If you want to train your puppy in the most efficient way from the start, there are two methods for training your puppy which you need to pay close attention to. They are becoming the alpha dog and positive reinforcement. These two methods will be covered in this article and you will understand how they can be used to effectively train your puppy.
When a new puppy comes to your home, you need to understand dog psychology and the dynamics of the dog pack. Dominance is one of the essential dynamics within a dog pack. There is a hierarchy within a pack of dogs and at the head is the alpha pair. They are the only ones allowed to breed.
The alpha dogs eat first and take a higher vantage point when sleeping. This is why dogs like to sleep on beds or sofas.
If you want to set off on the right foot and avoid behavior problems in your puppy, you absolutely must position yourself and your family as the pack leaders or alpha dogs in your home. In order to do this, you should avoid letting your puppy onto your bed or sofa.
At meal times for a couple of weeks at least, it’s good to get the family to eat something (like a biscuit for example) just before you give the puppy his food. When taking the biscuits, make it look as if you are taking them from the dog’s dish.
You need to project the right kind of energy by being calm and assertive. Being the pack leader leads naturally into the concept of positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement means that you reward a desired behavior in your puppy or dog and ignore an undesired behavior. Most dog trainers nowadays don’t use negative reinforcement or punishment because it has been shown to be ineffective.
You can use small treats as positive reinforcement. Praise and affection can also be used. It is vital that you do not reinforce undesired behaviors. Why do undesired dog behaviors happen? One of the most important reasons is owners reinforcing these behaviors without being aware of it. You need to be aware that training is an activity that happens whenever you are with your puppy or dog, not just when you have a specific training session.
For example, if your puppy jumps up at you when you come into a room and you give him attention and affection, you are reinforcing his “jumping up” behavior. Whenever he engages in an undesired behavior, you must not give him any attention – just ignore him. This means you should look away or turn away and not give any attention. This method may be difficult for you to accept and this is the reason many people fail in training their dogs.
You will find that positioning yourself as the pack leader in your home forms a bedrock for all your puppy training and positive reinforcement gives you a method to encourage the correct behaviors in your puppy and to avoid potential dog behaviour problems.
For more information on training your puppy, visit the Training Puppy Tips website.