Puppies are cute and fun and eventually grow up to be bigger dogs. While they are still young and at that puppy stage, it is the perfect time to teach them a few tricks. We’re not talking magic tricks here, either. A well-trained puppy becomes a well-behaved adult dog. Here are a few tips on accomplishing this.
1 – Chill. Seriously, Chill.
Your puppy is essentially a four-legged baby. It has no idea that it isn’t supposed to pee in the planter in the living room unless you teach it not to. However, when teaching your puppy what habits to break, you have to be patient. Some puppies will pick up on it quicker than others. If yours is a tad slow on the understanding part, don’t get upset. Whatever you do, don’t yell or scream at your puppy. If you are calm and relaxed when you show him or her to do a certain task, your puppy will respond better to the lesson. Being uptight and frantic is going to freak out your puppy and anyone else in the close proximity of your presence.
2 – The Treat Reward
Everyone likes to be praised when they do something good. Your puppy is no exception. One of the best ways to reinforce good behavior is by rewarding a good action with a treat and lots of praise. Sure, in actual fact you are bribing your puppy to pay attention to what you are trying to teach it, but if it works, why mess with a good thing? You can even use this ploy with yours and any neighborhood kids you want to do something that makes them more useful to have around. Just be sure that the treat rewards you give your puppy are healthy and not the only food it gets.
3 – The Cold Shoulder
Remember we mentioned that you shouldn’t yell at your puppy when it does something he or she shouldn’t? Well, there is a way in which you can get your message across to that little fur-baby that peeing in the indoor planter is not considered a good move. All you have to do is stop giving it attention. In other words, use the old trick of ignoring that pooch and after awhile it will make the connection that doing good things equates to treats and praise and doing bad things removes both of those things.
4 – The Old Switcheroo
So your puppy has just destroyed your all-time favorite pair of slippers. Let’s face it, he or she has no clue that they cost a bag of money back in the day nor does your little buddy get that the one-of-a-kind slippers are irreplaceable and you won’t be able to make it through another winter without them. What to do? Simple. Remove the remains of those slippers, stay calm and replace them with an acceptable dog chew toy. It will work, trust us on this one. Just stay calm.
5 – Stay The Course And Don’t Deviate
Here’s something you don’t need to be a dog whisperer to know. Logic tells us that if you are consistent in your message and methods used to hammer that message home, learning is going to result. This means that if peeing in the planter is unacceptable today, it best be unacceptable each and every day. The only way your fur baby is going to pick up on that signal is if it is clear and does not change over time. This means that he or she better not happen to see you or the cat using the planter as a litter box because that now confuses the message.
6 – Get Everyone Else In The House On Board
This is a bit of an extension on Point #5. One way to keep the consistency in place when training your puppy is to have everyone who comes in regular contact with the little fur ball to stick to the training program. The last thing you need is a weak link where someone decides to slip a treat to the puppy just because it is such a cool feeling to get your hand licked senseless from such a cute little creature. However, if that continues, all your weak link is doing is sending confusing signals to the puppy being trained. You are not being mean in enforcing this guideline whatsoever. If anything, you are working together to ensure that the puppy learns faster.
7 – Don’t Overdo The Treat Part, Either
Somewhere in this article you may have seen a hint related to using healthy treats when rewarding your puppy for doing something good. The other thing to remember is that a well-behaved, often fed puppy during training can actually become an obese adult dog with many health problems. Sure, that dog won’t be doing anything bad in and around your house because it was such a good learner. The downside is he or she is also now a bit of a liability with all the issues related to being overweight. So, key in on the healthy treats and reduce the size of those treats so that your puppy doesn’t end up with a treat appetite and not a regular meal appetite.
Now You Have Some Guidelines, Get At ‘Em!
Alright. The above-noted seven tips are going to provide you with enough of a foundation to easily train your puppy and it should be as equally painless. By following these simple steps you should have your puppy doing things at an early age you wish your children had mastered. Just keep in mind to not give up. Your puppy wants to please you and by being clear and steady in the way you teach it to behave, your puppy will make you a very proud dog owner. Although you have to be firm in your actions, don’t forget to also have fun. Puppies are fun additions to any household. When they have been trained properly, they also bring something more to the family unit. Good luck!