This post is written by Jane Goodman who blogs for Pedigree Cutts.
Aw, you got a new puppy!! How cute they are at this age! And this, my friends is the reason there are so many poorly trained dogs out there today. We bring home this cute little ball of fluff and we let them roll all over us. We spend large amounts of time and money picking the right puppy, finding the right toys to keep them occupied, buying the most luxurious puppy bed, and making sure they have their nutritional needs met. What we forget to invest in is training.
Dogs as a whole are biologically programmed with the need to have a strong leader for them to look up to and learn to be good doggy citizens from. This is YOU! In order to give your pet the best training possible you need to maintain a consistent, calm dedication to ensuring your teach your puppy what you expect of him. Anger, aggression, and extreme dominance are not the answer and will often do more harm than good.
Start on day one, first and foremost we want to ensure that we are instilling natural behaviours in our pups. Start with housebreaking; dogs do not want to relieve themselves near their sleeping quarters. The younger your pup is the faster they will learn this behaviour. Make sure that you have a safe place picked out for your pup to go potty and take them to this place every time you take them outside. First thing in the morning, after feedings, after napping, and before putting them to bed. Reward them when they are successful, be happy, throw a small party, or give them a treat for a job well done. In the event of an accident in the house, do not make a scene, stay calm but quickly take your puppy to the place that you have chosen to be their potty spot.
In addition it is imperative that we ensure that our pets are safe, this means teaching them to sit when told, stay where we left them, or walk calmly on a leash are all important things to teach our pets. Allowing them to misbehave allows them to put themselves in a dangerous position. So take the time to practice these behaviors every day. Any time you catch your puppy sitting, tell them what a great sit they have and give them a treat. After several times start using the word sit, and directing them into a sitting position with a treat or your hand. Once they are able to do this consistently, add the stay command. Once they stay for a few brief moments tell them what a good stay they have, and reward them. Continue to do this daily each time making the stay longer each time.
Teaching our puppies the basics of good behaviour is imperative to having a happy and healthy relationship with our pets. Take the time, be consistent, positive, and give clear directions and your puppy will soon be on the way to being a good doggy citizen!