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 him household manners. To prevent confusion and to be fair to the puppy, everyone must agree how to raise her. You don’t want one person praising her and another person saying “No!” The more family members involved in training, the better. Everyone on the same page prevents anyone 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 she will be house-trained, who will feed, exercise and clean up after her and when it will be done. We need to realize a puppy should NOT have run of the house. During “free” time or play time, she can explore one or two rooms when you are with her. While your puppy is exploring, monitor her behavior and let her know how she’s doing. Praise your puppy for exploring new areas. By doing this, you are letting your puppy know she is 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 her like a child. If we start making her 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.