How to Train a Puppy - Behaviour and Basics
You will be training your puppy from the moment you bring it home at 6 or 7 weeks of age. Socialization with both humans and other animals should begin immediately. Training must be in a quiet environment with few distractions. Strive for at least 15 minutes of training every day. Small pieces of food or a favourite toy can be used to motivate your puppy to perform most tasks. However, potty training is the first step as soon as the puppy arrives.
Watch Video: How to Potty Train Your Puppy
TEACHING TO COME
Teaching your puppy to come on command is one of the most important lessons he’ll learn. If he can reliably come back to you when you call him, you can keep him safe from a variety of potential dangers. Begin your training sessions in an enclosed yard or inside your home. Let your him loose but stand somewhere near to him. Call out your chosen command ('come' or 'here') and try to encourage your pup to come over to you. Some people find standing in an inviting posture works, others clap their hands against their legs to attract their dog’s attention. As a last result, use food to lure him over. Once he comes to you, praise him and give him a treat.
Keep Things Positive
Positive reinforcement is the best way to teach your puppy to come. It’s vital he learns that coming to you when called will result in something good and is worth his time and effort. Have some extra tasty treats on hand you know he loves. Make sure your reserve them only for training sessions so he is more likely to work to get them. However, some pups aren’t food motivated and prefer playing or being petted. If you learn what makes your puppy tick, you can offer him the most alluring reward for when he does a good job.
What to Avoid
It’s vital that you never punish your dog if he doesn’t come to you straight away. No matter if he’s been running away from you for an hour and ignoring your calls, once he eventually comes to you, you must praise him. This might sound counter intuitive, but from your puppy’s perspective he’s been having a fun time romping and running about. If after a while he decides to heed your calls and finally comes back, never ever yell at him! He’s conveniently forgotten that he just spent the last hour ignoring you, so all he knows is that he came back and then you yelled at him. Not exactly a great incentive to come back next time, is it?
In Case of Emergency
No matter how good your puppy’s recall is, there may be a time when he doesn’t listen. If he’s running in the direction of a dangerous situation, rather than running after him to catch him, try calling while running in the opposite direction. Your dog can obviously outrun you and if you run after him you’ll drive him into the direction of danger. Run the other way and the likelihood is that he’ll chase after you, thinking you’re playing a fun game.