Starting any relationship on the right foot prevents misunderstandings and problems down the road. Since a puppy can shred belongings and use a prized rug as as the loo, the need for a good start is doubly critical. Well, thanks to a local dog trainer in Marin, there really is an app for that and it is called “Welcome Home New Puppy”. You read about this app as an educational resource in the “Pre-puppy supplies” article, so a full review of the product was conducted.
The “Welcome Home New Puppy” app is formatted into ten, information rich but fairly brief sections. Each section has an audio explanation, text that you can read and it will also play a video demonstrating the topic if you push the arrow on the picture. Positive reinforcement techniques are highlighted for teaching leash walking, sit or house training. Also, critical basics are also covered like preparing your house for a puppy, how to introduce a crate without stress and what to do when the puppy is nipping. The audio and video presentation is great for involving children too young to read and also for seeing the techniques in action. The app is also easy to use as a reference guide while you’re on the go rather than carrying around and leafing through a thick book.
The information is geared to new puppy owning families and for a whopping $2.99, you can’t beat the quality of information for the price. It wouldn’t be surprising if shelters, breeders and vets start recommending an app like this to new owners as those first few weeks together are critical in a puppy’s education and with the prevalence of smartphones, the app is easy to use. That being said, this app shouldn’t be considered a replacement for obedience classes as your puppy grows up or a fix for concerning behavior such as aggression or extreme fearfulness. A qualified trainer should be contacted in that instance.
According to the app’s companion website, the app was created by Mill Valley resident Jim Shier. A Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Counselor, Jim has an impressive canine resume and over 15 years of training experience. The app is available for iPhone/iPad, Android and Kindle users and if you’d like to download a sample video from “Welcome Home New Puppy”, you can do that on the website as well.
This “Welcome Home New Puppy” app was independently purchased through iTunes and reviewed by the author for the purpose of writing this article.
Have you used this app or is there a canine-centric product you’d like to see reviewed in this column? Comments and suggestions are welcomed at the bottom of this article.