Puppies: It’s All Fun and Games Until Something Gets Chewed

puppy that needs trainingOwning a puppy is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Puppies are full of unconditional love for their human family. But they will make mistakes and they will get into trouble. If you realize that now, you can be prepared to be a kind and benevolent pet parent and coach. You will know not to get angry, but just to adjust so that problems don’t happen again. It takes time for your puppy to learn to live in your family.

Dogs have incredible memories and they’ll never forget something that is fun or rewarding. It only takes one time getting on the couch or finding scraps in the garbage for them to learn that “the sofa is really comfortable” or “there’s free food in the trash.” If they do, they will remember those pleasant things forever; so it is better if your dog never learns the wrong things at all.

Set Yourself Up For Success

So many dog problems are really easy to avoid, and a lot harder to go back and fix later. The most significant but avoidable problem is fear and anxiety due to lack of, or inadequate socialization for young puppies. The second is aggression and other bad behavior that comes as a result of punishment based and aversive training. Stay away from “correction” type training that punishes symptoms.

There is a lot of information out there and sometimes it can be downright confusing. If you are told to do something that doesn’t make sense to you, then don’t do it. Get your advice from the right people. The right approach is to ask, “How do I teach my puppy to behave properly?” The wrong approach is, “How do I correct my puppy when he does ________?” Corrections only micromanage behavior and suppress symptoms, without giving your puppy a solution. You will be amazed how easy it is to keep your puppy on track in an “I Said Sit!” puppy-training program.

Be Patient

Puppies are products of their environment and will behave in accordance with what they see and hear. Your early days and months with your new puppy will be filled with teaching moments. And while there will be moments of frustration, like that ‘present’ you find in the middle of the kitchen floor or a chewed slipper, just remember that how you react now will make a huge difference later. Patience, love, and guidance go a lot farther than punishment, anger, and unrealistic demands.

1 Comment
  1. Another good tip is to not give your puppy a toy that looks like a household object. Better to avoid confusion. Eg, no squeaky slippers – that’s just asking for trouble!

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