Everyone knows that training a new puppy is important. However, very few people actually follow through with properly training and socializing a puppy. This initial phase of your puppy’s life is vital your the happiness of your puppy, your family, and others your puppy socializes with.
The saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” isn’t actually true, but it’s usually easier to train a puppy than it is to train an old stubborn dog. One reason is that a puppy doesn’t have any bad habits yet. Another reason is that you are starting from scratch, and your puppy training techniques will be the only techniques your dog will learn.
Before you begin attempting to train a puppy, keep in mind that puppies are easily distracted, and usually don’t have a long attention span. Most experiences are new experiences for a puppy, so opportunities for distractions are everywhere. Because of this, you should keep your puppy’s training sessions short and rewarding in order to make this new experience a positive “new memory” for your puppy.
It’s important to allow the puppy plenty of time to play and socialize with other puppies and dogs. Socialization training is vital to making your new puppy a good canine citizen, as dog aggression is a growing problem in many areas. A properly socialized dog learns how to play nicely with other dogs, and overly aggressive play is punished by the other dogs in the play group.
Play learning is something that happens among siblings in litters of puppies. When puppies play with each other, they learn what is appropriate and what is not. Inappropriate behavior, such as hard biting or scratching, is punished by the other puppies, by the mother dog, or both.
Unfortunately, many puppies are removed from their mothers and sold or adopted before the puppy has learned to socialize. Play sessions will play an important role in any good puppy training program.
Introducing your puppy to new experiences and new locations is also an important part of puppy training. Teaching your dog to be obedient and responsive, even in the face of many distractions, is very important when training dogs and puppies.
One great way to socialize your puppy both to new people and new dogs is to take it on a trip to your local pet store. Many major pet store chains, and some independent ones as well, allow pet parents to bring their furry children, and these stores can be great places for puppies to get used to new sights, sounds and smells. Of course you will want to make sure the store allows pets before heading over.
It is important for puppy owners to structure their pet’s environment so that the puppy is rewarded for good behaviors and not rewarded for others. One good example of this is jumping on people. Many people inadvertently reward this behavior because it can be cute. While it is true that jumping can be cute for a 10 pound puppy, it will not be so cute when that puppy has grown into a 100 pound dog.
Instead of rewarding the puppy for jumping, try rewarding it for sitting instead. This type of positive reinforcement will result in a well behaved adult dog that is a valued member of both the family and the community at large.
This type of reinforcement can also be used in potty training the new puppy. For instance, teaching a puppy to use a unique surface such as gravel or asphalt is a good technique. The theory is that the puppy will associate this surface with going potty, and therefore be reluctant to use other surfaces (like your kitchen carpet for instance) as a potty.
These are just a few tips for training your new puppy. Please browse our site for additional dog training techniques.