Getting a puppy is a big commitment, they bring love and happiness to your home but they also require a lot of care and attention. Puppies have no experience of the outside world, so they need to be properly trained to become friendly adult dogs.
Training a puppy is no easy task, it requires consistency and patience, and with the right guidance it is a goal that can be achieved within a few months. Veterinarians and canine behavior experts stress the importance of not punishing your puppy for misbehaving. So how exactly do you train your little furry friend?
What is the most effective way to discipline a puppy?
New York City dog trainer Amanda Gagnon told Greeley Tribune that when people ask how to discipline a dog, what they really mean is how to stop them from displaying certain problematic behaviors, and how to discipline your pup. The best way is to reward them when they show a desirable behavior in that specific context.
“For example, someone wants to know how to discipline their dog when it barks at the sound of the doorbell. To rectify that problem, we need to make the dog respond quietly to the sound of the doorbell. That’s what training is for,” he said.
Another aspect of dog training that he pointed out is that people often expect to hear that they need to punish their dog, perhaps with a nap or reprimand, but they believe that the dog Those types of punitive actions are not necessary to train a dog, and when used incorrectly they actually lead to anxiety and aggression.
Dr. Christian Broadhurst, veterinarian at the non-profit Clinic Clay Humane in Florida, also agrees that violence doesn’t work when training dogs, especially with puppies who will see it as a play, and that can lead to their Bad behavior will be further encouraged.
He suggests using positive reinforcement techniques, giving them a treat when they do something good, and taking your attention away from them when they exhibit bad behavior.
“Especially with puppies, they just want your attention 24/7, hence the way we punish puppies whenever they do something you don’t like. Playing with and they bite The first thing you have on hand is to stop playing with the puppy and they will bond that when they bite it is time for play,” he told Greeley Tribune.
Another way to train puppies, according to Broadhurst, is to have a large dog at home who can discipline them. “Adult animals are best for disciplining dogs because they basically speak the same language and when a dog grabs a puppy and lands it it is establishing dominance. But this is not the case with humans. Doesn’t translate well to with, so we don’t recommend that people do.”
what to do when they don’t listen
According to Gagnon, for essential behaviors, it is important that you assess your own teaching strategy when your dog is unable or unwilling to offer the requested behavior on cue.
“First of all, we need to check whether we have taught our dog to listen for instructions. Have I taught them what it means when I make a request? Did I get them to perform that behavior when I request it? What is motivated? Do I set my dog up for success by rewarding the desired behavior in this particular context? If I haven’t done all three of those things, I can’t reasonably expect to hear from them in all contexts. “
She says that asking a dog to display a behavior you haven’t taught them is an unreasonable expectation, like asking a kindergartener to recite Shakespeare. “Make sure the cue you’re requesting has a solid foundation, then practice it in a variety of contexts with increased distractions until your dog can reliably perform the desired behavior on the cue.”
how to stop them from biting
According to Gagnon, learning is the most important skill to teach your dog, and it should be taught in its early days before it becomes difficult. “Most dogs need to learn this during their first year. It is often incredibly difficult to fully resolve in adulthood. For puppies, it is easy. We start by giving the puppy appropriate feedback when they Bites so the puppy learns that humans are delicate. Next, we redirect them to toys every time they come across us. The first step is by far the most important.”
While this is a skill that you can easily teach to your puppy, it is very difficult to teach to older dogs, and according to Gagnon, if your older dog exhibits this kind of behavior you should have a professional, certified trainer. Or have a moral responsibility to keep the behavioral consultant in order. To assess the options for your dog and to protect your neighbors and yourself from harm.
how to potty train them
If you don’t want to find yourself constantly cleaning dog business from your living room rug, another basic skill to train your dog is knowing when and where to go potty.
According to Gagnon there are three rules to follow in this process: “1- Reward the puppy with a treat every time it goes to the right place. 2- Using a gate, a crate, or a leash to hold the puppy Prevent them from making mistakes. Let them have accidents in the wrong places. 3- Give them frequent food, water and [outing] Schedule.”
Broadhurst says that as part of positive reinforcement training, you should reward your dog after they potty properly. “You reward them thoroughly with food or attention, when your puppy comes outside to go potty the first thing you do is tell him ‘good dog’ or ‘good job,’ you baby talk to them And give them a high pitch voice, pet them, that’s probably enough for a puppy they’re very excited about.”
What to do when your dog becomes aggressive?
Aggression is a serious problem but according to Brodhurst it is very different in puppies than it is in adult dogs. Aggression in puppies is usually just overly aggressive play, which can be disciplined with positive reinforcement, whereas adult dog aggression is a bigger issue that requires a specialist.
“If it is a puppy and we are talking and they start biting you you can fix it with a timeout, give them the attention they want and they will learn very quickly that biting Bad. But if your adult dog is showing aggression and biting people, it is absolutely right to see a behavior specialist about how to deal with aggression in dogs.”
Broadhurst says the most aggressive dogs he has seen are the ones that never leave the house. “They don’t know strangers, they’ve never seen a child on a bike before and then they get very scared and aggressive because they don’t know what to expect.” So he suggests taking your well-vaccinated puppy to the park or friends’ homes, so that the dog can get plenty of experience and learn to be friendly.
If your dog behaves aggressively for any reason, you should go to a certified canine behavior consultant immediately, according to Gagnon. “The biggest mistake people make is waiting too long to call for help. Once a dog has rehearsed the problem behavior for a long time, it becomes more difficult to undo it.”
For aggressive dogs she suggests using the International Association of Applied Behavior Consultants website to find trained counselors who have undergone rigorous testing and scrutiny to prove they know what they are doing.