Puppies can be a wonderful addition to a family, bringing warmth, love, and adorable tail-wagging! But, training a puppy to become a well-behaved household member can be a daunting task, requiring lots of patience and “good boy!” Check out these four tips to remember to help make that puppy training stick.
Understand how dogs learn
Fundamentally, humans and dogs are different in how we act on instructions, including our perceptions and attention spans when receiving those instructions. Dogs don’t follow instructions on the first attempt, and it’s of the utmost importance to refrain from showing frustration or anger when a puppy doesn’t “get” a command, as this will adversely impact their ability to assimilate information appropriately. Tip #2 will help with this notion as well.
Use positive reinforcement after every success
Dogs can sense emotions well, and using positive words, tonality, and reinforcement is crucial during a successful training session. This will help your dog assimilate information better and helps to develop a stronger bond between you and your furry companion. And make sure the reinforcement is something your puppy enjoys! This could be a beloved belly rub, happy “talk” to get his tail waggin’, and, of course, yummy treats.
Introduce “spaces” in your home
Understanding and respecting boundaries is a common issue that puppy owners report with a new furry family member. It’s crucial to start your puppy early to help develop good boundary habits for the long term. To start, cordon off an area in your house with a fence and toss your pup’s favorite toys (and maybe some treats!) in this area. Once your dog can play around the demarcated area without problems, you can start to slowly increase the area of the space until they can listen to your commands successfully.
Repetition and patience are fundamental to success
A new puppy is a ball of energy that will test your patience. They may have an accident on your favorite rug, tear up your shoes, and not listen to your commands. It’s important to remember that the puppy phase will pass if you stay patient, understanding, and follow through on your job as a new puppy parent. Make sure you’re rewarding your puppy after they perform “good” actions and speaking a firm “no!” after bad actions. Keep a calm, level head throughout the puppy phase and you’ll have a best friend forever