In the past, dogs under 6 months old were not put into training classes. There were even trainers who believed that a puppy who was 12 months old was just the right age to begin training. Today’s popular belief is that the dog’s first few months are the best and most important time to start training. The following are some reasons to begin training early.
While there are many ways that you can train your dog, I always prefer the kindest method. The following is a quick summary of training tips for puppies.
1) Opportunity Training – Without the puppy ever understanding that it is a “training session”, you begin to train him.
2) Attention Training – Before I give a new command, I wait until the puppy is actually doing what I am going to command him to do. I then introduce him to the “Watch” command as he is waiting to receive his reward. Because puppies have a very short attention span, you must reward him immediately.
3) The Sit – Get the attention of your puppy by allowing him to sniff the treat that you are holding as you kneel. Raise your hand slightly higher than your puppy’s head. Since it will be simpler for the puppy to see the tidbit while sitting, he will do so. After the pup is sitting, praise him and give him the sit command. Do this only after the puppy is performing the correct behavior. This sequence may need to be repeated 9 or 10 times.
4) The Down – Start this command the same was as you began the ‘sit’ command. At this point, you should hide the food from your puppy by covering it with your open hand (palm down). He will try different things in order to get the treat. He may not see it, but he will still smell the food. Your puppy will then likely try to move your hand away from the food by nudging it with his nose. After this, the puppy will see that by lying down his task will be made easier. As soon as your puppy lies down, while he is in this position, command him ‘down’, and give him praise and a reward for his good behavior.
5) The Recall – The recall command is one of the most important that a puppy can learn. It is important for his safety and for his behavior around others. While the dog is ready to learn commands such as sit, and down, he can also learn the recall command. Have another person kneel on the ground and hold on to the dog. Kneel or sit on the floor a yard or two away from your dog. To get the puppy’s attention, you can put both of your hands out in front of you. Command your dog to ‘come’. Before your helper releases the dog, make sure that you have the full attention of the puppy. When your puppy is running, use lots of excitement while commanding him again to “Come”. Immediately give him his reward upon arrival. Only teach your puppy one command at a time. Do not try to make him lay down, sit, or stop at the same time. Repeat the same exercise as many times as needed until the puppy understands it.
It is important to know that the youngest of puppies can learn a lot very fast. Puppies can learn quite quickly with the aid of proper skill and a positive attitude. The real benefit to training it that it helps to build a dogs confidence in it’s owner and allows it to bond to that person. Training exercises should be fun. The dog should feel playful and relaxed while learning. If it is fun for the puppy, he or she will WANT to learn more things.
For more information on this topic and more. Please take my complimentary mini course for you and your dog at the URL below. Annette Masse has been loving and respecting dogs for 25 years. ForTheLoveOfDogZ.com
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