Puppy training can begin along with house training, almost as soon as you arrive home with your pet. Encourage the puppy to sit before you place its food in front of it. The puppy will probably not respond at first, but will soon sit almost instinctively. Show the puppy what is requires by applying gentle pressure over its hindquarters, placing your thumb and finger on each side of its hips.
Sitting is a natural posture for a dog, so it will adopt this position readily. You can reinforce with praise, and in the beginning, treats. Your puppy must also learn its name, so always call and talk to it by name. Before long, the puppy will respond instinctively to your call.
It is essential that your dog learn to sit and to stay. This is a step-by-step process. Once your dog has learned to sit, you can begin teaching it to stay. A retractable leash is useful for this. Let the leash out and walk away from your puppy, watching it all the time and give the command “Stay!” At first the puppy will instinctively run after you, so you will need to stop, make the puppy sit, and repeat the exercise.
Be patient in the early stages, because your puppy natural exuberance will urge it to follow you. Proper leash training is vital, so that your dog does not persist in pulling ahead, but walks just behind you. In the interests of safety, the dog must sit at the edge of the sidewalk with you, and not rush forward into the street. You must keep the dog on a short leash in this situation.
Puppies have relatively short concentration span, so keep formal training sessions to about 10 minutes. Choose a spot where there will be no distractions. It is important to make the training sessions fun, and provide your puppy with plenty of encouragement, especially when it reacts as required.
Try to show your puppy as much as possible what is needed. It is helpful to have another person with you at first. He or she can stay with the puppy to help it feel less isolated and encourage it to do what you ask.
Do not scold or punish the puppy if it fails to respond as required., because this is likely to confuse it,. Instead, repeat the session several times each day, if possible, for short periods, and you should soon find that your puppy, in its eagerness to please, will start to respond positively. You can then lavish it with praise, and reward it. Don’t rely too heavily on treats, however, or your puppy will seek these rather than carrying out your requests.
The more time you devote to training your puppy, the greater the likelihood that it will make rapid progress. But don’t neglect the basic lessons once they have been mastered. Incorporate them into more advanced training knowledge of what is required. It is also a good idea to include other family members in the dog training process, so that as the puppy grows older, it will respond readily to their command also.
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