A puppy can be a great addition to the family. Puppies are fun and they are great companions, however, owning a puppy is a lot of work. When the puppy first comes home, it is important that you start training him immediately. Not only will this save you a lot of stress and aggravation, it will also save your furniture and floors. Training a puppy isn’t as difficult as you may think. As long as you are patient and you know what you are doing, your puppy should learn quickly.
#1 Teach Your Dog His Name
The first thing that you should do right when your puppy gets home is to teach him his name. He is going to need to know his name when you are calling him or scolding him. When you are speaking to your puppy, use his name often. You may be tempted to use cute nicknames for your puppy, however, this is a bad idea. Calling your puppy by more than one name will only confuse him. To start teaching him his name, call him from the other side of the room. If he comes to you, reward him with a treat. You should do this several times a day. Within a few days, he will know his name.
#2 Decide the House Rules
When your puppy comes home, you are going to need to think about the rules. Is he going to be allowed to jump up on the furniture? If he going to be allowed in the bedrooms? These are rules that need to be decided early on and you need to stick to them. If you let the puppy on the couch one day and then yell at him for jumping on the couch the next, he will become confused and he will never learn the rules.
#3 Potty Training
Potty training takes a lot of time and even more patience. Your puppy is going to need to go out to the bathroom several times each day. If you are home with your puppy all day, you should take him outside every hour. When he does his business outside, you should praise him and reward him with a treat. If your puppy messes in the house, you should use a strong, stern voice to let him know that what he did was wrong. You should never, under any circumstances, hit your puppy for going to the bathroom in the house. This won’t help him learn, it will only make him afraid of you. If you are not going to be home all day, you might want to put your puppy in a crate while you are gone. This will keep him from doing his business in the house. If you focus on your puppy’s training, he should start going outside every time within a few weeks to a month. You need to remember to be patient with him.
#4 Avoid Biting or Nipping
It is important that you stop your puppy from nipping and biting as soon as the behavior starts. If he is biting or nipping at you, use a stern voice and tell him no. If you have bonded with your puppy, you should pretend that he is hurting you when he bites. This may scare him enough to never bite you again. If all else fails, give your puppy a chew toy to take his focus off of biting you. When you are in a situation with your puppy where he will normally bite or nip and he doesn’t, praise him and give him a treat as a reward.
#5 Keep Your Puppy From Jumping
When guests come to your home, they aren’t going to want your puppy jumping all over them. It is important to break your puppy out of this habit early on. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to stop the behavior. Start by having someone walk in your home. When the puppy jumps on them, tell the puppy in a stern, strong voice to get down. You can also point at the floor to let your puppy know what you want him to do. If he listens, praise him and give him a reward. Next, wait about 10 minutes and have someone come through the door again and repeat the same steps. He might not get it in one training session, however, after a few days of training, he will learn that he cannot jump on your guests when they come through the door.
Important Tips To Remember
• It is important that you understand how your puppy thinks. If you find that you dog messed on the carpet but you don’t know when it happened, you should not reprimand him. Puppies and older dogs live in the moment. This means that a few minutes after they break a rule, they will forget. If your puppy messed on the carpet an hour before, he won’t know why you are reprimanding him later.
• Praise and reward are the best training tools that you have. While using a strong, stern voice is a good idea if your puppy breaks a rule, you should never, ever use corporal punishment. If you hit your puppy, he will grow up nervous and afraid of you.
• When training your puppy, you cannot take a day off. In order for your training sessions to be effective, you need to be consistent. This is the only way to turn your free-spirited puppy into a well-behaved member of the family. The only way to make him learn is to be patient and consistent with the training.
Training your puppy properly is very important starting the day you bring him home. The sooner he learns the rules of the house and he starts following them, the sooner you will be able to enjoy your new best friend.