Tips On Training Your New Puppy

>> 9/27/09

Few times are more exciting for a family than getting a new puppy. Every member of the family wants to hold and play with the puppy. This is a fun time for everyone, but also a time when you really have to lay the foundation for socializing and training your new puppy if you do not want problems later on. Correct training and socialization is much easier than correcting behavioral problems such as aggression later on.

The time between 2 and 12 weeks of age is a crucial period for a puppy. At this age puppies are extremely impressionable and learning at a fast clip. This is when your puppy learns to trust or fear other people, other dogs and other animals. Allow your new puppy to feel safe and secure in its new environment. This can be accomplished with a lot of holding, stroking and petting at first to establish your bond as a senior leader of the pack who will care for and protect the puppy.

Once the puppy feels safe in its environment, it is important that you expose it to as many social situations as you can safely. On the other hand, this is also a time to begin laying your foundation as the pack leader for your dog. A well disciplined puppy will always feel safer and be less prone to problems than a puppy which has developed bad habits running wild around the home.

This does not mean that you have to spank your puppy or yell at it. In fact, you should never hit your dog, under any circumstance. It's been proven that positive reinforcement training is the most effective way to raise your puppy into a well adjusted dog, free of serious behavioral problems. Your tone of voice and body language will most often be more than enough to convey your message to your puppy. Now is the time to set boundaries such as not climbing on the furniture or chewing your shoes. There is no need to yell. A firm sharp exclamation of "Stop" along with positive reinforcement when the puppy complies will do the trick much better than physical abuse or violence.

Chewing will most likely be a problem right off the bat with any puppy. Puppies need to chew and if you do not provide them with something acceptable to chew on then they will find their own chew toy. Most likely it will be one you would rather they not chew on. If you catch your puppy chewing on an inappropriate item, just firmly tell them "no" and replace the object with something acceptable to chew on. Your puppy will be teething and their instinct to chew needs to be directed toward appropriate targets.

A new puppy owner must also understand that training a puppy is going to require an investment of time, attention and patience. Constant repetition and consistency will pay off in the future with a well behaved, happy dog.

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