Ask Jill

Shewhisperer Dog Training Sonoma County, Jill Breitner

Ask Jill Breitner

At what age should I start training my puppy?

Dog/puppy training should begin the moment you bring that furry  bundle of love home. The sooner leadership is established, the better. The myth that you should wait to train your dog until he/she is six months old is left over from the days when there was no private dog training, only group classes, where unvaccinated dogs aren’t safe together. Training by redirection should begin immediately with issues such as housebreaking, teaching what’s okay and what’s not ok to chew on, appropriate playful biting, and so on.


When should I start socializing my puppy with other dogs?

Right away! Your puppy came from a litter and was learning about pecking order through play and needs to continue this interaction with other friendly dogs and puppies. This does not mean you should take him to a dog park but it does mean to get him together with healthy, friendly puppies and dogs who live in your neighborhood or friends and family dogs. A well-adjusted, socialized dog is one who is exposed to other friendly dogs from the beginning.

Can I socialize my puppy before he/she is vaccinated?

There is some controversy regarding the age puppies  can be socialized in public. Many veterinarians concur that a puppy with two vaccinations under her belt can go for walks in your neighborhood. I don’t recommend taking her to the dog park until she’s had all three shots or is four months old. Meeting and greeting other dogs in your neighborhood and setting up play dates with dogs belonging to friends and family are very healthy activities for puppies, and crucial to their emotional growth and development. Check with your vet to see if there are any cases of Parvovirus or other infectious diseases in your area in order to make a more informed decision.

What is a Therapy Dog?

A Therapy Dog is trained and certified to go into convalescent homes, hospitals and similar facilities and cheer up the patients. Your heart will be full when you see their smiles and tears of joy as your dog walks into their room.

What is a Service Dog?

A Service Dog is highly trained to perform tasks for a disabled person.

What is a Companion Dog?

A Companion Dog is your dog, your neighbor’s dog and dogs who live with us as our pets.

How can I find a reputable dog trainer?

There are a wide variety of factors to consider.  Click for more information about choosing a dog trainer.

How can I find a reputable dog breeder?

This too deserves much consideration.  Click for more information about choosing a dog breeder.

I offer online dog training via Skype.


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