So you’re getting (or have gotten) a new family member! With a new dog comes new responsibilities. It is going to be up to you and the other members of your family to train, or perhaps teach is a better word, your dog the rules and regulations. You’re going to want him to learn specific commands and to behave in a certain fashion. And chances are that there are behaviors that you are going to want to discourage or stop altogether. One of the keys to quick and easy dog training is consistency.
To make training as easy as possible, it’s necessary for all members of the family including the puppy to understand exactly what the expectations of the household are. If you can, it would be advantageous to get the family together and carefully outline what the expectations of the house are going to be before you bring your new puppy home.
The initial list might include rules like the following:
The puppy is not allowed on the couch
The puppy is not to jump on people
The puppy is not allowed on the beds
The puppy is not allowed to beg at the table
The puppy is to always sit before the door is open
Once you have a set of rules laid out that everyone understands you have to make a list of command words. Whatever words you decide to you use is not important, but rather that everyone in the household uses the same words for each command. To accomplish this, write out a list of all the basic command words that you believe you are going to need. Do not worry if you don’t think of them all seeing as you are most likely going to have to make additions to the list as time goes on anyways. A good idea might be to keep the list posted where everyone can easily refer to it when necessary. In addition, if you do find that you have to add to the list, be certain that the rest of the family are aware of the new additions.
This may seem a little silly but look at an example situation where you and your spouse find the dog on the sofa. You have been using the phrase “down” to teach the dog to lay flat on the ground, and you have been using the command word “off” to tell your pet that he is not allowed to sit on the couch. If your spouse tells the dog to “get down”, what is the dog going to do? Does he lie flat on the sofa? Or does he get up and move? You have confused the dog. This is why it is so important that all members of the family know exactly when and how to use each of the command words.
You also have to be certain that all members of the family follow the rules. It is not fair to the animal if one person lets the dog on the couch to watch TV and the others do not. The dog does not know which behavior is to be followed and all your dog training efforts will be for not.
So to avoid these unnecessary confusing situations, train the family, preferably before you bring your new friend home.
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