Are you a first-time puppy owner? Are you in need of valuable dog training tips? Check out your easy-to-follow tips on how to train your pooch the right way!
Dog Training Tips Every First-Time Pet Owner Must Know
The best time to train your dog is during puppyhood. However, it’s never too late to start. Puppyhood, however, is the period of a dog’s life where it reaches its full mental potential. And of course, your little friend has not developed any bad habits yet. Properly training your pet will be beneficial for the household in the long run, and keep your dog out of trouble in the future. If you’re not sure how to start training your pooch, check out these dog training tips below:
1. Don’t waste time, Start training early
The moment you take home your new found friend is the time to start training. Some new pet parents will give the dog some time before training, thinking their new pal needs to adjust first. Well, they do, but they should do so during the house training process. The longer you wait to start training your puppy, the more time your puppy has to pick up bad habits.
Puppies grow up so fast and before you know it, your pup has already developed bad habits like chewing or nibbling on things that it shouldn’t. Now that’s a really hard habit to break. Let’s not even talk about how potty training can make your life easier… But you get the point!
2. Correct bad habits immediately
They say old habits die hard, and that’s especially true for our four-legged friends. When you see your little puppy barking unnecessarily, peeing everywhere he wants or chewing on shoes and slippers, you have to discipline him immediately.
Don’t scream at your dog because he probably won’t understand what he did wrong. Talk to him like how you would a child. Say “NO” if necessary. You may also try replacement theory when doing dog training at home. This theory says that if you see your dog chewing on something he shouldn’t, replace it with a chew toy or treat instead.
3. Always have treats on hand
Here at Pet Symptoms, positive reinforcement is highly encouraged. Thus, you’ll want to reward your pup if he does the right thing. The best reward are dog treats since dogs really do love them!
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There’s a right way of giving your diligent student a treat. Never give treats if your dog begs for it. Your dog should realize treats are earned when commands are followed, not just given out whenever a dog wants it. In the same way that you teach your dog new tricks and commands, your dog will be more attentive because he looks forward to the treats!
4. Punish your dog sometimes
What’s the opposite of rewards? That’s right, punishments. If you’re able to teach your dog that he is being rewarded when he does something right, he should also know that if he does something wrong, punishment is the consequence.
The ideal punishment for puppies is the time out. Put your dog in a time out corner for a short period of time and explain why you’re doing this every time he does something wrong. However, avoid putting your dog in his crate as a form of punishment. Crates are meant to be a happy place for your dog, so try a bathroom or laundry room for a time out corner. Do this every time your dog commits the same mistake, just make sure you’re not being too harsh.
5. Do crate train
Crate training is helpful during those times when you need to leave your pooch at home for a while. It’s always best to start crate training when a dog is very young, so, it can get more comfy with its crate as he grows up. Bear in mind that a dog crate is a dog’s personal space and your dog should think of it as a fun place and clean place to chill out, not as a punishment!
6. Use the right leash
Guess what? First-time owners usually don’t get the right leash the first time around. Don’t feel bad if you’ve made three trips to the pet store just because of a leash. As you may already know, a dog leash is one of the most important dog training supplies you must have before training your dog. This helps you control and restrain your pup.
However, you must also learn the proper way to hold a leash. Don’t hold it too tight as this can cause pain and discomfort in your pup’s body. Don’t hold it too loose as you might not be able to control your pup’s movements at all. I highly suggest you bring your dog when you go leash shopping. This way, you can immediately fit the leash and see how it works with your pooch.
7. Don’t forget potty training
Potty training a dog is no joke and it’s one of the toughest things you will teach your little pup. It can take a while for your pet to get it but don’t give up. It is really worth the effort!
Your dog should know he doesn’t have the freedom to pee or poop wherever and whenever he wants to. There’s a proper place to do the deed, and for most people, that’s outdoors.
So, you ask, how to potty train a dog? After eating, wait 10 to 20 minutes and bring your dog out. You can go for a walk and let him do his business before entering the home again. If he doesn’t pee or poop yet, wait. Give him time and don’t rush the process. Your pet should realize that potty is only done outside and never inside the home.
Through consistent training, your pup will eventually be able to hold its bladder inside your home and then tell you when he’s ready to go. Pee pads are appealing for indoor pee protection, but try and avoid these since they will just confuse your pooch!
8. Be consistent and patient, very, very patient
Aside from treats, you’ll also need to stock up on patience. Puppies do not easily understand things, but once they do, they get it for life! Think of them as babies — you need to be very patient when teaching them new things.
Moreover, you need to be very consistent as well. No means no. If your pup does something bad, there should be a corresponding punishment. If he does something good, reward him. If he needs to pee or poop, he should do so outside the house. House training can’t be and will never be negotiable. Otherwise, your dog will just develop bad habits and behavioral problems.
9. Let your dog play with other dogs
Just like us humans, dogs benefit from socialization too. This will make them friendlier towards other dogs. Playing with fellow pups will also teach them the right way of playing without hurting others.
Why not set up a puppy play date with your friends? Or you can find a puppy class in the neighborhood so your dog can learn new tricks from professional trainers. Socialization is always good!
10. Be confident and attentive
You are the master. You are the pack leader. Believe in that and your furry friend will too. Establish your leadership. It’s hard for a dog to recognize someone else as his leader, but you will gain his respect eventually. You must always be confident when training your dog.
Your dog should hear it in your voice and see it through your actions. But at the same time, be attentive to your pup’s body language as well. You may be the leader, but great leaders listen to their subordinates too, right?
Destructive chewing is one of the worse habits. Check out this video from BrightDog Academy Dog Training for tips on how to prevent it:
Do you feel overwhelmed and intimidated with these dog training tips? Don’t be! As a first-time pet owner, this is definitely a phase you must go through and there’s no doubt that you will successfully train your pooch, too! If you really want your dog training to be a success, there should be commitment and dedication. Love what you’re doing and your little pal will also love learning from you! I hope these dog training tips give you a confidence boost and inspire you!
Do you have other dog training tips to add? Please share it with us in the comments section below!
What commands should you teach your pup first? Check out these 5 Dog Basic Obedience Commands!