Training A Puppy
A well-trained dog is the most desirable kind of dog to
own. Some people take an older dog that is already trained
although most people find puppies irresistible. Puppies are
like new born babies and they know nothing except the bare
essentials, how to eat, sleep, and play. Most owners want
their dogs to be able to heel, sit, stay, come on command
and, most importantly, to be potty trained. This is not an
easy task to accomplish, but with much time and effort
spent on the training these goals can be achieved. Training
a puppy to obey is a long process which requires lots of
Heeling is important if you want to be able to walk your
dog in public with ease. To begin to train your dog to
heel, you as the owner, must know the proper way to hold
the leash and the proper stance. Place the loop of the
leash over your right thumb. Gather half of the leash into
your right hand and use your left hand to make corrections.
The dog must always remain in proper heel position, with
his collar in line with your left hip. He should remain in
this position whether you are walking, running, or standing
still. He should be close to your left leg but not against
it. Next, look at your dog and tell him, "(Dog's name),
HEEL." If the dog does not follow, give him a quick pop on
the leash and repeat the command "HEEL." Praise the dog as
soon as he responds to the correction and is back in the
heel position. In the book, "Dog Training My Way," by
Barbara Woodhouse she wrote, "Always tell him 'Heel' when
you correct him during heeling and remember to PRAISE,
PRAISE, PRAISE when you correct!" If the dog does not
comply with your commands never hit, or beat the dog.
Simply make the corrections and praise the dog. Woodhouse
also wrote, "The next type of owner gives a sound thrashing
for whatever wrong the dog has done, believing the theory
that 'the more you beat them the better they be.' This just
gets a dog muddled and very unhappy. Some dogs cringe and
show every kind of allegiance to this kind of behavior."
Training a dog to heel takes at least an hour of practice
daily for at least two months. You must be very patient,
praising the dog frequently.
Training your dog to sit and stay requires much time and
attention. To begin, have the dog sit in the heeling
position, give him a firm hand signal and tell him to
"STAY." Now step directly in front of him, no farther than
two feet away, and turn to face him. Keep the leash loose
and directly above the dog's head so you can firmly correct
him if he moves at all. You need to always watch his head
because it acts as an indicator; the minute the head starts
to drop, you know he is either going to get up or lie down,
so correct him immediately and tell him "STAY." Remember
the key to this is immediate correction. Do not accept
compromises. You as the trainer must be on your toes.
The most important rule of training your dog to "come" is
to always use a cheerful tone in you voice. Dogs can sense
anger, and as a result, will run in the opposite direction.
Begin this training as part of the heeling exercise. While
you are heeling forward with your dog, suddenly stop, back
up and command, "(Dog's name) COME." According to Dorothy
Broderick, who wrote "Training A Companion Dog," "This
exercise is designed to teach your dog to react to a
command to 'come' while he is trotting away from you." As
he learns what "COME" means, give one command only,
followed by a snap of the leash if he does not respond.
Remember to use a cheerful tone, no matter how frustrated
you get and give the dog lost of praise as he comes towards
The most challenging part of training a dog is potty
training it. No one wants their house ruined by dogs
depositing waste all over. No one likes cleaning up the
messes around the house, either. To get control over this
situation, you must begin the training immediately. The day
you bring home the puppy is the day the training begins.
Feed the puppy at regular intervals. Always put your puppy
outside immediately after a meal and give it the command
"HURRY UP." You may choose to use another phase just so
long as in the future your puppy is going to connect those
words with his future obligations. Whenever the puppy wakes
up from a sleep, you again must immediately take him
outside and repeat the command. To control accidents in the
night, make sure the puppy is warm while sleeping.
Everytime the puppy deposits waste outside on command, be
sure to give much praise. If the puppy should have an
accident on the floor, do not rub its nose in it, simply
scold it with a low voice and then take it to its usual
spot and praise the puppy. This is a long process that the
owner must stay on top of at all times. You can't let one
accident slide and then scold the puppy for the next one.
It is very repetitive and up to the owner to accomplish.
Many long hours and hard work go into training your puppy
to become that perfectly obedient dog. As Barbara Woodhouse
says, "A well-trained dog is worth its weight in gold; it
is up to you to see you are a well-trained owner." Patience
is the key to training an obedient dog.
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