Simple Obedience Techniques for Puppies

>> 10/8/09

Getting a puppy is an exciting time for both the family and the puppy. When a puppy comes into a home, it will be exposed to a variety of new sights, sounds, and places to explore. This can be a very overwhelming and stressful time for the little critter. It is important for the owner to help the puppy adjust and become a well-behaved adult dog. This will involve teaching it to listen to your commands and desensitizing it to new stimuli.

Most puppy behavior experts say the critical learning period for a puppy is up to the age of sixteen weeks. The following are a few simple obedience techniques for training your puppy during this period:

1. Positive reinforcement is a key tool to obedience training. Punishing your puppy will only teach it to fear you and act aggressively to others. Using positive reinforcement as a reward is an essential part of teaching your puppy to be obedient. This can include a food reward, affectionate attention, and a toy as a reward. Praise will make a dog feel loved and more secure.

2. It is important that your puppy becomes desensitized to new environments. Take it for short walks through the streets to help him get use to the new sights, sounds, and people.

3. Reward positive behavior and ignore unwanted behavior during puppy training. Ignore such unwanted behavior as barking, pulling the leash when walking, and jumping on you. Just stand there until it stops and then continue on with the regular routine. When your puppy performs a wanted behavior such as walking next to you or sitting quietly, reward it with praise or a puppy treat. Clicker training is a type of positive reinforcement training that acknowledges that the dog has behaved properly. The "click" sound acknowledges the good behavior. The "click" sound is made as soon as the puppy performs the wanted behavior. As soon as you make the "click" sound, you can reward the puppy with a treat or praise.

4. In order to ensure your puppy does not grow to be an aggressive dog around children, you have to socialize it with children at an early age. When the puppy is around children, praise and reward calm behavior. Allow the puppy to be touched by one child at a time, and don't force it to be touched as this will only instill fear.

5. A car drive can be a scary time for a puppy. They can vomit, drool, or urinate. Your car should be a comfortable and fun place with familiar items such as its favorite toys and blanket. Take it for a short drive at first and then gradually increase driving time.

6. To teach your puppy to sit, get him to stand in front of you. Show the puppy the treat and let it smell the treat. Move the treat from his front to his hind end. As he watches the treat move to the back end, you should put the treat closer to the floor. The puppy should automatically sit its hind end down. When it does, immediately reward it with the treat and praise.

When properly training your puppy, the reward will not only be a well behaved dog, but you will have a loving and loyal friend.

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