Getting a puppy can be one of the best decisions you ever make for your family, resulting in happy memories, loyal companionship, and a renewed sense of purpose. With time, hard work, and effective puppy training, you can maximize the benefits of being a dog owner, strengthen your bond with your dog, and help your puppy grow to be a healthy and happy dog.
Puppy training can be challenging at times, but luckily, there are ways to make puppy training easier. To that end, here are five simple puppy training tips to help you learn how to train your puppy!
1. Start Puppy Training Early
A simple tip for training your puppy is to start the training process early. Many puppy trainers believe that you should start training your puppy the moment you bring it home.
Housebreaking is especially crucial to start early, and the sooner your puppy is housebroken, the happier everyone will be. Your puppy can also learn important socialization skills from a very young age. While you can socialize your dog at a later age, starting the socialization process early can help your puppy feel comfortable around other people and animals and adapt to new experiences easier, minimizing stress, anxiety, and aggression.
Young puppies can also learn simple commands, laying the foundation for future, more complex dog training. Take advantage of this crucial window of opportunity to train your puppy to set yourself up for an easier puppy training experience in the future.
2. Be Positive
In all likelihood, training your puppy will be full of highs and lows, good days and bad days. As a general matter, going into puppy training with a positive attitude is a simple way to make the experience more effective and more enjoyable. You will undoubtedly feel frustrated when it appears that your puppy will not listen to you no matter what you do or say. But, if you go in with a positive attitude and a good sense of humor, you will find ways to smile and laugh through even the challenging parts.
Remember, your puppy won’t be a puppy forever, and there will come a time where you really miss the days when your dog was a puppy, even the challenging ones. You can also add positivity to the puppy training experience by using positive reinforcement as a training technique. When training a puppy using positive reinforcement, you reward your puppy’s good behavior with food, toys, attention, and praise. Your puppy will be more likely to repeat the good behavior because it associates the behavior with the reward. A few things to note about using positive reinforcement to train your puppy: First, be sure to reward your puppy directly after it shows good behavior. It is important to make the link between the behavior and the reward as clear as possible.
Second, be careful not to reward bad behavior accidentally. For example, if your puppy is not responding to your command the first time resulting in you having to give the same command multiple times, don’t reward that behavior because you might accidentally signal to your puppy that waiting for multiple commands is the correct way to act. Finally, positivity is a simple way to improve your puppy training experience because maintaining trust with your puppy is important. A particularly frustrating moment might lead you to lose your temper or have an outburst, but the reality is, this is no more likely to get your puppy to do what you want and can harm your relationship.
3. Puppy Train When You Can
Training your puppy is an ongoing process. Balancing your job, spouse, kids, and hobbies can take up a great deal of your time, leaving you wondering if you will have time to train your new puppy. A very simple puppy training tip is to train your puppy whenever you can. Of course, consistency is important when it comes to puppy training, but you can also have great luck training your puppy in short spurts throughout the day.
By training your puppy a few minutes at a time, you reduce some of the stress of finding time to train your puppy and make the puppy training process easier and more natural on your puppy by reinforcing training lessons consistently. This will be even more effective if all members of your household spend a few minutes training your puppy each day, trying different commands in different locations in your home. Some kinds of puppy training, such as crate training, are only effective if done in moderation and can be very harmful to your dog if you overdo it.
Finally, your puppy will likely have boundless energy and will need to walk and play to get that energy out. Surprisingly, one long play session is not best for your puppy. Instead, many shorter play sessions throughout the day will help stimulate your puppy, strengthen your bond, and tire out your puppy more effectively. The great thing about training and playing with your puppy when you can is that it is a simple way to build habits and patterns relating to your puppy that will keep you on track and that your puppy will pick up on.
4. Limit Distractions
While puppies are full of energy, they often have short attention spans. A tip to simplify training your puppy is to limit any distractions that might take your puppy’s attention away from you. If you have a quiet, clutter-free room in your home, that would be a great place to spend some time puppy training. As your puppy gets older, you can train it to ignore distractions. This has the added benefit of improving your puppy’s impulse control, helping your puppy follow commands wherever you are, and improving your puppy’s behavior.
5. Ask For Help When You Need It
The final tip to make training your puppy simpler is to ask for help when you need it. There are puppy obedience schools, dog trainers, classes that you can attend, and countless resources online, from e-books on puppy training to online forums discussing tried and true puppy training tips and tricks. Training your puppy won’t always be easy. Still, hopefully knowing that there are tons of resources you can take advantage of should you ever need some help makes the training process seem easier and more approachable.