Punishing Puppies????

I recently saw a case where an owner of a 12 week old puppy exclaimed “You need to be scholar to raise a puppy these days!”
The reason she felt so exacerbated was simply because, as a good dog owner, she was trying to learn how to properly raise a puppy to minimize potential behavioral problems that could be caused or exacerbated by inappropriate training. To do this, she, like many people, started reading various books and likely received advice from various people, looked at various websites etc….There was so much conflicting information that she felt very discouraged and confused on what was right and what was wrong.
Then she came to the clinic and I had the pleasure of meeting this adorable little puppy and her very sweet owners.
I was thrilled they came to see me because getting the right information from the start is CRITICAL!!! This is the exact reason I recently started to offer ” An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure Consult. It is specifically for people who have a puppy and want or need guidance on how to handle normal puppy behaviors.
I spoke with the owners of this puppy for two hours and discussed how to handle the excessive puppy nipping and discussed some important puppy concepts that are often overlooked.
Although I can not possibly address every puppy issue in a paragraph or two, there is one key point that I want everyone to know. If you are reading sources that recommend you:
1. scruff your puppy
2. do an alpha roll on your puppy to exert dominance
3. put a choke, shock, or prong collar on your puppy
4. smack you puppy’s nose

Throw those resources away!!! These methods set up the potential for the development of behavior problems!
Often I find that when people have resorted to these measures, we need to do an overhaul on how the puppy is being managed overall.
Does this mean a puppy should never be punished? No, there are certainly times when puppies need punishment but NOT the kind mentioned above! It is imperative that humane punishment/correction methods are used and that owners know how to use them CORRECTLY! Once a good plan is put in place, owners often find the need for corrections/punishment decreases dramatically.

Published in: on September 24, 2010 at 1:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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