Training Your New Puppy
Training your new furry friend is one of the most rewarding parts of dog ownership. It’s essential to your dog’s development and should be a priority for you as an owner.
Puppy training begins the minute you bring your new pup home and start house training him. Socialization should have already started at this point through his raiser. Even with their short attention spans, young puppies can learn simple obedience commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” from a young age. When training a puppy this young, be sure to keep the training sessions short, only five to ten minutes, and always end on a positive note by reinforcing a command he’s already learned.
Most experts will advise using positive reinforcements when training a dog or new puppy. This is the idea of rewarding good behavior with something of value to the dog, so he is encouraged to repeat that behavior. For example, giving him a treat when he sits.
To have a well-trained dog who listens and behaves, you should strive to do short training sessions with him daily for his first year of life. Some days will be hard than others, but his progress will be so rewarding!
To get off on the right paw, follow these other general training tips:
- Always be consistent with your rules, methods, and commands to avoid confusing your dog
- Align everyone in your household on the house rules for the dog and stick to them
- Teach your dog his name early and repeat it often so he can respond to you
- Keep in mind that your dog understands the different tones of your voice and body movements, which is how he will understand praise
- Be patient with your dog. If you find yourself getting frustrated and annoyed, stop and walk away and revisit training later
- Stroke and groom your dog every day while praising him so he gets very used to being handled
- Try using playtime as a reward for your dog. It's beneficial for his health, and it's fun!
- Don’t compare your dog to anyone else's. Your dog is an individual and will learn at his own pace.
- Keep your goal in mind and don’t give up on your furry friend!
Looking for tips on areas of puppy training? Check out the resources below for more in-depth guidance.
Teaching Your Dog to be Left Home Alone
Training Your Adult Dog
Yes, your old dog can learn new tricks! Studies have shown that older dogs, although it may take them longer than younger dogs or puppies, are capable of learning new things and can be trained to change their behavior.
It’s important to remember that an adult dog has been behaving the same way for years, and has an established personality, so when adding one to your family, patience is key. It will likely be more of a challenge than training a puppy, but the upside is your adult dog will have a longer attention span and likely be a little less curious than a puppy.
If you adopted an adult dog that lived in a different home previously, he may be used to house rules that differ from yours. For example, maybe you don’t allow dogs on the furniture, but in the past, he’s always been able to jump on the couch. Be sure to start teaching your dog the new rules as soon as you bring him home and be sure everyone in the household is on the same page.
Similar to puppies, old dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training using treats, praise, and playtime as a reward for good behavior. It's important to keep training light, upbeat and positive as you are pushing your pup out of his comfort zone. He'll be confused at first, but with persistence, you'll have a well-behaved dog, and a stronger bond!