There are few pet pleasures as enjoyable as having a new puppy in the house. Unfortunately, even the cutest of puppies are more than happy to eat your favorite shoes and urinate on your favorite couch.
If you’d like to keep your home from looking and smelling like a kennel, a little bit of puppy training is therefore very much required. Here are ten simple tips for getting your puppy to behave, or at least, to behave better.
First off, be patient. Puppies are notoriously clueless and accidents will happen. It might seem like your puppy is deliberately misbehaving but in most cases, he literally just doesn’t know any better.
Be in Charge
Puppy’s respond well to confidence, particularly male confidence. When training your puppy, try to speak with both confidence and authority. The same logic applies when taking him for a walk. If you want your puppy to respect you, you need to show him that you are in charge.
If you want to confuse your four-legged friend, the easiest way to do so is to be inconsistent. Don’t tell him to do one thing one day and something else the next. Decide what he is and is not allowed to do right at the very beginning. Enforce the same rules every day and don’t keep changing your mind about where he is and isn’t allowed to sit.
Find the Right Treat
Forget the fancy guidebooks and puppy trainers, all you really need to train a puppy is a treat that he absolutely adores. Experiment with different treats and try to find the one that will literally make him jump up and down at the sight of it.
Using such a treat for a reward will make your puppy far more inclined to actually listen to you. This is particularly important when it comes to difficult training tasks such as not eating your cat.
Use The Replacement Technique
Puppy will chew on just about anything. If you’ve got anything valuable lying around, it’s therefore important to put it somewhere out of reach. One of the easiest ways to handle a puppy chewing on something that he shouldn’t be is to use the replacement technique.
As the name suggests, the replacement technique simply involves taking the expensive shoe away from the puppy and immediately replacing it with something less valuable. In doing so, your puppy should slowly start to understand the items that he can and cannot chew on.
Leave a Little Slack
A common mistake of new puppy owners is holding the leash too tightly. When walking with your puppy, it’s important to always leave a little bit of slack. Fail to do so and you’re likely to hurt your puppy’s neck. Of course, when he’s chasing after a cat, there’s very little that you can do about this problem.
Outlaw Biting Right from the Beginning
Bites from a puppy rarely hurt very much and because of this many first-time puppy owners allow their pet to nibble on their hands and feet. Unfortunately, when said puppy grows up, those bites can become a lot more painful. And by that time, it can be a very difficult habit to get your dog out of.
Because of this, it’s important to outlaw biting right from the beginning.
Use Discipline (Carefully)
Discipline is essential when raising a puppy but cruelty certainly isn’t. Other than a light tap on his nose, you should never hit a puppy. To teach a puppy right from wrong, you need to catch him while he is actually doing something wrong and firmly say “no!”.
Unfortunately, if you catch him even a few minutes after he’s done something wrong, there’s no point in doing anything. He will already have forgotten about it and don’t understand why you are shouting at him.
As well as letting your puppy know when he’s done something wrong, it’s important to let him know when he’s done something right. Whenever he listens to what you say, make sure that you reward him with both a treat and ample praise.
Although it mightn’t always seem like it, most puppy’s do genuinely want to please their owner. Therefore the more you praise good behavior, the more of it, you are likely to see.
Get Some Help!
Finally, if all else fails, don’t be afraid to seek some professional assistance. Puppy training classes can be found in just about every major city. And though they aren’t always necessary, they are known for being highly effective.