Dogs and humans seem to have a natural connection that leads to happy relationships. Dog culture and human culture are very different however, and it is through puppy training that we teach our culture to our dogs. Here are 4 puppy training techniques that are a cinch for new dog parents:
Honey is Better than Vinegar – Your puppy will learn faster and be happier if you use positive reinforcement as a training tool rather than punishment. During puppy training sessions be sure to reward every successful action with affectionate petting, words of praise and the occasional treat. Your puppy will want to repeat the action that got that response. Harsh discipline can create fear and anxiety in your puppy and it is almost impossible to learn when feeling fear – for both dogs and humans.
Consistency is the Key – When it comes to puppy training you need to always have the same rules no matter what. If your puppy is not allowed on the couch then you cannot let them on the couch ever – not even for movie night. Your puppy won’t understand that it is Saturday. You also need to use the exact same command words each time, ‘Go Pee’ and ‘Go Potty’ might mean the same thing to you, but to your puppy they are completely different.
Train in Easy Steps – Humans do not learn to run in one day - there are stages along the way. It is the same for your puppy. Any task you are attempting to teach will be made up of stages. Break down the steps of any task and you will have better luck with your puppy training. For example, when it comes to potty training, concentrate on getting your puppy to use papers or a mat first. When they are wholly successful at that you can begin taking them outside.
Establish Pack Dominance From the Beginning – Too many times we humans think of the alpha dog as the biggest, baddest fighter in the pack. This is not an entirely true picture – the pack leader is the most competent, the one that inspires trust, who gives his pack a sense of security. By showing your puppy firmly and gently that you are in control you will boost his self-confidence and sense of safety. This will make puppy training all the easier because he will trust you.