Puppy training is more than just teaching your pup to “sit.”
It’s making sure you’re doing everything right and that you’re setting up the best environment for them to be comfortable within. We’ll go through every step of the puppy training process in this guide, which will hopefully act as a helpful hand for anybody looking to train their new pup.
There are three main steps (outlined below) which you’ll need to focus on if you want things done properly.
Before We Get Started, What is Puppy Training?
Puppy training can essentially be broken down into two key components: Discipline and Rewards. These should work together to create an environment where your pet can thrive. Canine psychology is also another significant factor to consider, as it will affect how your pup views the world and its place within it.
Let’s Go Through These Components In More Detail.
Discipline is an essential part of puppy training, as it establishes boundaries for your pet. Without this, they may start to become unruly and will likely begin testing their boundaries (usually through mischief!). There are a few key things you need to remember when it comes to disciplining your pup:
1. Remain consistent with your rules: This is one of the most important aspects of canine psychology. If you don’t stick to the same set of rules, your dog won’t know what’s expected of them and will become confused.
2. Be fair but firm: Your pup needs to know that you’re in charge, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a tyrant! Be consistent with your discipline, but make sure it’s always fair.
3. Use positive reinforcement: Whenever your pup follows your commands, make sure to reward them with a treat or kind words. This will help them to understand that they’re doing the right thing.
Rewards are another vital part of puppy training, and work with discipline to create a well-rounded environment for your pup. As we just mentioned, rewards should be given whenever your dog follows a command correctly. This will help to reinforce the good behavior and ensure that they continue to listen to you.
There are plenty of different rewards you can use, depending on what your pup enjoys:
1. Treats/snacks: This is the most common reward, as it’s easy to use and dogs will usually eat anything. Make sure you don’t give too many treats, as the temptation may lead your dog to beg for more from strangers!
2. Praise/affection: Some pups enjoy a pat on the head or a cuddle after they’ve made a good choice. This is also a great way of showing them that they’ve done well without giving them unhealthy food.
3. Playtime: Some dogs love running around and playing with their owners, so why not take advantage of this? A game of fetch or tug-of-war can be rewarding for your pup, and you’ll have fun at the same time!
4. Toys: If your dog loves their toys, then why not give them a new one in exchange for good behavior? This is especially effective if your pup doesn’t get to play with toys very often, as it will feel like an extra special treat!
5. Walks/car rides: If you’re going on a walk or are about to get into the car, ask your pup to sit first. Not only will they get lots of exercise by walking further, but they’ll also be rewarded for good behavior before leaving the house.
Step 1 – Start Training Early
The first step of puppy training (arguably the most important) is starting training early. This isn’t just about teaching them proper mannerisms, either. It’s about getting them used to the idea of being trained by you, which will lead them to view you as a leader figure.
Many canine experts recommend starting at around eight weeks, which means picking up on some key concepts before they become too ingrained in their ways. It also means that you can make sure they don’t form any bad habits, such as jumping on people.
Step 2 – Be Consistent with Rewards and Discipline
Step two of puppy training is all about rewarding good behavior (while ignoring bad), as well as providing discipline to ensure your pet knows what’s expected of them. You can use rewards like food or playtime to encourage desirable actions or punishment if they misbehave.
To get the best results, though, you’ll need to be consistent so that they have a better chance of understanding what you want from them.
Step 3 – Be Patient With Your New Trained Pet
Step three is the final one, which will ensure that your new pet stays well-behaved and obeys your commands. This might be trickier than the previous sections, as you won’t see any actual results (positive or negative) for a little while, but it’s important to keep persevering!
If you’re struggling to get them to obey some commands, then try varying your tone of voice or approach. You can also experiment with distractions like toys and treats to encourage better behavior. If they don’t seem interested in responding when you call their name, make sure they know who’s boss by using a time-out rule (after giving them a warning).
Eight Tips for Starting Puppy Training with Positive Reinforcement
Many different tips can help you get your new puppy training off to a good start (and keep it going in the right direction). Here’s our pick of eight:
1. Make sure they’re getting enough nutrition and exercise: Many dogs will be able to sense when their owner is feeling stressed or angry, which might cause them to act out.
This is because they can’t communicate their own emotions (unlike people), so things like anxiety and frustration become internalized instead; leading them to make mistakes like chewing, barking, and biting.
2. Use a crate during house training: If you have a specific part of your home designated as their area (which you should), they might choose to soil it to mark their territory.
This is why house training can take a bit longer than usual, mainly if your dog isn’t used to being isolated for long periods. They might cry because they’re lonely or just because they don’t like the idea of being locked away.
3. Be consistent when giving treats: When using rewards to encourage positive behavior, you must make sure that everything is clear and consistent.
For instance, every time your puppy does something well; sit down quietly, use their “potty” box, calm down quickly after playtime; offer them some small reward (a treat) so that they associate this action with something positive.
4. Don’t ignore bad behavior: As we’ve mentioned before, it’s important not to reward your pet when they’re exhibiting negative traits (like jumping on you). This will only confuse them and make it harder to understand what you expect from them.
5. Try different training methods: Not every dog will respond to the same type of training, so you must try a few different things until you find what works best for your pup. Positive reinforcement is usually the best way to start, but some dogs might need a sterner approach to learn properly.
6. Take them out on a leash: You should always take your pup for a walk on a leash, even if you won’t be picking up their poop (because that’s the law). If you’ve trained them to know how to “behave” in public, then they’ll learn not to pull against their lead and will stop before crossing roads.
7. Be kind but firm: If your dog is misbehaving or getting distracted during training, it might be because you’re being too nice. They can sense when their owner is afraid of them, which will only encourage bad behavior; like biting or barking.
8. Don’t give up! Training can take time, especially if your dog is young or poorly behaved. However, they’ll soon learn to behave just like any other dog with the right approach and consistency. All you have to do is make sure you’re ready for the commitment!
Proper puppy training is essential for a happy, healthy relationship between you and your new pet. By following the three steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to having a well-behaved dog that knows its place in the world.
Be patient, consistent, and diligent with your training, and you’ll be rewarded with a pet who loves and respects you.