Sit. Come. Stay. Down. Leave it. These are the five basic yet most important commands that all dogs should know and follow.
When your dog knows these basic commands, you will find it easier to tackle problematic behaviours that he may develop in the future. They can even prevent your pet from acquiring or learning these unpleasant attitudes in the first place.
Because of these reasons, once you get a new pup, you have to begin training him early. Puppies start learning from birth, which is why you have to start teaching them house training, socialisation, and other basic commands right away.
Puppy Training Tips
By nature, young puppies have short attention spans. As such, expect a few challenges and difficulties when you start training your new pet. However, with the right affordable dog supplies, tips, tricks, and plenty of patience, you will be able to teach your little pup the basic obedience commands.
Below are the five most helpful tips for training a young puppy:
1. Create a schedule and stick to it
Puppies need some time to adapt to a new environment. This is something that you shouldn’t rush even if you want to train your new pet immediately.
If you start training your pup without allowing him to adjust to your home first, you will face some additional difficulties throughout the process.
One way of helping your pet acclimatise to his new environment is by setting a good schedule and sticking to it. It should include the times for feeding, going out to play, and training, which you have to follow even during weekends.
Don’t forget to plan out a training program as well. Decide which command to teach your puppy first and what methods to use. Again, be consistent in following this plan unless you observe that they are not working for your pet.
Dogs are creatures of habits; if you are consistent with training your puppy, your pet will be receptive to your teaching.
2. Use positive reinforcement
Puppies learn best when they are rewarded for doing something good. As such, be generous with your praises and rewards while training your pup.
While training your pet, reward good behaviour. Give him a treat or his favourite toy, words of encouragement, or positive physical reactions like petting or hugging. Mix up these techniques to keep things exciting.
Trying different strategies will also help you find out which type of positive reinforcement works best for your pet.
When giving your puppy edible rewards, it can be easy to keep giving him too much food, especially if you love shopping for dog treats online and stocking up on them. However, be mindful of how much and how often you feed your pet since this can cause him to become overweight.
Also, when using verbal reinforcement, always remember to use a happy and excited tone of voice. Dogs can sense emotions through their auditory sense. If you sound glad, your puppy will feel the same way.
Additionally, stick to simple verbal phrases that your pup will get used to over time. Examples of these are “good boy” or “good job.”
Keep in mind that puppies aim to please their owners since doing so gives them a sense of accomplishment. When you use positive reinforcement, you train your canine friend to keep up the good work — something that he already wants to do and continue doing in the first place.
3. Be the pack leader
If it’s your first time to have a puppy and you don’t own other dogs, use this to your advantage when training your pet. This means showing your pup who the boss or pack leader is in your house, which is you.
Dogs are pack animals and, therefore, follow an alpha dog. Be the pack leader in your home by setting and showing him clear examples of how you expect him to behave.
This means teaching him specific rules at home such as not chewing on the chairs and rugs, not overturning the trash bin, and doing his business only outside the house.
With the right balance of kindness and firmness, your puppy will learn to be disciplined while still loving you at the same time. And this will help you greatly as you continue training him.
4. Work with a professional
Training a puppy for the first time is never easy. If you are unsure about the best way to start, don’t hesitate to get help from a specialist.
Ask your puppy’s vet for tips and tricks for training your new pet. If you want more expert help, look for a specialist who has a good background in dog coaching.
Make sure you choose the right trainer if you let him or her train your puppy. Aside from looking at his or her education and experience, find out if he or she has extensive experience in training the breed of dog you have.
You can also sign up your pet for a group class. With this setup, your pet will learn from a specialist and, at the same time, have opportunities to socialise with other dogs.
When your puppy is properly socialised, he will be happier, calmer, friendlier, and more behaved wherever he goes. And this will help you have an easier time training and caring for your pet.
5. Be patient with your puppy
Regardless of how well prepared you are in training your puppy, you can’t expect him to master everything within weeks. As such, you need lots of patience as you teach your pet the basic commands.
Keep in mind that your pup is learning many new things about the world around him. Because of this, your pet will have difficulties remembering everything you are teaching him.
As such, allow your puppy to make mistakes once in a while. Don’t get angry easily and don’t punish him for not getting things perfect. Always be calm and encouraging while training your pet to continue motivating him to learn.
Also, find ways to make training fun. By doing so, you strengthen your bond with your pet, and you let him know that learning can be enjoyable, too.
When you follow these tips, you can boost the chances of training your puppy successfully in a shorter amount of time. However, remember that you are teaching a young dog; as such, always be patient and show him you love him so that you can have a wonderful relationship with your furry pal for a long time.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.