Many new dog owners are clueless when it comes to training their puppies. This is why some choose to take their furry friend to classes or private trainers to learn basic obedience and socialisation. However, training doesn’t always stop with kindergarten classes alone.
What many new canine owners fail to understand is that, like children, puppies require consistent training. They need a person who is dedicated and patient enough to train them at home. If you have recently adopted a new puppy from a verified breeder or are considering bringing one into your home, start training it right away. Here are six tips to make the process easier for you:
1. Train Your Pup Young
New dog owners need to set boundaries right away. This is because what may seem like a cute act of affection now may not be so adorable later on. If you allow your pup to get used to doing certain things when it is young, like jumping up on its owners, it will be harder for it to change its actions when it is older (and has the potential to knock people over). Puppies are also much easier to train than older dogs so it’s better to enforce good habits while they’re still young.
2. Be Very Patient
For some dogs, moving into a new home can be very stressful. It can take them a few days or even months to adjust to an unfamiliar environment. This is why patience is very important. Prepare yourself mentally and physically for potential challenges, especially if you are teaching an older dog new tricks. If you feel you are starting to lose control of the situation, just remember that you have made a lifetime commitment to care for your pup. Bear in mind that quitting is never the answer. If training starts to feel overwhelming, there’s no shame in getting professional help.
3. Always Reward Good Behaviour
One mistake many new dog owners make is punishing their pup to stop bad behaviour. What they do not know is that harsh punishments may lead to aggression and fear. If you want your pup to listen and be eager to learn, always give it positive reinforcement. Avoid sounding angry or frustrated. Instead, reward your dog for a job well done. Experiment with different rewards until you find the one that makes your pup try its best. Rewards may be in the form of treats, toys, praises, and caresses, but praises tend to be a more effective form of reward.
4. Keep Your Sessions Short
Dogs have an attention span of only a minute or two. When they are required to think hard, they get mentally exhausted quickly. To avoid this, dog whisperers suggest keeping all training sessions short. This means a minute or less at the beginning. Over time, you can increase the minutes while still keeping the sessions easy and fun so that your dogs associate it as a positive experience instead of something tedious.
5 . Allow Your Pup to be Comfortable in a Crate
Some new pup owners think that putting their dog in a crate is a form of punishment. What they do not realise is that a crate is designed for safety and training. It not only serves as a private and comfortable space for dogs but also as a tool for housebreaking and preventing bad habits. A crate only becomes a form of punishment when a pup is kept in it for hours for being naughty. Pups can retreat in their crates for comfort because they’re in a smaller territory that they can control. It also helps with potty training because pups are unlikely to pee or poop in areas where they sleep. So you can take your pup out of its crate to potty where you want it to potty.
6 . Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
When training a dog for the first time, be prepared to keep repeating the same commands again and again. This is because not all canines learn at the same pace. Some also tend to forget what has been taught to them just minutes after they have been trained. To get the most out of your pet, practise consistent repetition. Only until it responds appropriately to at least 90% of your commands should you expand your repetitions.
Getting a new pup isn’t an easy task and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Pet owners should be committed to taking the time to train their puppies properly and consistently. And it’s always best to start them young rather than having a bigger problem later on. If you’re unsure of how to train a puppy well, it doesn’t hurt to get advice from professionals.