General dog obedience training is one of the essential things a new pet owner must do. The sooner you do this, the better behaved dog you will have. The longer it takes you to get to training a puppy, the more difficult it will be. Now, if you find yourself wondering how to train a puppy, then the best way to start is to take action right now! In the meantime, here's some advice.
The most common problem with puppy training is that new dog owners typically don't start training their puppies until a few weeks, or even months, after adopting their puppy. A lot of inexperienced pet parents are often more worried about what accessories to buy for their dog, what kind of dog bed they will prefer, and what type of dog food is best, and so forth.
There's no doubt that puppy-proofing your home, and adjusting your current house environment to make sure your dog feels welcome is important. But knowing how to train a puppy and teaching your young dog to be obedient and well-mannered will serve you both well in the future, and should certainly be your first priority.
In terms of which dog bed or dog crate to buy, these types of questions should've been answered even before you adopted a dog; however, if you didn't, now is not the best time to look for ways to spoil your puppy. Provide the young dog with the necessities such as vet recommended dog food, dog bowl and vaccinations, and then move onto to learning how to train a puppy right away.
How to Train a Puppy in Three Simple Steps
How to Train a Puppy: Step #1 – Routine Training
Teaching your young dog what his average daily routine is will be a critical step in your quest of how to train a puppy if you want for him to behave properly. Learning where your canine's food and water is, what time of day he will eat, where his bed is, what time of day he will sleep, where to go to the bathroom, and which puppy toys belong to him are all crucial to successfully housebreaking and training your new pet.
Many new pet parents don't understand that just like children, you can't blame your dog for doing something that he doesn't know is wrong.
For example, if your puppy goes to the bathroom in the house, and you simply scold him and clean it up, he's not learning anything. As soon as you bring your new dog home, you should be taking him outside regularly to do his business. When he goes outside, you need to praise him to show him that what he did made you happy.
Training a puppy isn't that difficult once you understand that dogs are pleasers. They enjoy making you happy. If your pet sees that using the bathroom outside is good, then he will begin to understand that he is not supposed to go to the bathroom in the house. You cannot expect your puppy to understand what you want from him without showing him what his daily routine should consist of.
One of the most common mistakes that puppy owners make is jumping right into dog command training, and skipping the basics. Don't do that, and start with the easiest tasks that you can teach your puppy quickly.
Training your young pooch the things he is supposed to do is much easier than trying to teach him what he isn’t supposed to do. Building a solid routine from the beginning is the perfect stepping stone to successful obedience training, and avoiding common behavior problems in the future.
If you've recently adopted a young dog, and now you're trying to learn everything from how to train a puppy to puppy care, puppy toys, puppy foods and so forth, here's a good list of very helpful articles that you can peruse at your leisure:
- You’ve Adopted a Puppy. Now What?
- Does Your Puppy Need Dog Boots?
- Puppy Training 101: Basic Walkthrough
- How to Housebreak a Puppy Effectively
- Adopting a Puppy? You Will Need These Puppy Training Supplies
How to Train a Puppy: Step #2 – Essential Commands
You should think about your dog training words before you bring your puppy home. From the minute your puppy has entered your house, you must start using the same key words to correct behaviors you don’t want, as well as to praise the behavior that you do want.
Once your puppy understands the praise and correction words you choose, you can start teaching him to follow commands. Consistency is the key to dog obedience training, specifically with the commands that you will use to train your dog. The most important words you will teach your Fido are “no” and “good,” or words with a similar meaning.
Keep in mind that dog training commands should usually be one syllable words like “sit,” “stay,” or “fetch.” Small phrases like “play dead” or “drop it” can be used also, but it can get confusing for your dog if you choose commands that are too long. Dogs simply don't understand these commands, especially young puppies, so you'd be wasting your time.
Don't forget to use dog treats for command training effectively. It's an essential part of this puppy training process, and every dog trainer would tell you the same – treats is the key. One thing you must be aware of is to not overuse your doggy treats during training, and according to Humane Society:
“Rewarding your dog's good behavior with a treat is an excellent training tool, but if rewards are overused, they can become bribes. To avoid the treat becoming a bribe, stop luring your dog with the treat as soon as he begins to catch on to what you're asking him to do. Ask him to “sit,” wait two or three seconds for him to comply, then give him the treat if he sits. Your goal is to teach him to follow a verbal command alone; this will help during those moments when you may not have a treat handy but need him to be on his best behavior.”
How to Train a Puppy: Step #3 – Teach Him Respect
Dogs are naturally hard-wired to follow their pack leader. When trying to learn how to train a puppy yourself, you must first teach your Fido how to respect you in the same way. Obedience training is a great tool, but if your dog doesn’t respect you as the leader then he will begin doing things when he wants, and not when he is supposed to.
Many pet parents seem to be either confused by this concept, or completely against it, thinking that it's harmful to the dog. There are two schools of thought on dominance dog training. First is the outdated concept of teaching the dog through the use of force, which over years has been disproven by scientific evidence as ineffective methodology.
The other school of though on dominance training considers the “alpha” type of dog training not as punishing your puppy, or hurting him for any misbehavior, but rather training a puppy through confidence and structured, well planned out training. Your dog must understand that you know what you're doing, thus developing respect for you and trust in your actions. That is the modern dominance training that does work.
“There is no scientifically validated data to uphold the belief that you must eat before your dog, or keep them from sleeping on your bed, or walking in front of you, and owners should not be led to believe this and live in a state of fear and anxiety over their dog's possible takeover of their home. In fact, the vast majority of dogs and owners have wonderful, mutually-rewarding relationships—even if the dog is allowed to sleep on the bed, eats alongside the owner, and does many other things erroneously labeled “dominance.” – APDT
Remember that puppies can hear the confidence level in your voice, and they can sense when you are feeling unsure about something. If they perceive you as being uncertain, they will begin to take the control, and that is where bad behavior begins. In order for your dog to respect obedience training, you must demonstrate leadership from day one, and continue this throughout the entire puppy training experience.
Obedience training won’t solve all your puppy problems, but it will set the foundation for solving a lot of them, especially dog behavior issues you may run into in the future. Many new dog owners ignore, forget or simply aren't aware of this concept, thereby losing precious time and trying to figure out how to train a puppy without a proper plan.
Here are a few articles that new puppy adopters may find useful:
- 10 Psychological Tricks To Train Your Dog
- 59 Most Popular Puppy Food Brands
- Durable Dog Toys That Will Outlast Your Puppy’s Jaws
In order to learn how to train a puppy successfully, you need to start early and follow the first three basic steps:
- Have a set routine for your young dog, and stay consistent with it
- Teach your puppy the most basic, and most important commands first
- Make sure to establish the right relationship between you and your pup
In the end, puppies are definitely a time-consuming venture, and require a lot of structure and discipline. Make sure to consider how to train a puppy and the work that will need to be put into this endeavor before you even think of adopting a dog.
Puppies that don’t have the right training when they are young begin to develop bad habits that can be very hard to break later in their lives. But if you do it correctly, training your puppy will be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you.