Pet store retailers have prime access to most new puppy owners at a crucial phase of puppy behavioral and social development. Generally, new puppy owners visit pet stores either immediately before or just after acquiring their new puppy. Consequently, pet store personnel can have a huge impact on the success of this Puppy Raising Initiative. Please implore your new puppy clients to maintain errorless housetraining and chewtoy-training (which also prevents excessive barking and separation anxiety) and to continue safely socializing their puppy with people at home so that the puppy does not become fearful or aggressive as an adult.

Much of the essential puppy raising and training information for prospective and new puppy owners is available for free download in the form of two of my eBooks — AFTER You Get Your Puppy and BEFORE You Get Your Puppy

Please download and customize the two free eBooks with your store name and contact information and then email them to your clients, urging them to forward the books to every puppy/dog owner that they know. Alternatively, you have my permission to burn the two eBooks and 16 Behavior Blueprints to a CD for distribution in puppy packets. Distributing the free eBooks is an excellent way to brand your store name in the community.


Benefits for Pet Stores

At the very least, every new puppy owner’s Shopping List should include a long-term confinement area (ex-pen) plus toilet, a short-term confinement area (crate), half a dozen hollow chewtoys (some Kongs and Squirrel Dudes, plus a Biscuit Ball, a Busy Budddy Football, a couple of hollow bones and a deer antler), a couple of interactive toys, a special plush toy, a water bowl and the best training treats for classical conditioning and as lures and rewards for teaching manners. 

Basically the two free eBooks are advertisements and instructions-for-use for a wide variety of essential pet products. Pet owners are likely to buy more products if they know what they can do with them. For example, there are over 101 uses for a food treat and there are four different types of toy: 1. Dental Chews; 2. Interactive Toys (tennis balls, Frisbees and tug-toys) for motivation and to teach manners and impulse control; 3. Plush Toys to teach gentleness and bite inhibition (soft mouths); and 4. Hollow Chewtoys to stuff with food to teach dogs to become quieter and calmer and to teach puppies to enjoy little quiet moments and time when left at home alone.

Feeding puppies/dogs only from hollow chewtoys is the easiest of procedures that has the quickest and greatest long-term effect on behavior. For example, both barking and hyperactivity are reduced dramatically within just a couple of days. Chewtoys should be indestructible and non-consumable and made of natural products, such as rubber or bone. My favorites are: 1.Kongs — best for stuffing with moistened kibble and frozen overnight to make Kongsicles; 2. Squirrel Dudes — best for stuffing with dry kibble once you have trimmed the “treat meter” to match kibble size; 3. Biscuit Balls — best for stuffing with raw diet and freezing overnight; 4. Busy Buddy Football — best for stuffing with training treats for shorter settle-downs, e.g., when guests arrive; and 5. Hollow bones — best for stuffing with canned food. Deer Antlers are the Cadillac of chewtoys that do not require stuffing. Dogs go crazy over them, they are virtually odorless and they last for ages.

Instruct owners to give their puppy a stuffed chewtoy each time they put him back in his long-term or short-term confinement area. The puppy will soon become eager to return to his Puppy Playroom or Doggy Den. 

And on the subject of favorites, I think the best training treat is Ziwi Peak regular dog food. 

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