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Your role in raising a puppy is not only being the owner of a puppy—you also have to take on the role of puppy trainer. And to raise your new puppy the right way, you must be able to work through puppy training as a team. This will make life easier for both you and your puppy, and will help you create a loving and fun relationship in which you both thrive.
Should Punishment Be a Part of Puppy Training?
Training a puppy is not an easy task, especially if this is your first time doing it. Puppy training should be done in a gentle, patient and consistent way that is well thought out.
It is not effective to punish a puppy when he fails to follow a cue. The only thing your new puppy will learn from punishment is to fear you, and this will greatly affect your relationship and his ability to form a trusting bond with you.
You must also be mindful of your puppy’s age and ability to retain what is being taught to him. You will be gradually adjusting the puppy training to meet your puppy’s level of maturity, so forcing him to do something that he is not emotionally or physically capable of is futile and will be frustrating for both of you.
When Should I Begin Puppy Training?
The perfect age to start training a puppy is when they are seven to 10 weeks old, because most puppies will easily absorb whatever you teach them at this age. Choose a time of day when your puppy is most likely to be attentive, curious and playful. Since it is easier to train a puppy when he is having fun, incorporate training into your puppy’s playtime schedule.
Your goal is to teach your puppy to develop traits that will make it easier for him to adapt to obedience training later on. He should also learn to value your relationship, and the training should be fun for both you and your new puppy.
Ongoing training as your dog matures becomes easier if your puppy already has a positive attitude towards the early training you did together—the attitude he is forming now with your help. Any puppy parent can achieve this attitude through puppy training, as long as they opt to use dog-friendly training methods.