What every puppy should know
Now that you have brought your new family member home and your new puppy is settling in it is time to start his obedience training. Puppies can begin their obedience training as early as seven or eight weeks old.
There are several very basic commands every new puppy should learn. Dog training can be fun for both you and your dog. Teaching a puppy requires patience and time. Often they have very short attention span of 5-10 min at a time so lessons should remain short. Positive reinforcement is more effective than punishments. Hitting or loudly scolding your puppy is a short term solution to an immediate problem. That kind of discipline may lead to more behavioral problems down the road. However, praise, affection and using positive reinforcements like training treats, are more likely to lead to a happy obedient dog.
Four basic obedience training tips every puppy can learn
The first command you should teach your puppy is :
While enjoying your time together, sit with your dog with some favorite treats in hand. Begin by just saying come and his name, followed by a reward and praise. Slowly distance the treats on the floor and continue to encourage him by saying his name when he comes to get it. Continue to move further away and toss the treats further and call his name. Toss a treat , call his name, allow him to get used to paying attention and turning towards you when you call him. It may even turn into a game of chase, as long as your puppy comes back to you even to get a treat, praise, praise, praise. In no time, your dog will come when called. Then you will be on your way to an obedience happy pet.
Here is the next helpful training command you can teach your puppy
Sit – Method #1
Now that your dog knows his name, and comes when called. Learning to sit is a good way to begin teaching good manners. There are two popular methods both involve praise and treats or a “lure”. By now you probably know your puppies favorite treat. To begin teaching him to sit, Hold the lure in your hand and hold it near his nose. As soon as he goes for it and naturally sits back to get the treat, praise him for sitting and reward him. With repetition, consistency and praise this will be a quick command to teach.
Sit – Method #2
Sometimes a puppy may be very active and has a hard time focusing even during a short 5-10 minute session. One clever way to teach is to catch him in the act of sitting THEN praise or reward. In no time, your smart new family member will connect the two things. Once your puppy sits with a treat, it is very easy to replace the lure or treat with a verbal command. Remember to praise and pet for good sitting behavior. Your well mannered eager to please puppy will be ready for the next obedience training session.
Once your new pal has mastered come and sit, stay is a natural progression of puppy training . By now you both should look forward to your time together. Your dog will be familiar with the sessions and understand that good behavior = reward.
In order to train your puppy to to stay, start with the commands he already knows. Have Fido sit. Stand in front of him with your palm facing him and say STAY. Repeat this process a few times be sure to praise your puppy for good behavior. Begin the process of telling him to sit, tell him to stay and begin distancing away from him, keep your palm up and repeat the word “Stay”. This is more advanced command and may take more patience and repetition. However with time and patience your puppy with become a well behaved pet that stays when told.
A good tip in teaching this trick is to consistently offer praise when you come back to the puppy, NOT if the puppy doesn’t stay and trying to follow you.
The fourth and last puppy obedience training tip is to teach your puppy to lay down. This should be a relatively easy trick to teach. As long as your puppy is disciplined and can sit and stay, “down” is another basic command.
To begin this lesson, have a treat or lure in your hand and sit on the floor next to your student. Allow him to sniff his reward in your hand. Guide him to the down position with the command of DOWN. As soon as he is fully on the ground , then reward him with his treat and praise. Repeat the actions several times.
These are the four first basic things that a puppy should learn as soon as possible. Puppies are playful, but also eager to please and looking for direction. Spending ten or fifteen minutes each day enforcing the lesson, and tricks both encourage bonding between you and good behavior. Puppies also enjoy playing with plenty of stimulating chew toys.