Loving a puppy and training a puppy should be treated as two separate tasks that involve 2 different mindsets and approach with the single goal of raising a more obedient, healthier and happy member of the family. This article will provide basic information on training a puppy as well as tips and techniques to make the experience a little easier, especially for first time puppy owners.
How to Train Your Puppy
Learn About the Breed Characteristics
Training a puppy starts with knowing the breed characteristics. The amount of training as well as the training method to be used depends a lot on the type of dog you are training as well as the temperament of the breed. For example, Bigger dogs like Pit Bulls, Rottweiler’s, Doberman, etc. tend to learn better if given positive and negative reinforcement Other dogs respond better to positive reinforcement such as dog treats, petting and even tummy rubs. Some dogs are harder to train than others because of their stubborn breed characteristic, like the Lhasa Apso.
Learn To Control Yourself
While it is well and good to shower your puppy with affection, it is important to understand that spoiling your doggie and training your doggie are two different things. Puppy obedience classes must be done strictly with you instructing your puppy what to do and then rewarding your puppy only if he or she does as told. If you cannot make yourself be stern with your puppy then it is a good idea to let someone else conduct puppy obedience training.
Puppy obedience lessons need not be complex. They have to be simple, straightforward and followed thru by daily. The reward method as well as positive reinforcement must be done as soon as the puppy does something good. This is in order for the puppy to associate his or her action with your reaction. Good deeds and stellar performance must be met with a reward, for example, treats, a good pat on the head, under the ears, a tummy rub, etc.
Training a puppy also requires negative reinforcement. This does not mean hurting your puppy in any way! Negative reinforcement involves issuing a stern warning that is clear from your tone of voice, posture, hand signal and demeanor. Two very effective negative reinforcement methods that go hand in hand are looking your puppy in the face, with your hands gesturing and you saying “No!” and then giving your puppy the silent treatment. Dogs are receptive and they know when you are mad and disappointed and they will do everything they can to please. It bears stressing again that puppy obedience should not and does not involve physical violence!
The Alpha Dog
At first a puppy will try to test the boundaries of what he or she can get away with. Yes they are that devious and intelligent. Never let your dog run amok and get away with anything and everything. Always issue a stern warning, a firm “NO!” and then give your doggy the silent treatment for a few minutes. Let the puppy come to you. This shows the puppy that you are the alpha dog a.k.a. the top tog and he or she must follow your example and instructions.
The Importance of Proper Exercise
Most puppies are lively and energetic, some more than others. If this is the case then it is best to exercise your puppy before training. This method allows your dog to be calm and collected during training and not running around here and there trying to get you to play catch. Remember that puppy obedience and proper exercise goes hand in hand and in most cases doggies tend to misbehave, run around the house, shred your sofa and chew on your shoe because of pent up energy that is not released by proper and adequate exercise.
How to Train Your Puppy Slowly but Surely
Training a puppy is not something that can be done in a single day. For example, potty and peepee training involves you moving the potty and peepee place (i.e. newspaper, rag, pot, etc) a few inches every day until it gets to where you want it to be. If you come up with method for training a puppy in a day be sure to let us know. But for the time being you must understand that puppy obedience training takes several short training regiments a day repeated every day for one to three months. Followed by more leisurely regular reinforcement training for new tricks and to make sure you puppy does not forget.