Bringing a new puppy into your home is only the beginning of socialization into your household for the little guy. In this article you’ll learn how to train your puppy…
The key to successfully rearing a happy, well-adjusted, and well-behaved puppy is to start training your puppy as soon as possible and to educate yourself about your puppy’s wants, needs, and learning style.
The Dog Learning Process:
Dogs and little puppies are remarkably easy to care for. They don’t think in terms of “right” or “wrong,” but rather “safe” and “not safe,” and they focus on how to best obtain what they desire and eliminate what they don’t.
It’s easy for us to get frustrated when a puppy isn’t going to behave as we’d like him to and start attributing motivations to its behaviour that go beyond the safe/not safe, want/don’t want framework.
When your dog does anything you’d rather he didn’t, ask yourself:
- Why does he act like this?
- What does he require?
- Has my puppy figured out that following my instructions might be dangerous?
Having the information is the first step towards solving the problem.
Problems That Often Arise For People Who Just Bought a Puppy:
The following are some of the most often reported problems experienced by new puppy owners, along with suggestions for resolving them…
All dogs have a hardwired need to chew on things. Chewing can help ease the discomfort puppies feel throughout the painful teething process, which lasts until around 6 months of age.
The act of chewing can also serve as a kind of stress relief for dogs that don’t get enough physical or mental activity.
Now that you have this information and an understanding of how dogs learn, you can take steps toward providing a healthy outlet for your puppy’s chewing behavior:
- From day one, you should provide your dog with a wide variety of chew toys. To encourage your puppy to chew on his toys and show him that they are safe, stuff them with tasty treats like dried liver or chub, or with some of his regular food.
- Keep your puppy from getting bored and chewing on inappropriate objects by giving it plenty of opportunities to run and play.
- Fill a kong with goodies that are difficult to remove, and your dog will receive the mental exercise he or she needs while still enjoying a tasty snack.
- You may do this by providing your dog with a wide range of chew toys and avoiding repetitive usage of the same items.
- Your dog should not chew on anything that might cause harm, such as electrical cords, carpet, furniture legs, etc.
- One of the greatest methods to teach your puppy to chew solely on safe and beneficial items is to provide it with appropriate chew toys and restrict his access to harmful items.
- Keep your puppy away from anything it would consider a “acceptable alternative” until he has learned that the chews you supply are the greatest thing to chew.
You should instantly divert your puppy to a newly stuffed chew if you catch him in the act of exploring his chewing desires on anything you do not want him to chew.
Avoid scolding your puppy and instead try to figure out what he was feeling and what he needed at the moment.
Never give anything to your dog.
You should never offer your puppy something to chew that looks like something you don’t want him to chew. There are many of stories about people giving their puppies old slippers to chew on, but the truth is that no dog can recognize the difference between your luxury shoes and an old slipper.
Only offer your puppy safe toys designed for strong chewing, such as Kongs, and replace them before they get too old or broken for your dog to chew safely.
If you’re concerned that giving your puppy so many treats may lead to obesity, you can save some money by stuffing chew toys with the equivalent of your dog’s daily kibble diet instead.
2. Biting in playing
As adults, why would a dog feel the need to bite? Usually this is due to fear, and the best approach to prevent your puppy from developing into a scared dog and reducing the possibility it will feel the need to bite is to socialize it extensively from an early age.
Puppies naturally investigate their environment by putting stuff in their mouths, much like infants who like picking things up with their hands. Dogs have the impulse to bite, which they employ for play, hunting, and self-defense.
Puppies and dogs use their mouths to simulate real bites during play battles, demonstrating the play bite. Play fighting helps puppies develop positive habits that will serve them well as adult dogs.
When one puppy or dog mouths too aggressively at another, you’ll frequently hear a cry from the other, and the two will stop playing for a bit. A puppy that bites too hard eventually learns to lessen its bite so it may experience the joyful play he desires.
Puppies will often mouth humans when they are curious or aroused. Initially, this may not cause too much discomfort because a puppy’s bite is weaker than that of an adult dog’s, but as the dog grows older, the bite will become increasingly painful and may cause major consequences.
So instruct him from day one to never bite people, ever. Using what you know about canine cognitive growth might be helpful here as well:
Puppies have an innate drive to interact socially through play. If your puppy bites you while playing, you should instantly say “NO”, then stand up and move away from him while ignoring him for 1 to 2 minutes.
Then continue the game. Every time your pet tries to lick you, repeat this. If you teach your puppy to ask nicely rather than bite, he will quickly learn that he can have his way.
Rope toys, squeaky toys, and chews are all great options for your dog to play with and chew on. Use these toys to play with your puppy and teach him or her that biting the toy is a fun way to interact with the world but that biting people is not acceptable.
There is consensus among dog trainers that it’s better to educate a dog how to soften its bite before you try to teach him not to bite. This will reduce the likelihood of injury should your dog feel compelled to bite in the future.
This is a good point, but it’s not easy to train a dog to progressively lessen the force of his bite.
A confused puppy that doesn’t get the message that biting humans is inappropriate is worse than having no training at all when it comes to this form of bite inhibition.
Consult a professional trainer if you want to gradually wean your dog off of biting and teach him a gentle bite first. When you use the aforementioned techniques, you may send your puppy the clear message that he is never, ever acceptable to bite a human being.