Why should I enroll my puppy in Puppy Kadet Training™?

Puppy Kadet Training™ is a great opportunity for you and your puppy to learn 36 different words and patterns. These patterns will be used in all sorts of environments including your home. In this class, you will also learn how to boost your pup’s confidence by building a solid foundation so that your puppy becomes an intelligent dog. Your puppy will learn how to socialize with other puppies in a low-stress, playful environment. I encourage all family members, including kids, to attend these classes because this way the whole family will be on the same page when it comes to training your puppy. You don’t want to confuse your puppy by giving mixed signals if everyone in your home is creating different rules.

What are the benefits of taking private lessons with you?

I’m a behaviorist and I have been practicing for 26 years. My private sessions are geared toward you and your dog’s special needs. I focus on specific needs that address behavioral issues that are problematic for an owner and the dog. I resolve the issues by focusing on the temperament of the owner as well as the dog. What is a temperament? A temperament is how a dog and an owner handle stress in various real-life situations and in all sorts of environments. As in my book, “Urban Dog,” I create patterns to address different behavioral issues or needs. Some of these issues include jealousy, aggression toward your partner, adapting to bringing home a new baby, as well as a variety of territorial issues. These are just a few examples. In a private lesson, I will read your needs, and successfully create patterns for your environment based on the temperament of you and the dog. Our mission is to live, love, laugh with our dogs!

Is my dog too old to be trained?

I believe a dog is never too old to learn something new. In fact, I think it’s very important to continue teaching your dog something new no matter what his age – it will not only keep him active, but also mentally alert. Teaching your dog new patterns will also create a deeper interaction with your dog and increase the bond between the two of you. Just because your dog is getting older, doesn’t mean that he isn’t getting bored. Dogs get bored with the same everyday routine just like people. So keep him active with new challenges by teaching him new things.

Do you believe some breeds of dogs are more intelligent than others?

I don’t believe that some breeds are more intelligent than others. I prefer to think that every intelligent dog, no matter what the breed, has an intelligent owner. Rather than trying to compare intelligence among the various breeds, I prefer to think that some breeds are naturally better at doing certain things because of their DNA – for example, a hunting dog will be naturally better at a retrieving game. From my years of experience with working with dogs, I believe that you can teach dogs to do anything no matter what their breed.

Do you teach off-leash training?

Even though it is illegal in most cities and towns in the U.S., I still teach an owner how to work with their dogs off leash. I look at it this way; dogs need to learn how to take commands when they are off leash because situations will come up when you will need to control your dog off leash. Here’s a good example — suppose your dog bolts out of your front door and takes off down the street? In a situation such as this, you will need to know how to get your dog to come back to you when you call him. Just as important, off-leash training will also include how to teach your dog to stop at the curb rather than making a mad dash across the street. Off-leash training is also essential if you plan on taking your dog to a doggie park or a doggie beach. In these kinds of environments, he won’t be on a leash so you want him to respond to you despite all the distractions that may be taking place. And your dog is off leash in your house and you need him to respond in a well-behaved manner such as when you have company, playing with children or distractions outside your window.

How would you describe your philosophy about training?

My approach as a behaviorist is for owners to be aware of their dog’s temperament as well as their own. Awareness of temperaments creates a better approach when it comes to training a dog. I believe each dog is unique, so I always look for what motivates a particular dog so that each dog will work to their highest level of intelligence. I’m always looking for the dog to achieve. I want all owners to approach training not only as an educational process, but also as an activity that should be fun. I believe that in order for training to succeed, it needs to be fun for the owner and the dog. I always tell my clients, “If you can play with your dog, you can train your dog.” Educational fun for all!

I sometimes catch my puppy chewing on valuable items in my house. Is it all right to hit my puppy?

You should never punish your puppy by hitting her. Puppies don’t put together the consequence that you hit her because she chewed on one of your personal items. When you hit your puppy, the only thing she is learning is to be afraid of you. When you bring your puppy home, you can decrease some of the stress for yourself by puppy-proofing your home in much the same manner that parents baby-proof their home. Don’t leave small valuable items within easy reach. By taking this precaution, you are not only protecting your possessions, but also protecting your puppy from chewing or ingesting something that can be harmful.

When training my pup, what’s the best reward that I can give her?

The best reward you can give your puppy is anything that motivates her. I have found that one of the best motivators you can use is your puppy’s food rather than special treats. Because you need to house break your pup anyway, I suggest that you should train your puppy at meal times and give her a majority of the portion of her food from your hand as the reward. This is a great way to have a five-minute training session. I have nothing against using treats, but the downside is you can risk giving her an upset stomach by over-feeding. There’s another downside of using treats — if your puppy isn’t hungry then it will be harder to motivate her. I think toys are the best motivators because pups always want to play especially if you’re part of the game. A game like “fetch” is a wonderful game to be used as a training tool because the ball is a great motivator – your puppy learns to retrieve something and also learns to sit and focus at your side before you throw the ball again. Always remember that puppies like to have fun, so using toys is an excellent motivator.

Training a puppy seems like a lot of work – why should I do it?

You should view training as a way of teaching your puppy how to exist in your environment. If you don’t have the time to train a puppy then you shouldn’t have a puppy. There are no short cuts when it comes to training. You need to put in all the time you can especially for the first four months. I also think it’s a matter of perspective when it comes to training. Rather than looking at training as drudgery, look at it as a time to play with your puppy instead. In the end, you’re teaching your puppy to be confident and smart not only in your home environment, but in other environments as well. Look at training as a way of fostering your puppy to be the best she can be. Just as important during the training process, you can stop bad habits from becoming a large behavioral pattern down the road.

My puppy has so much energy, I don’t know what to do!

The best action you can take is to expel that energy by working on some patterns, such as “fetch” or “rollovers”. With a hyper puppy you may need to repeat a particular pattern 10 to 15 times. Every time you do a pattern, you are not only expelling energy, but are also creating more focus for the puppy. This helps create mental exhaustion which is far superior to physical exhaustion. Another way to expel energy is to take her outside for a walk for six blocks or even a mile. A tired puppy is a happy puppy. Puppies have a lot of energy and it’s your mission to help her expel that excess energy in a fun and positive way.

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