When you make your New Year's resolutions this year, why not include your dog? Popular resolutions such as "get more exercise" can easily include the family pet, and many spiritual, personal growth, environmental, and philanthropical goals can include your best friend, too. Here are our top 7 ideas for including a favorite canine in your New Year's resolutions.
Bad behavior: the big picture
Last month I wrote about some well-trained, problem-solving animals and the incredible things they accomplished on their own.
Behavior problems are the biggest threat to the human-animal bond, and the number-one reason dogs are relinquished. So what’s the key to preventing problems before they start? Debbie Martin, Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member and ClickerExpo faculty member, says, “Get them while they’re young!” One of the few veterinary technicians in the country to specialize in behavior modification, Debbie has always had an interest in animal behavior. She has dedicated her career to helping pet owners resolve their pets’ behavior problems. Recognizing that prevention is easier than treatment, Debbie believes that many behavior problems can be averted with early socialization and foundation training.
Through her book, Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog, and now with her Karen Pryor Academy course, Puppy Start Right for Instructors, Debbie continues to give pet owners, veterinary professionals, and trainers the information and support they need to improve the welfare of dogs—one puppy at a time!
That title is a typo, right? A professional dog trainer would never advocate against socialization, would she? Well, maybe!
The problem isn't with socialization itself, but with many people's understanding of socialization. Socialization is vital for proper mental and social development in dogs, and it needs to be offered properly. Mistakes in socialization, even if intentions are good, can backfire and may even produce an overly shy or overly aggressive dog.