Posts

How to Train Your Puppy

 

Puppies are fast learners that require house training and proper socialization from the moment they can walk. Did you know that puppies as young as 7 to 8 weeks old can be taught simple commands? Although they don’t have the attention span to learn complicated instructions at that age, they can still understand one-word commands like “sit”, “down” and “stay.”

These sorts of commands are vital for the dog owner who wants to take their pup out on the town. Here are a few things you ought to know that will have you out enjoying life with your pooch in now time.

When Should You Train Your Puppy

The recommended age for starting a step-by-step training routine is around six months, but puppies can be taught good behavioral habits much sooner than that. Puppies are more adaptable earlier on because they quickly pick up on facial expressions and learn from experience by being exposed to different types of stimuli. It’s also the best time to correct problem behaviors before they become set in stone.

Remain Positive

At 7 to 8 weeks old, you can try some methods based on positive reinforcement and food lure training. To keep a puppy focused on commands such as “stand” or “go”, make sure you place a treat near its nose, only feeding it after you get the desired response. Also, compliment your puppy whenever it listens to the command to create a secondary positive association with food.

 

Leash and Crate Training for Your Puppy

There are many reasons why crate training can help you with your puppy: it makes potty training easier, allows you to transport your puppy, and helps teach them to look and listen to you. The key to crate training is to utilize your puppy’s curious nature and not make a big deal out of it.

Let your puppy explore the crate by placing its favorite toy inside – and don’t shut the door behind them. The goal is to make it a favorite location for your puppy so always associate it with a good experience for your dog. Crate training is a great first step for both the puppy and the dog owner in learning to communicate with each other.

As for leash training, you want to start in an enclosed area before you walk your puppy to a nearby dog park. To familiarize them with the leash, you can let the dog drag it around while you hold on at a clipped length. Many puppies are eager to explore and will pull on their leash. You can eliminate this behavior by making sure that you walk in front of your puppy; it emphasizes to them that you’re in charge and to defer to you.

How to Properly Socialize Your Puppy

You might want to consider a training program which gives your puppy the chance to interact with other dogs, possibly make new friends. Puppies 8-16 weeks old will benefit from socializing as it prevents them from picking up bad habits like excessive barking at facing something new. As a result, they can become less anxious about being handled and stay calm despite loud noises. The BarkHappy app is a fantastic way to meet up with other dogs and dog owners in a more relaxed setting as well.

You should start training your puppy as soon as possible if your goal is to have fun exploring the world with your furry friend. Puppies are just like children in many ways. They need to explore and discover new things to develop a healthy disposition. As long as you remain in control and positively reinforce their learning, your puppy will be ready to hit the town in no time.

 

Alex Briggs is a contributing author for VIP Pet Services.

Unusual Places that Welcome Dogs

Sharing adventures with your dog doesn’t have to mean the same old hiking trails, car rides or dog parks. The BarkHappy app gives you access to the dog-friendly world and makes it easy to plan a unique getaway. For those interested in mixing it up with some new experiences, here are some unusual places that welcome you and your four-legged companion.


Baseball Parks: Take your dog out to the ballgame and watch a major league baseball game. Many stadiums host a pet-night event for dogs. The PNC Park, located on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, PA, is home to the famous Pittsburgh Pirates. It features Pup Nights, a popular local event where once or twice monthly, you and your dog can sit in the deck section and enjoy the game. Dog Package tickets are $35 and include one dog and one human. A portion of the proceeds goes to help local animal shelters. At the Safeco Field in Seattle, there are Bark in the Park nights where for $50, you can purchase a Dog Pack Ticket. It includes entry for you and your dog, a Mariners dog tag and a stroll around the bases. At the Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston, TX, pet owners can attend the annual Dog Day and watch the Astros play the Seattle Mariners.

Ride NY’s Fire Island Ferry and spend the day at the Sunken Forest: It’s a short hop on the Long Island ferry from the town of Sayville to Sailor’s Haven and the Sunken Forest. Seagoing dogs can enjoy the ocean views from the ferry’s top deck. There is a one-way child’s fare charge of $5.00 and dogs must be leashed. The Sunken Forest is part of Fire Island’s National Seashore that includes a 50-acre track of dunes, beaches and trails through an ancient holly forest, with trees as old as 300 years. Dogs can enjoy the 1 ½ mile hike along the boardwalk. There is also a visitor center, snack bar and picnic tables. While the Sunken Forest trails eventually lead to the ocean, between the months of March through Labor Day, dogs are not permitted on the beach at Sailor’s Haven. But for those who crave an ocean experience, grab a sea taxi to neighboring Cherry Grove, where dogs are welcome to romp on the beach all year round.

Get back to nature and take your dog whale-watching: Cape Cod, MA is known for its beautiful beaches and towering sand dunes. But it also offers whale-watching trips, some that welcome dogs. On the Dolphin Fleet in Provincetown, leashed dogs can enjoy the three to four-hour trip that exposes travelers to the beauty of the Outer Cape while viewing humpback, baleen, right whales and other marine life. Dogs must be leashed and well-behaved. Be sure to call ahead for available seating and bring along a water bowl.
Toast your best buddy on a trip to a winery: Dogs love the outdoors and open air, making California’s vineyards the perfect retreat. There are many that are pet-friendly. At the Alexander Valley Vineyards in Healdsburg, CA, visitors can attend the “AVV Going to the Dogs” event that benefits Sonoma County’s Animal Care and Control. Taste the wines while sharing a scenic walk with your dog through the vineyard. At Mutt Lynch Winery in Sonoma, a portion of every sale goes to help rescue groups. The vineyard hosts pet birthday parties and features a yappy hour. Starmont Vineyards features classic Napa wines while catering to their four-legged visitors with Frisbees, doggie biscuits and tennis balls.


Celebrate fall and take your dog apple picking: Sharing fall traditions with your fur baby is a good way to bond. A dog’s world is ruled by smell, and a walk through an apple orchard can produce an intoxicating blend of scents. NY’s Hudson Valley has many that are pet-friendly. Wright’s Apple Farm in Gardiner, NY sits on 500 acres where visitors can pick their own apples, pumpkins and cherries. Scenic Fishkill Farms at Hopewell Junction, NY is just 1 ½ hours north of New York City. There are nature trails, hay rides and pick-your-own fruits. One caveat: dogs must be leashed and well-behaved.

Spend a leisurely afternoon at an art gallery: Believe it or not, some, such as the William Second Gallery in NYC, will allow you to browse with a four-legged friend. This gallery specializes in original paintings of dogs from the 18th and 19th century as well as dog collectibles. For a starting fee of $7,000, you can even commission a painting of your own dog that will immortalize him forever. The A.T. Hun Gallery in Savannah, GA, welcomes four-legged patrons with water and a treat. This gallery features many pet-themed works of art. Check with your local art galleries for information on their pet policies.

When planning your day, be sure to use the BarkHappy app to connect to the dog-friendly world around you. It includes restaurants, bars, events, lodging, weekly meet-ups and more. Share your own finds with others through personal posts and photos on BarkHappy’s Facebook and Instagram pages.