Training your new puppy

Having a new puppy is super exciting—you have a new member of the family that’s furry and fun. However, don’t allow yourself to become too mushy and soft with this cute little canine.

21 Mar 2016 By Andrew Clarke Comments

The first few weeks with a puppy are crucial to its obedience training. You have to set boundaries on how it can act around its new family and its new home. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.

Establish your position as pack leader

The first thing that you should remember is that YOU are the pack leader. You may not run with wolves or have canine blood but you are top dog in your own household, not the puppy.

Dogs are naturally inclined to follow the leader in their pack. When living with human families, the person who shows strength, stability, and consistency is automatically the pack leader.

When you are not showing the traits of a pack leader, your puppy will immediately sense it and exhibit signs of bad behaviours, such as loud barking and whining, chewing at furniture or important objects in the home, and pulling its leash when you are taking it out for a walk.

It is quite easy to forget about your role as the pack leader when the puppy is so cute and eager to play with you. If you do not start with training your puppy the first hour it arrives in your home, it will be too late and there will be a lifetime of chewed shoes and late-night barking from your canine companion.

Housetrain your puppy

After asserting your position as the leader of the pack, you have to work on housetraining or housebreaking the animal. Dogs typically do not like peeing or pooping in the place where they sleep – understandable, how would you like it.

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You can provide the puppy with a place where it can do it’s business, and make sure to stick to that “bathroom” spot every time the animal needs to do it’s thing.

Every time the puppy follows one of your commands, make sure to reward it with kind words or a few pats on the head (or belly rubs) as positive reinforcement for positive behaviour. This is an important part of any training.

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Exercise and play

Taking the puppy out for a walk is also very important part of the training process. As the leader of the pack, you are responsible for helping the dog harness its energy in a way that is beneficial to it’s health and not destructive to your home.

All dogs need to be walked daily, however, you have to walk in front of the puppy to assert your position as pack leader. When exiting the door, make sure that you go first.

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Deal with mistakes

Dogs—especially male ones—have the instinct to mark their territory with urine. If your dog makes a “mistake” inside the house, you can always pour a teaspoon of vanilla extract on the spot, as dogs typically urinate in the same spot over and over again.

Getting angry at your puppy and scolding it is pretty useless. The puppy won’t understand a word you’re saying and will grow fearful because of the tone of your voice. Scolding the puppy when you are potty training only results in it trying to hide its waste from you because it doesn’t understand what you’re really angry about.

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21 Mar 2016 By Andrew Clarke Comments

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