Puppy Training

Posted by: on Mar 21, 2011 | No Comments

Puppies that are not exposed to other dogs during their formative months are more likely to develop aggressive or fearful responses to other dogs later, just as puppies that are not socialised to humans often develop behavioural problems. In the City of Port Phillip, we are fortunate to have a choice of a number of training schools held on weekends at Albert Park Lake, and Murphy’s Reserve in Port Melbourne. These schools are great for “training the trainer”, and will help you build a long, happy and healthy relationship with your new pup. But before you try a puppy school, you will need to know some basics of having a new pup around the house.

Be positive with your pup. Training should always be a positive experience. A new pup won’t know all of your household rules, or what is expected, so rather than use punishment, praise your pup when he or she does the right thing.

Teaching your pup the correct way to behave first is much easier than trying to correct bad behaviour later.

Puppy training should be brief, and should be fun! Your pup has a short concentration span so limit your training to 5 minutes, twice a day to begin with.

Training should be regular. Pups, and even some adult dogs need to be trained at least once a day, every day. Some breeds love the mental stimulation – and the rewards. And some just love the rewards!

Puppies should be handled regularly. Routine things such as brushing and grooming will be appreciated and enjoyed with regular handling.

Make sure you have your pup’s attention before you give a command. Use your pup’s name and don’t yell if he or she appears not to hear – a dog’s hearing is four times better than ours, so shouting won’t help!

Puppies learn by association. The fastest way to train your pup is to reward as soon as he or she does the right thing. Small pieces of food or treats are a great reward for young pups. This way, they associate good behaviour with a reward and bad behaviour with no reward or a stern reprimand.

Remember that both reward and reprimand should be given immediately for your pup to learn an association.

Once your pup learns the response, reward intermittently and vary the reward according to your pup’s response. This will help instil the correct behaviour into your pet’s mind.

Train your pup in lots of different places and at different times. You don’t want your pup to only associate the kitchen with food. Allow your pup to explore, and be exposed to lots of new and different situations to help socialise and adjust.

Training and commands will be a daily part of your dog’s life. So the earlier it becomes routine, the better chance your pup has of developing into a normal, friendly and confident adult dog.