As your puppy grows up it will become increasing harder to get them out of any bad habits. Training from the moment you get your puppy is extremely important and the younger they are the faster they will learn.
Agree on a routine
Make sure everyone agrees on the rules for the new addition – and sticks to them! When my family first got our puppy, we agreed a room for him and decided he would stay in that room overnight. But whenever I saw his little face in the evening, he melted my heart and couldn’t bear to let him spend the night alone. Now he wails every time we put him in his room for the night. Although you may think you are doing your pet a favour at the time, you’ll only get them into a bad routine which will be hard to correct.
Similarly, agree on feeding times. Anything that will give your new puppy a day-to-day routine will help them get settled in.
It is important to crate-train your puppy so that they feel the crate is a ‘safe place’ for them. Dogs like small, enclosed spaces so providing them with a crate will give them somewhere to escape to. Only ever associate the crate with something pleasant – giving them treats whilst they are in there will help. Gradually increase the time in the crate until eventually they feel safe enough to sleep there at night.
Crate training can also protect your dog from injury. Placing your pet in a crate for the first time when travelling could cause them unnecessary grief and possible injury.
Controlling their Biting
It is not uncommon for young puppies to bite – particularly while they are teething. It is up to you to teach them what is acceptable through praise and punishment. Interaction with other puppies and dogs can help as the reactions to their biting will show them when they are in the wrong.
Make sure you praise your puppy when they do something right. This praise will stick with them and they will be more likely to repeat this behaviour. Similarly, be consistent in correcting any behaviour you don’t want.
Become a ‘Pack Leader’
Let your puppy know who’s in charge! There’s nothing worse than feeling as though you can’t control your own puppy – so just imagine how much harder this will be when they are older. Teach them that you are the pack leader by following these simple steps:
Make sure you step out of the house first when you take your puppy for walks
During the walk, try to walk in front of the dog – don’t let them think that they are leading you.
Don’t feed your puppy if they are angry – teach them that they will be rewarded for good, calm behaviour.
Ask for advice
If you take your puppy for a walk in the park you are bound to see many other dog owners, so get chatting! Ask them if they have any tips to help you train your puppy. Everyone will have found different ways and different things that have worked for them, so you could pick up some really useful ideas.
Dealing with your puppy calmly and assertively, rather than aggressively, can keep their behaviour on the right track and ensure they mature into a well-behaved family dog.
Do you have any other tips on how to train a puppy? Leave your comments below.