How quickly will I see results from a behaviour Consultation?
The behaviour modification programme advised upon may produce results very quickly. However it will take time, effort and a commitment by all the family to produce the desired improvement in your pet’s behaviour. Please be prepared for this and remember that your pet’s current behaviour problems may have developed over a long period of time.
What do I do if my puppy jumps up all the time?
Teach your puppy to sit and reward your puppy with praise and treats.
Will my puppy grow out of mouthing and biting the children?
Not without some help and guidance from you and the children. Puppies do naturally chew, particularly when teething. Provide them with plenty of toys with different surfaces and textures to encourage chewing of objects which are suitable e.g. rope toys, soft toys, rubber toys and activity toys such as Kongs®. In addition, do not allow mouthing or biting of hands, other parts of the human body, or clothes. Distract the puppy with a suitable object such as those above. Stop any play or games if the puppy mouths or bites a person. Resume the game after 5 minutes. Stop immediately if the puppy mouths or bites a person.
Are crates (indoor kennels) cruel?
Quite the opposite, puppies, and older dogs love kennels, which are like a den. The crate must never be used as a punishment, however, the puppy must associate the crate as somewhere which is nice and warm, where s/he gets fed and where toys and treats are often found. Crates can be invaluable when house training. Puppies and dogs should not be left in crates for very long periods however. You should not leave your puppy in a crate for several hours at a time in the day, although for overnight sleeping, the crate is fine, especially if you want your puppy near you in a bedroom, but not on the bed.
Should I shout at my puppy, or smack her on the nose if she is doing something really bad like stealing food or has toileted on the carpet?
Shouting and smacking are both ineffective as punishments. If you come home and your dog has toileted on the carpet, you do not know when that happened – it could have been hours before. The dog then has no idea why you have smacked him or shouted. Punishments are also very bad in terms of building up a relationship of trust between the owner and their dog. This makes training harder and is generally not good for the dog/puppy’s well being. It is much better to prevent these behaviours occurring rather than correcting them. You can then reward the good behaviours, making everyone happy, including your dog.
What else does Athenae offer?
Puppy Socialisation classes
Bereavement Counselling for owners
Kennel Club Good Citizen classes and certification.