9 Puppy Training Tips For Pets in Arab, AL
Bringing home a new family member is an exciting and emotionally rewarding experience, especially when the bundle of joy has four legs and a soft, fuzzy coat. But as fun as it may be to adopt a puppy, it’s also a lot of work. It gets even harder if you don’t train your young canine early (or correctly). Such oversights can lead to destructive behavior down the road–something every dog owner dreads. Keep reading to learn nine essential puppy training tips that will help you tame your furry family member in Arab, AL.
1. Train Them Young
Much like toddlers, puppies are like sponges when it comes to learning. Training them between 8 to 12 weeks old increases the likelihood that they will grow up to be obedient. Early exposure to commands, boundaries and expectations will better engrain these concepts in their minds. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a bad dog–only bad owners. If a canine has never been properly trained on how to act, they cannot be blamed for misbehaving. By shaping their minds early with consistent training, you’ll be setting them up for lifelong success.
2. Use Positive Reinforcement
Tiny canines do well with words of encouragement. That… and treats. Instead of punishing them when they do something wrong, celebrate your pup when they exhibit desired behaviors. For example, if they relieve themselves outdoors or on a puppy pad as desired, give them a treat and a compliment. This will teach them that certain habits lead to rewards.
Building a Bond
Not only does positive reinforcement teach your tiny canine which behaviors are desirable, but it also strengthens the bond between you. To your puppy, you become a source of happiness, joy and rewards. Thus, their stronger bond with you and desire for positive reactions will motivate them to cooperate.
3. Opt for Shorter Training Sessions
Puppies are not known for their concentration skills. Instead, their focus is easily scattered and their attention spans are short. Your training sessions need to match these short attention spans if you want them to be fun and successful at training your pup. To achieve this, plan for multiple training sessions throughout the day that are only a few minutes long. Focus more on consistency and repetition than you do on training session durations.
Watch for Cues
A tired and distracted baby canine is not going to make for a good student. Time your sessions for when they have the energy to learn. This means being observant and mindful of their energy levels throughout the day.
4. Be Consistent with Potty Training
Puppies do well with routines and predictability. Consistent potty training helps them learn desirable behaviors faster. A common complaint from new dog owners is that their new puppy urinates or eliminates waste all over the house. However, consistent routines coupled with positive reinforcement can solve this issue.
It’s also important to note that puppies have smaller bladders and need to urinate more frequently. By scheduling more bathroom breaks throughout the day and providing clean pee pads, you can help your little one relieve themselves the right way.
5. Restrict Access
Until your pup is housebroken, set boundaries regarding where they are allowed inside the home. While you’ll need to provide ample space to accommodate their energy levels and need for exercise, not all areas of your house need to be accessible. For example, you can restrict access to your bedroom using a child safety gate. Additionally, you’ll want to keep them away from areas that could be harmful to a curious puppy. This can include rooms with active fireplaces or open windows.
6. Teach Them in Various Environments
Dogs are good are associative learning and not so good at generalizing. If you only train them in one environment, they will associate that setting with the command. Without diversifying the backdrops of their training sessions, you lower their ability to generalize their newfound skills.
For example, if you teach them the command “stay” and have only done so in the house, they might not listen to you when you tell them to “stay” while in the grocery store. Additionally, training in different environments helps to expose them to various distractions during training. Eventually, they will stop paying attention to other noises, scents, or people–and simply focus on your commands.
7. Master Basic Commands
While it’s cute when puppies know fancy tricks, it’s not a necessity. Instead, focus on mastering the basics with your pup. This will help ensure you can be safer in public spaces and will influence your dog’s behavior for the better.
Start with commands that promote safety, such as sit, stop, stay, come and drop it. When they learn these basic commands, you will have more control over your canine’s behavior when it matters. Simply put, having your dog under voice control can be the difference between life and death for them. Through simple commands, you’ll be able to keep them out of harm’s way.
8. Hire a Dog Trainer
Hiring a dog trainer isn’t for your puppy. It’s for you and your ability to train a dog. Many people think they are good at dog training until they try it–then realize that training dogs requires training! Investing in a trainer for a few sessions can show you how your pup responds to professional training. Dog experts have seen it all and can offer personalized tips based on your puppy’s individual needs.
9. Provide Chew Toys
Training is great, but dogs will be dogs when it comes to growing pains. Help your puppy get through the teething phase with plenty of chew toys. It might surprise you when your little canine shreds your favorite shoes–but teething is often uncomfortable and requires soothing. By providing chew toys on demand, you might be able to salvage those shoes while your puppy gets some much-needed relief for their growing teeth.
Contact Arab Veterinary Hospital for More Puppy Training Tips
Set your puppy up for lifelong success with early and effective training. It will help keep them safe while giving you peace of mind. Plus, it’s a lot more fun when you can efficiently communicate with man’s best friend. For more puppy training tips, contact Arab Veterinary Hospital by calling (256) 586-3183. Our team is always happy to help!