Most dog owners would love to have a well-trained pup. To achieve this, it is best to start the training while your dog is still a puppy and much more malleable. By starting puppy training early, you can help your puppy develop healthy habits, behaviors and manners that will help him navigate our world effectively and happily.
Remember that your new puppy is just a baby, and you are training him so that he learns how to fit into our world. There will be accidents in the beginning, and you need to stay patient with your puppy if you want to achieve success.
Consistency is the key to keeping your puppy from becoming confused. Always use the same cues in the same way. This means that you wouldn’t say “down” sometimes and “lie down” other times.
Also, make sure everyone in the household follows the same rules. If you decide not to let your puppy on the couch, no one should give your puppy couch privileges.
Dogs need a kind, consistent leader. There’s no need to be the “alpha dog.” Just provide clear rules and lots of dog treats and praise for a job well done, and you’re halfway there.
Dog treats are far and away the best puppy training tool. As Dr. Lisa Radosta says, "If you want to train your dog effectively, you have to find his 'currency.'" She goes on to suggest finding a treat that will make your puppy do backflips, so that when you move on to harder cues, such as coming to you instead of chasing a cat, your dog is more inclined to listen.
Replacement theory is a way to keep your puppy from chewing on inappropriate things. Remember, he doesn’t know any better.
So when you catch him with your shoe, interrupt your puppy, take it away, then replace it with dog toys that your puppy is allowed to chew on.
You should also remove temptation by puppy-proofing your home. That way, your puppy can’t get ahold of objects they should not be chewing.
When holding the dog leash, make sure that you do not hold it too tightly; there should be enough slack so that your puppy does not feel any discomfort. It takes some getting used to, since it is common for most dog owners to hold onto the leash too tightly at first.
Confinement can be your best friend when it comes to housetraining your new puppy. When you are not around to keep an eye on your puppy, keep him in a crate or specific playroom or area just for him. Most puppies quickly learn to restrain their bladder, as they do not wish to make a mess of their personal space.
Enroll in puppy classes at a safe, well-run facility with qualified instructors. The right type of class will encourage gentle socialization with other dogs instead of a free-for-all, which can be overwhelming.
New puppy owners sometimes prevent their puppy from doing exploratory mouthing on their fingers and hands, but gentle teething on skin is an important developmental step. Mark any too-hard chomps with a word like “ouch” and offer your dog an appropriate puppy toy to nibble on instead.
There is nothing a puppy can do wrong that warrants cruelty or punishment. To a puppy, even negative attention is attention, so by simply ignoring the puppy, you are showing him that he is behaving unacceptably and won’t get attention from you.