They ooze cuteness, but if you aren’t sure how to train a puppy, they soon wear you out. You may be tired, your slippers may be chewed and your carpets ruined, but you owe it to yourself and to your little canine to train him as early as possible.
The first few days of owning a puppy are more often than not filled with moments of laughter, joy and pleasant surprises galore. Along with those pleasant surprises, however, if not properly trained, they can spring a fair few unpleasant surprises too.
Train your puppy today, and you’ll set a precedent for the rest of his life–and yours alongside him. He will be a better friend.
Spoiling – it’s inevitable but thankfully reversible
Let’s face it, we all spoil our puppies at first. It’s unavoidable. Puppies are irresistible.
However, it’s usually at the end of the first week when reality sets in, and you realize it’s time you learned how to train a puppy.
Fido may be running the show right now, but I assure you, if you put these tips into practice today, within a week or two you should see some great improvements. And YOU will be the boss!
How to stop a pup from whining or crying
Whining or whinging may be annoying, but it’s natural for puppies to seek attention this way. The best way to tackle whining is to nip it in the bud as soon as possible.
Here is a list of common causes and what you can do to help your pup settle down:
Always ensure your puppy has access to water and create a positive association by feeding him in the same area.
Dogs are pack animals and like to be able to smell or see their pack, the pack being you. If you are okay with this, at night or as you work, move his pen/crate to an area nearby.
Try not to reward whining. In this case, ignoring it may help but ensure you eliminate every other possible cause first!
Provide Fido with some toys to chew on. Puppies especially love stuffed toys.
He may be hot, cold or uncomfortable. Make sure his area is safe, warm and comfortable.
* Toilet trip
Puppies need to go every one or two hours. Get them used to a routine of going out to use the same spot and the whining will decrease.
Dogs need exercise, lots of it! Help to keep him worn out and satisfied by talking him for walks, playing with him and letting him roam from time to time.
How to train a puppy to stop biting
Puppies love a little nip here and there. If you encourage them, it only gets worse as it reinforces the behaviour.
Under no circumstances should you slap or hit them as they either become frightened or more aggressive.
Try these techniques instead:
1) Water spray
If your puppy starts nipping, give him a squirt or two. This helps to form a negative association and the nipping will soon stop.
2) Chewy toy
As soon as your puppy starts biting, replace your hand with a chewy toy. Do this every time and the nipping will soon decrease.
Feign pain or injury and yell out “Ouch” each time he bites. Then stop playing and move away. This will startle your pup and he’ll realize that biting only leads to the loss of his playmate (you).
4) Be firm
If your puppy has a particular penchant for hand-biting, say “No!” and place your thumb under his tongue and your index finger under his chin. This uncomfortable position will soon teach him that biting is unpleasant.
5) Foul taste
Apply a foul tasting substance to some gloves and approach your pup to play. If he starts biting again, he’ll quickly back off once he gets a mouthful of the nasty substance.
How to train a puppy to stop chewing
Dogs love nothing more than a good chew, and it doesn’t matter if it’s an old bone or a $200 shoe! Try these reliable techniques to get your puppy to stop chewing once and for all.
1) Chew proof
Again, if your puppy likes to chew a particular spot in the house, apply a nasty tasting substance to it like Tabasco sauce or chilli and watch him back off!
2) Replace slipper with toy
If you catch him chewing a slipper or something you’d rather he didn’t chew, say “No!” and replace the object with a toy he can chew. Once he starts chewing on the toy, give him plenty of praise. Only reprimand if you catch him in the act, help him understand what he’s doing wrong.
3) Be firm, be the leader
Show him you are the leader of the pack, not him, and he’ll move heaven and earth to please you. Be firm, but not aggressive. Let him know he’s in the wrong immediately and show him your disappointment by depriving him of any petting for a while.
4) Remove the temptation
Simply remove his chosen object. If you remove the temptation and make sure there are plenty of other things to chew on like toys, stuffed animals and treats, he might simply stop on his own.
This is only a quick overview of how to train a puppy but if you are diligent and patient, the lessons you teach your young dog will last a lifetime. Remember too, that help is never far away.
If you struggle to contain Fido’s natural exuberance, you can take puppy training classes, or even purchase some dog training videos or dog training books.
Help your little puppy get to grips with the rules–not your slippers!
Freddy and I hope we have answered your question ‘how to train a puppy?’
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You’ll be so glad you made the effort, and you’ll have a much better friend.