If you’re a first time puppy parent, it can be a little overwhelming. There’s so much excitement, but you also want to raise your puppy right. In this article we cut to the chase and get to 10 dog training tips for first time puppy parents.
There are a million different ways to train dogs and puppies. We judge those methods not just on their effectiveness, but also on whether or not they are humane. Recently I came across this article and infographic from hotdogcollars.com and it really did an amazing job of highlighting some of the important principles.
Here is the list in text form with some extra comments and material:
1. LISTEN TO YOUR DOG – Learn the signs of discomfort, aggression, anxiety, playfulness, and more. Check out this post on reading dog language here.
2. BE GENEROUS WITH YOUR AFFECTION – Don’t just focus on the negative, be sure to have fun with your dog. Play with them, hug them, pet them, and make sure they know they’re a “good dog.”
3. DOES THE DOG REALLY LIKE IT? Toys, treats, food, playtime, every dog is different. Don’t assume they like it just because the package or ad said they would.
4. SAY YES NOT NO – Instead of telling the dog “no” instead tell them what they should do instead. Such as sit, stay, lay down, or something else instead of “no, dont do that”
5. BE CONSISTENT – Everyone in the house needs to send the same message. Whether it’s where the dog is allowed to go, what and when they eat, or any other routine. Dogs LOVE routine!
6. BE REALISTIC – Training a dog takes time, especially if you are attempting to change a natural behavior of theirs. Give the dog time to learn and make sure you are expecting a realistic outcome.
7. USE HIGH QUALITY FOOD – Garbage in = garbage out. It is true for humans and it’s true for dogs. The little bit of extra money spent on good food will save you money at the vet later on. Check out these superfoods for dogs.
8. IF YOU WANT IT, REINFORCE IT – Want your dog to stop barking to get you to throw the toy? Then stop throwing it when the dog barks. Dogs learn through repetition and reinforcement. If the dog is doing the behavior you want, make sure they know it.
9. REWARDS DON’T HAVE TO JUST BE TREATS – Dogs respond to praise, petting, games, exercise, and more. You don’t just need to give a treat every time a dog does something good. Most of the time, a nice scratching or “good dog” will do just as well.
10. LET THEM BE FREE – But not too much too soon! Dogs need to learn about what is acceptable behavior and locations in each room of your house. Start out in a few rooms only and gradually open up others to them.
Not all dog training has to involve yelling at your dog. Remember to keep it enjoyable and use common sense. You don’t have to be a dog whisperer to raise an awesome dog that is perfect for you.
Dog problems? Train your dog in a humane and gentle way.