When a man or woman invests in their very first puppy they are generally not too knowledgeable about puppy training. They may rely on their friends who have dogs for a bit of assistance. They will find though that in fact their friends have different viewpoints on how they should start training their puppy.
As you might guess some of these strategies work better than others. Seeing as this is your first puppy it is going to be difficult to be able to know which strategy is ideal for training your puppy.
Why don’t we first have a look back at a number of techniques which used to be well-accepted but today are almost never used.
A lot of these kinds of tactics that are not used as often today are strategies determined by punishment. Basically whenever your puppy’s or dog’s conduct is unwanted you respond in a negative manner. This negative way could be a quick jerk on the leash while the dog is wearing a choke or even a prong training collar. The dog would experience discomfort from this. Another negative response which dog trainers often implemented was in fact by making use of a shock collar. You would jolt the dog every time the dog’s behaviour was unacceptable, example, dog jumping up on people.
The problem with these punishment based training techniques is that you could end up with a very obedient dog but obedient out of fear. This approach could give you a fearful dog that may end up cowering in the corner each time you raise your voice or you may find yourself with a rather aggressive dog that could be threatening. Not a good situation especially if you are coping with a large breed dog.
Today trainers lean a lot more towards positive forms of training for your puppy or dog.
One thing that is certainly emphasized today is the training of a dog begins the minute you bring that puppy home. This is important since not all that long ago trainers would delay until a puppy was at least 6 months old before beginning any type training other than potty training. A young puppy’s brain is like a sponge, so learning is best at this young age.
Is there really anything special about these techniques that just apply positive reinforcement?
When you are training your new puppy using positive dog training techniques you are going to be using praise and positive reinforcement whenever your puppy or dog displays good behaviour. The reward can be in the form of a treat, a kind word, a pat on the head etc. Dogs do respond very well to positive training techniques.
When using these techniques at no time do you hit, spank, scold or even reprimand your puppy in any way. Most puppies do not react well to punishment.
So let’s take a look at some examples of positive training techniques that you might find useful for that new puppy of yours.
If you are planning to encourage your puppy’s behaviour with treats you may need to have some on you at all times. Say you want your dog to sit. Anytime your puppy sits say “Sit Good Boy” in a very enthusiastic voice, and then give your puppy a reward, whether it is a treat or a pat on the head.
A real great time to use a positive technique is when you are trying to potty train your puppy. When your puppy eliminates outside where you want him to go, again, praise and reward. Now when you reward your dog you must do this in a really upbeat enthusiastic voice which your puppy will react to. A good example of someone who had an extremely upbeat and enthusiastic voice was Barbara Woodhouse back in the 80’s. She is remembered for her iconic word “Walkies”. Did her dogs respond to her – you bet they did.
Puppies make mistakes particularly when potty training, thus be ready to clean up immediately with the puppy not around. Keep on track with the positive training and before very long you will have a trained puppy.
In order to have a trained dog you are going to have to start the training with that puppy. Truth be told there is absolutely nothing better than to end up being owned by a well-trained dog.