Top 10 Puppy Training Tips

There are nearly as many dog and puppy training methods as there are dog trainers; but, there are some basic elements that all successful dog and puppy training methods have in common. Follow these tips when training your canine companion and you’ll be well on the road to having a well trained dog, who is a source of great enjoyment and pride. But remember, dog training isn’t instantaneous – it is ongoing. Even when your pooch has acquired a desirable behavior it is still important to reinforce the behavior on a regular basis. Here are 10 of the most important tips to keep in mind when dog and puppy training:

1. All successful dog training programs require: patience, persistence, and consistence. This really is number one – most important – first and foremost.
2. Dogs are pack animals – use this to your advantage in your dog training
endeavor. Be sure your dog knows you are the Alpha Dog. Encourage your
dog to ‘give kisses’ (lick the back of your hand) – this is his acknowledging
you as the leader. Also rub your dog’s belly. Exposing his belly to you is a
sign of submission. It is extremely important that your dog always
remembers that you are his ‘pack leader’; and teaching him this as soon as
possible will make your dog and puppy training sessions progress much more
smoothly.
3. Remember that dogs (like humans) do make mistakes. The important thing is to correct the mistakes WHILE they are occurring – later is too late.
4. Lavishly praise and reward the behaviors you want to establish as you see them occurring during your puppy training sessions – and continue to reward whenever you see the behavior occur. This will lead to a snowballing effect: the more you reward appropriate behaviors the more they will occur – the more opportunity you will have to reward good behavior…
5. Don’t stretch dog or puppy training sessions out too long for you or your dog. Ten or fifteen minute sessions are plenty for most pups. And be aware that several short sessions are much more effective than one long marathon session. In fact, long marathon sessions are more likely to discourage you both and make you both want to give up.
6. Make your dog and puppy training time fun and positive. This should be a positive bonding experience for you and your pup.
7. Short dog training sessions are best – but sessions should occur frequently. Twice a day would be good – but once a day, every day, should be the absolute minimum for training your puppy.
8. Always end dog training sessions on a positive successful note. If either you or your dog are not in the mood for a training session, make the session short and easy that day. Only practice things you know your dog enjoys and will gladly do successfully at those times. Don’t make any session a struggle. Save the more difficult tasks for times when both you and your pup are in the proper frame of mind.
9. Reward works better than punishment. Use this knowledge to positively ‘shape’ your dog’s behavior. To do this, begin by rewarding your pup’s behaviors that come closer and closer to the precise behavior you’re trying to establish.
10. Correct inappropriate behavior from the beginning. Things that might seem cute for a puppy to do are totally unacceptable behavior for a full grown dog. Correct these behaviors from the start with your puppy – before habits form. The longer the behavior occurs the stronger the habit forms – the more difficult it will be to eliminate the behavior. Nip it in the bud!

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