Puppy Training Guide

How easy it can really be!

Browsing Category: Basic Training

Basic Training

Leash Training Your Puppy

Training Your Puppy to Walk on a Leash

Many people are surprised when they first get their puppy and it doesn’t respond well to walking on a leash – but it’s important to remember that being on a leash isn’t a natural situation for a dog! The good news is that teaching your puppy to walk on a leash is a fairly easy thing to do, and the earlier that you can start leash training with your puppy, the quicker you will see results.

Being able to walk your puppy on a leash is not only an enjoyable way for you to spend time with your companion; it’s also a far safer experience for your dog. The first step to training your puppy to walk on a leash is to get them used to wearing a collar or harness. Many smaller dogs prefer to be walked on a harness, as the leash sits further away from their head, while many owners of larger dogs opt for a harness as it is easier to control the dog’s strength. Both options are fine, and you should choose whichever solution is best for you and your dog.

When you first put the collar on your puppy, be sure to take time to feed or play with them so that they associate the collar with something enjoyable. Many puppies will try to rub and scratch against the collar, but you should leave it on until they have forgotten about it.

Once your puppy is used to the collar, you need to introduce them to the lead. The best type of lead for a young puppy is one that is lightweight and made of nylon or fabric, rather than chain or leather. Let your puppy sniff the lead, clip it to their collar and walk around with it. Make sure that you supervise your puppy during this process so that they don’t get caught on anything.

When your puppy is used to the feel of the leash and the collar, it’s time for you to pick up the handle. You need only do this for brief sessions each day, so that your puppy doesn’t pull back against the lead. Use happy, positive words throughout this process to show your puppy that their behavior is what you want.

Next you should start taking short walks around the house and yard. Again, be sure to use positive reinforcement whenever your puppy is doing the right thing. If they start to pull or drag against the leash (or simply sits down) stop walking and call them towards you. Your puppy will soon realize that pulling is an unacceptable behavior and that when they are walking alongside you they are doing the right thing.

Your ultimate aim for leash training is to be able to walk with your dog without either of your pulling on the leash. Your leash should form a relaxed cord between both you and your puppy, enabling you to both take pleasant walks without any stress and strain.

As always, be persistent and consistent with training your puppy and you will reap the benefits of a well trained dog.

Basic Training

Training Your Puppy to Sit

Sit is one of the most important commands that you can teach your puppy, as you can use the command in a multitude of different situations to control your puppy’s behavior. When your puppy learns how to sit, they will be learning how to give you their full attention, which means that you can use it to lead into another command, or simply to ask as a way to distract your dog from danger. Many dog trainers will tell you that the most important reason for your puppy to learn the sit command is for safety – because if your puppy is about to run across the road, the sit command can avoid potential disaster.

Luckily, training your puppy to sit is a relatively easy thing to do, because it is already a natural position, the only thing that you really have to teach is the command when to sit.

Unlike cats, dogs are unable to flex their spines which means that when they need to look upwards past a certain point, they need to be sitting to be able to do so. Because of this there are two separate methods that you can use to teach your dog the sit command.

Call you dog to come to you, and make sure that it is standing facing you, so that you can look each other in the eye. When you first start training your puppy to use the sit command, it’s best if you can crouch down so that you can obtain better eye contact. By doing this, you can ensure that you have your puppy’s attention, making the training much easier.

Next, you need to tell your puppy to sit. Still looking them in the eye, firmly say ‘Sit!’ in a strong, controlled voice. At the same time, push gently down on your puppy’s back legs to make them sit. Some dogs are resilient to this method, in which case you can use the alternative.

Again, using a controlled voice and maintaining eye contact, firmly say ‘Sit!’. This time, have a small piece of food or treat, and hold it just above your puppy’s nose, slowly raising it back and over their head, and they will naturally sit to follow the food.

Remember that each time your puppy follows the command; you need to shower them with praise. Use an excited voice and tell them ‘good dog!’, ‘clever boy!’ and give them pats and hugs. You can opt to use treats as praise, but be sure not to do this every time, as you can risk your dog becoming over weight.

When training your puppy, take only a small timeframe of five or ten minutes, as any longer and your dog will begin to lose interest in training. Shorter, frequent bursts are a far more effective form of training than intensive lengthy sessions.

Continue practicing with this method while gradually reducing the rewards, and your puppy will soon associate ‘Sit!’ with meaning that they need to sit down and pay attention.

Basic Training

Housebreaking Your Puppy

Housebreaking (Crate Training) Your Puppy

One of the most basic lessons that you need to teach your puppy is the correct place to go to the toilet. Crate training is one of the most effective methods of housebreaking your puppy, as long as it’s done properly. Here is a step by step guide to effectively housebreaking your puppy with crate training.

puppytraining

Steps

1. Buy a crate that is a suitable size for your puppy, larger breeds need a little more space so that they can move around in the crate.

2. Only put the puppy in the crate when you are able to observe them, or during the night. After every hour they have been in the crate during the day, you should take your puppy outside to give them the chance to go to the toilet. Put your puppy on its leash and take it to its designated toilet spot, give them a few minutes to do their business.

3. If after a few minutes, your puppy has not gone to the toilet, put them back in their crate. However, if they do go, make sure that you immediate shower them with praise or give them a treat. You can now take your puppy back indoors and let them run around.

4. After this free time, you should put your puppy back in its crate and continue with its scheduled hourly toilet breaks.

5. You will soon start to see a pattern forming as to the times that your puppy goes to the toilet. This is one of the reasons why you should have a set daily feeding time for your puppy.

6. Once your puppy has formed a routine, you can start corresponding toilet breaks with these times. Because you know the likely times that they will want to go to the toilet, your puppy needed be created all day, but rather only for an hour prior to their scheduled break.

7. Consistency is key when training your puppy, and they will soon learn that when they go outside it is time to go to the toilet, by this stage you will no longer have to place your puppy in the cage.

8. If you are not able to be at home with your puppy during the day, you should not confine your puppy to the crate, nor let them be free in the house. Instead, you should confine them to a single room, such as the bathroom or laundry, so that the distinction between the crate and the room is maintained by your puppy.

9. Of course, it’s important to remember that during toilet training, your puppy is likely to have the occasional accident. The most important thing to do if this happens is not to punish them. Dogs naturally feel scared and intimidated when threatened by their owners, so it’s far better to adopt an attitude of positive reinforcement when your puppy does the right thing.

10. If your puppy continually goes to the toilet in the house, simply revisit the earlier steps of crate training until they understand what you are trying to teach them.

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