Top Ten Training Tips for New Puppy Owners
Ready … Set … Train!
Most dog owners would love a well-trained pooch. To achieve this, it is best to start the training while your dog is still a puppy and much more malleable. This will mean fewer accidents for you to clean up, multiple pairs of shoes that won’t be chewed, and not to mention that it reflects well on you when your dog is well-behaved.
#10 Be Patient
Remember that your puppy is just a baby and you are training him because he truly doesn’t know any better. There will be accidents in the beginning and you need to stay patient with him if you want to achieve success.
#9 Be Consistent
Consistency is the key to keeping your puppy from becoming confused. If you tell him one thing one day and another the next, you cannot expect him to learn properly.
#8 Be Confident
Dogs need to know who is in charge from the start. Commanding him confidently, holding his leash confidently – all of these things let your dog know that he isn’t running the show, you are.
#7 Use Treats
Treats are far and away the best training trick. As Dr. Lisa Radosta puts it: “If you want to train your dog effectively, you have to find his ‘currency.’” She goes on to suggest finding a treat that will make your puppy do back flips, so that when you move on to harder commands, such as coming to you instead of chasing a cat, your dog is more inclined to listen.
#6 Try the Replacement Theory
Replacement theory is a way to keep your puppy from chewing on inappropriate things. Remember, he doesn’t know any better. So when you catch him with your shoe, firmly say no, take it away, and replace it with something your puppy is allowed to chew on.
#5 Hold the Leash Properly
In holding the leash, make sure that you do not hold it too tightly; there should be enough slack so that your puppy does not feel any discomfort. It takes some getting used to, since it is common for most dog-owners to hold on to the leash too tightly at first.
#4 Utilize Confinement
Confinement can be your best friend when it comes to housetraining your new puppy. When you are not around to keep an eye on your puppy, keep him in a crate or specific playroom or area just for him. Most puppies quickly learn to restrain their bladder, as they do not wish to make a mess of their personal space.
#3 Learn from Others
Enroll in puppy classes. You will benefit from the instructors, as well as the other puppy parents in the class, and your puppy will begin socialization with other dogs.
#2 Stop the Biting at the Start
New puppy owners sometimes allow their puppy to chew on hands or feet because it doesn’t hurt and the puppy is just so darn cute. However, when your puppy reaches full size, those bites are going to really hurt and it will be too late to train him out of it. Discourage biting from the get-go.
#1 Use Discipline, Not Cruelty
There is nothing a puppy can do wrong that warrants cruelty. Always remember that he just wants to please you and is trying his best. If you consistently stop the puppy in the middle of the act of wrong-doing and sternly say “NO,” the point should be made. Or you can try the ignoring theory. To a puppy, even negative attention is attention, so by simply ignoring the puppy, you are showing him that he is behaving unacceptably and won’t get attention from you.
“Top Ten Training Tips for New Puppy Owners” originally published on petMD.com.