3. SOCIAL SKILLS Socialization is one of the most important skills a dog should master. Learning how to respond to other dogs, what is acceptable and not acceptable in dog language, is an essential life lesson both owners and dogs need to understand. Social skills will allow your dog to cope and behave during everyday occasions such as walks, veterinary visits, boarding and in playgroups. Knowing how to read when your dog signals stress, discomfort and anxiety will allow you to manage situations that arise and avoid confrontations. Socialization from puppyhood is ideal. After a puppy’s second set of vaccines, he will be ready to join a guided, puppy social class. In these classes, puppies will be introduced to new sounds, other puppies and people, distractions and smells. A trainer will introduce these new experiences in a positive and rewarding environment. With older, adopted dogs or your current family dog, it is never too late to retrain and manage your dog’s response to external situations. Doggie daycare or dog parks are NOT places where dogs can safely learn to socialize and one bad experience can have lifelong repercussions.
4. TRAINING CLASSES Training classes are fun for both you and your dog. The exercises taught are stimulating and engaging. Even if your dog has perfect manners, training classes are available at all levels. WOOF! Training Academy offers puppy socials, pre-basic and basic obedience, all the way through Community and Urban dog training. Group and one-on-one options are offered. Loose leash training classes end in an interactive group hike through our fabulous local state parks. The opportunity to consult your trainer while on a hike is invaluable. This can help resolve real world problems with your dog, or address your own training difficulties. Whether you have a puppy that won’t stop chewing the sofa, or a dog that won’t stop jumping on the neighbor, there are training techniques that can help. If your goal is to prepare your dog to be a service dog (trained to do specific tasks for you) or a therapy dog (one that visits nursing homes or hospitals), it all begins with basic obedience training and learning real life skills. Dogs with advanced training can get their AKC Canine Good Citizen certificates and so much more. Start the New Year on the right paw for you and your dog, with training. Old, young or somewhere in between, it is never too late to refresh skills, learn new ones or just hang out with like minded dog and pet owners.V
Jan/Feb 2021 | VIEW ON MAGAZINE |