Buying and raising a puppy. Step 3: a consistent training.

Buying and raising a puppy. Step 3: a consistent training.

After your pup is made familiar with all kinds of objects, sounds and people, it is time for the actual training.

Your pup learns in two different ways: by making associations and by doing something by himself and getting a reward for it. In his training, attention plays a major role. When you are able to get your dog's attention, you can teach him anything.Dog

There are three ways in which you can teach your pup to do or not to do something.

  • Reward: you have to reward your pup when he does something positive. These can be various situations: when he is calm, when he does no. one at the right spot, when he bites toys he is allowed to, etc. Even when he is just looking at you and, consequently, is giving you attention, you have to reward him. 

  • How to reward your dog? Easy, the way to a dog's heart is through his stomach! A small and delicious snack is the best reward! But, you cannot always reward him with a snack, so you best give him some simple positive attention by petting him or by using words that are positive, like "yes", "good boy", etc. 

  • Prevention: Prevent your pup from doing something bad, because negative attention is attention, after all, and that is enough incentive for your pup to repeat this bad behaviour. In the beginning, make sure he cannot reach objects or toys which he cannot touch. After a couple of months, when your pup is able to think somewhat more logical, you can dig up these objects again and teach him that they are a no-go.

  • Ignore: Ignore your pup's bad behaviour, so it does not become self-reinforcing behaviour. So don't give him attention when he barks, jumps or scratches. Just ignore the behaviour and turn around. Raising your voice does not do anything, because this is also attention for your pup, which results in self-reinforcement. What you can do, is say "no" short and loud, and then turn around immediately, so he associates "no" with bad behaviour.
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