Editor’s Note: The Local Woof is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff of Woofs! Dog Training Center. Woofs! has full-service dog training, boarding, and daycare facilities, near Shirlington and Ballston.
Whenever someone gets a new puppy or dog, they are often eager to teach “the basics.” So everyone starts in on the same things; sit, lie down, shake, stay in front of the food bowl, etc. While these are all valuable skills for your new puppy or dog to know, they definitely do not need to be at the top of the list.
Teaching your dogs cues like sit or down, are obedience skills. The premise being that whenever you give a specific cue, your dog responds with the correct position. Responding to cues is important, but what is more important is your dogs general behavior.
Ninety-five percent of your interactions with your dog do not involve giving cues. It just involves being together. What your dog does when not being cued is its general behavior, and that is where you should start.
I don’t care if your 10-week-old puppy can sit. I care if your puppy likes people. Having a pup or dog that is friendly and at ease, is much more important than if they can sit on cue.
So here are the top four things I think you should be working on with your new pup or newly adopted older dog.
- House training. The No. 1 reason dogs are given up is going to the bathroom in the house. This is definitely a priority that everyone can agree on.
- Socialization. Remember, socialization is not the ability to play with the neighbor dog or being friendly to uncle Ted. Socialization is the ability to easily adapt to new circumstances. The only way to do this is to follow a socialization protocol and get your puppy out.
- Relationship. Play with your dog! Spend a few weeks playing, learning what your new dog likes and doesn’t like. Teach them that you are super awesome and relevant to them. In dog training, relationship is everything.
- Play and Exercise. Figure out how much exercise your dog really needs and devise some fun ways to meet those needs. Walks are great for socialization but generally do not meet any dog’s exercise needs.
Once you have these four things figured out, you will be ready to dive into training with a strong foundation.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
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Let the Arlingtones surprise your friend or sweetie this Valentine’s Day with a barbershop quartet singing love songs in four part a cappella harmony! Choose from a small selection of songs in our repertoire to surprise your special someone.
$75 for two songs delivered to a place of your choice by a live, in-person quartet. Includes a classy tin of chocolates, fresh red rose and personalized card. Small mileage surcharge for >5 miles outside Arlington VA.
$30 Facetime/Skype valentine- two songs delivered ‘live’ via Facetime or Skype at an agreed-on time.
$20 virtual valentine- two pre-recorded quartet songs delivered via email with a personalized message.
Have you noticed a striking sculpture at Monroe Street and Wilson Boulevard? It’s the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s newest installation, Make Your Mark, by Arlington artist, Adam Henry. This sculpture celebrates MoCA Arlington’s rebranding and brings the museum’s energy outdoors.
On February 11, come inside when the museum’s galleries reopen with two new exhibitions: Rebecca Rivas Rogers: Grey View and Crisis of Image.
Grey View, in the Wyatt Resident Artist Gallery, is an homage to “gray” and a snapshot of the artist’s process. Consisting of photographs, collage, and a site-specific installation, this show is an outgrowth of Rivas-Rogers’ visual investigations into places you see on your way to somewhere else.
On the main level, Crisis of Image features artists who seek equity in today’s saturated visual world by developing new methods related to the production of images.
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village