All Things Dog

How to train your puppy properly

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This article gives you some information on when to start training your puppy, what commands to use, and how to house train him properly.

A well-trained dog makes everyone happy, including his owner. Take a little time training him, and you'll never regret it; you'll always have an obedient dog by your side.

By their nature, dogs are pack animals with a well-defined social order. Through basic training, you need to consistently make sure your puppy understands that you are the leader, not him. So in teaching him the basic rules, you take on the role of pack leader.

To fit into the family circle, your puppy must be taught to recognize his name and such commands as "come," "heel," "lie down" and "sit."

Here are some details on how to properly train your puppy:

When to start trainingA puppy's training should begin from the moment he arrives in your home. Fortunately, when your puppy is young, he's full of energy and easy to train, and he hasn't picked up any bad habits yet. Later, you may wish to join a training class and take your grown puppy to group courses with a skilled trainer. Your breeder can recommend where to find information on these classes.

Two essential words
In training your puppy, you'll have to use two words more than any others.

The first word is the puppy's name. Praise him when he responds and comes to you.

The second word he must learn is "no." And "no" means "stop whatever you're doing right now."

It may be amusing to see a growing puppy chewing an old slipper, but it won't be so amusing when, three times the size, he chews your best shoes. If your puppy chews something he shouldn't, say "no," and give him his own toy to chew.

Something else you need to stop your puppy from doing is jumping up at people to greet them, because most of your friends probably won't like this. They'll be particularly unhappy about this behavior when your dog grows up and puts his dirty paws on their clothes. Act early before bad habits become established. Ignore your puppy when he jumps up, rather than giving him attention. Praise your puppy when all four of his feet are on the ground.

Start house training right away
House training should start as soon as you get your puppy.

It's very important to teach a dog to ask to go out. A young puppy quickly digests food. Watch him: a while after eating, he'll start looking agitated and might start going around in circles. Show the puppy a place at home that you've designated as his toilet. Put down a newspaper, and don't forget to change it. Over a period of a few weeks, gradually move the newspaper toward the outside door, at the same time reducing the size of the paper.

Once your puppy is used to the newspaper, he'll ask to go out by sitting at the door. At this point, you should start taking him out first thing in the morning, after a meal, and last thing at night. Go by this schedule, and you'll see how quickly you achieve the desired result. It takes time and patience, but in this way you'll be disciplining the dog and yourself. And don't forget to praise him.

To get your puppy to go outside in the place you think is best, choose and use a particular word or phrase (a command) each time. The puppy won't learn right away, but just take your time, be firm, and most of all, be patient.

The obedient dog
From the age of six weeks, you can teach your puppy basic commands. Involve all the members of your household in this process. Reward your puppy with a show of affection and by patting him when he does well. Don't punish him for not obeying a command. Simply withhold the reward, or he'll associate that command with punishment. Keep the lessons short--five minutes, but regular--every day. Make it fun for the puppy to learn. For commands, use short words that sound clearly different from one another, such as "heel," "sit," "stay" and "come."

Training demands patience and self-discipline from an owner, but it won't seem so difficult working with a fun-loving, energetic puppy.

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