Success Pets

Before you get a dog, you can’t quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can’t imagine living any other way. Change your life for the better this Valentine’s Day.
Text by Sandy Lindsey | January 29, 2019 | Lifestyle


Roney is an absolute cuddle bug who loves to play with other dogs. This 2-year-old American Bulldog Mix is fully obedience-trained and ready to move into a home or be matched with a disabled individual for service dog work. He weighs in at a huggable 50 lbs; [email protected]

Life Lessons
I’m often asked “Can raising a puppy really prepare me for parenthood?” After navigating my first 16 months of being a mom, I can wholeheartedly tell you the answer is yes! Once my son is over the age of two, he would have surpassed the intellectual capabilities of a canine, but that’s the beauty of dogs — they never grow up cognitively! I have trained thousands of “problem” dogs in my career, whose concerning behavior was a result of 1.) Lack of supervision 2.) Unclear communication 3.) Inconsistency in using praise and discipline. Dogs feel more confident and secure when they are taught using positive reinforcement techniques. The secret to positive reinforcement animal training is being proactive in your approach. There’s never a second that my son doesn’t have a pair of eyes on him because it only takes a second for a toddler, or a puppy, to learn naughty behavior or to hurt themselves. Just like a dog, my small human doesn’t understand complex language so I have to keep it simple. I say “Yes, good choice” when he does something right and “No” when he does anything incorrect. This is just like clicker-training a dog. If you aren’t 100% consistent, your animal will struggle to figure out what you expect. Dogs that suffer from inconsistent training usually end up with behavioral issues like anxiety, insecurity and aggression. If you have already mastered puppy-raising to produce an off-leash reliable and social dog, I would feel confident betting that you’ll breeze through parenthood. 

› Dee Hoult is the Owner of Applause Your Paws, South Florida’s largest privately owned pet dog training company. Have a question about your dog? Email [email protected] or send a DM on Instagram @ApplauseYourPaws.