A well behaved dog and a happy owner make a perfect combination. Behaviour and training always go together. Training always leads you to understand your dog and also helps you communicate better with him.
Apuppy’s first day at home is very exciting. But after a few days of excitement and joy, starts the actual struggle of bringing up the puppy. In most cases, problems start occurring, first being the toilet training extending to not obeying basic manners, teething, chewing habits, etc.
Puppy training should start from the time when she enters your home. Any form of training should always be fun to the dog as well as the owner. Keep it short and simple. It is also important to check the attention span of puppies during training. The owner should be completely involved in the training process, as it helps to create a strong bond between the owner and his dog. Even if you involve a professional, be a part of the puppy training programme and understand the methods used for training. Always reward your lil’ one.
Training a pup requires a lot of concentration, practice, patience and persistence from the owner. Also, once you start, you need to progress gradually. The first part of training should be the basic puppy training, which involves teaching good toilet habits, controlling a pup during teething period, getting her used to being around people and other dogs, teaching her good food habits, etc. Then come the basic commands such as Sit, Down, Stay, Fetch, etc.
There are four basic things to teach your new puppy:
Use of word “NO”:
Puppies, by nature, are very playful and mischievous. They tend to do many things, which are not acceptable to us, such as showing affection towards people by jumping up on them or by licking, stealing food, running away with things, etc. Therefore, you should teach the pup, what is acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour from day one.
Follow these simple tips to train your puppy:
- If you don’t want your puppy to access certain areas of your home, be firm about it right from the beginning.
- Give your pup lots of different textured items to chew while she is teething but don’t allow her to chew furniture, etc.
- Make her a cosy bed to sleep.
- Start using the word ‘NO’ firmly for things you don’t want your pup to do. But, do not scream or hit the puppy, as it will not solve the problem but make it worse.
- If the pup picks up something and starts running, don’t run after her, instead call her towards you, and show her something more interesting. You can also distract her with favourite treat or toy.
Developing good food habits:
Puppies are usually very greedy by nature. Food is the most important thing for them. They often try to steal food or search for it in the garbage bin.
Here are a few tips to develop good food habits:
- Fix a routine of your pup’s meals and snacks from the very beginning.
- Never feed her small bits or snacks, while you are eating.
- It is a myth that feeding the dogs before you eat will stop her begging for food when you have yours. It is absolutely wrong. Moreover, in a dog’s pack, the leader always eats first and then the members have their share.
- You can ask your dog to sit comfortably next to the dining table and give her chew bone.
- All members must ignore her completely (not even eye contact), while having your meal, till you finish. When you finish and clear the table, you can reward her with treat for nice behaviour.
- Reprimand your dog with a firm word like “Bad Girl” only if you catch her in the middle of the act and not after she has already snatched the food.
Training her not to jump on people:
On seeing their family members, pups get very happy and tend to jump. Here are a few tips to avoid this:
- All members of the family must follow a routine of not interacting with the pup at the door, when they enter the home.
- Do not make any eye contact or physical contact, such as patting, when you enter and for at least initial 10 minutes.
- You can also fold your hands and sit quietly, not allowing the puppy to bite your fingers, clothes, etc.
- Once her initial excitement is over, call her and pat her slowly, praise her with a treat or have a short fetch game, as a reward for good behaviour. So, it has to be you who starts the interaction.
Practice this routine for some time, until your pup learns it.
Teaching command “Sit”:
Most of the pups learn to sit very quickly, with the use of a treat or biscuit. But later when the dog learns how to sit on command, many people stop giving treat or praise. That’s when she starts ignoring the owner and will only sit when you have a treat in your hand.
Here’s how to teach your dog to sit
- Take a piece of your dog’s favourite treat. Hold the treat in front of her nose and move the treat up towards the top of her head high enough that she can barely reach it.
- If your dog lifts her front paws off the ground, you are holding the treat too high.
- When your dog lifts her head and shoulders to get her treat, her bottom should go down and soon she will be in the sit position.
- Praise her by saying “Sit, Good girl, sit” and give her the treat.
- You can even gently touch your dog’s back, signalling her to sit.
- Practice this several times until she learns to sit at the ‘sit’ command.
Puppy Training class: Pooja Sathe offers a pet dog training course, puppy care course, which is a 6 weeks course, where the owners have to bring their pets for the class and all aspects of training are explained to them. They work step by step with their lil’ ones and the pups also gets socialised.
For more info, contact Pooja Sathe at 9820596903.