Puppy training should be done in a manner that is both safe and effective, and ideally should start from the time you bring your puppy home from the store or shelter. Before you start training your puppy, remember that you need to focus on teaching it the right things by rewarding good behavior, and not punishing bad behavior at a time when your puppy still doesn’t know what you exactly want him or her to do.
Don’t make the mistake of laying down the law and immediately telling your dog what it shouldn’t do. Puppies need a chance for themselves to learn the right thing to do while realizing the behaviors that wouldn’t match your idea of what to do.
For instance, you should never yell out loud in dissension if your puppy isn’t understanding what you’re teaching him or her to do. Puppies respond better if you repeat the exercise or go back to a step he or she missed. More often than not, you will end up offering rewards for a job partially well done and take it from there until your puppy can do the entire technique or behavior correctly.
Here’s one classic situation. You find that your expensive shoes have been chewed up by your puppy. This could result in one of two things, should you make the mistake of saying, or screaming “No”.
One, you may have scared the living heck out of your puppy, leading him/her to think that chewing on your personal belongings isn’t right when you’re around. Ergo, your puppy should only chew on shoes and other things when you’re not around. Remember that you’re dealing with dogs, and they are just following their natural instinct.
The above example can also apply to proper crate training and housebreaking – refrain from using the word “NO!” should your puppy do its business in your living room instead of going outside to relieve himself or herself. Don’t forget to reinforce positive behavior by rewarding this job well done – it would instill in your puppy’s mind that what happens outside should stay outside and not inside your house.
By rewarding or complimenting your dog following successfully performing a behavior, you are training your dog the right way. You will also be rewarded by a more confident, friendly and respectful puppy.
It is not just your dog’s behavior that can benefit much from positive reinforcement and other modern dog training techniques, but also its personality. Once your puppy reaches its first year, it would greatly benefit from this healthy form of communication, and should be a reliable companion for you once it finally matures.