Puppy training just can’t be done overnight. Although it’s true that some breeds do learn new tricks faster, it still takes time to train your pup. There are, however, some tricks that can speed up the entire process. At the same time, there are also some things that can slow everything down.
For all those reasons we’ve decided to present you with a list of 10 most important rules to stick to when trying to train your dog. So, with no further ado, here they are!
1. Show Your Pup You’re the Boss
Your puppy might be adorable, but this doesn’t mean you should tolerate his mischiefs. He needs to listen to your orders, not the other way around.
Dogs are pack animals by nature and you need to show your pup that you’re the leader of his pack. Even if the pack is made up of only you two, you still need to position yourself as the boss in that relationship. Otherwise, your pup may decide to listen to his instincts, rather than the orders of his owner.
2. There’s No Room for Violence
Violence won’t bring you anywhere. Physically punishing your pup when he misbehaves can only have opposite results. Instead of making him learn, beating him would only result in making him scared and confused. Instead of punishing him for bad behavior, you need to reward him for good behavior.
3. Positive Motivation
Positive motivation is crucial in dog training. When your pup learns a new trick or behaves in a way you wish him to, it’s time to reward him. This way, he’ll associate rewards with that kind of behavior and will try to stick to it.
4. Food is the Best Motivation
There aren’t too many other things that dogs love as food. They love eating and would do it all the time if their bellies allowed it. This is a fact that you can use to your advantage when training your puppy. What you got to do is get some of his favorite snacks and give it to them as a reward every time he does what he’s supposed to do.
5. Choose the Right Timing
Dogs love sleeping, it’s a fact. And they can do it for nearly 20 hours a day. Actually, they love dozing off many times during the day, only to get the most active just before the dawn. The problem is that their owners, especially those who work from 9 to 5, often forget about this fact.
The result is that they end up playing with their pups or training them at times where the pups are feeling sleepy. Of course, your pup loves spending time with you, which is why he might be reluctant to show he’s feeling tired. But, there will be some signs that something is wrong. He might have problems to focus, feel nervous, and so on.
This is why a very important aspect of dog training is timing. You need to choose the time when your pup is in the best mood. Usually, it’s at night, right before your bedtime.
6. Choose the Right Place
Dogs can get distracted easily, which is why it’s important to do training sessions in a place where there aren’t too many other dogs. So, it’s best to stay away from public parks and other places where there might be a lot of other animals.
You need to take him to a place that’s quiet and safe. Unfortunately, such places might be far away from your home and your pup could get too tired before reaching the destination. If that is the case, a good solution might be to take him there on a bike. You can use a dog bike carrier up to 30 lbs or some of the bike trailers for dogs. This way, you will save your pup’s energy, which he’ll be able to put to good use – his training.
7. Set Realist Goals
You can’t expect your pup to learn all the tricks in one go. Dog training takes time. And you need to take it one step at a time. Sometimes it may take a few weeks for him to acquire a new skill or a set of behaviors. Rushing things will get you nowhere.
8. Dog Training Never Stops
It takes time for dogs to learn new tricks, but this doesn’t mean that once he learns something new he’ll remember it forever. On the contrary, your pup will forget about the things he’s learned unless you keep on reminding him.
That said, you need to understand that dog training is something that never ends. In order to keep your puppy well-behaved, you need to continue with training even if he seems he’s mastered all the skills.
9. Everyone is a Trainer
You might be disciplined when it comes to training your puppy, but it won’t matter much if other people from your family are spoiling him. Not only will he find it difficult to distinguish from good and bad behavior, he might even start disliking you.
After all, you’re the one who’s trying to train him, rather than play all the time. And in his eyes, you might become to appear like a grumpy person who is no fun. This is why it’s crucial to work together with your family as a team. Only your collective efforts can result in something good for your pup.
10. Start Early
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Not true, you definitely can. The only problem is that it takes much longer than when dealing with a young puppy. This is why it’s important to start dog training as soon as possible.
And by that, we mean as soon as the puppy starts being more independent of his mother. Usually, such a thing happens when the pup is between four and eight weeks old. Of course, you’re not supposed to start your training in the fifth-gear. Rather than trying to teach him to jump through loops, this is the time when you should start potty-training him.