Back to School for Puppies, Too!


Fall is fast approaching, kids are back in school, classes have started, and WINTER IS COMING!  What does this time of year mean for dogs?  Well, it’s a perfect time to focus on training.

For families who got a new puppy this summer, your pup is probably about done with vaccinations (or getting close), and will be heading to the dog runs, out with a dog walker, and spending longer days at home while your family’s schedule returns to normal.  For adult dogs, the end of hot muggy weather means the return of endless four–legged energy.  And the distant threat of winter means now is a good time to lay the groundwork for indoor activities to keep your pup busy when long walks are miserable for  her human companions.

Some good options to pursue this Fall are listed below:

(1) Puppy classes — a great resource for new puppies and new dog owners, these will provide both socialization and obedience training.  They are a great first step for any puppy.

(2) One-on-one training — you may want to book a few of these with a qualified trainer (see our post on how to evaluate a trainer’s certifications) if you have specific concerns about your pet, or have specific skills you want to focus on.  This may also be a great way to get multiple family members involved in your dog’s training!

(3) Toys, toys, toys — this is a great time to try out new toys that can be your dog’s “boredom  busters” during longer days at home and in cold months when long trips to the park are harder.  A few favorites of ours include the following (be sure to watch your pet closely with any new toy to make sure it is safe for him!):

  • Tuffy — these play toys are ranked form 1-10 on a “tuff” scale, and are a great option for strong chewers.  As a bonus, their squeakers are quiet and don’t induce migraines for pet owners.
  • Kong — probably the best known food-stuffing toy, and still a great option for keeping your pet busy.  Try feeding meals by putting kibble in one of these instead of a bowl and watch your dog burn energy fast.
  • PetSafe — this company makes a huge range of toys and more; they make products for cats and dogs, and many of their toys are our own pets’ favorites.

(4) Crate training — crates (also called kennels) are an incredibly versatile tool.  If your pet is happy being in a crate, you can use it to make her day safer while you are out of the house, travel easier in a vehicle, and boarding and vet stays less stressful.  See our post on crate training for more information.

Harlem is SUPER lucky to have two great resources for training dog (aka training their humans!) of all ages — Instinct Dog Behavior and Training, and Doggedly Devoted.  Both Drs. Obernesser and Sullivan-Wolff have worked with both facilities with their own dogs and can give you more insight as to how they may benefit your pooch.

If you have concerns regarding your own dog’s behavior or training needs, please contact us so we can help!

Uptown Vets   –   295 West 112th St, New York, NY

(212) 222-1221   –

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