Puppies learn naturally. Dog training is very rewarding. They will start to learn the second their eyes open and are most open to new experiences in the first 4 months. Puppy training must start as early as 8 weeks. Many wait until the puppy are older because they think that puppies know but little or learn little while still young. Start you puppy training as soon as you get home. Dogs learn habits and by association. Creating good habits at a young age will make for a well behaved dog in the future.
Puppies thrive on mental and physical stimulation and introducing you puppy to new situations and environments will keep them interested in learning new things. Short walks or playing are great ways to stimulate your puppy and will help to strengthen your bond with your pet.
Try to stimulate your puppy in short but regular periods, a puppy left unstimulated will often turn to destructive or disruptive behavior which will get worse as the dog gets older. Remember, puppies learn habits, teach him from the very moment they set home! If you cannot teach them which you as a "puppy parent" must do, take them for puppy training classes!
It is best to interact with your dog so toys should be kept to a minimum, allow for one chew toy that he/she will always have access to and doesn’t require your involvement. Keep another toy like a ball or rope that will only be used when you are playing with the dog. Once you are finished playing, remove the toy. This will create great excitement for the puppy and strengthen your bond. This will also teach the puppy to only play with or chew “approved” items rather than the furniture or your brand new pair of shoe's! Understand puppy behaviour and why they do what they do. Puppies like babies like to chew on things for their growing teeth and one of the first things is puppy training biting - teach them not to bite you or chew things that is not permitted to chew.
Use your puppies name often so that it will learn when it is being addressed. Include the dogs name with all commands “Rover. Sit” “Rover. Fetch”. Followed by a “good boy/girl” with every correct response to a command. Dogs respond to positive reinforcement and we need to establish these “reinforcers” as early as possible so that the dog won’t become dependent on food as its only reward. All encouragement should be bright sounding and exciting so when puppy first uses the grass and not the carpet make a big scene of it, “ yes! yes! yes! Good boy, what a clever dog” although your neighbors or family may find you slightly over the top it will encourage the dog to repeat the action therefore will be worth every odd look you may receive.
Teach your puppy that coming when called is the best thing in the world! This is very important. This is where obedience begins. If you are sitting on the ground, this will be almost irresistible to a puppy. Make the most of it by using their name and making a huge fuss when the puppy arrives.
Another important matter in dog training is to establish the rules early. If you don’t want your grown dog to use the couch as it’s personal bed then don’t encourage the dog in any way to climb onto the sofa. Picking up your fluffy little bundle of joy and putting it on your lap may seem a like a good idea at the time but will only tell the dog that it is allowed to be there. Be sure that everyone in the house is aware of the rules so that they are re-enforced at all times. Consistency is of utmost importance when training your puppy. Another example is when you eat. Puppies like to eat especially when they are experiencing new smells! DO NOT give your puppy food while eating! This will encourage him and encourage wrong behaviour! They will learn the habit and will become a nuisance every time it is eating time when they get older. They will at a later time even take the food out of your mouth (so to speak). They will also be in your face and in your guests faces every time you eat! Rather never give them food while at the table or eating. It is better after you have finished eating and moved away from your normal eating manner to give them what you want outside or at their eating place. Once these things are early established in dog training, you will have set the platform for an obedient dog!
When feeding your puppy take care to maintain control of the food by playing with the dog’s food. Put you hand in the way. Move the bowl. Take the food away. Put it back. As long as the dog is aware that you are in control it will not become aggressive around it’s food.
Puppy potty training
Forming the habit of eliminating outside is best done as quickly as possible. Keep and eye out for your dogs body language such as circling or sniffing around these are indicators that you puppy is about relieve himself. They usually become very restless and walk around up and down for a place to release themselves. Once you start looking for these signs, you will quickly learn to discern when they are to relieve themselves. Puppies will relieve themselves often and generally after doing almost anything. (eating, waking up, playing etc.) You can be sure that after eating or drinking, you can within the hour take them outside and take the time so that your puppy can relieve themselves. Another thing to remember is not to give your puppy too late (before going to bed, etc) food or water. Learn a habit to potty train them and by going out at a specific time and wait for them. By the time their food is dissolved and ready to be relieved you may be fast asleep and the puppy will have no other way than to relieve himself in the house. It is also wise just before you go to bed, take them for a walk and wait so they may relieve themselves. Slips do occur but do not give up on this, once you have established the habit they will walk you out every time they want to relieve themselves! Crate training a puppy is also very rewarding and there are many articles dealing with this.
As soon he/she is likely to relieve itself take the puppy onto the grass and let them do it there, congratulate the puppy once it relieves itself in the right place. This will encourage the puppy to repeat the action. Whenever your puppy performs well praise them immediately. Never reprimand your dog with any physical means or harsh yelling this will only cause fear and possible aggression later in life. Use only a stern voice to reprimand and only when you actually catch him in the act. Reprimanding your dog after the fact will have no connection to the actual deed and will only waist your time.
Remember that your puppy at a year old is effectively the same as a 7 year old human, so go slowly. As they get older they will be mature enough to undergo more formal training. But start early by teaching them good habits and be consequent with your puppy! Among all animals, dogs and puppies are the easiest to learn! Whatever dog you own, be it Beagle, Pitbull, German Shepherd, Labrador, they all need training!