A very big part of any mastiff puppy's early life is play. But were you aware that playtime can also be learning time as well? Play can be a valuable tool in training your Mastiff puppy everything from learning simple commands to teaching them the ins and outs of socializing and what it takes to be a well behaved dog.
There are three basic things that a mastiff puppy – even one as young as six weeks old – needs to start learning. The first and most useful of those things is simply the word, “No.” You will be using that command repeatedly during your relationship with your dog and so it is very important that he knows it from the start.
And it's easy. dogs, even puppies, are adept at recognizing tone of voice. When they learn to associate a displeased, forceful tone of voice with the word no, you will not in the future have to be so forceful in your utterances. But first you do have to get his attention. When the mastiff pup does something wrong, simply pick him up, gain eye contact and tell him very firmly, “No.” It will get an immediate reaction. Depending on your pup's personality, he will drop his head and become sheepish, growl or attempt to talk you out of it by asking you to play. If either of the latter two happens, you will have to repeat the command to show that you are not kidding.
Then, simply let it go. Put the pup down and keep a watchful eye on his response. A rebellious pup may repeat the action as a way to test you, in which case you need to repeat the process. Be gentle, but be firm and consistent and your pup should get the message.
As for the other things that your baby needs to know, you will probably default to teaching him the proper way to go potty. This is actually easier than you might think, as pups are a lot smarter than they look. But timing iseverything. If you notice a puddle on the floor and your pup has since gone off to play with his ball, the only thing you can do is clean it up and watch him more closely. Don't rub his nose in it, or he will simply be hurt and confused. What you want to do is catch him in the act. When you see him start to take a tinkle, grab him and take him outside. Chances are he will be so shocked that he will save some for the yard, and when he goes there you can praise him lavishly.
The third thing that your Mastiff pup needs to know is that he should never put his teeth on a human being. This is a tough one, as it is so much fun to play “bite” with a youngster. But you don't want them to play so rough when they are older. So when you play with him, be sure to do so with toys that are okay for him to bite. If he bites when you are trying to pet him, tell him no and give him his toy or put his toy right in his mouth. If he keeps trying, you should pick him up and tell him no. If you are consistent, you should get good results.
When your pup has accomplished learning her first command, or goes outside instead of on the floor and stops puppy-biting, she is well on her way to graduating from a Mastiff puppy to a well-mannered adult.
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