The training you invest now in your puppy or dog will pay dividends throughout your dog’s life.
The earlier you start training your puppy, the easier it is to prevent problems down the road. In-home training can start BEFORE you begin puppy classes. In fact, your training can begin before the puppy arrives home.
Keep in Mind
- Relax and have fun with your dog when you are training.
- Remember to smile – something we easily forget when we are concentrating.
- Think of training as a fun game for you and your dog. If your dog isn’t doing what you want, it may be simply because they don’t completely understand what is expected yet.
Things to Try
- Train for a couple of minutes many times per day (for example, during commercials when you are watching TV). This is often better than trying to practice everything in one long session.
- High value treats are great for training new behaviors, but you can also use a portion of your dog’s daily amount of kibble to practice at home.
- When your dog totally understands what is being asked of him and gets it right every time, increase the difficulty of the task in order to get a food reward.
- Pay attention to your dog’s state of mind. It is perfectly normal for your pup to be excited when outside, near new people, things and animals. Training when the dog is extremely excited or fearful will not go nearly as well as when the dog is in a relaxed state. Adjust your expectations of what the pup can do in new locations or situations.
- Remember to reward your dog when you find he is doing what you like (for example, sitting quietly instead of jumping up). This one takes practice as we tend to only notice the unwanted behavior.
- Be careful when you reward. Are you smiling and laughing when your pup jumps up on you? If so, you may be encouraging that behavior.