Should I start Mantrailing with my Puppy?
Mantrailing is low impact on the joints but high impact on the brain.
Starting mantrailing with your puppy is a great way to build confidence and have fun together as a team.
Getting the Puppy
Getting a puppy is a joyous occasion, you have brought a bundle of happiness home and of course you want the best for that puppy.
There are so many options when it comes to socialising your puppy and providing an active lifestyle for them. Filling their lives with enrichment and training to last a lifetime.
Puppy classes are a great start, but there are other options out there for dog owners.
Mantrailing for me is the ideal sport for puppies to get started in:
- It is a great way for them to meet people in a non confrontational way.
- They get to use their nose and problem solve, which is ideal for tiring young puppies out.
- They learn to settle in a vehicle
- Seeing other dogs and not getting over giddy
- Bond Building
I have started Gin, My Springer Spaniel puppy mantrailing from the time she could go outside. It allowed her to greet people in a controlled manner and burn of her energy in a constructive way.
Learning to meet people
Meeting people in the real world is tough, they fawn all over your puppy and don’t listen to you when training.
The people at the end of the trail, the trail layers are sensible and will listen to instructions so the dogs learn to greet people calmly, and not jump all over them.
We have all heard the “oh I don’t mind if they jump on me, I have dogs at home”, well I do mind as I don’t want my puppy jumping all over people. People in mantrailing listen.
Waiting in the car
Waiting in the car is also an important life skill for the puppies. Learning to travel calmly and settle in the boot, back seat or crate can make all the difference later in life when on holiday or just travelling in general.
Being calm and sleeping or just watching in the car can translate to the same calmness when travelling away and needing to bring the puppy with you into another house. The puppy will have a greater chance of settling as they are used to it from mantrailing sessions.
Socialising your Puppy
There is also a variety of dogs and people to socialise them with, on lead and at a distance or you can be selective about who the puppy meets. Unlike on a traditional walk where the puppies can be chased by off lead walks or worried by a barking dog, in mantrailing classes the puppies are able to see the dogs from the car and the owners discuss with the other owners the suitability of the puppy meeting the dog. It is more controlled and helps build successful meets.
It might seem obvious that you would build a bond together while training but you can have an even better bond when you introduce mantrailing.
Mantrailing is a team sport, where you don’t just follow the puppy around aimlessly, but you instead become their cheerleader when they have success, you and the instructor make sure they are set up for success and not failure.
You work together as a team to find the trail layer and the reward. The joy from the puppy becomes infectious to all and you as the handler also feels the excitement.
Building Confident Puppies
Mantrailing provides a great opportunity to build confidence in puppies. Building confidence through problem solving at such a young age helps build an optimistic and happy puppy. Using their nose is natural to all breeds of dog, no matter what they were bred to do.
By tapping into this ability to problem solve earlier you can create a more resilient puppy to change and things which may worry them.
Mantrailing for puppies is short and fun trails with lots of rewards. We do short hunting trails which allow for quick success. These are a series of short trails which have 4 or more legs to work along.
You can learn about getting started in mantrailing with my blog.
Alternatives to puppy classes
Other sports which are ideal for puppies are scent work and trick training.
Scentwork builds confidence in the same way as mantrailing, and can be great fun to do at home and in classes.
They can learn to do real skills like locate your lost keys!
Trick training might seem like just some fun silly things, but it is engaging your puppies brain and teaching them to work with you as a team.
It can also provide some useful skills such as tidying the washing or fetching your slippers!