People who are embarking on their first puppy rearing experience must realize that patience is vital to successful dog training.
Babies and puppies have a lot in common. You can’t expect an infant child to learn everything overnight. Thus, you have to realize that puppy rearing can also be a time-consuming challenge. However, the time you put into training a puppy will payoff in the end.
There are different methods of training and not all puppies learn at the same rate. There are many helpful puppy-training guides available. Breeders and veterinarians are also good sources of training information.
Remember that puppies will best respond to positive reinforcement. There are some things that a puppy trainer just should not do. The following is a list of things to avoid when training:
1. Inconsistency with Commands
Inconsistency of the commands you teach will set you and your puppy up for failure. Choose command words and use them. For example, if you use the “off” command to keep your puppy off of the furniture, don’t confuse the dog by sometimes telling him to “get down.” Using the same words consistently will make puppy training a lot easier.
2. Don’t shout or yell at the puppy.
Keep your cool and address the dog in a calm manner. You will get his or her attention without making them afraid of you.
3. Avoid long training sessions.
Puppies have short attention spans, so a short lesson is better. Start with five-minute intervals and slowly increase the minutes you spend in a training session. Try to aim for a maximum of 15 minute training sessions at any given time.
4. Avoid Rubbing the Puppy’s Nose in “Messes”
When potty training or housebreaking, forget the old advice of rubbing the puppy’s nose in the puddle of urine. This is a form of negative reinforcement and will send a message that only confuses the puppy.
5. Avoid Training when in a Bad Mood
Be aware of the fact that puppies can pick up on your mood. Avoid training when in a bad mood. Whether or not you realize it, your foul temper is catching and the puppy can easily become afraid of you.
6. Don’t overuse the crate.
Crate training can work well for housebreaking because dogs do not like to soil the area they play and live in. However, do not use the crate to pen up the dog because you feel like forgetting about them for aw period of time. The crate is a tool, not a canine prison. Overuse can cause anxieties. The crate is a place your puppy should feel comfortable. Make sure to avoid using the crate for punishment purposes or you will end up confusing him!
7. Don’t Forget to Praise the Puppy for Doing Things Right
Praise and positive reinforcement are very effective. Never underestimate the power of a rub on the belly or a nice treat.
8. Never Hit the Puppy
Physical abuse will only prove to make the puppy neurotic. Gently correct them and repeat the correction until the puppy learns that a specific action is undesirable behavior.
9. Don’t Punish a Dog That Does Not Come When Called.
Punishment will only make the dog fear you and continue to avoid you. Instead, reward he or she with praise or a treat when they do come. Until you know that your puppy will respond consistently to the “come” command, don’t remove the leash for safety reasons.
10. Don’t Correct Puppies for Something in the Past
Don’t correct puppies hours (or even 5 minutes) after they have done something bad like chew a shoe or have a bathroom accident in the house. Puppies have a very short memory. It is best to only reprimand them when you catch them in the act.
The best thing you, as a new puppy trainer, can do is to spend a lot of time with your puppy. Include them in as many of your activities as you can and you will end up with a dog that is an amazing family member.