Tips and tricks for the working breeds:
- Start early! Puppies need exposure to many different types of people, places, and things by 12 to 16 weeks of age. Never force your puppy to investigate something if they are fearful. In this situation it is important to go slow and help him through fearful situations. Socialization is crucial.
- For the working breeds we want to give them as many positive brain enhancing experiences as possible to really develop their decision making skills. Puzzles, playtime, and nose work are great brain simulators. The brain is a muscle and the parts that are used the most expand while areas used less shrink in size this is why a wide variety of stimulants are important at a young age.
- Clicker training is a great way to create a strong bond between dog and handler. When done correctly it tells your pup they did a desired activity or response correctly!
- Physical conditioning is important for working breeds. Typically these breeds have great stamina and an endless supply of energy for their work. Supplying them with proper exercise and brain stimulating activity is key. It is important that with your puppy or dog to never over work them. Puppies are still growing and maturing physically and if pushed too hard can sustain injuries. Ask your veterinarian for a good workout plan that fits their needs and you can seek a qualified positive reinforcement trainer to get the right amount of mental stimulation. It is also important with high energy dogs to teach them when to settle down and enjoy that quiet down time.
- Obedience training will be vital to the working breeds. It will strengthen the bond between dog and handler and also allow the dog to respond correctly when given a task in stressful situations.