1) Enroll your puppy in a training class as soon as possible. Find a trainer that you like and who focuses on rewarding positive behavior. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of training during the first year of your puppy’s life. This dog will be a member of your family for 10 or more years. A well trained puppy is a well behaved dog.
2) What’s cute and adorable in a puppy is probably not so desirable in an adult dog.
A) Never let the puppy chew or bite on you. If the puppy begins to bite offer it a toy to chew on instead.
B) It seems so natural when a puppy reaches up for pet by putting his front legs on your legs. I thought my puppy Ryder was so adorable when he came to me when I was sitting and put his feet on my legs so I could easily pet him. When the day came that Ryder could put his front paws on my shoulder and look me in the eye, I realized that I had a problem! After being reinforced by sweet talk and petting as a puppy, he did not understand why I wanted him to stay down as an adult.
A puppy has four legs for a reason and they should never be rewarded when two of them are leaning on you!
C) Pet or praise is a great reward for a puppy. Never pet or praise the puppy when they are doing something that you would not want them to do as an adult.
D) Look for good behavior and reward it. Positive praise works much better than focusing on bad behavior. A dog that is praised for good behavior will be a happy well adjusted dog.
E) NEVER hit your dog as punishment for bad behavior. A stern "No!" or "SSS" is the appropriate way to discipline. If you have younger children, please make sure that they understand that you never spank a puppy or a dog. A puppy is a treasure and should be treated with respect.
F) Give a command once and only once. If you do not get immediate response from your puppy, you need to do more training and positive reinforcement. I have mistrained adult dogs before by saying a command repeatedly. Before I know it, the command "Come" is understood by the dog as "Come . . Come . . Come".
Ali Doodles Whoodles
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