This article was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Kevin Davies
Congratulations on bringing your new puppy home! A dog is perhaps the only source of unconditional love you will ever encounter. Sure, our parents, spouses, and children love us unconditionally, kinda. But, it comes with a dose of guilt, interlaced with forgiveness once in awhile, right?
Dogs are wonderful creatures that will love us no matter how many times we miss our “curfew”, how much weight we gain, or how many times we say “no”.
However, to get the most out of your relationship with your new family member, it will require more than simply feeding and loving them. Training them to be a good and obedient dog will add even more happiness to your lives. Just imagine not coming home to all your shoes chewed up, or a mess on the floor…but rather, a tail-wagging pup that deserves a big hug and a treat.
There are many methods to training a puppy. However, some of the most basic tips and ideas are universal and never go out of style. Keep in mind, no matter which tip(s) you decide to go with, patience and consistency is vital when training a puppy.
So, take a look at some of the most recommended and productive tips when it comes to training.
Tip #1 – Patience
No matter what method you use, you will need to be consistent and follow through with it. Don’t give up, even if you get discouraged. Most dogs catch on eventually. Some are just quicker than others.
Tip #2 – Leader of the Pack
Dogs tend to be pack animals and are very social. They do not like being alone, and will gladly relinquish their role as leader, if you let them know that YOU are the leader. To do this, encourage them to lick (or kiss) your hand, just as the common folk would do for a king.
Another way to do this is to rub their belly. By exposing their belly, it is a sign of submission on their part. The key to this working of course, is to start as soon as possible.
And speaking of being pack animals…they tend to run when they catch a glimpse or scent of another dog. So, to prevent them from running off, train them to stay in the yard with something as easy as an underground or petsafe dog fence. Soon, they will stay in the yard no matter what or who comes walking down the road.
Tip #3 – Be Forgiving
Although they are not humans, they will make mistakes once in awhile, just as we do. When they make a mistake, correct their behavior during the act they are committing. They have short term memory. So, if you wait too long, they won’t have any idea what you are trying to correct them on.
Tip #4 – Rewards and Praise
Dogs love to receive praise, just like humans. If they do something right, give them a “Good boy!” with a pat on the back, and with an enthusiastic voice. The more praise you give, the better behavior you can expect.
Tip #5 – Short Intervals
A dog’s attention span just might be shorter than a child’s…and that is short. So, don’t make your training sessions with your dog last longer than 10 or 15 minutes each. Any longer, and you will most likely lose any progress you made during that session.
Tip #6 – Make it Fun
Your sessions should be a positive experience for both you and your puppy. While you might get discouraged with the pace of the process, they won’t progress much at all, if you don’t keep it positive. Use the following ideas:
- Don’t yell
- Give lots of praise
- Offer a small treat for each success
- Keep it short
If they enjoy this time, it will become second nature to them in no time.
Tip #7 – Frequent Sessions
Since you are going to keep the sessions quick and positive (right?), you can easily do them frequently. At a minimum, you should have these sessions with your pup once a day. Two or three times would be even better.
Tip #8 – Parting is such Sweet Sorrow
Ending each session on a positive note will help to encourage your pup to want more sessions with you, and to please you between them. If you find a particular session is not going well, end it with an easy task so they can get a treat at the end.
Tip #9 – Refrain from Punishing
A friend of mine wanted to go on a diet, and asked her husband to help her…as many of us do seek help in this area. Well, his help consisted of him saying things like “do you really need that?” if she reached for seconds at the dinner table. Eventually, she grew tired of the negative remarks and told him she was no longer going to diet.
The same thing happens with our children and pets. We all respond better to positive remarks, rewards, and praise. So, the more you can find in your pet to reward, the better.
Tip #10 – Stop it NOW
When you see poor behavior, or an accident, correct them immediately. And, the sooner you start with the training, the better. They say you can’t teach an old dog a new trick. Well, I am a firm believer that you can…but, it is more difficult if they grow accustomed to certain behavior that you wish to stop.
If you apply the above tips to your training sessions, you will see positive results in your dog’s behavior. Sure, it might take a while, but they will catch on eventually. The best reward is the bond you will have with your new pup. There is nothing quite like it, to be honest.
This article is written by Kevin Davies at https://petloverguy.com