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The Listen Dog Blog

Welcome to the Listen Dog Blog!


I'll be keeping it up-to-date with regular catch-ups on what I've been up to, plenty of original articles on obedience training and behavioural best practice, plus top tips and ideas you can work on at home with your own four-legged friend!


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Puppyhood - Make Sure You Get It Right With A Listen Dog Puppy Training Package!

By listendogtraining, May 12 2016 11:18AM

Those of you who know me, will know that I’m always preaching on about how prevention is better than cure when it comes to canine behaviour.

When we first pick up our brand new puppy from the breeder at 8 weeks old, we are gifted with the most wonderful thing of all – a fantastic socialisation window - and it’s amazing that so many people are entirely unaware of it. Put simply, your puppy is at the prime age to experience everything the big wide world has to offer in a positive way… so don’t just keep him locked up in the kitchen!

What happens to your puppy in the first 16 weeks of his life will ultimately determine the kind of dog he becomes as an adult. Whilst genetics will also come into play, generally speaking, his temperament, character and behaviour habits will all develop as a result of how well you socialise and habituate him during this critical time.

A socialised puppy is well-placed to think, learn and problem-solve as he grows up (making obedience training so much easier!) whereas a poorly socialised dog is likely to suffer anxiety and stress when faced with unfamiliar situations, experiences or interactions, severely hindering their ability to function at the top of their game.

What Do I Mean By Socialisation and Habituation?

Socialising your puppy means ensuring he receives ample opportunity to interact with men, women, other dogs, noisy children, cats… you name it! If he’s ever likely to encounter it in his lifetime, make sure he experiences plenty of it in the first 16 weeks of his life. During this time, a puppy is primed to react positively to the world around him, and is incredibly unlikely to form fear associations with anything he encounters, which makes it the ideal time to get your puppy used to whatever the world might throw at him. By making sure he has plenty of opportunity to interact, you are giving him plenty of time to learn the rules of play – he has the chance to develop a strong bite inhibition for all his interactions with humans and dogs, plus he’ll learn what’s acceptable and what’s not when greeting his fellow species… saving you a whole lot of trouble later on down the line!

Habituation is also incredibly important; this term refers to the process of ensuring your puppy gets used to all the different sights, sounds, and smells in his environment. Expose him to a noisy vacuum cleaner, a washing machine, traffic, cyclists, thunderstorms (CDs can be purchased for this purpose), umbrellas… anything in the world you can think of – show him! Even though we know it’s entirely harmless, a vacuum cleaner can seem absolutely terrifying to a dog that’s never encountered one before – so do yourself a favour and vacuum every day… at least for the first week (well there’s dog hair everywhere anyway, right?)

But I Can’t Take My Dog Out Until He Finishes His Vaccinations… Can I?

Of course you can! There are so many ways to expose your dog to the world without risking his health – just don’t put him on the ground. Carry him outside the school gates at collection time, so he learns to take the hustle and bustle of noisy children in his stride; take him out on a little drive around the block once a day so road journeys are no biggy. Invite the world, his wife and all their children and vaccinated dogs to your house to visit and play with your pup!

Just don’t keep him all locked away in a quiet, calm and uneventful house… or you’re just storing up a whole heap of trouble for the future!

Listen Dog Puppy Packages

I’ve put together a unique private puppy school package that’s ideal for first-time owners, or even second-time owners who want to be confident that they’re providing the best start in life for their new puppy! Unlike traditional puppy classes that take place in groups, and focus mainly on teaching beginner’s obedience, the Listen Dog puppy Package comes to you – and only you.

You will receive a private training plan uniquely tailored to you, your puppy and your family, and I will help you implement it in the comfort of your own home, so you needn’t worry about having to travel, you won’t need to share the attention of an instructor with 6 or 7 other owners and their puppies, and you can make sure the whole family can be involved in your puppy’s upbringing, right from the very start!

This fantastic private package will include four private consultations, during which you will learn about:

• Socialising your puppy (this includes meeting other dogs, and exposing your dog to the world in the right way and at the right time to avoid the development of phobias)

• House training

• Getting through the night (crate training – if you wish to use a crate)

• Acclimatising your dog to separation – avoid the development of separation anxiety

• How to play with your dog, and train appropriate play behaviours, such as ‘fetch’, and ‘drop it’, plus explore a range of stimulating games and activities you can both enjoy

• Walking correctly on a lead – without pulling

• Basic obedience training, including ‘sit’, ‘lay down’, ‘stay’, and ‘leave it’

• Basic recall

• How to deal with mouthing, chewing and teething

• How to stop your puppy from nipping and jumping up

• Acclimatisation to appropriate handling (ideal for visits to the vets, groomers, etc.)

• Canine communication and body language – how you can understand what your dog is saying to you

• Plus lots more!

But that’s not all - across the course of your training package, I will be available via telephone and email for advice, support and further trouble-shooting as and when you need it, and once you successfully complete your puppy course, your puppy will receive lots of lovely graduation goodies!

To Summarise, You Will Receive:

• A digital copy of Dr Ian Dunbar’s ‘Before You Get Your Puppy’

• A digital copy of Dr Ian Dunbar’s ‘After You Get Your Puppy’

• Four separate private training sessions, tailored to you and your puppy

• A personalised written training plan

• All relevant training handouts

• Listen Dog Goodie Bag, containing;

- Training Lanyard

- Clicker

- Recall Whistle

- Training Treats

• Open telephone and email communication until your puppy’s graduation

• Certificate of Graduation and a Golden Listen Dog Graduate Collar Tag

The Listen Dog Puppy Package will be available to book via the website from September 2016; if you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

My ultimate goal is to see as many puppies as possible grow up to be happy, healthy and relaxed adults, who are enjoyed by their families, and their four-legged friends at the park alike.

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