General Training Tips

As a general rule, it’s best to begin training your puppy at an early age, and the earlier the better.  Contrary to the old saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks, but good doggie habits are frequently learned faster and much easier while still in the puppy stages.  The longer you delay training, the more apt the dog is to develop bad habits and will certainly need to be deprogrammed from these habits.

Most importantly, your training and interaction with your puppy should remain kind and humane.  Employ positive-reinforcement methods in your training, lots of praise and treats.  Keep your obedience sessions upbeat and fun so that the training experience is pleasant for you and your dog.  Training your puppy doesn’t have to be hard work.  Incorporate games that are fun but constructive to the dog’s obedience at the same time.

Be sure that every time you give a command that you are prepared to gently enforce your dog’s compliance with that command.  Repeatedly giving a command is generally not effective.  Firmly state the command once, twice at the most, and if the dog doesn’t respond,  gently show him what you want him to do for you and follow that with lots of praise.  

Start with some easy tasks, and if your dog seems to have difficulty learning, it may be adviseable to seek out an expert.  It could be a sign of illness, or you may need an expert obedience trainer. 

Overall, always maintain a positive environment for your dog to learn.  Be patient.  Your becoming angry and frustrated only results in a “stressed-out” feeling for you and your dog, which will get you nowhere.  Remember that your dog really only wants to please you, so be on the lookout for good behavior and reward your dog handsomely! 

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