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Don’t Touch My Stuff!

Our aim at Ultimate Puppy is to help you stay organized and focused on what matters in the early weeks and months. Since this can feel overwhelming it can be helpful to break down your puppy raising tasks into sub categories.

A snapshot of priorities look like this. First an effective bathroom training plan. This should include choreographing a crate rhythm as well as structure in the house. Now you are free to focus on some key concepts. These include Socialization, Prevention and Games/Enrichment.

Let’s Talk Prevention

In You’re Lucky You’re Cute, our online pre puppy prep class, we break it down into 3 key pillars. The third pillar is Puppy Friendly Priorities. Prevention lives here.

The good news, preventative exercises are easy to do. But don’t let that fool you regarding their importance. According to the ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey, pet problems are the most common reason that owners rehome their pet, accounting for 47% of rehomed dogs. Problems in dogs include problematic and aggressive behaviors.

Categories Of Prevention

There are games and exercises that we can do to help prevent these problem behaviors from developing.

Resource guarding, comfort with handling and comfort with periods of being left alone are all important things to work on in the early days with your puppy.

2 Simple Exercises To Help Prevent Resource Guarding

Chew/Walk Away: while your pup is chewing, walk over and drop a delicious treat beside them. Walk away. Repeat five times.

Chew & Walk Away

What you need – something that your dog likes to chew. Delicious treats he loves as much as his chew or more.

How – walk into the chew zone, say hello, drop or feed a high value treat, leave, repeat, come from different directions. Do 5 repetitions per session.

What your pup learns – When someone walks up while I’m chewing on stuff they always bring/add delicious food.

Chew & Smear

What you need – A long chew, like a bully stick, jammed in a gripper. A smearable food your puppy loves. Soft cheese, or smearable meat works great.

How – With one hand, hold onto the gripper as your puppy chews on the bully stick. The other hand comes into the chew zone and smears the chew with the high-value food.

What your pup learns – When a hand comes around my stuff it always brings/adds delicious food.

Why – Guarding (keep away, growling, biting) is normal dog behavior. By adding versus taking away from our pup they are less likely to feel the need to guard their valuable possessions from us. Be mindful of how you approach when they have something they are chewing on. Trade them when you need to take things away. This makes it more likely that if they have something dangerous you need to get from them they will let go without conflict.

Designed With Love and Care

Prevention isn’t sexy but it should be, just like socialization. Being attentive to these concepts is vital. Ensuring your puppy is able to handle all of the particulars that life with us humans is going to throw at him goes a long way toward raising a resilient, flexible and happy canine friend.

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