Date: February 11th, 2010
- Establish yourself as your dog’s leader early on. Dogs need to know who the boss is; your relationship with your pet will be much stronger if you’re firm with your authority.
- Teach your dog the action before you begin to use the command. In all training, your pet should understand the action you expect before you ever add human language to it. If you begin to use word commands too early, you will only confuse your dog, as he isn’t born knowing what “sit” means.
- When you do begin to use word commands, train your puppy with basic orders. One-word cues like “stay” and “come” are your best option, as longer phrases like “stay right there” and “come here boy” will only complicate the process.
- Be sure to keep your training sessions short in duration. Dogs have limited attention spans; rather than conducting long and tedious training sessions, keep your dog enthused about his learning. Aim to train your dog with three shorter sessions each day.
- Dog obedience classes can be a great experience for you and your pet. These classes can help you train your puppy, and may even bring out hidden talents in your dog like obedience, agility, or tracking.
- Socialize your dog and expose him to different people and settings often. Take him to the park or the pet store, or on a walk through town. The more he knows about the world around him, the better he will behave when he’s around new people or other pets.
- Supervise your pet when he is around young children. Regardless of how stable your dog’s temperament is, some children do not play well with dogs, and can unknowingly provoke your puppy to anger or harm.
- Give your dog small tasks and jobs to do – teach him to fetch the paper or carry a bag of groceries. Train your dog to sit before he gets a treat or goes outside. This reward system will boost his sense of accomplishment and well-being.
- Use positive reinforcement rather than yelling or getting angry with your dog. The training process will take lots of patience, and you should understand that your dog only wants to please you. Pet your dog over his shoulders and back when he performs commands well, or have treats in hand for good behavior.
- Not only should you be praising your dog for his good behavior, but you should be doing so immediately after the star action is completed. Giving immediate feedback to your dog is essential if you want him to associate his good behavior with the reward you give out.
For all of your puppy needs and wants, visit your local CountryMax store today! If you have any questions regarding puppies, email me at AskMax@CountryMax.com.
Additional Resources: http://www.akc.org/public_education/responsible_dog_owner.cfm#train, http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?dept_id=&aid=80