Sweet & Smart Super Cuddler
Maggie is a beautiful puppy with a fearful disposition. We will work to help Maggie learn that people, sounds, and the world in general aren't so scary. We will also help with the normal puppy behaviors that aren't so fun, like puppy biting, housebreaking and leash pulling.
The Maggie VIP List
Respect Maggie's Communication
The most important thing to help Maggie with is to help her feel better about humans. We do this by listening with our eyes to her body language. Below are some resources in the body language section of this page to help get you started. For the kids, let them review the Kids and Dogs section. Read the Doggie Language book I left behind several times!
Don't close the gap. Allow Maggie the choice to come to you rather than closing the space gap to pet her. She will let you know when she's comfortable.
Practice consent tests. When petting Maggie, stroke her a few times and then pause. If she moves away from you, she didn't want to be pet right now. If she 'asks for more' by nuzzling or leaning into you, she would like you to do it a bit more!
Developing the Relationship
Use her mealtimes strategically. In the morning, feed her from a puzzle bowl or a slow feeder. In the midday and evening feedings, share the responsibility with the family. Have one person hand feed her slowly in her pen. Have a different person do it in the evening. Have the feeding helper be very calm and not ask for Maggie to do anything other than just be there in exchange for her food. Later, we will build on this skill to help meet some of her other puppy needs.
One of Maggie's VIPs is play biting. You chose to reduce the intensity of play biting but still allow for some gentle mouthiness. We'll tackle this in the "How to Teach a Softer Bite" section found by clicking through the Play Biting Section below.
Loose Leash Walking
See the loose leash section on this page
Enrichment for Confidence Building
See the Enrichment section on this page - think about games to play with Maggie that involve her seeking system (her nose!). Playing games like nosework will help her pair new things with great things like treats.
Loose Leash Walking
The leash is a very important tool that we use to communicate with our dogs. Your dog can sense tension through the leash. We want to work with this in a few ways. Click here to learn more.
Being comfortable in a crate is important for any dog. Even if you don't use a crate on a daily basis, keep up with using the crate every week for short durations. You never know when an injury may occur and you will need your dog comfortable for recovery.
Click here for our crate training plan that can even be used to re-train an adult dog who was previously fearful of the crate. If you have any questions about this reach out. This is important for you so that she can get comfy in a safe confinement area.
Brush up on dog body language. This is a must for all dog owners. Our body language page has everything you need to get familiar with the subtle and not-so-subtle signs of fear, anxiety, and stress. Click Chewie to go to the page.
This video is 16 minute must watch to better understand different types of fear and aggressive responses.
Puppy Shopping List
Puzzle Feeders - we will begin to alternate feeding with these soon.
Wood chews- puppies seem to go through a wood phase. These will help: