Happy Dog, Happy Owner

Frequently Asked Questions

Key Traits of a Happy Dog:

Dog Training FAQ

1. How old should my dog be before taking them on walks?

If you live in an apartment building, you will obviously need to take your dog on daily walks from the time that you get them so that they can use the bathroom. However, you should make sure that your puppy is not cold when you take it outside and you should limit its contact with other dogs and their waste. Puppies are susceptible to diseases until they have had all of their shots, which generally occurs at sixteen weeks, at which point you needn’t worry about the effects of walks on your dog and you can wander farther safely.



2. What age can I begin training my dog?

Training should start the first day you get your puppy. Subconsciously, everything that you do as soon as you get your puppy is training. If you don’t plan to let your dog on the furniture, don’t let the puppy do so. It is easy to give in to the wants and demands of a puppy because they are just so cute, but resist the temptation as it is easier to train good habits than it is to untrain bad ones. You can also encourage good behavior by the puppy with treats. If the puppy is sitting, give the sit command then give the puppy a treat. He or she will eventually associate the behavior with the command, though it may take longer with younger dogs. Housetraining should also begin immediately as eight week old dogs have the ability to pick it up quickly.


3. Why should I train my dog?

Untrained dogs can be a horrible nuisance. At the very least, you need to establish yourself as the boss of your dog, which is easy to do when you are training. If you are not your dog’s boss, you open yourself up to aggression, be it shown to you, to other dogs, or to other people. This aggression can be downright dangerous, so training avoids a dangerous situation with your dog.


4. How often should I exercise my dog?

This depends on your dog’s age and breed. Some breeds are perfectly content to be couch potatoes and only go on short potty breaks while others will need an hour or more of rigorous exercise daily. You should research breeds and find one that fits your lifestyle before committing to a dog because if your dog does not have sufficient exercise, it can become a terror. As the dog gets older, you also need to take into account obesity, and increase exercise level as needed to keep your dog in good shape.


5. When should I show my dog affection?

Dogs should be shown plenty of affection, but when you show your dog affection at the wrong times, it can reinforce bad behavior. If your dog is crying in her crate, and you don’t want her to be, be strict. Don’t let her out until she is quiet because you will make her think that crying will allow her to be released. You should also only acknowledge your dog when she is calm and quiet, showing affection when a dog is being hyperactive and inappropriate only reinforces the behavior.


6. What is the best way to introduce one dog to another?

Ideally dogs should be introduced when both are on a leash so that both dogs are under control. This is not always possible at a dog park, so just observe the dogs interacting closely and stay nearby. It is not very natural for dogs to meet face to face, so forcing them to do is not the best way to go about things. Taking both dogs to a neutral area and allowing them to approach each other on their own terms is the best way. Also, allow your dog’s usual behavior to dictate future meetings. If your dog meets other dogs and is always appropriate, you can be more comfortable at the dog park. Allow a little bit of roughhousing between the two, but make sure you stay comfortable with how rough it is. You should avoid objects that can be fought over in a first meeting between dogs.


7. What is the purpose of a dog whistle?

Dog whistles can only be heard by dogs and you can adjust their frequency so that they have the most effect on your dog. These frequencies get the dog’s attention and cut through other distractions, so they can be effective. They can be used simply to get the dog’s attention, or different types of whistle burst can relate to different commands.

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