How exciting, you’re about to take the first steps on what will be,IF YOU GET IT RIGHT, the most amazing journey of adventure, companionship and fun is ahead of you!
I want to ensure you get it right though because 90% of owners don’t!
After 17 Years of working with dogs and their owners, I know just how unlikely the average person is to get from dog ownership what they thought they would.
I know exactly how hard it is for the average person, with their busy lives and other commitments to get it right.
In fact, whilst I absolutely want to help you get it right, I’m more concerned about ensuring you don’t get it wrong, which is the most likely outcome.
You see, the thing is, what human logic suggests is usually the exact opposite to what you should do with your new Puppy.
You’re already thinking about puppy training classes, having the Family over to visit, getting the vaccinations sorted and going out to get your socialisation done right?
You’re about to make some really monumental mistakes that many before you have made at huge expense.
Raising a puppy is like raising a child and takes exactly the same kind of input, however, with a human you get 18 Years to finish the job, with a puppy you have just 6 Months.
If by 6 months of age you don’t have a puppy who is attentive in all environments, calm and clean in indoor spaces and free from all the common behavioural issues that ruin peoples lives on a daily basis then you’ve just committed to 12 Years of ongoing pain. For you, your Family, your dog and members of the public.
Did you know, only 10% of Dog owners live the life they dreamt about with their dog? IF YOU GET IT RIGHTDid you know only about 10% of dog owners live the life they dream
Let me clarify. In the UK, 30% of homes own a dog. That means, if you got 100 Families, 30 of those Families own a dog.
Q. Why then, if you walk into a dog friendly restaurant with 100 Families inside, are there only 3 dogs?
A. Because the other 27 Dogs aren’t well behaved enough to go!
Exactly the same is true on the beach, in the woods, on the park and any other situation you can imagine.
I know this because I’ve been working with prospective and current dog owners for over a decade now and not only have I seen the results of them not getting it right when they start with a puppy but I’ve also seen people just like you untrain exceptionally well trained dogs within 2 weeks of owning them.
That’s why we’ve built this page.
Our mission at WKD is to improve the lives of dogs and owners around the world.
We spend lots of time working with people who have already made the mistakes and are living with the consequences.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s rewarding work but we also know that the way to make the biggest impact, the way to give you and your dog the best life you can possibly have together is to help you from the very start.
That’s why we’ve built this page, to help you get it perfect the first time around, to avoid the stress that comes with getting it wrong and the frustration of not knowing what to do when it does.
If you approach raising your puppy in a proactive manner you’ll save time, save money, avoid issues and have a much more enjoyable life together.
How much thought have you given to the way in which you are going to collect your puppy? How will it travel? Who’s going with you? Where will the puppy travel on the way home?
What are you going to do when you get home? Where have you decided the puppy will sleep? Is it the right place? Have you got friends and Family coming over to meet your new Family member? Should you ask them to give you time alone with your puppy?
What about feeding and toileting routines? Do you know how to differentiate a whine for attention from a whine because your puppy needs the toilet? Get this bit wrong and you’ll have separation and attention seeking problems for life!
The first 5 Days when you get your puppy home are the most critical and I can guarantee, whilst you may think you know what you’re doing, you don’t.
Most of our puppy training clients approach us once things are going wrong rather than before….
You’re in a very fortunate position which means we can avoid all of the common problems from the very beginning..
Now you’re likely thinking how can a Puppy cause so much trouble?
Well, you’d be very surprised.
I don’t suppose you’ve ever experienced waking up every morning to pee and poo everywhere for months on end? It’s the most common complaint new puppy owners have. You might be thinking you can cope with that but in reality, when you’re used to waking up, brushing your teeth and then grabbing a tea or coffee, if you don’t get it right, you’re in for a big shock. Much like baby poop, puppy poo gets everywhere, is hard to clean up, gets all over their paws and then they jump up on your clean clothes.
I haven’t even mentioned the disrupted sleep and complaints from the neighbours when your puppy starts non stop crying and screaming at the most unearthly times for hours on end. Which it will if you don’t get it right.
You’d be amazed how many people end up with the puppy in the bedroom or having to sleep next to it on the sofa for the first few weeks. Not only is that not ideal for you but it also creates separation anxiety.
If you aren’t sure what separation anxiety is, let me explain.
On the lowest level, it’s a puppy that can’t bear to be away from you and crys and screams every time you go upstairs or go out. A puppy that has to follow you everywhere (yes, even to the toilet), seeks your attention constantly and when it can’t get your attention, he or she finds ways to make sure you can’t ignore them.
On the other end of the scale is separation anxiety so bad that you come home to chewed up belongings amounting to thousands of pounds in value and your dog experiences the most overwhelming worry when you are away from home.
Now let’s talk about mouthing! Puppies explore the World with their mouths. Which is fine, until you combine it with soft human skin and nice clothes. It’s even worse if you have children.
Mouthing, jumping up and scratching are the behaviours that really detract from life. You’re trying to get the kids ready for school or have just got dressed for a meeting and the puppy is running around grabbing hold of the children’s hands, your trousers or skirt and anything else that they get a reaction from.
It bloody hurts too.
It’s not just the pain that’s a problem though, it’s the changes to the relationship that occur too. All of a sudden, your puppy sees you as a playmate instead of it’s owner, the kids get scared and no longer want to interact and your friends and family stop visiting. Mouthing and jumping up is no joke.
Then there’s socialisation. You’ll likely have already read that socialisation is the most important part of raising a puppy. Well, after a couple of weeks with your puppy at home, assuming you’ve survived that long, it’s time to start taking your puppy out and about.
If you thought the list of issues above was bad, this is where it really takes a turn for the worse.
If you get it wrong, which you almost certainly will, socialisation causes all of the problems that people deal with in the juvenile stages and beyond. Chasing animals, lunging to jump up at people, running after joggers and bikes, barking impatiently when you stop for a chat and of course, completely ignoring recall.
Well that’s ok, you can just keep him or her on lead right? Well yeah, sure you can. But unless you’ve trained a high level of heelwork that’s not going to be much fun either!
Most owners of dogs are dealing with lead reactivity issues too.
Lead reactivity is when a dog is either playfully or aggressively reacting to things in the environment when on lead.
It turns what should be enjoyable walks into a nightmare, causes stress, injury, embarrassment and more.
If you’re lucky enough to end up with a dog that isn’t reactive, then the chances are you’ll end up with a dog who pulls on the lead like a train.
This doesn’t sound like a big deal but, in reality, it completely ruins walks and ends up with you in a place where you try to avoid having your dog on a lead as much as possible. You will do this one of two ways.
You either stop taking your dog out as much as you had hoped for and your dog requires or, alternatively, get to a place where your dog can be off lead as much as possible as quickly as possible.
And that’s when having an amazing recall becomes really important.
Very few owners ever achieve that though.
The reason most dog owners never own a dog with a great recall is, inherently, dogs want to do what gives them the most enjoyment and if you aren’t careful, the things that give your dog the most enjoyment will be undesirable in your eyes.
Running off to jump on people and other dogs
Raiding bins and stealing food from picnics
Crossing roads, disappearing, getting into fighters and more.
We believe that dogs should enjoy freedom and owners should be able to trust their dogs when off lead but, for those that can’t, pulling on lead is the most common complaint from dog owners and it leads to stress, frustration, embarrassment, aggravates physical issue that the handler suffers from and creates new ones. There is nothing fun about walking a dog that pulls like a train on the lead.
Puppies aren’t born to do what we want, they are born to do what they want and it’s your job to educate them in the best way you can.
The fact is, the majority of new dog owners don’t get it right from the start and then they
either spend years and thousands of pounds trying to resolve their issues with little success or just decide to live with it.
Most second and third time owners struggle with exactly the same problems they’ve had before.
Luckily, Raising a puppy correctly is really really easy – When you know how.
The problem is, what you think you should do, what logic would suggest and what most trainers recommend is wrong and actually creates most of the common issues that puppy owners struggle with.
Then, when you finally realise that your puppy isn’t going to grow out of it’s difficult behaviour in the way everybody will tell you, you make a call to a trainer and they don’t help either, they just take your money and go.
Training a dog is easy, Untraining a dog is hard!
Almost every owner I speak to proudly tells me how their dog sits and waits for its food, has a great recall and is good on the lead UNTIL there are distractions then everything they’ve done, all the money they’ve invested and all the time they’ve spent goes out the window and their dog just does what it likes anyway.
This is the biggest problem.
For most people, they’d describe their dog as 90% Ok. It’s the other 10% that ruins their life.
It’s no good owning a dog which is amazing when you are with it but eats the house when you aren’t.
A dog that walks lovely on the lead but turns into a raving lunatic when it sees another dog or a person.
A dog that’s really responsive off lead but upon seeing a cat will run across a main road completely ignoring your calls.
Most owners never end up with a well-behaved dog because the help available to them isn’t good enough.
We hear all the time of puppies being kicked out of their pu[ppy training classes because they are disruptive (isn’t that why they are going to training in the first place?)
Puppy owners are told they need private sessions instead
Trainers commonly advise to just wait until they have grown up a bit and live with all the problems until then but the problems never go away.
You likely won’t have considered this yet but living for 12 Years with difficult dog behaviour means that 10% of your whole life is going to be more stressful than it should be.
Here’s just a small selection of the types of things owners are saying to us on a daily basis when they finally get in touch!
It really doesn’t need to be that way though. When you have a structured approach which deals with introducing, raising and training your puppy in the right way. Focussing on the most important things first, forgetting all the common things trainers suggest which are a waste of time anyway and proactively dealing with issues before they start, raising a puppy is easy.
Our mission many Years ago when WKD first bagan was to improve the lives of dogs and people around the World and now, over a decade on, I’m proud to say that we help more dogs and owners achieve real world results than any other trainers we know.
It’s one thing training a puppy to perform in a village hall (although few rarely do) and a completely different one having a puppy that’s well behaved in the real World.
Our content is viewed by millions of owners every month, our free training sessions are attended by tens of thousands, our online training services change the lives of thousands and our in person services save hundreds of dogs each and every month from their fate.
It’s no wonder that with such an insight into the realities of dog ownership that we also boast the most successful, most time efficient, most ethically correct and most realistic approach to proactively raising a puppy to be the ideal companion….
It makes perfect sense really. If you don’t really have a handle on what people are living with and enduring on a daily basis how can you even begin to help people get it right?