Guide To Training Your Puppy
When training a puppy it is best to start young. The old adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is usually right. However there are certain ways and methods you have to use to train a puppy. If you attempt to train a puppy the same way you would train a full grown dog then your results won’t be as successful as they could be. First of all understand that training a puppy will take time and dedication. You have to reinforce certain behaviors and that may involve just watching your
puppy for a little while. It can be time consuming, but it’s worth it. But without further ado, let’s take a look at the Early Stages of a puppy.
The Early Stages:
During the first 2-3 weeks you shouldn’t worry about training your puppy. It really can’t learn anything, so it would be a waste of time. However the second month or a little sooner you should begin training. The key is to start off slow and keep it positive. Never should you hit a puppy for doing something wrong. It is
not old enough to understand what it did wrong. So instead reward the puppy for good behavior.
This is essential. Instead of thinking about what you don’t want your puppy to do. Think about what you do want him or her to do. This is where your creativity comes in. Understand that some things are nature. Things like digging, gnawing, and using the bathroom are things that you can’t stop. However instead of punishing your puppy for doing his business on your
carpet, reward him when he does it in your yard.
Now it is recommended that you use a firm tone and say “NO” to him when your puppy does something you do not like, however be sure you reward them every time they do the opposite. This can take time, but as time goes on you will have to reward them less and less as using the bathroom outside becomes a habit. Also be careful when you say things after “NO”. For example don’t say “NO, I can’t believe you did that “your dog may not understand the “NO” part and may just disregard the whole thing. Remember get “NO” into there head
A happy puppy, is an obedient puppy
One of your goals should be to get your puppy to respond well to you. A key part of being obedient is for your puppy to come to you when you call. In order to do this, every time you call your puppy, give him a treat. You want to make the puppy happy to come to you. This may take a few weeks, but eventually your puppy will come to you every time without any hesitation. There is a catch to this trick though. You can never do it right after
your puppy does something you do not approve of. You may unknowingly reinforce bad habits.
In a perfect world positive reinforcement alone would be enough to train your puppy perfectly. However, realistically some negative reinforcement is necessary. The key is to know how to do it. First of all you should never hit your puppy when you call him. This can be counter productive to what we learned earlier about making your puppy want to come to you.
Alright so if you can’t hit your puppy, what should you do? It’s simple; just tell them NO in a firm voice. It’s very important to do this right after they perform the behavior that you do not approve of. Take them back to the area where they did what you did not approve of, and simply say NO, NO, NO. Be firm but don’t yell. Don’t expect immediate results. Eventually though a puppy will associate the word “NO” with something that they should not do.
Oh no, he went all over the carpet.
Potty training your puppy can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding things to do. You’re going to have to watch your puppy like a hawk.
When your puppy uses the bathroom in the house or in another area you don’t want him to, simply take him to that area, let him smell his mess, and just say “NO”. Don’t shove your dogs nose into it, that’s cruel and it serves very little purpose. This alone is not enough however, when your puppy does his business outside or another area you approve of, immediately praise your puppy and give him treats. Stick with this routine and your puppy will be potty trained in no time.
It’s destroying the house!!!
This problem gets its own section because its one of the most common complaints with puppies. Puppies love to chew things. That is not going to change any time soon. It’s a puppy’s instinct. Since it can’t be prevented, you have to minimize it. The first method is the most trouble, but it has the best results. Use a product such as Bitter Apple, or any other substance with a discouraging taste. Put it on the areas of your furniture that your puppy likes to
gnaw on. The other method is to just keep your puppy out of areas that have furniture you don’t want your puppy to gnaw on. Either way you also should give your puppy a chew toy afterwards. It helps to put bits of meat or another substance your puppy likes on the chew toy to make it more pleasurable. Keep in mind this can be very frustrating because your puppy is damaging things that are possibly very expensive. However just be patient, and keep training and eventually he will stop this nasty
Your cute little puppy is getting older.
As your puppy gets older he may do things to try and establish dominance. Things like biting people, or growling angrily at your own family members. It is critical that you stop this as soon as you see it. You have to remember that while your puppy is a domesticated animal, it is still an animal, and it will instinctively try to make itself the dominating figure. To prevent this from happening you need to immediately discipline the
puppy when it bites someone. Even if it appears as if the puppy is just playing, it has to learn that biting is not part of playing. As usual reward your puppy when it is playing nicely. Whatever you do never condone a puppy for biting or nipping at someone. It is unacceptable and may lead to bad results when your puppy gets older.
There are a few Key Points you should keep in mind with your puppy
-Buy lots of treats
-Never let your puppy bite a family member
-Don’t hit your puppy. Simply Say “NO” in a firm voice
-Give your puppy treats. Positive reinforcement is the most efficient way to train a puppy.
-Never condone bad behavior. Even if its “cute”
-Control your puppy, don’t let your puppy control you
-Train your puppy to come to you as soon as you call him
-Let your puppy get used to your family, and let your family get used to their puppy.
-It is hard work, but it’s worth it.
Written by Stephen Warnell