Training your handicapped puppy is a process that needs preparation. You have to be in a positive mindset to train your puppy while keeping in mind that it may take your puppy longer than able-bodied puppies to grasp concepts and act on them. Here are a few tips for training your handicapped puppy.
1. Find Professional Trainers
You may be juggling busy schedules or unsure where to begin. It’s important to make sure that your puppy is in safe and trustworthy hands if you decide to delegate the training to another. This is why it’s advised to hire expert trainers who’ll professionally nurture your dog while training him or her. The experts are trained to teach in consideration of your puppy’s pace. You won’t have to worry about whether your puppy is well taken care of during the process. You can contact trainers like Roland for training services that you can depend on.
2. Be Mindful of the Particular Handicap
Being mindful of your puppy’s handicap includes avoiding repeating physical exercises in a short period that may harm him or her. For example, if your puppy’s handicap is in the leg, training him or her to sit and stand for over 20 times may hurt his leg further. You should always observe your puppy to determine whether he or she is in any physical pain resulting from a particular training activity. If you notice any discomfort, you need to stop the training session until your puppy is fit to try again.
Keep in mind, just because your dog uses a wheelchair, is blind, deaf, or has another special need does not mean they can not be trained. Plenty of special needs dog are trained to become emotional support animals, canine good citizens, or train in agility.
3. Practice Patience
It’s always best to keep in mind that your puppy is looking up to you for guidance and care. You may be eager for your puppy to grasp concepts. However, remember that he or she may reach milestones later than able-bodied puppies. It’s, therefore, important to practice patience and appreciate your puppy for the pace that he or she can manage. If you get frustrated, your puppy can pick up on this energy and feel discouraged, frightened, or anxious to try again. If you find yourself getting impatient, you should take a break from the particular training session, breathe, and re-adjust. When you and your puppy are ready, you can then try again in a calmer disposition.
4. Find a Training Buddy
Training your handicapped puppy alone may be challenging. You may have other demands such as tending to the children, house chores, work mandates, and social responsibilities. Being overwhelmed may lead to you lag on training your puppy or to do so in a frustrated manner.
Finding a training buddy may be one way of alleviating pressure. Your training buddy can take over while you tend to other priorities. Alternatively, you can invite your training buddy and his or her pet so that you take part in the sessions together.
5. Give Rewards
When your puppy does well on a command, a treat is one way of praising and motivating him or her. Make sure that your treats are healthy to avoid obesity in your puppy. Avoid offering meals as treats. Rather, chewy bones, sticks, and toys last longer and won’t have any effects on weight.
6. Practice Consistency
Consistency is key when it comes to training your handicapped puppy. You may even decide to set a daily routine around the training activities for your puppy. Once your puppy gets comfortable with the routine and training sessions, he or she may participate with more eagerness.
7. Keep Sessions Short
The longer the training sessions, the quicker your puppy may become bored or frustrated. Keep in mind that it may take your handicapped puppy a longer period and twice the energy to master a command compared with able-bodied puppies. Experts recommend a training session that lasts 15-20 minutes. Beyond this period, you may strain your puppy without being aware of it.
8. Keep It Fun
Puppies, by nature, are playful and will appreciate training sessions that incorporate that playful element. Turning training sessions into military-style sessions may only frighten your puppy or demotivate him or her. This will only serve to prolong the process and result in disappointment for both you and your dog. Make sure to incorporate activities that your puppy enjoys as you train him or her.
Tips to train your handicapped puppy include: hiring a professional trainer, practicing patience, and finding a training buddy. You should also remember to train in short sessions, be mindful of his or her handicap, and keep the training sessions fun.