Training a puppy requires time and patience above all else. A puppy is a wonderful addition to any home. People must keep in mind though that all puppies grow up and a full grown dog, especially the large breeds can be too much to handle. The most important aspects to training a puppy include housebreaking and socialization as well as avoiding chewing and biting.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with training a puppy is that positive reinforcement works faster and better than negative. The old saying ‘You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’ is true in this case as well. Also, be consistent. Lacking this will only confuse your puppy.
Take your puppy outside every two hours to the same spot and also whenever he or she wakes up and right before sleep at night. Make sure to praise the puppy and you can offer a small treat. Never abuse an animal or even hit your puppy. Make a loud noise if you catch the puppy urinating or defecating in the house. This will cause the puppy to tense up and stop urinating or defecating. Then take the dog outside. Make sure to clean the area very well with bleach or a powerful disinfectant.
Socialization is very important in puppy training, especially with large breed dogs because it will prevent a shy, timid and or aggressive dog in adulthood. This can help prevent problems with children and people. Make sure that you vaccinate your dog and wait at least one month for the puppy to develop full immunity.
Then you socialize by taking your dog to new and unfamiliar places to meet new and unfamiliar people and dogs. This should be done regularly for the first two years of life. Take care to keep your puppy safe from other aggressive dogs. Never force a dog to greet someone or drag a dog over if they are showing signs of fear. Dogs can react by biting in fear. Remember to take it slow and steady.
Chewing and Biting
This is another serious issue especially with dogs that will grow big. Puppies will bite and chew on everything. It’s a way for them to explore their surroundings. This can cause problems though, especially if they decide to chew on furniture or even worse, power cords.
The first step is to puppy-proof your home by removing rugs and plants or poisons that the puppy can get into, making sure the puppy can’t get into household cleaners and cover electrical wires. Give your puppy only a few toys so that he or she will know clearly what is the puppy’s and what is yours. You can find chew toys on Amazon.com, like the
Wishbone Original Dog Chew Toy for $5.45
or the Nylabone Durable Dental Dinosaur Chew Toy for $7.05.
Training a puppy takes time, commitment and love, but it is well worth it to have a well-trained dog.
Dr. P’s Dog Training available at http://www4.uwsp.edu/psych/dog/lib-puppy.htm, accessed on April 18, 2012.