There are many reasons to train your puppy and obedience is only one of them. A well-trained puppy will be easier to take for walks, show better behavior around people and other dogs, and will benefit from the time spent bonding with you as he learns new skills.
If you begin training your dog when he is younger, he can grow up with key skills he needs to be a friendly, sociable adult. From toilet training to lead training, a regular routine and some patience from you will help him learn as effectively as possible. It’s also great fun spending time with your dog and teaching him how to behave, especially if you have fun at the same time.
Training is more effective when both you and your dog are enjoying it. You can both be rewarded with a bonding experience and the chance to be active, and if you make sessions fun, they won’t even feel like hard work.
Good puppy training practices are the foundation for an obedient, friendly puppy, and then for a sociable adult dog. Here are just a few ways you and your puppy can get the most out of the experience of training.
- » Keep your training sessions simple and fun, so it’s easier for your dog to retain his new skills.
- » Dogs have a short attention span, so keep it interesting as possible; this will be more fun for you, too.
- » Be patient and determined. Everyone has setbacks sometimes, but the benefits of a well-trained dog will more than make up for your perseverance.
- » Love and rewards are the secrets to successful training – let him know when he does well, for example by showing your affection.
- » Praise and reward your puppy after he does something positive; a favourite dog treat, as part of his daily allowance, is great motivation for him.
- » Introduce your puppy to other people and pets early on. Socialisation is important to his development, and he’ll grow up being more comfortable with them.
- » Be consistent with your tone of voice and the rules you have, so your puppy knows exactly what’s expected of him.
- » Keep voice signals simple, like ‘Sit’ and ‘Good dog’. Share these with other family members so they use the same words, reducing the possibility of confusion for your puppy.
- » Structure is important when training a puppy: set a regular timetable of walks, feeding and training to help him learn.
- » Be firm, but not annoyed, with your puppy.
- » Reward your puppy for good behaviour instead of punishing him for doing something wrong; it’s a much better way for him to learn.
- » Avoid teaching your puppy a lot of commands too quickly, as he is less likely to remember and understand them.
- » Use a firm voice when your puppy misbehaves, but don’t shout.
- » Don’t delay reward or praise; as soon as he’s done well, let him know! Your puppy needs immediate signals so he knows which behaviour to repeat.
- » Try not to stop your puppy socialising. If he is friendly towards other people and pets, he’ll be a much more pleasant adult dog to be around.
- » Remember that your puppy won’t understand human language apart from his set of commands.