There are many reasons for training your puppy. Obedience is only one of them. A well-trained puppy will be easier to take for walks, will show better behaviour around people and other dogs, and will benefit from the time spent bonding with you while learning new skills.
If you begin dog training when your puppy is younger, they can grow up with the key skills needed to be a friendly, sociable adult. It’s also rewarding to spend time with your dog teaching them 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. Here are just a few tips that will help you and your puppy get the most out 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 as 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 them know when they do well by showing affection.
- Praise and reward your puppy for doing something positive. A favourite dog treat, as part of the daily allowance, is great motivation.
- Introduce your puppy to other people and pets early on. Socialisation is important to development.
- Be consistent with your tone of voice and the rules you have, so your puppy knows exactly what’s expected during the dog training process.
- 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 them learn.
- Be firm (but not annoyed) with your puppy.
- Reward your puppy for good behaviour instead of punishing them for doing something wrong; it’s a much better way for them to learn.
- Avoid teaching your puppy a lot of commands too quickly, as they are 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 your puppy has done well, let them know! Your puppy needs immediate signals so they know which behaviour to repeat.
- Try not to stop your puppy socialising. If they are friendly towards other people and pets, they will be a much more pleasant adult dog to be around.
- Remember that your puppy won’t understand human language, apart from their set of commands.
By following these tips, you can make dog training easier for both you and your puppy. And remember the most important thing of all – training is a fun experience that is a great way to bond with your new friend!