Balanced Puppy Training


Learning how to correctly balance obedience and energy in puppies (dogs, too) is SO important.  It is MUST, not only to reside with your puppy in harmony, but to be FAIR to your canine. 

For example, I think most would believe there is nothing wrong with asking children to contain themselves at the dinner table, in the movies, in a library, etc….BUT there needs to be a release to balance that out. 

Now that release doesn’t have to be a free-for-all, there should be rules and boundaries, BUT there needs to be a release so your canine can enjoy his time, too!

All work and NO play Doesn’t Make a Happy Person

Even with humans, all work doesn’t make us whole.  We need a release, an out, a time where we are for the most part “free.” 

Now we know that we aren’t 100% free because we do have to abide by the rules & regulations that a civilized society has.  Canines do, too; however, we can let our hair down a little to take the edge off & we can do it for our dogs as well.

We MUST do it for our dogs to maintain a healthy relationship and to also prevent or at least minimize other problems that can stem from too much obedience and not enough of releases.

Incorporating Play into a Training Program Can Help!

Using the example of taking your dog for a successful 30-minute obedient walk only to get home and find that he has this stored energy that “NEEDS” to be released.  While your walk may have been great, it seems like you’ve traded in a nice walk for less than desirable behavior inside.  This is what balance is.  Now we need to provide balance while keeping peace. 

So, what happened?  You’ve asked your puppy to be obedient for an extended period by placing some restrictions on him or her.  For the most part, they’ve complied. Just as it is different for every person, it is for every dog.  When does enough, become enough?

Whence, balance!  The walk was all obedience, 100% obedience, we need a 50/50 balance.  So, what can we do to get that?  After a walk, I personally, will take a break with a puppy and crate them immediately (they have just stretched their legs a bit and now it is time for them to relax a little).

There’s another reason, too.  A VERY important reason why I would crate and not immediately jump into a play session, but I will save that for our in-home, Long Island dog training lesson clients! 

That said, after 15 minutes of crate/playpen time, I would take him out and have a play session (all training equipment would be on and toys and treats would be on my persons and ready to GO!). 

There is a specific way I like to run my play sessions as to not have my puppy believe that he can do whatever he wants but at the same time have him or her believe they are free.  This concept is easier explained/shown in person

After a play session we have now balanced the walk (obedience) and play (release) to a 1:1 ratio.  In other words, your canine should incrementally understand that they should follow your commands but also understand that commands are a temporary direction, not ALL DAY, EVERYDAY events – what kind of life would that be without having the freedom to express yourself?

Use the Crate in Conjunction with Obedience Training

In my opinion, there’s another mistake that I see puppy owners make way too often.  This is NOT using the crate enough.  If you’re doing what you’re supposed to do which is:

  1. walk your puppy,
  2. play with your puppy,
  3. feed your puppy,
  4. give affection to your puppy,

you are allowed to do other things that do not require you to give your puppy 100% of your time; when this happens, bring your puppy to the babysitter.  The babysitter is not far, is free, will never undermine you……it is the crate or playpen area.

By employing the crate in those instances, when you do not want to or have time to be a puppy trainer, should greatly REDUCE bad habits from forming.

The last thing in the world you’d want to do is to have your puppy believe that there are times that they do not have to be obedient to you; this usually happens when you are not committed at the moment to your puppy, and they act with no interruption from you because you are busy with other things at that moment. 

Your puppy will probably internalize that sometimes there’s follow-up and sometimes there’s not.  This will lead to a puppy taking more and more chances to defy you. 

What boss are you more likely to slack off with, the supervisor that hardly ever checks up on you or the one that frequently shows their face and provides you with feedback/direction?

Have Questions? Please Feel Free to Share

Please feel free ask any questions you’d like or post comments. We’d be more than happy to help and provide information to your specific situation.

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