When Lauren and I finally decided we were going to get Napoleon, we reasoned that a lot of homework and an unrelenting perseverance to instilling good behaviours would be a lot of work during Napoleon’s early year(s), but we’re making an investment in the long term with a well-behaved dog that we can trust around the house.
Lauren has never had a dog of her own and I’ve only really had a dog join my family as an adult, so wanting to be as prepared as possible for our 8-week old puppy, we started doing a lot of research. We feel like we’re as prepared as we’ll ever be for Napoleon to join us tomorrow, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the resources we found that we really loved to potentially save you some internet scouring when you decide it’s time to welcome a puppy into your home.
You can’t read enough before getting a dog–it’s kind of like preparing for a baby. Everyone has an opinion and there’s really no way definitively to know who’s right. But through our research, we determined that today’s best science shows that the positive reinforcement training technique (praising behaviours you want, preventing but not punishing behaviours you don’t) is really the best way to go.
With that in mind, we found these two books that ought to be your pseudo-puppy-bibles while waiting to get your puppy and during the early months. We read them each twice and I still feel like I’m going to be flipping back to my bookmarks obsessively for the next couple weeks to refresh my memory on some of the finer points.
This book is FREE on DogStarDaily.com and is a really easy read. Hover over the title for a description.
We’re in no way compensated for suggesting these books, but we think that they do a really great job of preparing you for how to deal with your puppy and raising it in “an errorless housetraining and chewtoy-training set-up,” which we reason from our research is the more humane way to raise a companion.
As well as the above reading, we did independent research on our particular breed.
You really have to see some training in practice to be able to get all of the techniques down. We were blown away when we found the Kikopup YouTube channel. This trainer, Emily Larlham, goes through literally every step of the training process. She has a whole playlist dedicated to puppies that has been invaluable to us and has inspired our decision to use Clicker Training with Napoleon.
Great resources for information are online forums. You can get great advice from other people who’ve been through what you’re about to go through and there are often great “best” lists that can help you find certain information easily.
As simple as it sounds, we found a great source to be dogforum.com and more specifically the dog training behaviour subforum, where they “discuss dog training and behavior, including general dog obedience, aggression, barking, biting, chewing, digging and more.” We appreciated some of the puppy discussions.
As my final hours of pre-Napoleon wind down, I just hope that we’ve done enough preparation. We’re so excited! We can’t wait to start this Frenchie Chronicles journey with you, interwebs, and we hope that we can provide you with a bunch of fun Napoleon content like videos, photo shoots, anecdotes and ours and Napoleon’s product reviews.