He is just the cutest little ball of fur you have ever seen and it was love at first sight for the both of you! In addition to being cute and lovable, he is also a ball of energy that loves to chew, scratch, bark, pee and poop. You are the proud owner of that new pup and it’s up to you to train your new puppy to become the dog you want him to be. Positive reinforcement training is the quickest method to get rid of the undesirable behavior and instill good behavior in your new four-legged companion.
1. Set Boundaries
Decide what will be acceptable behavior and what will not be tolerated before you begin training your new pup. Changing the rules during training will set the puppy back to square one on the training scale. Decide if you want your dog on the couch, chair or bed for the next 15 years and train accordingly. Good behavior patterns are easier to establish during the puppy stage than trying to break old habits when the pup reaches adulthood.
2. Be Consistent
Give the same command for each thing you want your pup to do and be consistent with rewards and consequences. If you tell your dog to ‘sit’ sometimes, while telling him ‘down boy’ at other times, the commands will be confusing and difficult to learn. Rewards for an obeyed command should always be given immediately as part of positive training and negative consequences for a disobeyed command should be very limited. A puppy/dog will learn quicker using a positive reward system and will shy away from training sessions that may end with a scolding or time out.
3. Non-Food Treats
Most dog owners feel that by giving their puppies and dogs food treats that they are showing their beloved pet how much they love them. Too many food treats can actually harm your dog by eventually leading to health issues like diabetes, joint pain and other health problems. Give your dog positive reinforcement with non-food treats for a job well done. Dogs respond very favorably to words of praise and a brisk rub behind the ear.
4. Keep Him Busy
A busy dog is a happy dog. Start regular playtime and exercise time as soon as you bring the new puppy home. It creates a time of bonding and training, plus the positive activities will keep your puppy away from the negative activities like chewing on your favorite pair of shoes. Learn about the advantages of regular dog walks and keep an eye out for our upcoming blog on how to exercise your puppy.
5. Have Fun!
That’s why you got a puppy in the first place! Have a good time and enjoy your pup. The more you interact with your pup at a young age the better he will understand how he fits into your life. Dogs specialize at adapting to their surroundings and he wants nothing more than to be with you all the time and be your best friend so enjoy!
6. Hire a Dog Walker
A good dog walker is a wonderful part of your puppy team and can help you with socialization. Learn about Benefits of Walks for Puppies!