best healthy dog treats to give your pet…

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How to Train a Dog with Treats

How to train a dog with treats

Whether you’ve brought a puppy into the family, adopted an adult dog from a shelter or you have an old family dog who’s up for learning new tricks, training your dog can be a confusing, chaotic and fun experience. Our pooches can be mischievous little bundles of joy sometimes, which makes training them all the more important. We’d recommend you buy some dog treats for training. It’s the best way to keep your pet interested! Find out more …

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