Puppy Training

Good dog, bad dog:Training your new puppy

Bringing a new puppy home fills the family with joy and excitement.  It will take up everyone's attention.  But, as the new puppy adapts to their environment, responsibility and patience will be needed on your part.  Being realistic and understanding during the beginning of training will increase the chances of successfully mastering the training of your puppy.  It is essential to establish yourself as the pack leader, teach them what you want, correct poor behavior rather than punish it, and provide external stimuli and social interaction regularly.  Your new arrival will rely on you to help him adjust to his new environment. Their behaviors from here on out will be primarily determined by your guidance and leadership.

Establishing yourself as a pack leader starts with setting a schedule.  Starting now, you will control what the dog does and when he does it.  Set a daily schedule and stick to it.  Crate training is also important.  Being able to crate train will give you more control, help with potty training, and give you a place to keep the puppy to prevent it from causing problems when unsupervised.  A crate is best for puppies, especially one where the size can be adjusted as they grow.  When they are older, a crate for their appropriate size, a small dog room, or a kennel run can be used. 

Help the dog to obey on the first command and only give commands you can follow through. When commands are met, praise the puppy, but only for a few seconds.  Limit praises to only when earned so that praise will mean much more to them when they have to earn it.  Make it a habit to take away toys and food periodically so that they are reminded that you are in charge.  Everything should belong to the leader.  However, do NOT have children do this! Don't get angry. It only elicits fear, not respect.  Being a pack leader is important. It may seem too controlling, but being consistent in your handling and in your demands of the dog helps them understand what their responsibilities are.  Dogs do not understand human reasoning and rationalizing, but do understand the pack system and its rules.

Puppy training does take time and patience, but is worth it! You will both develop a long and lasting bond with each other and can prevent behavioral issues or problems in the future. 


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