The first thing to keep in mind is that a puppy is an infant – not a miniature adult. Temper your expectations accordingly, allow for his mental and physical limitations. Before you know it, he will be all grown up!
As with babies, puppy-proof your home with baby gates, a crate or a pen. No one will even think of giving a human toddler free run in a home, and puppies need the same level of care.
Any time the puppy is left unmonitored, he should be in a safe location where he can’t cause trouble. Preventing accidents and destructive behavior will take you through the puppy phase with all your stuff intact! This also helps ensure that bad habits never get a chance to take hold.
Dogs are not natural English speakers. A new puppy you adopted will have no idea what your words mean. Instead of expecting him to do whatever it is that you want, it’s better to show him what you to be done instead.
Observe your pet’s body language. While they may not be able to talk, they can communicate how they feel.
Train with appropriate treats. You will be surprised at the hard work your dog will put in for a piece of chicken, cheese, or liver, or even store-bought treats. When the job gets more difficult in not so distraction-free settings, you will need to bring out the better stuff. Treats should be soft and easily ingested so that your pet can chew it up before continuing the lesson.
Reward your pet for being good. It’s easy to scold him when your pup gets into trouble, but rewarding him for being good lets him know that he’s doing the right thing.
It’s your pet’s “doggyness,” or their similarity to humans, that makes them so lovable. But dogs don’t think or act like humans. They do not commit acts of revenge; they just try to do what makes them feel happy or safe.
Dogs will make a habit of doing the things that their parents reinforce. We usually have ourselves to thank for those unwanted behaviors as well. Owners are responsible for inadvertently reinforcing all kinds of undesirable behavior, be it excessive barking or counter surfing.
It’s wise to be prompt with treats and praise. If the reward comes a bit too late after your pup has done what you’ve asked, he will have no idea of figuring out what he did to earn it, or you may end up inadvertently rewarding the wrong action. He’ll be happy to take it in any event, but you will have failed to reward what you were teaching.
Always appreciate it when your dog comes to you, whether you have called him or not. One usual complaint is that the dog does not come when called. Always welcome him with a pat or greeting, and never punish him when he comes to you, no matter what he has done.
It’s always important to keep up a positive attitude. If you are upset, your companion is sure to know it! Bored dogs are prone to get into trouble. Provide the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation, especially for young puppies.
Related Post: Preparing Your Pup for Agility Training