Teaching your new puppy (or older dog) to become the well-mannered pooch you know he/she can be, takes practice and patience. Make it fun for both you and your pooch by following these training tips.
- Puppies understand three vocal tones: directing, praising and shaming. Your voice will naturally alter, but in the beginning it will help to exaggerate these tones to avoid confusing your dog.
- Assign a word to routines you repeat on a daily basis, such as ‘inside’, ‘upstairs’ and ‘car’. Use these commands regularly to get he/she used to it.
- There must never be any doubt in your dog’s mind about who is in charge. Make sure your commands are direct, using only the single word and in a tone that makes it clear that it is a command, not a request.
- Your dog needs to be corrected immediately for misbehaving, so he/she can make the connection between poor behavior and your displeasure. Correcting your pup half an hour later will only leave them confused.
- Never hit your dog to correct them, as this will only make them fear you. The emphasis of training should always be on reward, not punishment.
- Dogs learn by repetition and if you want them to understand the ‘no’ command you have to use either lead correction or some form of pressure and release via sound or body language such as stepping into their zone so they back up or move away and then rewarding the appropriate behavior once it is correct.
- Stay calm. The calmer you are, the more responsive your dog will be. Flailing arms, bent posture and a raised voice signal chaos and an invitation to play.