Puppy Training Programs in Laurel Springs, Mount Laurel & South Jersey
We believe in the fundamentals, including proper development and guidance of their most natural periods of learning; the imprinting period, puppyhood, and adolescent sensitive stages.
HDBT Method to Puppy Upbringing
By providing puppies with what really matters for them, in their terms and language, we will naturally became the focus of their interests, and the leader to follow. This “opening” and “focus” on us is what we call “attention”, and is the start of any interaction with our dog; as for “interaction” we mean sharing activity, and day-to-day life where the dog will participate with enthusiasm, and willing to fulfill our request… while remaining totally convinced that we are the most interesting thing in the world.
“Attention”, “Focus”, “Guidance of Drives” are basic terms in contemporary dog training, but communication has been introduced to this through training techniques when the dog is “mature enough” to handle training, requests and discipline.
The most advanced puppy training method, which some of the top technicians around the world have been using for over a decade, has proven that it’s much easier and more successful to mold the puppy’s behavior, and direct it into the type of attitude and cooperation we want, than technically inducing it in the adult or young adult, that has already, imprinted and formed his own “habits”.
Puppies are learning every single moment of puppyhood and adolescence – if you do not properly guide the learning, and take position and control it through the proper up-bringing, they will bring up themselves, the best that they know how… that often means the worst way possible.
Some Cues About Them
Dogs naturally learn through experiences of “conveniences” and “inconveniences”. Their goal is internal balance. The balance comes from:
1-Fulfilling of physical needs (nutrition)
2-Proper usage and unloading of natural drives (instincts)
3- Satisfaction of social needs. (Living in a pack, and satisfaction of the natural push into the scale of social status for acquiring privileges).
The need to push for social status (dominance) and drives (prey drive, defensive or aggressive drives and social drives) may vary in their presence and importance dog-to-dog, due to human influence in the making of different breeds, as well as different bloodlines within the same breed, and also in “personal” temperament.. But their way of learning, their needs, and their drives do not change.
Despite the bowl of food we provide them with every day, they do not stop their natural behaviors and characteristics, and their needs don’t shy away because of a comfortable fancy pillow to sleep on in front of the AC.
Knowing what makes a dog a dog is crucial for a healthy and satisfying relationship, for both parts. They are social animals, with a hierarchic mentality, (they do not comprehends democracy) and they are predators. Refusing or trying to ignore this very basic dog characteristic will bring much discomfort to your dog; dangerous escalations arise from overloaded drives that have no outlet in our dog’s humanized world.
Puppy Learning Stages
Imprinting (3 to 12 weeks) The imprinting period is the most important period for the formation of self-awareness, and for internal social issues. During this period, the puppy builds their attitude about interaction, for both intra-specific and inter-specific (dog-to-dog and dog to other animals and humans).. Any experience happening in this period has the power to be imprinted in the puppy memory so deeply, it may be un-erasable.
We should always consider this important period when we purchase a puppy. We should always remember that you are purchasing the good with the bad; knowledgeable or approximate work of the breeder in the genetics of the dog, but also in whelping and working the imprinting. The correct molding, as well as the mistakes made, are going to be an un-erasable part of your puppy.
Puppy-hood (3 months to 5 months) Puppyhood is the period when puppies widen up their capability of socialization with space, territory, environment, and other people or dogs. Continuing in their testing of hierarchy, to place themselves into the pack, as well as refining their usage of drives during play to build themselves as better predators. A lot of pushing of dominance, mouthing, nipping, jumping up, and pulling are displayed in this stage. In this period, a puppy is like a sponge… they are learning every moment, regardless what we are doing. It is important to set firm boundaries during this period, but be warned…testing of boundaries may become overwhelming.
This is the period where balance if crucial. Too much discipline will turn into frustration and closure, as much as too little discipline will. Too much socialization will cause lack of interest and lack of attention, as much as too little socialization will. Too much freedom will cause a severe lack of focus, as much as too little freedom will. And too much “soft thinking” because “is just a puppy” will grow into arrogance that, depending on the dog’s genetic qualities, will be displayed through aggressive behavior, or just perseverant self-affirmation and disobedience.
Adolescent/sensitive stage (5/7 months to 12/16 months) This is a difficult period. Dogs at this stage show unbalance in sensitivity, and consistency. Depending on genetics, major traits such as boldness and fear can be displayed, as well as obsessive self-assertive behavior, or submissiveness. Fundamentals for a dog at this stage rely on trustful leadership, and reliability on previous positive experiences. An inconsistent or unknowledgeable up-bringing will lead to frustration, fear and stress- related behaviors like: compulsive chewing – uncontrolled display of energy – disobedience and tendency of running away – compulsive mounting of random objects, people, other dogs – obsessive interest in co-specific interaction (dog to dog) and lack of interest in interspecies interaction (dog to owner). First signs of aggressive and possessive behaviors will be displayed at this stage in high dominant breed/type, when this stage and previous stage has been handled without approximation.
This is the period where a trustful, secure, consistent leader is needed to be reference point for the young dog that gets easily lost in his explosive energies, drives, sexual hormones, and moods. The more he can relate to clearness and consistency in the previous experiences, and in the leadership, the more easily he can come through this moody period. Although discipline is of the utmost importance, proper work in unloading and guiding drives are crucial during this stage.
Have a question? Want to speak with a Certified Dog Trainer? Drop us a line.