Puppy Training! – H&S Pets Galore
Training Your Puppy At Home
Congratulations, you have got a puppy & now it’s time to get off on the right paw with your puppy. For you to have a good relationship with your pup & vice versa, you require to train your pup. Remember, training starts from the moment you bring your fur baby home, but it’s also important to note that puppies have a small attention span. So, at the tender age of 7-8 weeks old, you can teach them simple commands such as ‘sit’ using positive reinforcement techniques along with gentle teaching. Remember, training requires a lot of time, perseverance, patience and love.
1. Food Lure Training Technique-As the name suggests, you can use their favourite food or their favourite toy as a reward, to help motivate your fur baby to follow instructions or learn a task. Remember, the trick is to use their favourite food/snack or toy to lure them, hence the term ‘food lure training’. This technique can for example help achieve the sit, down, stand, come, follow commands, where you manoeuvre the snack smartly to achieve a particular command. Soon your puppy will learn to recognise the command as it associates each command with the particular action.
2. Reinforce Good Behaviour- Just as this is used for human kids, the same applies to your fur child. Once your puppy begins to comply with the above technique, you can hide it in your hand and give the command by repeating the motion/signal it has learnt. When it performs the task, give your puppy, for example, an affectionate pat and use words such as “good doggy” to praise your puppy for following the instructions. This will slowly replace the food luring technique, as you don’t want your puppy to just comply when there is a treat.
3. Training Times- Train your fur baby at least 15 mins daily, throughout the day. You can split this into 3 sessions of 5 minutes over the day in a quiet environment with very few distractions. Also, involve other family members to give commands and try these out in different spaces of your home as you don’t want them to perform this task only when one person says it nor do you want to confine them to a certain area where they feel the command should only happen in a particular place. This helps the puppy recognise that the tasks/commands are not restricted to one particular place or person. If your puppy has a headstrong temperament and note not all puppies will behave the same way, have a leash attached and use the head collar for more control, so you can prompt the puppy to the correct response in case it doesn’t over but remember to release the pressure once the desired response is achieved. Never tug on the collar too strongly! Remember, it’s all about commitment! If you want to train your puppy, it requires at least 1 whole year of dedication and regular training.
4. Socializing Your Puppy From Day 1- Socializing and training begin at the same time from around 7 to 16 weeks of age. This is the age when they are eager and accepting to explore new people and things, hence take the advantage of their age and enthusiasm. But when socializing, make sure you as a fur parent are around your fur child to ensure that the experience is fun and positive for your puppy. If you are training your puppy to be a guard dog, then it’s best you only socialize your puppy to your immediate family and friends, as you don’t want your puppy wagging his/her tail every time a stranger comes over.
5. Know The Normals- Always remember you don’t need to panic if you notice your puppy is afraid as this is a normal response that begins around 14-16 weeks. This is because your puppy is now becoming wary or suspicious of new experiences, people, other species etc and this is the normal adaptive process. The signs may manifest differently, for example your puppy may pee, cower or refuse treats. If this does happen, it’s important that you avoid being pushy during this stage. Let your puppy naturally overcome this, and you can do this by reinsuring and showing affection.
6. Positive Training Techniques Only- As mentioned earlier, training is a slow process that takes perseverance, time, repetition and can be achieved only with positive training techniques that require love and commitment. It’s therefore important to be patient and never ever hit or scold your puppy, as this can have a negative effect on them and even change their temperament to becoming rebellious and aggressive. If you are not sure on how to train a puppy on your own, you can always use training classes by professional dog trainers.
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