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Get off on the right paw: Training your puppy

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The first step in making your new family member happy is to help your puppy develop socially. Good social development is the result of proper, consistent training. Training your puppy how to interact with people and other pets is one of the greatest gifts you can give, because heâll not only enjoy being around other pets and people, but they'll also enjoy being around him.

Learning the right way to train your little one will also make him less likely to hurt himself or others. Happy dogs don't come about by luck or coincidence; they're raised by pet parents who learn how to use the right tools and techniques, and how to apply them consistently.

To enjoy a happy life with your puppy, you need to teach your little one what his role is. During your first few weeks together, teach your puppy basic commands in addition to housebreaking. Doing so will help you establish control, and the time you spend together during your training sessions will help the two of you bond.

When training your puppy, be sure to establish clear expectations. If you want your puppy to stay off the furniture, don't scold him one moment then invite him up for a snuggle the next; this will confuse him. It is also important to be consistent. If you're trying to teach your puppy to stay off the furniture, everyone in the house must follow your lead.

When reprimanding your dog say "Ehh" or "Hey!" to get him to stop the behavior. "Ehh" and "Hey" are uncommon words your puppy is more likely to pay attention to. For example, when your puppy jumps on the couch, say âHey!â and take him off the couch. Once he's off the couch, praise him enthusiastically. Keep in mind that puppies have very short memories, so your correction must immediately follow the unwanted behavior.

Chewing is a natural, healthy puppy behavior. It's up to you to provide appropriate toys or treats for your puppy to chew on; otherwise, he'll chew whatever is within reach. If you catch him chewing something he shouldn't, say âEhh!,â take it away, and replace with an appropriate chew. He'll soon learn what he is and isn't allowed to chew on.

Never punish your puppy after you've called it to you. Your puppy will begin to fear being called and will stop coming to you. Never use your dog's name as a reprimand. Your puppy's name should only be associated with good things.

Never use physical or other harsh punishments â theyâll only make your dog scared and mistrustful. Instead of trying to make you happy, she will be uncertain how she should behave, making bad behavior more likely. In addition, if you hit a large dog, he may feel threatened and turn on you. Not only is using positive reinforcement training methods the humane way to train, it is more fun and more effective. Just like most people, dogs are far more motivated by rewards than deterred by punishment. Using praise, toys and treats to reinforce good behavior will have your pup looking for more chances to please you.

Make positive reinforcement a daily habit, and you'll consistently promote desirable behavior and nip any potential behavior problems in the bud. For example, always give a "sit" or "stay" cue before you pet your puppy. Create situations where the puppy will have the opportunity to respond correctly and earn praise or treats. These quick sessions will make training a fun and positive experience, while ensuring that the bond between the two of you will continue to grow throughout both of your lives.
 

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Comments

28 Jul 2010 9:38 am

puppylovr07 said:

Thanks for sending this to me! I can't wait to start!

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