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Dog training shows how much an owner loves a pet

Here's a surprising new fact: Dog experts have discovered that puppies respond to attention even before they're born! This new knowledge means that dog training can begin while puppies are still in the womb.

Dogs have a natural instinct toward sociability. They're pack animals who look to a leader, an “alpha dog” to know how to behave. Good obedience training establishes the pet owner as the “alpha” dog without harshness or cruelty, so that their pet responds appropriately to other people, other pets and to the world around them.

About three weeks after they're born, puppies entertain into a behavioral period known as socialization. Between three and 12 weeks, the main task of puppies is social play. The investigate, they “play-fight, ” and they mimic sexual behaviors. Their subsequent behavior is shaped by the puppies interaction with their mother and litter mates.

Unfortunately for dogs, humans for centuries had an attitude that it was necessary to “break a dog's spirit” in order to train them properly. This attitude resulted from humans' sense that they had to dominate their animals in order to control them properly. Thankfully over the last century or so, animal experts have learned much about the natural instincts and behaviors of dogs so that puppy training has advance from this earlier, more cruel attitude.

Without proper training, life with a dog can turn disastrous. It's not right to blame an untrained dog when it chews up an owner's belongings, does its “business” in the house, digs house in the garden, fights with other dogs or even bites the hands that feed it. These are all natural behaviors among canines, but without training a dog has no way or knowing when these activities are inappropriate for the time or place.

Dog training for obedience involves the owner and puppy learning a series of basic commands. Among these are “sit, ” “stay, ” “down, ” “come, ” “heel, ” “drop it” and “leave it.” In most cases, these commands are taught with the use of food rewards such as dog food, tiny dog biscuits or small pieces of proper human food such as string cheese or baked or boiled chicken. Each of these commands is intended to teach a certain posture to the dog that the owner can use to control its behavior.

Among the basic obedience commands, “stay” and “heelmay be the most difficult for puppies to learn. Puppies are naturally full of energy and playfulness and they want nothing more than to explore. Owners who find it hard to channel all that puppy energy must develop the patience to keep practicing all obedience commands until their dogs can do them well instantly.

One thing that is never, never, appropriate in dog training is to strike, hit or physically abuse a dog in any way.  Dogs, especially puppies, quickly become devoted to their owners and physical abuse will destroy that relationship. Always train a dog with firmness, but with patience and lots of love.

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