Training a Puppy
Getting yourself a puppy is an incredibly enjoyable experience that almost has a kind of magic to it. You may be riding home in the car with your new puppy and you can stop to recognize the fact that your new best friend has just entered your life, and you have years of loyal friendship to look forward to.
Of course, all of that friendship also comes with a great deal of responsibility as all friendships do. You have to be sure that you can support this dog, that you’ll have time for this dog, and that you’ll do everything you can to make sure your puppy is raised right. That includes the time before you pick your puppy up and during the time it spends at home.
There are hundreds of resources online that will tell you exactly how you should go about raising your puppy, but there are some general rules and concepts to keep in mind each and every day that you spend with your new puppy. Here to help is a list of just a few of those ideas in the hopes that raising your puppy will be just a little easier than it otherwise might have been.
Take comfort in the fact that whether your puppy is a natural learner, or else a little more difficult you are guaranteed that this time will be a special moment in your life, and even if you were tired, what time you are sure to very much enjoy.
Tips and Tricks
It’s essential that you remember in the early days that your puppy is going to inevitably be a little anxious. Your new dog has just been taken away from everything that is familiar, and in many cases its mother, brothers, or sisters. This would be daunting for anybody and dogs are no exception.
The best thing you can do in the early days is understand this stress and do everything that you can to accommodate it. This may seem like a daunting task, but in reality it requires only one thing that is quite simple: time.
Especially in the first couple weeks, make sure that you were spending as much time as possible bonding with your puppy each and every day. Of course you should be using this time productively for training, but more important than any training is the fact that they get to know you well in these early weeks.
It may be easier said than done, however. Many people find that work and other applications keep them from spending as much time as they would like with their puppy. If you have to in those early weeks you should consider taking time off work to spend with your puppy. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a spouse that can stay home that would work too. The bottom line is that your puppy is going to need companionship more than ever in those first few weeks and you have to do everything in your power to accommodate that.
One of the best things about raising a puppy is the fact that they are so darn cute. With that being said, one of the hardest things about raising a puppy arises from the fact that they are so darn cute. Being a disciplinarian to the fluffiest, furriest, and sweetest creature on the planet is no simple task. But, it’s something that has to be done.
This is not to say that you have to be mean to your puppy in any sense of the word. Far from it, nobody would expect that from you or anybody else. What it does mean, however, is that you have to take a structured and hard line approach to it enforcing good behavior and discouraging bad behavior.
Decide on the behaviors that you consider to be good, and also the behavior that you want to discourage. Without exception, you must enforce all of this behavior accordingly. More important than forcing it, is enforcing it consistently each and every time your new puppy displays said behavior. Only rewarding A puppy for good behavior sometimes will come back to bite you if you’re not careful. Especially in the early days, make sure you were consistently rewarding good behavior even if you don’t have treats, by simply rewarding with enthusiasm.
The same is also true of bad behavior. You have to make it clear that certain behaviors are not going to be accepted, and you have to discipline your puppy consistently when they display these behaviors. While it may be tempting to cut your puppy some slack, in the end it may result in you having a dog that does not respect the rules of the house, and by then it may be much harder to correct. Properly house training your dog early is essential!
Not all dogs are created equally. Some dogs love exercise, and some dogs are just naturally more inclined to be couch potatoes. Some dogs love other dogs, and other dogs would prefer to spend their time in the company of people. The same is true of dogs in terms of training as well. While there are some training methods that are going to work almost universally, it is necessary that you tell her you were training methods to your specific dog.
Rewards act as an incentive for your dog to continue displaying good behavior, and some rewards work better for some dogs than others. You have to find what motivates your dog and alter your training accordingly.
For example, some dogs are motivated best by food. Food is in fact probably the most popular form of incentive for dogs. The idea is simple: for each good behavior or trick that your dog demonstrates, you reward them by giving them a treat of some kind. You can even have treats with different levels of rewards. High double rewards maybe bits of liver, well lower level rewards can be something like Cheerios that were put in a bag with liver so they smell like them. Be creative and find out what your dog likes.
On the other hand, some dogs do not respond well to food as an incentive. In that case, you can explore other means of providing incentive to your dog. Often time’s simple enthusiasm on the part of the owner is enough to elicit further good behavior from your dog. If this is the case you stand to save yourself a lot of money and treats. After your dog does something right, simply give them a good pet and treat them with some enthusiasm. This in and of itself may be enough to raise your puppy into the best behaved dog on the block.
This is far from being everything you need to know about your dog. The reality is the learning curve for owners is every bit as deep as it is for your puppy. Follow these simple guidelines, however, and you’ll find the overall training process goes a little more smoothly than you even hoped!
One last thing to remember is to give your puppy plenty of time to rest. You’ll both be exhausted, after all! Here is our dog bed page to help you and your dog get the best rest possible.