1 – Begin Training Early
Puppies are more receptive to learning between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks, so it’s important to begin their training early. If you’re training an older dog for the first time it may take a little longer, but despite what they say, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
The following puppy training tips help you and your puppy to become confident during your training sessions.
2 – Find A Quiet Area To Train Your Puppy
Don’t attempt to train your puppy if there is too much going on around you – he will become distracted and will not learn. Find a quiet corner where you and your puppy can concentrate on learning.
3 – Be Consistent In Your Approach To Training
Your puppy will be very eager to please you but, at this stage, he may not understand what you want from him. Your instructions and commands must be very clear and consistent.
Choose a short word for each command, for example, sit, stay, come, down, etc., and ensure you and your family are consistent in its use, otherwise your puppy will become confused and will not learn.
4 – Puppy Training Tips – Choose A Release Word
The same applies to your chosen release word. A release word is literally that; your chosen word for releasing your puppy from a previous command. By using this command, you are letting your puppy know that he no longer needs to sit or stay down, and that he is free to get up and play, or whatever.
The important thing to remember here is to remain consistent with your choice of word and its application.
Using a release word for your dog, will help to establish you as the pack leader and will reinforce this fact each time you release your dog from a previous command.
5 – Practical Puppy Training Tips – Your Tone Of Voice
Puppy training sessions should be kept light, and should be fun for your puppy.
Your tone of voice needs to be firm when giving a command, and lighter, more fun, when giving praise.
6 – Puppy Training Tips – Positive Reinforcement
Each time your puppy does what you ask of him, offer him a small, tasty, treat and give him lots of praise. This will reinforce the fact that he has followed your command correctly.
Your praise, and any treat, should follow his correct action within 2 seconds; any longer and you run the risk of your puppy not associating the two, and he’ll take longer to train.
7 – Puppy Training Tips – If Your Puppy Gets It Wrong
Never become angry, scold, or smack your puppy for failing to get an instruction right. It may take several attempts before he understands exactly what you want from him – have patience.
If your puppy gets it wrong, don’t give him a treat, and don’t offer any praise; simply go back to the beginning and start again. You can say something like, ‘Too Bad’, or ‘No’, to help reinforce the fact that your puppy didn’t get it right. But don’t be too hard on him – he’s only learning.
If your puppy misbehaves however, difficult as it may be, don’t allow him to get away with being naughty just because he’s cute!
8 – If Your Puppy Fails To Follow Your Command
If your puppy fails to follow a command, it may mean that your puppy has not yet mastered that particular instruction. Simply repeat the relevant training until you’re confident that he’s mastered it.
Don’t repeat the command word over and over again, as this will teach your puppy that he doesn’t need to act on the first instruction; he will believe it’s okay to obey on the third or fourth command.
If you believe your puppy is simply misbehaving, don’t reward or praise him, simply walk away from him and try the exercise again five minutes later.
9 – Keep Your Training Sessions Short
Puppies have a short attention span, so it’s best to keep any training sessions to around 10 minutes or so. This should be enough to run through some simple commands without your puppy becoming bored.
Always try to end the training session on a positive note.
10 – Best Puppy Training Tips – Practice, Practice, Practice!
Practice really does makes perfect!
As your puppy masters each command, practice daily to strengthen and reinforce the training you have given him. This will help to establish you as the pack leader, will strengthen the bond between you, and will ensure your puppy grows into a happy, well-behaved adult dog.
Learn the basic puppy obedience commands here.
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