Introduction to Training:
Training your puppy early is important for you, the owner, and your new puppy. They need to feel secure with the rules and boundaries they are given. Training is vital so that puppies learn to sit instead of jump on people, learn to go potty outside rather than on the carpet, learn to chew on toys instead of the furniture and learn to obey you. Their response to your commands will keep them safe, help them to fit in with the family routine and teach them how to do things the right way. Puppies need to learn at a young age so as to avoid bad habits and bad behavioral problems. Training a puppy can be frustrating at times, but if you are patient and consistent, the training will pay off.
It is important to offer rewards to your puppy as they learns new things. Positive reward-based methods tend to get more positive results. Punishment tends to create aggression, distrust, confusion, shyness and even helplessness in a puppy. Instead of punishment, your goal should be to teach the puppy that it’s fun to learn by offering a reward as she does things the right way.
Don’t get discouraged when you are training her. She’s a puppy and easily gets distracted. Just try the same techniques over and over and eventually she will learn what you want her to do. Remember, she’s a baby and needs gentle, consistent training.
Here are a few basic tips on training your puppy:
- Use puppy treats as a reward for responding to your direction
- Praise them highly and with excitement when your puppy comes to you. Other times use a quiet, soft voice, such as when you want them to lie down. A gentle voice will keep them calmer and they won’t react by jumping up.
- Reward your puppy with fun: a game of fetch, a belly rub, a car ride or other activities that appeal to your puppy.
- Socialization is important so that your puppy interacts with humans and other animals in a friendly way. Let your puppy spend time with other animals or people while she is young so she will not be afraid of them later.
- Recognize signs of stress in your puppy. Stress includes cowering or clinging, tucking in her tail, putting her ears back and down, yawning, whining or turning away from people.
The same basic tips above can also help train older dogs who are being introduced to a new home, learning a new trick or requiring some behavior modification.
Training your dog from an early age will give you the best desired results if you are consistent and patient. Untrained puppies or dogs will think you want to play unless you use patterns of training, a lot of praise and some treats as a reward. You will need a few items to help you in the training process, however.
Begin with a well-fitting collar. You should be able to place two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck. Otherwise it is too tight or too loose. Let the dog get used to the feel of a collar. It may make the dog itch at first, but over a short period of time the dog will be used to the feel of the collar.
There are choke collars available for specific training methods for dogs that are more active and not as responsive to your training. Be sure to understand how to use these collars so that you are not hurting the dog. The choke collars are designed to abruptly stop the dog from misbehaving and get him back under your control.
A good leash is also necessary for training. Dogs do not like being confined, but it is necessary for the purpose of training that you hold your dog on a leash. Your dog will become accustomed to being on a leash pretty quickly. Use it for training and for taking your dog for a walk, and the dog will actually get excited about the leash when you pull it out.
A training clicker can be an effective tool as well. Your dog will respond to the sound of the clicker, if it is accompanied by a command, a treat and praise. Over time, the treats can be eliminated, but keep the praise coming for a long time. Eventually, your dog will respond to the sound of the clicker and your command because of your training methods.
Of course, an important training tool is tasty treats. Make sure you have small treats that your dog loves on hand when you work with him or her. This is important for the success of your training and your dog will love you for it.
Another valuable tool is a training video for your particular breed. There are many DVD’s available to help with training methods. With all these easily available to you, simply add time and patience for a well-trained dog that will respond to your commands, be safe and become a very pleasant companion.
Ready to give it a go?