No matter what you’ve heard, you’re never going to have the perfect puppy. But don’t let that discourage you! If you start training immediately upon bringing home a new puppy, you can have a companion who is well behaved and fits into your family perfectly.
You are the pack leader. Set boundaries and give your dog the guidance and leadership he needs. Make sure your dog knows that you are in charge, and do this with a reward system, not a punishment system.
Don’t take the puppy from its litter before it’s 8 weeks old. Spending time with the litter teaches them to socialize and how to behave in a pack. It also exposes them to the love from their mother that they need to develop on schedule.
Your puppy should have a space in your home that’s just theirs. A crate is perfect for this, just make sure it’s the appropriate size and has some age- and size-appropriate toys. Training starts as soon you bring the puppy home, so be ready to go. Have bowls, bedding, grooming tools, etc before the puppy comes home.
Start exposing your puppy to new stimuli immediately. Not socializing the puppy can lead to behavior problems like territorial aggression and separation anxiety. Keep treats with you and reward your puppy when they behave the way they’re supposed to so they start to associate new environments and people with positive actions.
Make sure your puppy gets enough exercise, both physical and mental. Trust me on this, he’ll need more than you think. Start training him how to walk on a leash. Go to dog parks where he can run around. Toys are great for mental stimulation.
Good nutrition is essential. Research different types and brands and get suggestions from your vet. Choose the best quality you can and make sure it’s age-appropriate.
Speaking of your vet, make sure your dog stays up-to-date on his vaccinations and checkups. Especially since you’re going to be taking your dog to dog parks and out on walks. Your vet will keep you on a schedule; make sure you stick to it.
Training Tips for a Well-Behaved Dog
- Make sure you use positive reinforcement, not negative. Give him praise when he does something right, NOT punishment when he does something bad.
- Keep chew toys handy and begin immediately teaching your puppy not to bite. Puppies naturally nip and bite, so make sure to correct him when you see this behavior.
- Start housebreaking immediately.
- Teach your dog to come when you call him. This should be one of the first things they learn in order to make future training easier.
Common Training Mistakes
- Letting incorrect behavior stand. Correct your dog immediately when you see behavior you don’t want.
- Yelling or punishing your dog. You want to correct their behavior, but do it without yelling or punishing. You don’t want them to learn to associate negative behavior with attention.
- Not training your dog consistently. You should spend some time every day training your dog.
- Using different terms. You don’t want to use the word “Come” when you’re training, only for someone else in your family to use “Here”. It will confuse your dog and you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
Getting your new puppy trained to behave exactly the way you want him to isn’t difficult, but you have to be consistent and put in the work. If you follow these tips, your new puppy will fit into your family in no time!
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