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Congratulations on your new pup! Bringing your new furry friend home may bring excitement, but training will require your persistence and patience. Consider the following tips before you begin training your puppy.
Dogs love routine and knowing what to expect on a daily basis can help to eliminate stress. Create a framework for going to the bathroom, eating, playing, training, walking, and bedtime. You do not need to have these all scheduled at an exact time, but assigning activities to a certain time of day will help. Establishing a solid schedule helps to eliminate accidents too.
As puppies do not have long attention spans, try to keep training sessions short. Aim for at least 15 minutes of training per day, which can be broken into mini-sessions during the day. Focus on one skill at a time and move to the next command after one has been mastered. Ending on a positive note with a treat, verbal praise, playtime, or a belly rub will have your pet excited for your next session.
Consistency is important in training your new puppy and should be used to reinforce training, even if you’re busy or tired. This also means keeping your approach to training, including your verbal (tone) and nonverbal cues (gestures) consistent when working on commands. If you don’t live alone, make sure everyone is aware of all training rules and complies with them. This eliminates any confusion your dog may experience regarding acceptable behavior.
Location of Training
Although consistency is important, you’ll want to train your furry friend in different locations. This diversity will help your pup become familiar with following your commands in various environments. Train in all rooms of your home, the park, walking locations, and any other areas where you’ll want your puppy to behave.
Just as the shortened attention span of a puppy affects the length of training, it also affects when you should reward and scold your pooch. If you wait too long to respond to good or bad behavior, then your pup will forget what they’ve done. Use your chosen training technique immediately after the behavior, so your dog can associate the good behavior with the reward and the bad behavior with the correction.