Saturday, November 21, 2009

Puppy Training - Things Mutts Must Learn

No matter how smart a dog is, there are some things it will never learn unless taught. If you wind up with a disobedient dog that doesn't know where it is meant to pee or when it is meant to bark, chances are - you are a bad trainer who failed to teach his dog how to live with humans. Here is a list of things you MUST include in your puppy's training.
Potty Training
The initial 'aaawe' wears off when folks wake up to the fact that they've just brought home a mess machine. One of the first things you need to do show your puppy is toilet training. If you fail, you're stuck with the poop scooper and a smelly house. While some dog owners swear by the paper-training method, others claim crate training works better. Whichever option you go for - remember the basic potty rules -
a. Watch your dog for signs that it needs to go and help him go IMMEDIATELY b. Gently correct your dog for going in the wrong place and take him outside to show him the right place but ONLY if you catch him in the act c. Praise your dog for going in the right place
Teach Your Puppy His Name
To have any amount of control over your puppy, you have to learn to communicate with each other. Start by teaching him his name and move on to other commands once he becomes familiar with the concept of learning from you. To begin, offer the puppy a treat by in the palm of your hand while calling him by his name to catch his attention. If your puppy approaches you and sniffs around the treat, raise the snack to make puppy look at your face, say his name and praise him lovingly as he gobbles up the treat. This will help pup form an association between the sound of your voice and the treat in your palm. Continue to repeat this exercise. Your puppy will begin to approach at the sound of his name whether or not you have anything to offer it.
Teach Basic Commands
You can begin to teach him his second command here - by cheerfully saying 'Yes!' or giving him a much loved toy when he responds instead of giving him an edible treat. Whenever he responds to you - use the word 'Yes' or 'Ok' so he associates them with treats and affection. By offering your puppy a reward for his behavior, also known as positive reinforcement technique - you can teach him a a range of other tricks. The most useful ones include - sit, stop, sleep, stay, out, yes and no.
Appreciating Silence
Remember, while most countries have no rules about noisy dogs, American dogs aren't allowed to bark for longer than 8 minutes at a stretch. It is a punishable offense! Train your dog early in life that it is not okay to bark for long periods of time. Once your dog understands the word 'No', use the word to shut him up. If your puppy shows barking tendencies, use disciplinary tactics. Check and see if he has a legit reason to yowl, if not scold him and send him to his kennel or basket. If there is a legit reason like a stranger in your yard or stray dogs outside, calm you pooch, give him a treat and distract him by playing.
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