Your dog is constantly learning, especially through puppyhood. Some of the things your pup has learned are probably amazing and others... well, maybe so ideal (the lovable little ).
As a dog parent, it is important that you help your dog differentiate what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior. You're the leader of the family. He needs your guidance.
Don’t let your BFF become a terror, learn the top 10 essential things to teach your dog.
#1 No Biting
A puppy that bites may likely grow up to be a biting dog, and that is dangerous for him as well as others. It only takes one bite and you could be handing your dog over to the court.
Start training early. On day one, teach your puppy that biting is NOT acceptable behavior.
Stop the activity you are doing with your pup as soon as you feel those teeth. Draw away from your dog immediately and ignore him for five seconds.
After the five seconds have passed, resume the activity calmly and continue the process until your pup gets the picture.
Nobody likes cleaning up pee. Nuff said.
Teaching your dog when and where to relieve himself is a training must.
Crate training normally works wonders. Try confining the pup in a crate for age-appropriate periods of time, taking him outside to relieve himself. Try trigger words like “go” or “do your business” and praise him enthusiastically and reward with treats when he does go.
Over time, the area in which he is allowed to roam can become greater and his final reward for becoming a complete master of his bodily functions is the free range of the house.
#3 To Chew or Not to Chew
It is in a dog’s nature to chew and he should not be completely discouraged from doing so. Not only is chewing a good way to save your dog from boredom, but it can also aid dental health and alleviate stress.
Provide a variety of dog-friendly chew toys in your home and work with your dog to understand what is his to chew (and what isn't ).
Dogs that aren't properly socialized can become fearful and even aggressive in situations they aren't familiar with. So, this is an important one to start early as well.
Socialize your dog by going to the park to allow him to see other dogs, animals and people. Invite friends and family over to the home often to allow your dog to get to know people who are okay to be in the house. Take him new places and let him experience new things.
Just keep it safe and fun for him.
#5 Veterinarian & Groomer Behavior
Teach your dog how to behave at the veterinarian’s office or at the grooming salon by playing pretend.
Set your dog up on an elevated surface and begin petting him, massaging his ears, his feet and looking into his mouth. Do it slowing and reassure him.
When he's behaved well - no nipping or trying to jump off - reward him and tell him how good he is. Practice this little routine several times a week and make your next visit to the dog professionals run a lot smoother.
#6 Separation Anxiety Prevention
Dogs build strong bonds between themselves and their owners, so much sometimes that they can develop anxiety when their owners leave.
Help prevent separation anxiety by gradually leaving your dog for different periods of time. Give your pooch a fun chew toy to play with and meet him with a joyful greeting upon arrival. Of course, this training technique works best if started at an early age.
For a some added help, check out DOGTV. It is scientifically-developed TV content for dogs. They provide programming that’s organized into relaxing, stimulating and desensitizing segments that work together to provide just the right balance for the daily routine of your pup.
You can even try it out free for a month.
#7 Wearing a Harness or Collar
Getting your dog used to wearing a collar is not always as easy as it looks. You may go through a few chewed up collars before your pup gets accustomed to wearing one.
Try lightweight and comfortable collars or harnesses and place them loosely on your dog at first.
He'll get the hang of it quickly.
#8 Leash Training
Training your dog to walk on a leash without pulling or jerking you every step of the way often takes some practice (have patience).
There are a variety of training techniques used to get your dog to walk appropriately on a leash, but it all comes down to reward and consistency.
Rewarding him for not chasing that bird on the street or discouraging him from walking ahead of you should all be done on every walk.
Remember - consistency!
#9 The Meaning of “Yes” and “No”
To teach your dog the meaning of “yes” and “no” means you want him to continue or stop what he is doing.
Catch him in the act of doing something you want him to continue doing - like coming to you on command - by repeatedly saying “yes.”
If your dog is doing something you don't want him to do - like digging a hole in the yard - repeatedly say “no". Get his attention and when he redirects his behavior, reward him.
You may have to tell him to stop what he is doing using a stern tone in your voice to make the message clear. But also remember, he's just learning and he's sensitive. Be firm, but patient. And always reward him for the things he's doing right (he want to please you!).
#10 Learning His Name
A dog must learn his name to identify when he should look to you and when he is needed.
Choosing a name with no more than two syllables is easiest for dogs to understand, such as Fido. Also, try not to choose names and commands that sound very similar (i.e. "Bo" and "No").
Teach your pup his name by repeating his name until he looks, clapping your hands when you say his name and rewarding him with treats when he identifies it.
Training your dog is so important to start from day one. Don’t wait, practice these top 10 things to teach your dog and start training your dog today!