Training a puppy can be a lot of work, but it can also be very rewarding. You will find that having a game plan about how to train your dog can make all the difference in your success. Puppies learn by repetition, and you want to be sure that you are accessing the best methods to teach them the skills they need to succeed in life. Knowing how to train your puppy can make it much easier to work through this stage of their development without frustration or running into roadblocks.
Puppies are all different, and some dogs are much higher energy than others, while others have a shorter attention span overall. These differences can make training your puppy harder than you might have expected if you don’t make some adjustments to your training plans. Being sure that you have the right kind of training tools in mind when you are working with your puppy can help you to overcome difficulties that could have been avoided along the way.
1. Be Patient
Patience is a key aspect of training any young animal to do tricks or to behave in a specific way. Be sure that you are not pushing your puppy past their ability to be patient, or you will find that they will not learn the skills that you are trying to teach. In some cases, being too harsh can lead to your dog being fearful, which can have lasting consequences for your dog.
Make sure that you keep your training sessions short and that you use positive reinforcement as you work with your pet. The more reasonable you are with your puppy, the more engaged they will be in the training process from start to finish. Puppies know when you are upset or sad, just like adult dogs, so be sure that you are being careful to regulate your emotions as you work with them.
2. Reward with Treats and Love
While treats can be a great driver for puppies to learn to do skills, you will want to be able to ask them to do these things without having to rely on food as a motivator. Be sure that you are not using treats all alone when you reward your dog for successful actions. Praise can go just as far as food for many dogs, and you should not forget to praise as a means to reward your dog for making good choices and performing the actions that you are asking them to perform.
Loving interactions also strengthen the bond between you and your dog in ways that treats cannot. This bond can make it much easier to teach your dog new skills for the rest of their life and can help you to provide the care that your dog needs along the way with patience and understanding.
3. Repetition is Key
Even older dogs sometimes need to revisit the basics, and your puppy will need a lot of repetition of the skills that you want them to learn before they will be a part of their daily routine. Be sure that you are not neglecting the consistency of your training. This is one of the major drivers for comprehension in young dogs, and it can be the easiest to neglect as you are working with your dog.
Be sure that you always ask for your dog to perform actions or tricks with the same cues and with the same expectations. Changing the way that you ask for actions on the part of your dog can lead to confusion and anxiety that can be avoided through consistency in your requests. This is a key aspect for your puppy’s confidence and something that you should make sure to prioritize in your training plan.
4. Expect Quiet Time
Some dogs have a hard time quieting their brains and resting or being patient. Crate training can be a great way to teach your puppy to wind down when they are feeling keyed up. It can help to give you time to clean the house or take care of other things without worrying about the puppy. Making sure that your puppy is happy in a crate can also help if you need to take them on a trip with you or they need to stay at the veterinarian for some reason.
Dogs that are familiar with being able to rest and wait for the next set of actions that they might need to take are going to be much more stable and much less likely to be anxious. This can be the most important with high-drive dogs that are hunting breeds or sporting breeds. No matter what breed your dog is, however, you will need to make sure that they can be asked to be peaceful and take a break when it is necessary.
Training a Puppy Can be Easy and Fun
If you have been struggling with the training process after getting a new puppy, you might just need to revisit some basics. Make sure that you have a crate that fits your dog’s size and that you are being consistent and patient with your pet. Keeping things structured and being fair can make all the difference in your ability to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself and your puppy during each training session.
Remember as well to use positive reinforcement and to be certain that you are not rewarding only with food as you teach your dog skills. You will want to take the time to grow the bond that you and your dog share throughout the training process so that you can rely on this bond to make caring for them and sharing experiences with them very fulfilling for years to come. Training a dog can be a real pleasure, and when you use these tips, both you and your puppy will have a great time during the training process.