Training a Shiba Inu can take a lot of time and effort.
Which is why it's important to choose the right training protocol from the very start.
One negative training experience can damage your relationship with your Shiba indefinitely. No bones about it.
That’s where our review on the Puppy Culture training program comes in.
Puppy Culture by Jane Killion (and others) calls itself a “guiding hand,” a protocol developed by expert dog trainers and behaviorists that have bred, raised, and trained hundreds of dogs.
Puppy Culture teaches you everything you need to know about puppy rearing, but is it right for you and your furry friend?
Let’s find out...
Introducing The Puppy Culture Protocol
According to Dr. Patricia McConnell, a professor of Zoology at University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of “For The Love of a Dog” and “The Other End of the Leash,” the Puppy Culture program“ sets the gold standard for responsible breeds and illustrates why good, responsible breeders should be celebrated, not castigated.”
We definitely are on accord with this.
Responsible breeding produces healthy and happy dogs, while irresponsible breeding produces a myriad of problems.
It's already been proven that aversive training methods can lead to increased aggression in dogs and behavioral problems, thus damaging the all important bond between human and animal.
Puppy Culture is different. The Puppy Culture program aims to create an environment that furnishes the bond you have with your dog, right from the beginning.
Meet The Puppy Culture Protocol Team
The experts who created Puppy Culture are trustworthy and knowledgeable in their respected fields.
Jane Messineo Killion, the founder, wrote the book “When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Impossible Dogs,” a method for working with even the most stubborn of dog breeds—yes, even shibes—and has also written for magazines. Her husband, Mark Lindquist, is a Bull Terrier breeder.
Dr. Terri Bright, BCBA-D is a professor at Simmons College in the Behavior Analysis Department.
Dr. Bright has trained dogs for many years including running her own private animal behavior practice and enrichment programs for the MSPCA
She's trained dogs for agility and won an MBB award for utilizing Pavlovian techniques in dog training.
Other experts include June and Irv Krukenkamp, who are Dalmatian breeders and professional dog handlers; Dr. Carmen Battaglia, the author of “Breeding Better Dogs” and author of notable articles and a Director of the American Kennel Club; Jean Donaldson, Founder of The Academy for Dog Trainers; Meghan Herron, DVM ; Kenneth W. Leal, DVM; Noemie M. Bernier, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology) and Diane Zdrodowski of Evanlake Kennels.
Phew, what a panel of experts!
This multi-talented group has brought their love of dogs together to create one of the best dog training methods currently available. Their in-depth - and at times cerebral insight has been fascinating.
They bring focus to the most commonly made mistakes of puppy training.
Overall, you will find yourself watching Puppy Culture DVDs and videos for both entertainment and reference. It’s so practical and approachable, you won’t feel put down for picking it up a second time.
A Look Into The Puppy Culture Program
The content of the program is delivered in video form (though other options are available).
It starts with the initial DVD, entitled “Puppy Culture: The Powerful First 12 Weeks,” has four discs, each discussing multiple lessons and run anywhere between 60-100 minutes in length, with individual sections averaging about 16-17 minutes in length.
The content is nicely laid out in understandable pieces, so you can digest the details then get to work.
Puppy Culture Protocol Discs 1 - 2
The videos are designed to not only teach you ways to train your puppy but to delve into the mind and psyche of your dog.
Understanding the basics of dog physiology and psychology goes a long way in dog training. The more you know, the easier training will be for both you and your Shiba.
For example, Disc One runs through the pre-natal period, developmental periods, and the oh so important critical socialization period.
Disc Two goes through 5 weeks of age up to 7 weeks of age and discusses things like setting up puppy parties, body handling, biting, potty training fundamentals, and talks about the outcomes of punishment vs. reward training.
From a breeder point of view, this time is crucial. No one wants to send a puppy off to a good home and then hear back months later that the family is displeased with the little monster in their household.
It’s neither good for you nor the poor puppy who is going to potentially be displaced.
Puppy Culture aims to reduce that kind of scenario.
Puppy Culture Protocol Discs 3 - 4
Disc Three sets up a bigger stage by talking about the fear imprint period, practical skills like leash walking and bonding, as well as more information about socialization with other people and dogs.
The idea here is that puppies are super sensitive to certain stimuli, and they are vulnerable to becoming fearful after negative experiences very early on. As mentioned previously, one mistake with a puppy could potentially last a lifetime.
This means you need to set up a decent training plan early. By the end of first DVD, you will have learned how to do exactly that.
Puppy Culture also touches on things like games, manding, clicker training, crate training, and how to deal with aggression.
What's great about the Puppy Culture protocol is that everything they teach is backed up with scientific research and evidence.
You learn not just about why you need to enrich your puppy’s life but why stimulation and exercise is advantageous to their growth and development through science.
The Enrichment Effect
Animals raised in enriched environments have been shown to have the following physiological changes over animals raised under standard laboratory conditions:
•More new brain cells and neural connections
•Better brain cell survival
•Improved ability to learn and remember
•More emotional stability
•Better resiliency to stress
An fascinating component of the training coined the “Enrichment Effect,” teaches owners the importance of providing puppies with stimulating environments, exercise, and mental stimulation.
Stimulating Environments -
Puppy Culture explains that puppies raised in enriched environments reap numerous physiological benefits such as:
- Larger brains
- More new brain cells and neural connects
- Better brain cell survivability
- Improved ability to learn and memorize
- Increased emotional stability
- Better resiliency to stressors
Physical Activity -
The benefits of exercise for puppies is extraordinary. Puppy Culture asserts that exercise will help increase the thickness of the "thinking part of the brain" - or cerebral cortex. Neural connections necessary for memory and learning is also strengthened by physical activity.
Mental Stimulation -
Brain games and puzzles are great not only for learning, but for neural growth as well.
Puppy Culture mentions that mental stimulation may increase neural formation, survival, and neural connections. Additionally, the forming of new blood vessels (aniogenesis) in the brain is also increased with problem solving and learning.
In a nutshell, these three components of the enrichment effect lead to “increased emotional stability,” as well as “better recovery from fear, less fear-based aggression,” and better command recall.
However, Puppy Culture cautions that more is not better and that it's always importance to find a balance when training a young pup.
Stack and Deliver
If you choose to get a bundle deal, you will most likely receive the Stack and Deliver method DVD as well.
The Stack and Deliver video discusses showing dogs and demonstrates how to get your puppy and dog to stand and exude confidence.
You learn canine anatomy as well as handling techniques to teach dogs more effectively.
If you want to take a peek at the training before buying, there are resources for free available on the main website that outline some of the principles in the videos.
You can also peruse the numerous podcasts, blogs and articles found on their website.
There's a wide range of topics that discuss age appropriate exercises, weaning, what to do with puppies on their first day of life, and other fantastic information - all for free!
The Puppy Culture Official Store
Not a fan of DVDs?
Don’t worry. There are plenty of other options for learning the Puppy Culture protocol.
The official store has a bunch of materials for you to use, including single set DVDs, such as “The Powerful First 12 Weeks,” “Demand to Win Puppies: Killer Free Stacks,” “Shaping Emotional Responses,” and “Demand to Win: Stack and Deliver.”
Or, you can get a bundle. The bundles usually have several DVDs, including the ones listed above, a poster, workbooks, clickers, and so on.
Although the outright price might seem a bit on the high side, when you tally up the cost of buying several DVDs without bundling them, you realize you're saving a lot of money for such a comprehensive program.
Another option for those who don’t have DVD player or want videos on the go would be Videos on Demand.
The content is the same as what you get with a DVD, but instead of waiting for the physical copy to arrive, you get instant and lifelong access.
Additionally the content also has Dutch, French, and German subtitles available, which is awesome for international puppy owners and breeders.
Lastly, if you are the kind of person who likes to read information versus watching / hearing - there are numerous books and posters.
You can choose from exercise booklets, the Puppy Culture workbook, or “When Pigs Fly,” a book about working with “impossible” dogs, among others.
Whatever you choose, we're confident that you'll be getting a wealth of information and a new outlook on training puppies and dogs. The investment is well worth it in our view.
Our Final Thoughts on Puppy Culture
Although we've just started to implement the Puppy Culture Protocol in the last year or so - we've noticed great results with the training we've done so far.
The Puppy Culture Protocol fits our stringent beliefs that puppies should be trained EARLY and with maximum effort.
Shiba Inus are probably one of the perfect examples of a dog breed that will greatly benefit from this type of training that involves vigorous socialization, handling, and manding techniques.
Every Shiba Inu owner should aim to improve the lives of animals and limit any issues that could arise during adulthood.
Not only do you produce more confident dogs, you also get to bond with your furry companion on a whole new level.
Anyone can make use of the program, from ethical breeders, doggy day cares and puppy preschools, owners, rescues, and beyond.
Puppy Culture takes the right steps into improving the daily lives of puppies, dogs and their owners - we wholeheartedly recommend their program.
A happier, healthier, and more bonded dog means more companionship, tail wags, and personality!
For that, there’s no reason not to give the Puppy Culture training program a try!
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