If you have taken a WOOFS! class you have probably heard us request that you bring high value food rewards to class. So what’s with the obsession with food, you might ask? To begin with, we are positive reinforcement trainers. This means that we use rewards (technically reinforcers) to teach dogs to respond to the… Read more »
Fetch my slippers, not eat them!
“Now what do you have”!?! Despite the fact that we puppy proofed the house, this comment kept coming out of our mouths. The puppy had yet another item of contraband. A shoe, a sock, a bag of chips. The items just kept coming. It was time to play “Whatcha Got”? Young puppies explore the world… Read more »
Race to Your Space!
Does your puppy go to his crate at nap time? When visitors arrive? When you need to leave for work, or when it’s time for bed? The crate provides a safe, quiet space for your puppy. But does he run into the crate with wild abandon, at your request? If he doesn’t, why not? Here’s… Read more »
Puppy Olympics, and the importance of early socialization
The Puppy Olympics are almost here! 8 weeks ago, on April 1st 2016, our foster dog Harlie gave birth to 11 tiny puppies. WOOFS! has fostered many pregnant moms and their puppies over the past 13 years, but this time we decided to do something different. We assigned each puppy a WOOFS! trainer. Each trainer… Read more »
Puppy Challenge #1: House Training
Originally Published on ArlNow.com So you have a cute new puppy? Congratulations! But now what? Puppies naturally bite, cry, poop and pee. Then we get them in the house and immediately want them NOT to bite, cry, poop or pee. It’s a pretty tall order for an 8 week old. So here are a few… Read more »
New! Puppy Prep School
You have GOT to meet Lucy. Lucy is our first Puppy Prep School student and she is adorable. Lucy is an 8 week old mini dachshund who started Prep School on April 5th. I will be chronicling her progress here. We have a lot planned for this little girl. We immediately started working on Lucy’s… Read more »
Want ‘puppy love’ or to run with the big dogs?
Originally published on ArlNow.com There are several avenues you can use to get a dog. Dogs are available through breeders, rescue groups and animal shelters. All of these options have good dogs available. But before you go to get a dog, you will need to have an idea of what you are looking for. The first… Read more »
Surviving your dog’s adolescence
Originally published on ArlNow.com Much like in humans, your dog will go through an adolescent phase and this period can be fraught with difficulty. Dogs will enter their adolescent period at around 6 months old, and exit between 18 months and 2 years of age. Smaller dogs tend to mature more quickly, larger dogs more slowly.… Read more »
What you should really be teaching your puppy
Originally published on ArlNow.com Whenever someone gets a new puppy or dog, they are often eager to teach “the basics.” So everyone starts in on the same things; sit, lie down, shake, stay in front of the food bowl, etc. While these are all valuable skills for your new puppy or dog to know, they… Read more »
What is socialization?
Originally published on ArlNow.com Socialization is the process of positively introducing your puppy to new things so that as they grow into adulthood, they are able to adapt to new situations without fear or anxiety. The most important thing to know is that most puppies are only open to the socialization process between the ages… Read more »
The Why and Why Not of the dog park
So I have been talking a lot about puppy socialization and exercise, and how to accomplish those intertwined goals. Both are critical for the health and well being of your pup and the exercise part can be essential for your sanity! The dog park seems to be the go-to answer for a lot of people,… Read more »