Training and understanding your Dalmatians Behaviour
Only a well socialised and adjusted Dalmatian, is a happy Dalmatian
Training and understanding your Dalmatians Behavior
Training and understanding your Dalmatian
Training your Dalmatian to perform acts such as sit and down is not, what I am referring to. These acts are nothing but circus tricks that are a necessity but they will not establish trust and a bond between you and your dog and it is this bond, which is vital for the integration of your Dalmatian puppy to society as well as your family.
You must first establish trustSo far your Dalmatian puppy has been a member of its canine pack. Mum and other four legged pack members where the tutors and humans provided food, cuddles and the first introductions to household noises. Your puppy was born into this situation and most of his pack members, spoke his language. All of your Dalmatian puppies actions to this date had consequences and unlike humans, canine parents do not need to be taught on how to parent and guide.
Avoiding negative experiencesThe first two weeks of your Dalmatian puppies life with you should be all about trust and avoidance. Your Dalmatian does not know you yet, you are in fact introducing yourself to your Dalmatian puppy and a lot of your life long relationship with your Dalmatian is established now. So what do I mean by trust and avoidance? You need to be fair to your Dalmatian puppy. It is a tiny Todd, which so far has no manners around the house. Young Dalmatian puppies go from sleep, eat, and play to sleep yet again.
Adjust your timing to these phases. As soon as your Dalmatian puppy wakes up, it will need to go. So keep an eye on your Dalmatian puppy and take it out, praise it lots, take it inside and feed it and then back outdoors so it can work off all the steam without chewing your carpet. Following this advise will avoid you chasing after your Dalmatian puppy, who would only learn to believe that his name is "No, don't do it"! Sticking to these simple rules will create a happy and relaxed atmosphere instead.
What do I do ifThe doorbell and the phone rings at the same time as your Dalmatian puppy is awake? Have a little pen set up for such situations and put your Dalmatian puppy inside, where he can chew a bone. You will be calm as you know that both your house and your Dalmatian puppy are safe!
Make yourself interesting to your Dalmatian PuppyWhen you are outside with your Dalmatian Puppy you should give it some time to check out its surroundings. All Dalmatians love to check out their Garden and make sure no critters have visited during their absence. Once they are done, interact with your Dalmatian puppy in a fun way. Hide behind a tree, squeak a toy, act really happy and only call your Dalmatian puppy if it is running in your direction anyway. A Dalmatian puppy prepared in this manner will be easily trained and will know you as a fun person to follow and to trust.
Mistakes during the first few weeks at homeSo you have been well prepared for a while and read every book there is about training your puppy for a while? Your long awaited Dalmatian puppy finally comes home with you and you cannot wait to train it and to take it around town. You put a collar on, take it out on a leash and you practice sit, down and stay each day. Well you have just turned yourself into a nagging and yapping bore. That’s right. Your Dalmatian does not know any commands yet and it does not know you yet, and therefore does not trust you in new and scary situations like a town Centre.
Two weeks is all it takesMake the first two weeks of your Dalmatian puppies life all about avoiding bad situations and establishing trust and then move on to practising circus tricks as well as taking your Dalmatian puppy one step further at the time. Avoid system overload. Like small children, Dalmatian puppies need a break after an excitement. Give them time to digest the newly learned and relax.
I just want to love and spoil my Dalmatian puppyUnderstanding canine behaviour and providing guidance for your Dalmatian puppy is a vital aspect for the integration of your new family member as it avoids stressful situations. Have you ever heard the expression that stress is the killer No.1? Well this does not just apply to humans either. It does not matter how often you hear a canine being described as a fur kid.
A dog is a dog and will always be a dog and therefore it will be happier, if you understand its natural behavior and social structure. As a matter of fact a dog is at ease, if you can provide it with guidance on how to integrate to your family instead of adjusting your family to the dog’s unguided behavior. After all, you would not need this advice if we were talking about your two year old toddler, so please apply the same common sense to your Dalmatian puppy.
Your Dalmatian Puppy has arrived
If all went well during the first two weeks your Dalmatian puppy would have truly arrived at your home. He or she will eat without distraction, follow you happily around the house and garden and it is now time to move on. Your Dalmatian needs to learn what it takes to fit in with your lifestyle. This is the time when you start to exchange unwanted for wanted behavior, make positive associations and when you start to establish routines.
Exchanging unwanted for wanted BehaviourSo you caught your Dalmatian puppy chewing your dining table leg? What do you do? Of course you want to stop this behavior immediately but what is the best way to go about it? If you just say no, your Dalmatian puppy is not just unlikely to listen to you but it will again recognize you as a bore. You are stopping all the fun so instead of saying no, call your Dalmatian puppy with your most exiting, squeaky voice and offer the most interesting toy, maybe even play tug of war for a few seconds, then praise plenty. Repeat as necessary.
Establishing positive associationsWhen you are busy or at night time your Dalmatian puppy should be in a play pen or crate. Neither of the two should ever feel like punishment and it is therefore important that you establish positive connections. So if your Dalmatian puppy is right awake whilst you have to confine it during the day, give it a lovely, big bone to chew on. Not only will the Dalmatian enjoy its bone but chewing also releases calming endorphins, which is also why unhappy and scared dogs become destructive. Take the bone away from your Dalmatian puppy when you take it out of his confinement.
Before you lock your Dalmatian puppy into its crate at night, you need to assure that he had a chance to empty his bladder and is actually tired. Have the crate near your bed in the beginning so your Dalmatian puppy knows, that you will not just leave and it will feel les trapped. Locking a Dalmatian puppy away, who is still right awake and then abandon it there will lead to very negative experiences.
Establishing RoutinesRoutines are frequent occurrences and each family will have slightly different routines and also slightly different expectations of how their Dalmatian dog is supposed to react. During the time you are about to establish routines it is important that all family members are in agreement on what it supposed to happen. Where is your Dalmatian puppy going to be, when you eat Dinner? What happens if the doorbell goes? Make your decisions and then teach your Dalmatian puppy what to do as soon as you have established trust. Remember what could be considered cute behaviour for a Dalmatian puppy, may be totally out of order for an adult Dalmatian who can weigh anything up to 85 lb.
The importance of understanding your Dalmatians behaviourYes I have mentioned this before BUT it cannot be stressed enough just how important it is for you to understand canine behaviour. Dogs are masters at fitting in with mankind but mankind is not always so good at speaking canine! This is however the language your Dalmatian speaks and therefore you have to learn to understand it. If I would try and explain it all to you, I would end up writing a book. I have therefore provided a number of weblinks for you to carry on reading whilst I can only supply the most basic rules.
Basic rules of canine BehaviourSo far I have written a lot about the similarities of Dalmatians and humans. Well there are obviously some differences too, which you need to understand. The biggest difference between educating a child and training a Dalmatian dog is the fact that the first needs to receive an education, which will enable the adult person to lead an independent life and take decisions of their own. The Dalmatian would find the same behaviour rather stressful as it is a big responsibility for a canine to make decisions. So please provide clear instructions to your Dalmatian of what it is, that you want it to do. Do it with purpose and mean it whilst you advise it.
Don’t bark so much and never turn your Dalmatian on its backBark? Is she mad? No, I am not. What I am referring to is the human habit of communicating through voice. Canines are much better at understanding body language and if you talk too much, they view you as the yapping underdog of the pack. Body language is a very important and effective training tool. If you need to establish respect or if you want to express anger, stand tall and upright. Your Dalmatian will immediately understand you.
In the olden days it was common to turn a dog on its back to establish dominance or to punish unwanted behaviour. This is probably the most misunderstood act in the history of canines among humans. A well socialized canine, who has learned its skills from a well socialized dog pack would only ever push another canine over if it meant to KILL. Do you really want your Dalmatian puppy to fear for its life? What you will see if you study canine behaviour is that the leader of the pack will stand with his head over the underdogs neck (stand tall and upright) or you will see the mother of a littler of Dalmatian puppies grip hold of the Dalmatian puppies snout. You can also see Dalmatian puppies surrender by offering their belly and throat to their superior but you will not see a Dalmatian mother push her puppy over onto its back – ever.
Is your Dalmatian puppy rude?To your mind your Dalmatian puppy may just be naughty but would their canine parents view this with the same eyes? Most likely not and this is where misunderstandings between humans and canines often begin as your Dalmatian cannot possibly understand why you would want it to respect you, whilst you are allowing it to get away with being canine rude. In the canine world the highest pack member will pick the highest located position to sleep, he will also walk through narrow openings first, eat first and he will also be the one commanding the underdog.
Humans on the other hand want to spend as much time as possible with their Dalmatian puppy and because they are so cute, they want them to sleep in their bed, on the couch, allow them to run passed them through doorways and down the stairs and when their Dalmatian puppies commands that it would like you to throw the ball for them so they can fetch, us humans obey!
Isn’t this half the fun of owning a Dalmatian?Of course it is and you do not have to turn into a canine yourself. As mentioned before, canines are very clever when it comes to adapting to us humans. They also understand that you are human and slightly different than their canine superiors. So yes you can still play with your Dalmatian puppy and have it cuddle up to you on the couch but you need to do it on your own terms.
For example, do not always obey if your Dalmatian puppy wants you to play. You own the toys and you say when it is time to play. Particularly for young Dalmatians this does mean that you need to think ahead sometimes and pick up the toy before your Dalmatian does. If you want to spend cuddle time with your Dalmatian on the couch, that is also fine. Just don’t allow your Dalmatian to jump up on the couch without you having given the command. You say when it is couch and cuddle time, not your Dalmatian puppy.
Your resource for Dalmatian Puppy Training Links on the web
Please follow the links below to find Dalmatian puppy training tips galore. Again, Google can be confusing and by far not all canine experts are genuine. The collection below will provide you with the basics and will provide you with the right direction in which you should take your Dalmatian puppy. If you find Training links, which you consider particularly helpful, we would like to hear about them.
Reading Room Patricia McConnell, PhD
Toilet Training The UK KC
The Dog Listener Jan Fennell
The Perfect Puppy Gwen Bailey
Stop Biting & Nipping The UK KC
The Puppy Socialisation Plan Carolyn Menteith DipCABT, KCAI
Crate Training your Puppy Animal Humane Society
Understanding Canine Temperament Joy Tiz MS, JD