How to Begin Training Your Puppy

puppy before trainingIf you are about to get your new puppy or if you have just gotten one, the first few weeks or even the first few days will set the tone for your puppy’s future. You will have a much easier time puppy raising if you get things going right and to make sure they don’t head in the wrong direction. (Even older dogs can benefit from working with an obedience trainer.) Dogs learn by trial and error. If the results of doing something are good, they will do it again, and good is in perspective to your puppy’s mind.

Everything your puppy does can go on a list. Either a list of things with good consequences or a list of things with bad consequences. It is really important to make sure you fill the list with good consequences with good behaviors that you pay your dog for so you can stack the deck in your favor. Our puppy training programs are a great way to start laying the foundation for a well behaved dog.

Thinking from the dog’s point of view, a lot of things that we don’t want them to do are actually quite enjoyable for the dog. Finding food in the trash, running off and avoiding getting caught are a few quick examples. Once they have had fun doing something wrong, it makes it hard to get them to reliably stop doing those things again. When you think about it that way, it is so important that they don’t get a chance to learn the bad things, but when they do by accident, then we need to make sure our solutions don’t make it worse.

There is nothing harder to remedy than a sneaky misbehaving dog. This series is all about making their first experiences as close as we can to how we want the puppy to learn how to behave later in life. In future posts we will explore the following suggestions.

Things to do right away with your puppy:

  • Make your puppy feel comfortable and give it time to adjust
  • Make a puppy safe place
  • Make sure your puppy’s first potty experience is in the right place
  • Socialize your puppy safely and right away
  • Get your puppy comfortable with the leash and harness or collar
  • Show your new puppy exactly what you want it to do

Things not to do to make it easier for your puppy:

  • Don’t overwhelm a puppy the first few days
  • Don’t give your puppy freedom to make mistakes
  • Don’t let your puppy learn habits you aren’t going to want later
  • Don’t wait for all its shots before you take it out
  • Don’t let your puppy off leash in an unprotected area
  • Don’t let your puppy make mistakes and punish it

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