Here are 3 important puppy training tips. Enjoy!
There’s more to puppy training than simply teaching the basic obedience commands. In fact, probably the most important thing you can teach your puppy, is to be confident and get along well with humans because, contrary to what you might believe, this doesn’t happen naturally.
During the first seven or eight weeks of their lives puppies learn instinctively from their mom and litter mates how to be dogs (puppies should not leave their moms before this age). But once in our homes, they have to learn how to be dogs within a human environment. And what many people don’t realise is that the window for teaching your puppy to be happy and confident with humans is relatively short. The widely acknowledged critical time period for socialising your puppy is between about 7 and 16 weeks of age.
Create Pleasurable Experiences
The 7 to 12 week period in a puppy’s life is also known as the ‘fear-imprint period’. A puppy who experiences any kind of trauma or fright during this period may have the fear of the associated circumstances ingrained in its mind for life. This can lead to a negative impact on the puppy’s behaviour that is difficult, or even impossible, to eradicate. It’s not surprising, then, that puppies that come from pet stores or puppy farms where they are confined in hideous living conditions, will go on to their new homes complete with a whole load of emotional baggage.
You should, therefore, take great care during these early weeks to ensure your puppy training includes contact with humans (including strangers, visitors and children), and other animals, is a pleasurable experience for your puppy. This is the most counter intuative of the puppy training tips but, wherever possible, avoid reprimanding or punishing your puppy.
Allow lots of different people, of different shapes, sizes and appearances, to make a fuss of your puppy and make sure that you supervise all encounters, particularly with children. Even if your puppy has not yet completed its vaccinations, it’s a good idea to carry him around with you (you can get a pet sling from your pet store) when you go on short trips so that he is still being exposed to different sights, sounds and smells.
Socialise With Other Dogs
As soon as the vet gives the okay for your puppy to socialise with other dogs (usually after the final vaccination at about 12 weeks) sign up for a local puppy class. As well as being a great way to consolidate your ongoing obedience training, puppy classes are a great way for puppies to mix with lots of other dogs in a controlled environment: whereas being mauled by a large, dominant dog just once at the local park could result in a lifetime of nervous aggressive behaviour from your own dog.
Of course, no matter how protective we are as owners, there will inevitably be the odd incident that spooks your puppy – for example, a noisy car. The key puppy training tip here is not to over-react.
If you see that your puppy is distressed, the natural reaction is to talk to your puppy and give him lots of reassurance. But if you do so you will unwittingly be giving your puppy the message that his reaction was appropriate. Instead, you should remain calm and purposeful and continue with your business. Your puppy will follow your lead and so learn that noisy cars are not to be feared.
Using these puppy training tips will help you to train your dog in the most effective, fun and fast manner.
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