Welcoming a new dog or puppy into your home is a wonderful experience. It’s an exciting time that you’ll cherish for the rest of your days – but it’s also the time you need to implement training strategies. Training a pooch – no matter their age – is important to ensure good behavior and a strong, positive bond between dog and owner. However, for first-time doggy parents, this can be challenging.
Obedience classes can only do so much, and while they can contribute positively to training, dog owners still have to do the bulk of it at home – right from the get-go. Worry not, though; these pup training tips are here to help first-time dog owners or those with little experience settle their new furry friend into the family, encouraging good behavioral traits, obedience, and, most importantly, loving bonds.
Reward Success – Don’t Punish Failure
Rewarding success is more effective than punishing accidents; rewards are the best way to train your pet. Offering treats and praise rather than punishment for failure helps dogs learn and be more comfortable with you.
Punishing and yelling at them for accidents (like going to the toilet indoors during toilet training or chewing) will confuse your dog rather than reinforce the good behavior you want, not to mention it’ll teach them to fear you.
The Crate Is Not a Punishment
Crate training your pets can be helpful if you’re a first-time dog owner. A crate can provide your dog with their very own safe space they can retreat to whenever they need to relax. However, you mustn’t put your dog in their crate as a punishment. If you do, they’ll associate it with being bad, and it won’t feel like the safe, secure place it’s intended.
Reward House Training
House training is an essential part of adopting a new pet. Of course, owners don’t want their new furry family member to go to the bathroom indoors, which can be frustrating when it happens – and it definitely will in the early days.
However, remaining cool-headed is essential; techniques like scolding or rubbing the dog’s nose in their urine or poop after an accident are unhelpful and will just scare your pet. Instead, keep calm and take them outside after an accident. Whenever they do relieve themselves outdoors, you must make a big song and dance about it, praising them and giving them treats.
Socialization involves exposing your new dog to different environments, humans, and other dogs. The more your dog has experience being around other people and dogs – in new places – the more at ease they’ll be.
If your new pet is a puppy, socialization is crucial; unsocialized puppies can develop undesirable behaviors, such as excessive barking, fear, and aggression as adults.
Prevent Jumping Up Early
Everyone loves giddy puppies; they’re cute and excitable, which can lead them to jump up at people. As a puppy, that behavior is adorable, but jumping up at people can be quite dangerous when they’re all grown up. Imagine if they jumped up and knocked over grandma! Disastrous.
Preventing jumping up from the beginning is crucial in stopping this behavior down the line. The best way to teach your pet not to jump up is to ignore them until all four of their paws are on the ground. This technique tells them they won’t get your attention or affection if they jump up to get it. If they excitedly jump up at you whenever you return home, you can turn around so that you’re not facing them and ignore them until they stop jumping.
Consistency and Patience Are Mandatory
Consistency is a must when training your pet. You have to stick to training regularly and consistently; otherwise, your dog will forget what they’ve learned. Sticking to the same words for commands prevents confusion, too, as does maintaining the same rules throughout their life. For instance, don’t let them sleep on your bed as a puppy if you don’t want them to do the same as an adult.
Last but not least, have patience. Training takes time, and while dogs are smart, they aren’t geniuses; they need consistency, time, and a patient leader to learn what you’re trying to teach them. They will learn – just be patient, reward good behavior, don’t punish the bad, and, most important of all, lead and love your dog!