Top 5 Tips To Train Your Puppy With Ease
It’s very exciting to bring home a new puppy for the first time. However, you’ll soon discover that adding a furry new member to the family comes with a lot of responsibility. One of those responsibilities is teaching your puppy how you expect it to behave. It can be helpful to make a list of things you want to teach your dog. Potty training would probably be near the top of the list, followed by responding to commands, leash training, and table manners, to name but a few. But whatever your chosen curriculum looks like, these tips will help you to achieve your puppy training goals.
1. Build good habits through consistency
Training your new dog at home can be an exciting way to get to know each other while also teaching your pup good habits for sharing your space. When they respect you as the leader, your pup may even enjoy the process of learning the house rules. But before you begin training, you need to come up with a training programme, so it will help to become familiar with the various methods of achieving your training objectives. Once you get started, it’s important to stick to the programme. Dogs respond well to routine, so the familiarity of a consistent training programme will in turn deliver more consistent behaviour from them.
2. Provide treats and leadership
Puppies love treats, and you can use them as a motivational tool. Using treats to reward your dog for obeying your commands can shorten the learning process. Be careful not to overdo it, though, since rapid weight gain can ensue. Try to gradually wean the puppy off treats as a reward when it starts responding appropriately to your verbal cues.
Reward-based training isn’t the only training tool at your disposal. Dogs are pack animals, and will instinctively follow their alpha human if you demonstrate to them that you’re the leader of the pack. Set a firm example of how you expect them to behave, and use verbal praise whenever they complete a command. This will not only reinforce the desired behaviour but also strengthen your bond.
3. Call in the experts
If you’re having doubts about training your puppy alone, don’t be afraid of asking advice from an experienced trainer. Be sure to carefully vet their credentials, and choose someone whose training philosophy you agree with. You may, for instance, feel that their approach is too invasive, or that it’s too general, and not tailored to the nuances of your dog’s specific breed.
4. Take your puppy to school
Group classes can be a cost-effective and social way to train your puppy. Your dog will still get training from a professional, but with the added bonus that they can make other furry friends. This social training will help your puppy to learn how to behave around other humans and animals, making it easier to go for walks in public spaces in future. Your veterinarian or local pet store should be able to help you find group classes nearby.
5. Have fun and remember to be patient
Regardless of whether you train your puppy alone or with the help of a trainer, it’s important to stay positive and be patient. Your new dog is experiencing so many new things for the first time every day, and it can struggle to remember everything you’re trying to teach it. Remember that mistakes are part of the learning process, so be patient when it doesn’t do something right the first time. Your gentle encouragement is just as important as reinforcing what you expect your puppy to master. Reach out for help to knowledgeable friends and family, or a professional, if you struggle. And above all, try and keep it fun during this special time in your puppy’s life.