Tips for training your puppy
Have fun while your puppy learns the basic commands
From the time your puppy enters your home, show him right from wrong and continue to teach him rules as he grows. Have fun with your puppy while he learns the basic commands! For some of these processes, you will need to start off with appropriate treats for your puppy. Grains of puppy food or giving him his favourite toy can also be used for training purposes. Words of praise can also be a reward and should gradually replace treat rewards. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian how many treats your puppy is allowed to have to ensure you are not over feeding him calories which can lead to excessive weight gain.
HELP YOUR PUPPY TO LEARN ITS NAME
When your puppy arrives in his new home, help him learn his name as soon as possible. Practicing this will help him to know when you are calling him and more importantly, how to handle him while he is around other people and dogs. Choosing a short name will make this task much easier for you.
As soon as he looks at you, crouch down and call him only by his name, without using gestures to attract him. Use a low, even tone of voice, like an order. When your puppy walks up to you, continue saying his name while offering him a treat.
BASIC CANINE TRAINING
Here are a few examples of what you can teach your puppy:
Start by getting your puppy’s attention by holding a grain of kibble in your closed palm or within your fingers so your puppy cannot get it. Use the command “sit”. As you say it, move the kibble behind your dog outside of his field of vision. This will cause him to put his back end down to be able to better see your hand (and the treat). As soon as he sits give him the treat and praise him. Because you are trying to create a connection between the verbal command “sit” and the reward, be sure to give him the reward as soon as his behind touches the floor. You can phase out the hand motion and the treat when he is reliably sitting upon command.
Once your puppy is has mastered “sit”, you can move on to “wait” or “stay”. Once your puppy is sitting, hold your hand flat in front his face and give the command “stay”. While facing him, slowly take one step away from him. If your puppy gets up, step back toward him. If he remains in the same option reward him with treat and praise. Repeat until your puppy stays consistently.
Gradually increase the challenge by stepping back two or more steps. If he follows you, begin again. Gradually increase the distance between you and your puppy while repeating the command. To end the challenge, call your puppy toward you and reward him. With this exercise, calmly praise him. If you are too enthusiastic with your praise, he will too will become excited and would be less inclined to stay calmly.
You can train your puppy to perform “sit” and “stay” before mealtime. Watch your puppy while holding his bowl and give the command "sit". When he does, you can reward him by giving him the bowl. Once your puppy has mastered this, you can make the exercise more challenging by placing the bowl in front of him and, while holding him, say "wait". Your puppy will want his food, but he will have to wait for your order. Hold on for a moment while your puppy focuses his attention on the task. Only when he is calm and sitting, let go of your puppy while saying "eat", and allow him to go to his bowl. In this way, your puppy will understand that you are in control of the situation.
You can try another activity like "fetch". Throw him a ball or other toy and give him the order. In this way, your puppy will learn to retrieve the item and return it to you. Try not remove the ball from your puppy's mouth. Instead, congratulate him on bringing it, with a simple touch or a sign of approval.
IF YOUR PUPPY BITES AND CHEWS
During his first few months, it is normal for your puppy to chew on everything that he finds, either because he is “teething” where his adult teeth are coming in, or because he is feeling stressed or bored. It is important that you try to prevent these behaviours from becoming future destructive habits. To do this, you can try these solutions:
- Make sure your puppy stays in his designated area when you leave home.
- Provide plenty of safe chew toys to help combat potential boredom.
- When you see that your puppy is biting something that is not allowed, firmly and loudly say "no" to indicate that this is inappropriate behavior. Redirect his attention to a safe toy that he is allowed to chew.
- Praise your puppy when you see that he is chewing on the appropriate toy.
WALKING ON A LEASH
Walking on a leash is not an automatic or instinctual trait in puppies. Like all the other commands, this is an activity that requires a bit of training. The leash is there for safety and security and it should not be something either of you pull on. Your puppy’s immune system is not fully functional and he will be at risk of contracting diseases like parvovirus, distemper etc if he is taken to spaces other dogs frequent or in interacting with older dogs. Only when your puppy is fully vaccinated should you take him to the park and other public spaces. While your puppy is at home, use this time to get him accustomed to the implements for walking like the collar, harness and leash.
Before attaching a leash, your puppy will need to be accustomed to wearing a collar or harness. These items should not be too tight and should allow you to get at least two fingers underneath them. When you put on these items, distract your puppy with treats or a fun game. If you notice him scratching at the collar, distract him. When he is not paying attention to the collar or harness, remove it. Increase the length of time that your puppy has on the items until he stops noticing it.
ATTACHING THE LEASH
When your puppy is relaxed, attach the leash to the collar. Keep it slack. Do not put any tension on it and allow your dog to move around as normal. Follow your dog as he moves around. After a couple of minutes, remove the lead and play a game together. Reattach the lead and follow your dog wherever he wanders.
Once he is comfortable with the leash, you can move on to teach him other tricks like walking with you on the lead, “Heel” and “Come”
GENERAL TIPS FOR DOG TRAINING
You and your puppy will enjoy life together more if your relationship is based on understanding and good behavior. Working on this aspect is significantly easier when it is fun. In this way, a strong bond between the two of you is forged from the beginning.
The key to a puppy being obedient and friendly is based on good dog training practices. Here are some techniques to help you get the most out of dog training:
- Dogs have short attention spans
- Educate him in a simple and fun way
- Be patient and determined
- Love and rewards are the secret to effective training
- Praise and reward your puppy whenever he listens to you
- Introduce your puppy to other people and pets. Socialization is essential for your puppy’s development
- Be consistent. Speak to your puppy in a consistent tone of voice, as this will reinforce the coherence of your commands.
- Stick with simple words like "Sit", "Stay", "Quiet", "Come here", "Lie down", "Out", "No", “Off” and "Good Dog." Share them with other family members.
- Be methodical. Define a schedule for walks, meals, playtime, and dog training.
Here are a few things to avoid:
- Don't be mad at your puppy. Be firm.
- Never punish him or resort to violence.
- Don't try to teach him too many new commands in a short amount of time.
- Avoid yelling at him. Use a firm tone of voice when your puppy is not behaving as he should.
- Don't change the rules on the fly, this will only confuse him.
- Don't delay rewards (treats or praise. Your puppy needs constant cues to learn.
- Don't hinder his socialization process with other pets or people. The relationship with the environment is a key factor for the success of both.
Siguiente artículo:Dog behaviour