Proper training and socialization are among your dog’s basic needs. A well-trained and obedient puppy is more likely to become a well-balanced and happy adult dog. It’s important to start training your dog as soon as possible to sit, stay, come, go to their crate, and to go potty outside. The truth is that training your dog is a very big project. If you take it step by step, you will find the task to be far less daunting. Not every training day is going to be perfect, but don’t get frustrated and don’t take it out on your dog. Adjust your own behavior and attitude to encourage your dog’s ability and confidence to learn. If you have a calm mood, generally your dog will too.
If the dog becomes afraid of your bad mood, he/she will not learn anything new. He/she will only learn to be wary and not trust you. Training your puppy to understand a basic set of everyday commands can make them more comfortable in social situations and easier to handle. It can also keep them safe in busy or dangerous places, so you can confidently take them anywhere and meet anyone.
Dog training classes and a good trainer can help you improve your behavior which will translate to success with your dog. Dogs don’t understand long-term cause and effects. They learn fast. You must praise or reward your dog within 2 seconds of a desired behavior to reinforce that behavior. If you wait too long, the pet will not associate the reward with the action you asked him to perform.
Furthermore, you must make sure that your praise is fast enough to be accurate. Otherwise, you may reward behaviors that you don’t want.
You can use soft commercial food treats sized for puppies, pieces of string cheese, or small pieces of cut-up hot dog that he can swallow right away. Avoid hard, crunchy treats because they take a while to chew. Give treats to your puppy immediately—within half a second of him completing the desired behavior. The faster you confirm the behavior you want, the easier it is for your puppy to understand what you’re trying to teach him. When you give the reward, follow it up by saying “Good boy!”
Avoid the trap of handing out treats during a training session just because your puppy looks cute. He will work harder to please you if he knows that he’s getting a reward than if he hasn’t earned it. If he doesn’t do something you like, don’t yell or punish. Simply withhold the reward.
Imagine, for example, that you are teaching your dog the “sit” command. He/she sits for just a moment, but by the time you praise and reward him/her, he/she started standing back up. In this case, you are rewarding the standing behavior, not the sitting behavior.
Enrolling your pet in a local puppy school can be a great way to introduce your pet to new skills, and get professional training advice. This experience will also help to socialize your puppy and help them to get used to being around other people and dogs.
Socialization is one of the most important steps in ensuring your puppy grows into a well-balanced, confident adult. It’s never too early to start gently introducing your pet to new experiences, people and animals.
Your dog won’t understand what you want from him/her if his/her environment lacks consistency. Everyone who lives with your dog should understand and be on board with his/her training goals.
For example, if you are training your dog not to jump on people, don’t let the kids allow the dog jump all over them. This will undermine all the training you’ve done.
Make sure everyone uses the exact commands your dog learns in training. He/she doesn’t speak English and can’t tell the difference between “sit” and “sit down.” Using those terms interchangeably will only confuse him/her.
Because he/she won’t make a clear connection between a single command and a single action, his/her response to the command will be hit or miss.
Always end training on a positive note. Even if the training session did not go well and your dog didn’t catch on to a new command, end on something that you can praise him/her for. By ending the training session with a command he/she already mastered, the last thing he/she remembers will be your love and praise.