A King Charles Puppy in Hancock Park Learns Some New Tricks

By: David Codr

Published Date: March 7, 2016

Charlotte (King Charles Spaniel Hancock)

Charlotte is a three-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who lives in Hancock Park, Los Angeles. Her guardian asked me to help with some potty training, listening better and puppy basics.

It didnt take long to see that Charlotte hit the puppy lottery with her guardians.

I sat down with the guardians to discuss how I could help with their new puppy. Fortunately Charlotte’s guardians already had her enrolled in a puppy socialization class. Because she is still in her imprint period, this sort of interaction will stimulate her in all sorts of good ways.

I recommended that the guardians continue taking Charlotte anywhere and everywhere. The more exposure and experience she has with the outside world in the next nine months, the more confident and balanced Charlotte will grow to be. As I like to say, the first year of your pup’s life is time you will never get again.

When we discussed Potty Training, I discovered that the guardian had missed a few small steps that may have made it slightly more challenging for Charlotte to connect the word with the action. I also went over a number of old wives tales of what not to do like punishing a dog for an accident or rubbing its nose in it. These sort of interactions can cause a dog to actually avoid telling the guardians they need to go out.

Next I suggested the guardians adopt a few minor rules o start shaping a day to day structure that will help the dog learn to love, trust and most importantly, respect her guardians. One of these suggestions was to get into a habit of Petting Charlotte with a Purpose.

While its cute to have a tiny puppy jump up on your leg to say lets play, later on in life, the same behavior isn’t so welcome. Petting Charlotte with a Purpose will condition the dog to sit politely in front of any human she wants to interact or engage with.

I could tell that Charlotte was a pretty confident and intelligent dog when I attempted an advanced exercise that she got right away. I suggested that her guardians continue to practice this leadership exercise every day while gradually adding time to make it more challenging. This exercise will help the dog develop more self control while simultaneously helping her guardians practice the non verbal communication cues and tips I showed them.

Because excitement is sometimes an issue for Charlotte, I showed her guardians a more structured way of letting her out of the kennel when they return home.

Many people confuse excited behavior for happy behavior when it comes to dogs. But excited does not necessarily mean happy when it comes to dogs and in my experience most dog problems are a result of a dog who is over excited. This is why its best to not narrate what is going to happen to a dog in an excited way “Are you ready to go for a walk WALK!?”. Often times the guardian’s vocal tone and over animated delivery can cause a dog to get excited before a favorite activity.

By the end of the session, Charlotte wasn’t jumping up for attention, opting instead to sitting in front of her desired petter and looking up at them with her gorgeous brown eyes. Based on how quickly she adopted the new techniques and exercises, Im betting it doesnt take Charlotte’s guardians long to shape her into the perfect dog for them.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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