New puppy owners are faced with the challenge of teaching their four legged friend everything from obeying basic commands to table manners, and all in between. There are different methods, systems and techniques which can prove to be useful when training your new pup, below however are some basic and universal tips which should help you and your pup throughout your first training sessions.
Before you commence with the puppy training, remember that you need to be very patient, consistent and persistent in your training efforts. Puppy training could take a lot of time at first, but the results could be really rewarding. Here are the Top Ten Training Tips for Your New Puppy:
1. First of all, show your puppy who is the boss. Dogs are pack animals and will follow and obey their pack leader. In this case you are the Alpha dog i.e. the leader of the pack. Make the puppy understand this by letting it lick the back of your hand – this act is a sign of submission in dogs. Another way to establish your authority is by rubbing the puppy’s belly. The sooner your puppy grasps that you are the leading figure in your relationship, the easier the training process will become.
2. Correct mistakes on the spot. Just like humans, puppies (and dogs) will make certain errors during training, it is only normal to expect that. Make sure you correct their mistakes right there and then as dogs could hardly connect past events to distant in time consequences – they live in the present only.
3. Establish a reward system as early as possible. Reinforce positive behaviour and obedience with a tempting reward like a treat (let it be his favourite treat). Do not praise negative behaviour displays and mistakes, this will only confuse your puppy and make him unable to distinguish between what your are trying to teach him and what you actually want him to refrain from doing.
4. Puppy training sessions shouldn’t be too long. Duration of daily training sessions for most puppies shouldn’t exceed ten or fifteen minutes. Lengthy training will cause the pup to lose focus and interest, which is frustrating for both trainer and pup.
5. Keep positive attitude and vibe throughout the training period. Dogs (and puppies) are sensitive animals and will acknowledge the positive attitude and approach of their trainer. Just like with kids, your puppies will really enjoy training once you turn the teaching process into a game.
6. Establish training session frequency. As mentioned above, short training sessions are the best, but they need to be frequent enough in order o be effective. For best results, organize for your puppy a brief training session twice a day, for ten or so minutes. Don’t overwork the animal, you do not wish your efforts to have a reverse effect, right?
7. Don’t make training a struggle. If your pup is doing something wrong – work on it without frustration, do it gradually. If your puppy however is not in the mood for training focus on exercises that you know he enjoys doing. This way you end the session on a positive note. This is also beneficial for the dog itself.
8. Avoid punishment. Although your puppy training will be quite frustrating at times, refrain from punishing your pooh. Reinforcing good behaviour does not go hand in hand with punishing the bad attitude. If the pup does something stupid just don’t give him a biscuit and use your body language to express your discontent, but don’t get too authoritarian or abusive with the animal.
9. Eradicate bad behaviour early on. Bad behaviour in pups could easily turn into persistent bad habits that you’d hardly eradicate later on. Try to deal with such negative displays as early as possible address the problem instead of ignoring it and hoping that this tendency will pass with time.
10. Give the pup enough time to learn and get the hang of things. Practice makes perfect so give your pup enough time to learn and grasp things. Don’t race through the training and be very systematic about your efforts and approach.
Training in dogs is essential and it actually could be a lot of fun! With training you teach your dog respect, you help him build up healthy habits, you teach him how to communicate with people and how to act around strangers. Training also could be your own way to create a strong bond with your dog; your way to show him that you care and that he is dear to your heart. As long as you both enjoy training together, the whole process would have amazing and practically really quick results. Don’t forget to check the most essential prerequisite for the successful training – you have to really love your dog!
Rustin Necessary is the owner of San Antonio Dog Life – a local forum and information resource for the dog lovers of San Antonio; and founder of The No Dog Left Behind Program.