Looking for a few dog training tips and tricks to help you with your brand new puppy?
We’re always looking for different angles and ideas, especially for training stubborn pups.
Our fabulous guest, Andy of The Everything Dog Site, is here to share some fantastic ideas for teaching your new furry family member all the ins and outs of civilized behavior!
Let’s check it out!
Related: Puppy Teething 101: How To Survive The Biting Stage
Dog Training Tips & Tricks to Help You with a New Puppy
When you decide to buy a puppy, you have to realize that you are making a commitment to another living creature. From the moment your puppy sets foot in your home, you will be responsible for it.
1. Pick a Good Name
Keep it simple. You will be repeating that name over and over – to call your dog and most importantly to grab its attention. Dogs can understand up to 165 words, but they mostly respond to your tone of voice. So the way you will be saying your dog’s name is very important. Try to pick a name that ends with a strong consonant. Choose something like Ginger or Jack, which will easily get your dog’s attention.
If you’re adopting from a shelter, you might not know the puppy’s original name. A dog can relearn a new name, but in these cases it’s especially important to pick something easy. Giving your dog a new name after being adopted can help it with a nice new start. It’s important to create positive associations with your dog’s name. To reprimand it, rather use a term such as “bad dog” instead of shouting its name in an angry manner.
2. Stick With the House Rules
It’s a good idea to sit down as a family and discuss the house rules before getting a new puppy. Same as with raising kids, it’s important for the doggy parents to be on the same page with what is and what isn’t allowed. Are you okay with the dog jumping on the couch? Are there certain areas of your home that’s off-limits? What do you want your dog to do during dinner time?
The rules you pick will have to be followed consistently throughout your dog’s life. You can’t shout at it the one day for jumping on the couch and the next day let it be. Dog’s need consistency and routine in their environments.
3. Create a Special Doggy Space
Same as a child needs his or her own room to get away to, your four-footed child also needs its own space. This can either be a proper doggy house or crate, or simply its sleeping cushion. Investing in a crate is a good idea for housetraining as well as travelling with your dog.
You can also use a crate to give your puppy a “time out” when it disobeyed one of the house rules. In the beginning you can comfort your puppy by putting a warm water bottle and ticking clock in its sleeping space. It’s a great way to soothe the dog in a strange new environment, recreating the heat and heartbeats of its missing brothers and sisters.
4. Teach Your Dog to Come When Called
This is one of the most important commands you will teach your puppy. If possible, squat down to your puppy’s level to call it. In the beginning use positive reinforcement such as “good boy/girl” to create a positive association with obeying the command. After a while you can start using the command while your puppy is distracted to check that it will still come when called, even if it is busy. It’s crucial to get this one right, as it could for instance save your dog’s life if it gets out of your home and onto a busy street.
5. Reward Good Behavior
Positive reinforcement training will get you much further than the old belief that you need to beat your dog into submission. You can reward your puppy for good behavior in a variety of ways – from treats, to toys, to praise.
Dogs have an innate desire to please you, and you can use this inclination to your advantage. Reward good behavior by making a big fuss over your puppy getting something right. For bad behavior use a simple command such as “bad dog” and simply ignore your dog for an hour or so after the bad behavior. Your pup will soon catch on to the do’s and don’ts of the house rules.
6. Take Care of the Jump Up Habit Early On
It might be cute when your puppy jumps up against your leg to greet you, but you have to remember that puppies grow into adult dogs. If you don’t break this habit while your dog is young, you’ll have lots of hassles with it when your dog is all grown up.
Remember, it’s not only you that will be interacting with your dog, one day you will have guests over that are not big dog fans. It will be embarrassing to then try and reprimand your dog and get ignored, because you didn’t train it properly from a young age.
You need to ignore your puppy when it’s jumping up and not give it any encouragement while it’s in a jumping position.
7. Respect “Doggy Time”
Dogs live in the moment. If you try the age old technique of rubbing your puppy’s nose in a housetraining accident or in a hole it has dug in the garden, your dog will not understand why you are being angry at it.
If you find it squatting for a pee indoors or see it in action while digging the hole, then you can use your chosen method of reprimanding it, be it talking in an angry voice or slapping your hands and calling its name. Consistency is key when teaching your puppy a new habit.
8. Reprimand Biting and Nipping
Some dog breeds are more prone to this behavior, but it is another habit that needs to be nipped in the bud at a very young age. One trick to stop your puppy from doing this, is to pretend that you are really hurt when it has bitten you. Because your dog wants to always please you, it will most likely stop this habit immediately. Or simply give your puppy something more appropriate to chew on, such as a bone or a toy.
You can also swap inappropriate chewing things, like your favorite pair of shoes, for appropriate chewing toys. For both biting of your hand and chewing shoes, you can use a sharp command such as “bad dog” to teach your puppy that it is unacceptable behavior.
9. End Your Training on a Positive Note
You want your puppy to have a positive association with training from a young age. End each session with lots of exaggerated praise, using a phrase like “good boy/girl!” while giving your dog lots of affection.
This way your dog will be looking forward to the next training session and know that it will be rewarded for all the hard work of following new commands.
10. Lots of Love and Affection
Your dog will thrive if you always give it lots of love. Remember, dogs can become like kids that want attention at all costs. So if you are not offering it positive attention, it will settle for negative attention and start acting out just to get your attention. You don’t want your dog resorting to these methods!
Rather give it lots of attention and exercise to keep your four-footed companion in a good mood at all times.
This article was provided by Andy from theeverythingdogsite.com, which is a blog dedicated to promoting responsible dog ownership and helping spread the word about how awesome dogs are!