“Off Lead Play Calms My Puppy”. Really?

To all the puppy/dog owners who think they need an off lead play group, or lots of visits to the off lead park to keep their dog happy, this message is for you!

But, off lead play settles my puppy. It calms him down!

Really? Does it? If that’s true, ask yourself how well behaved your puppy is. Does he listen to you, settle in the house and behave calmly around strange dogs and people?

Dogs that are over stimulated in class by the sight of a few other dogs generally have had lots of off lead play. They find it impossible to focus on their owner or calm down in the presence of other dogs.

Dogs that are in “raspberry cordial zone” cannot learn! Calm dogs learn.

Teaching your dog to be calm will allow you to train your dog. A qualified reward-based trainer can help you.

Clients call and tell me …..

  • He’s crazy
  • She won’t come back
  • He jumps on people all the time
  • We cant walk him coz he pulls on the lead
  • We cant have her inside because she runs around & wrecks the place
  • He’s barking! The neighbours have complained & we’ll have to get rid of him if you can’t fix it!
  • Other dogs hate the way he jumps on them – it ends in fights
  • He just wont ever settle down!

How did this happen? That cute little pup you loved and took to the park to socialize and play is now growing up and the fun’s over.

Everyone told you to head to the off lead park or beach & socialize your pup with all the other dogs. It was such fun watching them play. But what was your puppy learning? What were you learning about raising a puppy?

Socialising Puppies

Oh boy, do most people get this wrong. Socialising is not all about playing. Socialising your puppy well means they learn to be comfortable with any sound, sight, smell, person, experience the world can throw at them. And, it’s about learning social skills. It’s not all about unsupervised play.

Sure, it’s fun to watch dogs playing. We love it and it’s a great time waster. But, play should be monitored carefully as your new puppy may be learning a lot of things that could become a problem for you.

What could go wrong?

  • Dog pulls you on walk to the off lead park. You let dog off to play at the off lead park. Dog learns that pulling gets play and keeps pulling!
  • Dog learns that when they see another dog they get play. Dog becomes frustrated & pulls & barks when on lead & cannot get to other dog
  • Strangers give food to pup at park. Pup learns to annoy people for food.
  • Strangers pat puppy jumping up. Puppy learns to jump on people.
  • Puppy is scared by dog at the park. Puppy learns to be scared of dogs.
  • Puppy plays rough with other dogs at the park. Some dogs don’t like rough play and puppy gets growled at or worse!

Training Starts Now!

Paying a lot of money for a dog is no guarantee it will behave well! Puppies can start class at 8 weeks!

You might own a car, but do you service it? Just a few hours of lessons from a qualified professional can make such a difference. It might be too late for this dog, but just give it some thought next time! Please.

Billions of dogs are euthanized every year

Because they don’t behave!

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