Fear Free Blog

With Dr. Klotz

Winter 2019 Fear Free Blog

     It recently occurred to me that I have not written anything new about the world of Fear Free for awhile.  I would like to start the New Year off with a new blog on training.  As people bring in new puppies I receive a lot of questions about what is the best way to train a dog.  Of course this is a BIG topic, but I always offer a few pointers, and references.  I would like to share those here.

1)      Most important Florissant Animal Hospital is dedicated to positive force free training methods.  This means NO aversive training.  Things like electric shock collars, pinch collars and choker chains are all aversive training.  The reality is that for most dogs they don’t work, and damages the bond you are trying to create with your new puppy.

2)     Training is time consuming, and takes work on both the human and dog’s part.  Don’t expect to have the perfect puppy overnight.  Plan on making training fun, and working with your dog several times a day for just a few minutes each time. 

3)     While your dog is leaning to live with you expect mistakes.  Be forgiving, and set your puppy up to succeed.  For instance don’t leave a pizza sitting on a table your puppy can reach.  This is just too tempting.  Look around the environment for things that might be a problem for your puppy, and keep them put up.

4)     A good puppy socialization class might be the single most important thing you can do for your dog.  Puppy’s need to experience lots of different things during the first 16 weeks of life.  Get them used to all sorts of noises, types of people, other animals, and different locations.  Puppies have a fear period at 8-10 weeks of age, so be careful introducing anything new during those two weeks. At the clinic we have a handout on 100 things to expose your puppy too.  Feel free to stop by and pick one up.

5)     You will need to find a good treat for training.  The best ones are small, low calorie and delicious.  You can use commercially available treats, pieces of puppy food, or small bites of human food like cheerios.  On occasion you might need a super treat.  Try small bits of cheese or hot dog for that.

6)     Trainers that recommend teaching your dog that you are dominant, to yell at or hit your dog, should never be used.  Don’t tell your dog NO, instead learn how to redirect and then positively reinforce the correct behavior. 

7)     How do you learn how to train your dog the right way?  Two books we recommend are Sophia Yin’s Perfect Puppy in 7 Days.  Dr. Yin is a veterinarian and was a member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.  The other book is Puppy Start Right by Kenneth Martin and Debbie Martin.  Dr. Kenneth Martin is a veterinarian and member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.  Debbie Martin is a veterinary technician that is a specialist in behavior, and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP).

8)     We recommend two area trainers that are Fear Free Certified Michelle L Charboneau, CPDT-KA at Pooch Positive Training, and Beth Newcom KPA CTP at Talented Tails Training.  Stop by the clinic for one of their business cards.

9)     Finally we love to see your puppy, even when they don’t need anything.  Stop by just to say hi, and let us give him some yummy treats.

I hope these suggestions are helpful.  Visit the Fear Free Happy Homes website for more tips on new puppies.


Until next time enjoy the New Year,


Kim Klotz DVM,

Fear Free level 3 Certified.