Top 10 Puppy Training Tips

Bringing a new puppy into your home can obviously be a very exciting time, but it is also the beginning of a long training process. Although your puppy obviously needs time to settle into its new environment, and get to know all the members of the household, it is also important to establish some house rules before your pup arrives home.

Dogs need consistency-- ALL family members must follow the rules.

These rules - such as no sleeping on the bed, no jumping up, no feeding at the table, etc. - must be followed carefully by all members of the household, so that your new arrival doesn’t get any false messages. It is quite amazing how often you hear people complaining about the fact that their dog has bad habits and never does as it’s told, but much of this is purely down to the fact that the dog has not been trained properly from an early age. The rules you put in place during the first week of your puppy’s arrival are critical to the training process, as if your pup discovers any weaknesses in your rules, it will soon break free and do as it pleases.

Starting a regular training process early on in your dog’s life is much easier than you might think; it is simply a matter of being clear and positive in your actions, consistent, gentle and patient. It may be that your puppy has already come from a home where it has had a fair amount of socialisation, and this will obviously help to make the training process much easier for everyone concerned. The following tips will hopefully help you to reap the rewards of owning a happy and obedient dog:

  1. Always reinforce good behaviour with plenty of praise or a tasty treat – ignoring your dog when it is being good, and shouting at it when it is doing something wrong, will send out the wrong messages.
  2. Try to ensure that you always use your dog’s name in a positive way. This will ensure that it doesn’t feel too scared to come to you when called, in case it gets into trouble.
  3. A collar and lead are very important training tools and it is best to get your dog used to them as soon as possible. Begin by placing them on your dog periodically when it is in the house, and then gradually build up the amount of time your dog wears them - this will make it easier when you start going out for walks together.
  4. As soon as possible, get your dog used to noisy traffic, bicycles, people, other animals, etc. This will prevent your dog from being timid when confronted by any of these situations.
  5. Give your dog plenty of regular daily exercise and try to attend a reputable dog training class as often as possible.
  6. When you get to the stage of letting your dog off the lead, keep calling it back to you and put the lead back on periodically. Then leave the lead on for a short while, reward your dog with a treat, and then let it off the lead again. This will show your dog that going back on the lead is not a bad thing, and that it doesn’t mark the end of an enjoyable walk.
  7. Interact with your dog whilst out for a walk, by taking toys to throw and fetch. This helps to reinforce good behaviour and encourages your dog to keep coming back to you when called.
  8. When giving your dog a command, make sure you only say the word once in a firm voice. If the dog doesn’t respond, try again a few seconds later. If you keep repeating a command over and over without any breaks in between, your dog will fail to understand the command and will continue to ignore it.
  9. Try to avoid leaving your puppy alone for long periods of time at first. When you do leave it, make sure you provide an activity toy filled with some tasty treats – this will hopefully prevent it from chewing anything else.
  10. To speed up the house training process, be sure to praise your dog well whenever he/she goes to the toilet in the correct place – you will be surprised how quickly your puppy learns.

These useful tips shouldn’t take too long to implement if used regularly and consistently, and will make being a dog owner a more pleasurable experience. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your dog will sit patiently when required, come back when it is called, and walk nicely on the lead next to you.

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