Puppy Obedience Training - Teaching a Puppy Manners
Setting The Ground Work
When teaching a puppy an obedience command we want to introduce it in a positive context. During puppy training it is a good idea to try a variety of lures such as treats, toys, praise and petting. Every dog is different in how it might respond to a lure. Find your puppy’s favorite thing to work for but remember that if you use the same thing over and over again your puppy may become uninterested in it.
Puppies are naturally inquisitive and want to explore all the scents, sounds and objects around them. Puppies want to pick up things, chew on your shoes and furniture and don’t know that it’s not all right to go potty on your favorite rug. Preventing your dog from roaming and doing as it pleases will help establish you as the pack leader and help your puppy understand its boundaries at the same time building a stronger bond with its pack leader. The easiest way to achieve this is to put your puppy on a leash and simply attach the leash to your belt. The puppy will have no other choice but to follow you. This exercise will do two things: get your dog used to a leash and walking with you and keeping him/her out of trouble.
Puppy Leash Training
Introduce your puppy to its leash slowly. Some puppies will balk at having a collar or leash on and their initial reactions might be fearful and resistant to walking with you. It is best not to force the issue in the beginning. Make the process gradual over a period of a few days to a week. Done in a slow and positive way the leash will become a way to bond and communicate with your puppy and not an instrument of compulsion. Begin with a collar. Have your puppy wear its new collar for a couple of days before attaching a leash to it. Don’t be concerned if your puppy scratches at or tries to remove the collar. Your puppy will adjust to it very quickly and forget that he is even wearing it. Once the puppy is used to the collar, introducing the leash is easy.
At first attach the leash to your puppy’s collar and let him/her drag it around while getting used to some minor pressure on his/her neck. Follow your pup as he/she walks around and gently pick up the leash while talking to your puppy in an encouraging and positive way. After your puppy seems comfortable with the leash while you are following him reverse the role and get your puppy to follow you. As your puppy moves away from you get your puppy’s attention by clapping your hands and praising her enthusiastically. If the puppy balks at coming and starts to play tug-of-war crouch down with your arms extended open and call in a pleasant enthusiastic voice using the puppy’s name and the word “Come”. At this point do not force the puppy to come because this could cause the puppy to resist even more.
Puppies Need Encouragement and Praise
Puppy training is different in tone than formal obedience training. A young puppy may not be mature enough to handle the stress brought on by adult obedience training. Don’t make the mistake of being overly dominate or heavy-handed with a puppy otherwise you might create a pup that is passively submissive, lacking in self-confidence and fearful. Most puppies need a more patient approach, one stressing encouragement and praise. In puppy training we are less concerned about precise responses to commands but in building and nurturing character traits such as: attentiveness, playfulness, curiosity, confidence, and of course respect for its pack leaders. By keeping your focus on making the training sessions pleasant and fun for you and your puppy you will be laying a solid foundation that will prepare your puppy for formal and advanced obedience.
If you are having problems training your puppy The Dog Squad has a Puppy Pre-School Program that can help you. We are based in the East Bay, specifically Oakland, CA and work in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
Call 877-632-3647 to set up an evaluation.
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