A few days ago, we talked about using positive reinforcement methods to train your dog. Keeping those tips in mind, today we’ll go into more detail on how to train or housebreak your puppy or dog.
When you have a new member of your household, and it happens to be furry and excitable, you’ll want to implement some training techniques as soon as possible.
Decide as a family what your new puppy will be permitted to do and what methods you will use to teach them household manners. To prevent confusion and to be fair to the puppy, everyone must agree on how to raise them. You don’t want one person praising them and another person saying, “No!” The more family members involved in training, the better. Everyone on the same page prevents anyone from getting mixed messages.
Consistency is key!
Select specific words or phrases to use when praising, correcting, or training your puppy. The entire family needs to know where the puppy will be kept, how they will be house-trained, who will feed, exercise, and clean up after them, and when it will be done. We need to realize a puppy should NOT have run of the house. During “free” time or playtime, they can explore one or two rooms when you are with them. While your puppy is exploring, monitor their behavior, and let them know how they’re doing. Praise your puppy for exploring new areas. By doing this, you are letting your puppy know they are behaving appropriately.
Usually, the problem isn’t with the puppy, it’s with the puppy owners’ expectations. Assume your puppy will initially do EVERYTHING wrong. Getting into trouble is a normal part of puppyhood! They don’t know the rules until we teach them what we expect.
Training needs to begin as soon as the puppy comes home. We never hit or yell at the puppy. Think of them like a child. If we start making their first days as positive as possible, you and your puppy will have a wonderful lifelong relationship!
Don’t forget to check out Jeffers Pet’s full range of puppy training and housebreaking supplies.
Renee Jones-Lewis is a certified professional dog trainer, having received instruction from canine behaviorist Dr. Pamela Reid, plus nationally acclaimed trainers: Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, and Jean Donaldson, to name a few. She serves as a Pet Marketing and Canine Specialist for JeffersPet and JeffersPet.com.
Questions about this article, training in general, or non-emergent health concerns are welcome. Renee can be reached most days from 9am – 5pm Central Time (Mon-Fri) at 1-800-JEFFERS (533-3377) ext 381 or by email rsjones@jefferspet. com.
Last Updated on January 12, 2021 by Rachel Champion