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Training a Puppy : a guide

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A responsible and caring owner will want to guide and train their new puppy into maturing into a well-mannered adult that they can be proud of, and one that everyone will adore, take pleasure in and want to own.

@hannitary via Twenty20

Correctly handling and training a dog from puppy hood helps avoid behavior problems.

Your puppy needs to able to:

Recognize and respond to his name
Recognize and obey commands instantly
Accept signs and sounds in the environment
Be well-mannered and sociable
Be tolerant and amenable towards other people and animals
Be clean in the house
Accept being in a crate
Walk happily and obediently on a leash
Travel calmly in a vehicle

Collar and Lead Training

Any pup over Eight weeks of age should be all set for a collar and lead. It is advisable to wait until after your pup has become accustomed to his collar before you try to introduce the lead. Leave the collar on whenever possible until your pup gets used to it. If he is in crate, get rid of the collar to avoid snagging. Don't use a choke chain collar on pups.

When scouting for a lead, you have to keep a number of things in mind. For those who have a smaller dog that doesn't pull too hard, buy a nylon or cotton lead. A chain or leather collar is ideal if you have a large breed or one that has an inclination to pull.

The lead length is completely up to you. If you are intending to do obedience work, buy a 6-foot lead – it's necessary in most classes. For just tooling around town with your pet, a
4-foot lead is going to do. It will keep your dog near you and provide you with plenty of handle. Retractable leads are an option, but are best bought once your pup is accustomed to a regular lead and has had some control training.

The very first time you put the lead on your pup, connect it to his collar and permit him to get used to the feel by dragging it throughout the house or yard. Do this for about ten minutes daily for a week. Watch that he doesn't chew on the lead though. If you have a nervous pup, draw attention away from him by throwing a toy.

Once he is accustomed to the feel of the lead, pick up the unattached end and hold it, following your four-legged friend wherever he goes. Keep the lead as loose-fitting as you can and don't worry at this time if the pup pulls. Do this step for around seven days.

When the pup starts pulling you around more often than not, it's your turn to take some control. However make it fun. Take with you a favorite toy, a ball or even a treat reward. Then, take off walking one way. If your pup follows willingly, make sure to praise him.

If he doesn't follow you, sits stubbornly, or pulls in the other way, take the object of affection and move it before him so that he follows it in the path you're going. At this point, you can praise him.

Time your compliment so that it occurs when he's moving and not when he's fighting off. This may take time and observation, but he'll soon get the message.

Keep in mind not to pull hard or jerk on the lead, regardless of how tempting. A dog's natural inclination is to pull back and you'll not get your message across. This could also provide your new dog “lead phobia” that'll be difficult to cure.

Do this step daily for about a week and every day you have to see your dog becoming a lot more assured and yourself having a bit more control.

Play Training

Games have a wide range of advantages for both you and your dog! Games are fantastic bonding chances and are mental, physical and emotionally gratifying – not forgetting
positive outlets for a pup, disheartening self-inventive dangerous and/or destructive alternatives. As significantly, games teach puppies certain behavior, behavior shaping which will play a vital role in steadfast obedience later on. The more your pup learns, the less complicated they're to train, and the quicker they learn new things.


Be well-stocked with suitable toys for your pup, both chew and interactive toys. Teach him that these are acceptable choices, and promptly replace all inappropriate ones.

Be conscious of how you use your voice during play with your pup and when setting up control: high, squeaky voices ensue thrills and will wind-up your dog; firm, low voice tones command attention and authority compliance.

Be mindful of how you use your body posture during play and when establishing command: hovering postures compel jumping, nipping and general unchecked puppy play; tall postures and eye contact air authority.

Deal with all access to interactive toys. Likewise control when the game begins and stops.

Control all games – take the chance to teach essential commands to your pup during play like recall, fetch, “sit”, “leave” and “drop it”.


Don't over-stimulate your pup when playing – steer clear of any action that could be mistaken as a challenge or teasing.
Don't use your body or clothing as component of any game.
Don't ever chase your dog during games.
Don't play intense wrestling and play fight games – especially with guarding dog breeds.
Don't allow your pup go to ask for attention; this should be granted on your terms.

Games to Play with your Pup

Hide & Seek
Mind Games

Crate Training for Puppies

When making the first introduction, it's best carried out in steps. The last thing you must do is scare your pup to the point that he's reluctant or unwilling to enter his grate. Preferably, you want your dog to get into the crate at your command. But why?

Advantages of Crate Training

There are plenty of good reasons for crate training. For one, it's an essential element of house training.

Puppies will not generally soil their bed. Therefore, if the crate is established as a resting space, the pup will wait until he leaves the crate to undertake his business. This will place you in control of when and where your pup relieves himself.

You will see that the crate is likewise useful for sequestering the dog when you've got company over, car travel, and for ensuring the puppy is safe at night – not eating or chewing things left within reach, shredding at furniture, or soiling on the floors.

Consider the crate as a little cave in which your pup can feel safe and sound, and he will react positively to it.

Making Crate Training an Enjoyable Experience

To prevent making crate training a distressing experience for the pup, make certain that he feels at ease during the entire process. This can be done by placing an old shirt or blanket at the base of the crate so that he's comfy.

A puppy must never be locked up and left alone if it's his first time in the crate. This can be a quite traumatic experience for your dog and will only make it harder for you the very next time you try and get him to go inside the crate.

As an alternative, coax the pup to enter the crate by putting some kibble inside. Be generous with your praises, as he makes his way into the crate to chow down the kibble. If he doesn't take action to enter the crate, pick him up and carefully put him inside with the door left open. Reassure your pup by petting him if he seems distressed and anxious. Once the puppy is inside the crate for a couple moments, call him to leave the crate to join you. Praise him with simple words and pats when he comes back to you.

After practicing going in and out of the crate voluntarily several times, once the dog is apparently at ease inside the crate and doesn't show any indications of fright, then you can close the door slowly. Keep it shut for one minute, so long as he remains calm all throughout. And then, open the door and invite him out while amply praising him.

What if He Whines?

After you have passed the initial challenge of familiarizing your puppy with the crate, you will need to get him cozy to going into the crate and lodging there quietly. Much like before, the best trick for getting a dog to go inside a crate voluntarily is to coax him with food. Fill a bowl with a bit of puppy food while you let him watch. Allow him to sniff the food and then little by little put the bowl of food inside the crate.

Once the dog is inside, gradually close the door (so you don't startle the pup) and let him to eat. He will most likely finish his food inside and only start to whine or bark after he's done with his meal. When he actually starts to bark and whine, tap the door of the crate and command “No” in a strong, powerful (but never yell-like) voice. With consistency, this will make him stop crying and at some point train him not to whine when he's inside his crate.

You will progressively increase the time the pup stays in the crate. If he whines, wait for him to relax — give him five minutes, whichever is first — prior to opening the door to let him out. Praise him when he comes out, and take him outdoors to relieve himself promptly. Do this several times a day.

Eventually, your pup will start to feel comfortable inside his crate and may even head to his crate on his own. This is the time to extend his stay inside, though you must
remember that there's also a limit to the maximum number of hours that your dog can spend inside his crate before getting miserable.

A puppy shouldn't be made to spend pretty much an entire day in his crate, nor is it right to imprison a dog inside his crate for long durations. He must be granted breaks to walk and play around.

The intention of a crate is so that the puppy/dog can be nestled inside overnight if you are sleeping and can't supervise him, when you want to travel with him, and when you need him to be sequestered from guests or kids. It is also a really useful tool in housetraining. You can keep him inside his crate until the timetabled outdoors time — when you can take him out to relieve himself – and in doing so, the pup comes to understand how to handle his body functions as an internal routine is being set.

Toilet Training

Toilet training should be a fairly simple procedure, so long as you take the time and trouble to get into an effective routine.

At first, you'll have to build your routine around your dog's needs, and these are reliably foreseeable when they're very young. Puppies need to pee soon after waking up, so you have to be there to take your pup straight into his toilet (indoor or outdoor) with no delay.

Eating its meal induces its digestive system, and pups normally pee within 15 minutes of eating, and eliminate within 30 minutes of eating.

Puppies have weak bladder control, and need to urinate a minimum of every hour or two. They can pee spontaneously when they get fired up, so take your puppy out often if it has been lively, playing or exploring.

You may find it helpful to keep a record of when your pup eats, sleeps, urinates and eliminates. Repeat cue words like “pee” and “poop” or “do your thing” and “be busy”
while the pup is actually peeing or eliminating. Use different phrases for each action so that you can be able to prompt the pup down the line.

Always go with your pup outside so you are there to reward him for every successful deed. The good news is, pups are creatures of habit, and so as long as you expose the yard to your pup as its toilet area early on, you will be able to avoid a lot of the common pitfalls.

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