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Teaching your puppy the basics
Before giving any commands always attract his
attention first. This is the
only way your puppy will ever learn to respond to you. A young pup will
generally look at you and prick his ears up when you speak to him. Puppies
cannot concentrate for long
periods of time, so keep the play/training sessions
short, fun, frequent and varied. As you progress, the sound of your voice
will be the reward, the occasional treat merely a bonus.
Get into the habit of giving only one command. If you want your dog to obey
you, it is better to give distinct commands for example “come” instead of
longer phrases “come here boy, come on now, come here”. If you have to keep
repeating yourself, you are either not keeping the puppy's attention or he
does not understand what you want. If you keep repeating the same command
always before the dog obeys, the dog might learn that ‘SitsitsitSIT’ is the
right command instead of ‘sit’ and will only obey when on the fourth
command. Go back to the beginning, show him
again, and reward him
he gets it right. If you use a command word repeatedly when he is doing
something else, for example use ‘sit’ while he is jumping around, he will
learn to associate the word with what he was doing when you said it. 'Sit'
could come to mean leap around and play, not putting the bottom on the
ground! Dogs understand body language far more readily than they understand
our verbal form of communication,
so do not hesitate to use hand signals with the command words!
As soon as your puppy has caught on to the idea of a new command, it is a
good idea to get into the habit of asking him to obey you briefly before
he gets anything he wants. In dog language, this is simply good
manners. For example ask the pup to sit and attend to you briefly before
you feed him, play a game, groom him, put his
lead on, give him
a cuddle or
proceed with other training. Before a meal or after a nap is the best time
for training, because he’ll be hungry and concentrated on the rewards.
You do not have to use treats as
rewards, you can also only use your voice. If you always use treats when
training, one day she might not obey at all if you do not have the treats
Once the puppy knows a command at home, you can start making it more difficult for him by adding distractions. Obeying at a new park where there are other dogs is much more difficult than obeying at home or in a local forest where he has been many times before. Increase the difficulty gradually and the dog will learn quite quickly to associate the words again. If he is not obeying, it just means that he doesn’t know it well enough and you should go a step back in the training.
As a general rule, puppies need to go to the loo at the following times :
Take the dog out in a calm, safe and a familiar place. The puppies rely on their instincts and are not confident enough yet to leave their own scent in new places. Therefore it is of no use to take him for a long walk, hoping he won’t do his business in the garden.
Do not expect a very young puppy to last all night without needing the
toilet. Some puppies are unable to last all night until they are almost a
Mistakes will happen; it’s all part of bringing up a puppy.
Clean up any accidents which happen as quickly as possible, with the minimum
of fuss. To our noses an area may smell perfectly fresh when cleaned
with a normal cleaner, but to the dog’s nose there will be a residual scent
which attract him
back to use the same area again. NEVER punish a puppy for having
an accident. Punishment will only confuse him
and may in fact teach him
be more secretive about toileting.
When was the puppy last outside? When did she last eat? Have you changed his diet? Has there been a change in the household routine? Do accidents happen when he gets excited? Have you relaxed your housetraining a little too early? Have you cleaned any accident areas with a deodoriser?
Teaching your puppy his name
The first thing to teach is its name. Use your treats and toys to attract the pup's attention, call his name, and reward him for looking at you. Use his name when she is already coming towards you, when giving a treat, when petting the puppy and when giving his food to give the name a positive connotation. Always reward your pup when she responds to hiss name and he will come to know that, that specific sound reallv is his own name. If he thinks his name means a reward, he will be more likely to come to you.
If you always attach him
a lead when calling, always forget the reward or
if you always use the name when punishing the dog, the name won’t be
interesting anymore and the dog won’t react to it.
Teaching your puppy to come when called
Your puppy will be eager to return to you if you make sure that you are the
most exciting thing around! Remember that your puppy's line of focus is very
low to the ground, so don't be afraid to get down to his level - bend or
kneel down and tap the floor, shake a toy or clap your hands. As with any
training exercise, always gain the puppy's attention before issuing any
commands. Have his interest focused on you and, once you are sure she is
coming towards you call his name and the word 'come'. Lots of praise is
needed every time the puppy comes to you. If the puppy becomes distracted
before he reaches you, back away from him, making lots of exciting
noises to attract his attention.
To make your bond with the puppy stronger, you can always hide behind trees and bushes, turn around when he’s too far in front etc.. Always let him keep an eye on you, instead of you looking out after where he is going. This way he will learn to stay close to you.
Teaching your puppy to be
You should start to teach leaving him alone slowly. Starting with seconds, then minutes at a time when the puppy has other things on its mind. You can leave the puppy alone when he is sleeping already, as long as you make sure the puppy does not start panicking when he cannot find you when he wakes up. Teaching being alone is usually very straight forward, just never make a fuss about it.
"NO" is an important command every dog should know. You can enforce the command by sometimes slamming a newspaper on a tabletop (NOT the dog!) or taking the puppy from its neck fur when he is behaving badly. When the puppy comes home he has no clue of what is right and what is wrong, so he will try everything.
When you spot your puppy doing something that’s not allowed, first say “no”,
then give him
something else to think about. For example changing your shoe
to a bone to bite on. It is important for the puppy to have his own toys to
play with and chew at. All small things (pens, childrens toys) should be
removed from ground-level. If you see that he has eaten your shoe, it’s no
use punishing him
he has already done it.
will only get confused.
Teaching your puppy to walk on a lead
Walking on a lead
is an important part of training. You should use a smooth normal collar for
a puppy. When he gets older, you can start using different collars
the type of
use and what feels best for him. There are also training
collars and Halti-collars, but we only recommend these for training adult
dogs, not puppies. You will be able to train a puppy using normal methods.
When walking past other dogs or people, use a treat and a command word and get his attention before the puppy spots the other dog. Say the command word, show him the treat (let her bite it from your hand) and start walking and talking happily to the puppy, keeping his attention at you all the time. You should walk between your puppy and the other dog. When you have successfully gone past the other dog, praise the puppy a lot and give her the treat! Make it as fun as possible!
your dog has learnt that it does not need to go and smell every dog that
walks by, your walks will be much calmer and nicer.
Teaching your puppy to sit
Attract his attention with a toy or treat and slowly raise the reward above his head. The pup's head should follow the treat and, as the head comes up, the bottom must go down, placing the puppy naturally into a sitting position. At the exact instant that the puppy sits, give him praise.
Once you are sure that the pup will sit as you raise the hand with the treat, start saying 'SIT' as you give him the treat at the exact moment he assumes the sit position. Do not be tempted to use the command before you are confident that the pup understands what you want from him. Remember, at this stage, the pup does not yet know what 'sit' means - it is just a noise.
Teaching your puppy to lie down
The puppy's head should follow the reward and he will slide into the down