The personality and temperament of a dog can vary from breed to breed, and it’s important to look at how these things will affect their day to day behaviour, before you buy a dog and bring it home. Some dogs are very submissive and easy to train, while others can have quite dominant personalities and will need strong guidance and training. Equally, there are also dogs that will adapt well to strangers and/or children, while others can be very protective and territorial.
Look out for those breeds that are known to be dominant, and therefore will need determined, firm owners, who are prepared to put the work in to train them. There are other breeds of dog that are receptive to training, while some lack self-confidence. Last, but by no means least, there are also the independent breeds, which don’t rely heavily on human interaction and companionship.
It’s not just the dog’s personality that has an impact on their behaviour though; it’s their day to day care, and handling as well. You wouldn’t have to look at an untrained dog for long to see what problems can be created.
Training a puppy can be fun, and help you and your family delight in your dog. Puppy training can start very early on, in fact once it has had time to settle in, the training can begin.
One key issue, at least in the early days, is training your puppy to wee and poo in the right place. There will be accidents, but persistent guidance, and use of the puppy training mats, should minimise these, and eventually your puppy will be doing ‘his business’ outdoors.
Setting boundaries is also important, so be sure to let your puppy/dog know if there is anywhere in the house that is out of bounds, they shouldn’t be on certain chairs or beds, and if there is anything he or she is not allowed to do/play with.
Your new pet also needs to be socialised, so they can get used to other people, noises, smells, and other animals/experiences, and behave well during each. Puppy training or socialisation classes can help with this, and teach you how to introduce each new thing, such as a new person, or a car journey into your new dog’s life. These classes can also help when teaching dogs new commands, such as ‘come’, and walking to heal. Teaching like this from an early age, will enable you safely take your dog out for walks.
It’s also important to look at one of the main causes of dog behaviour called separation anxiety. Dogs can get attached to and rely on their owners being there, and if left on their own can become fearful and stressed. This can lead to destructive behaviour, as a feeling of abandonment sets in. You should never leave your dog alone all day, but you can gradually train them so that they feel comfortable on their own for shorter periods.
The golden rules are praise and consistency, and although it certainly won’t happen overnight, if you make the effort to bring your dog up to be well behaved, the rewards will be ten-fold.